Country of the Week: Ireland

Brian Dreifke, Reporter

Strong, standing castles tower over endless green lands, neverending fiddle music, and cozy villages. You must be in Ireland! Ireland is known to have some of the most majestic landscapes of the European islands.  This is why Ireland is known as the Emerald Isle; the Irish plains are always emerald green,with Ireland receiving much rain over the year, and the flowers are always in bloom.

While Britain governs Ireland’s northern half, the rest of Ireland is independent– which is very unique. Ireland still teaches Irish in their schools, which is an old Gaelic language. This is very interesting, because Ireland has British traditions and influences, but the Irish still maintain their own traditions that have lasted thousands of years.

Now, Ireland has a deep, somewhat violent history. Ireland has been through many wars, which is why Ireland is home to so many castles all over the country. They were built to protect Ireland from invasions that started in Roman times. Furthermore, the Irish Potato Famine ripped through Ireland, lessening the population. According to World Population, Ireland once had a population of 8,00,000 and is now a little under 5,000,000. The population is still recovering from the famine, but these 5,000,000 people definitely know how to carry on tradition and spread their rich culture.

Around the world, many people associate Ireland with its musical spirit and upbeat dancing. The Irish love music so much that the harp, (a musical instrument) is on their national currency: the Irish pound. Many people today, even in different countries, take Irish step dance classes. The dance keeps everything above the waist stiff, and only involves leg and foot movement. A famous Irish step dance is the Riverdance. A lot of Irish music features the violin, harp, accordion, and even the American banjo!

There are many places to visit in Ireland that are fantastically historical. You cannot mention historical towns without mentioning the capital of Dublin. The colorful buildings and historic castles in the capital are something you just can’t miss. Another great city to see is the seaside town of Galway. Its colorful buildings and seaside views make it a cozy little city that’s very enjoyable.

Overall, Ireland is a place of deep history, with vast, beautiful lands and some of the oldest castles in history standing strong from coast to coast. Ireland also features some of the world’s oldest pubs and villages in the world. It’s a very calm and peaceful country until the fiddles start playing and feet start hitting old Irish floors.

  • Editor’s note: This is another travel article which was received late, enjoy!