Passport: Ireland


Ireland has a rich, thousands of years old heritage filled with Celtic and Viking culture and enhanced by pagan and Christian religious traditions. When the Celts took over the island in the fourth century B.C., a hint of what is now modern Irish folk culture took root as they practiced their pagan druid traditions.

According to tradition, St. Patrick and Christianity arrived in Ireland in 432 A.D. According to historians the rise of Christian converts in Ireland also brought the establishment of monasteries where Irish scholars studied. Many European scholars soon sought the refuge of learning in these monasteries, where many Latin and Greek teachings, that would have otherwise been lost, were preserved during the Dark Ages.

In 1800, Ireland became a part of the United Kingdom. Ireland would not become a sovereign nation until 1921 after the Anglo-Irish War (1919-1921). Before the war, under British rule, Ireland faced a severe depression resulting in the Great Potato famine after potato crops failed in 1846. Millions died and many emigrated to the United States, sparking allegiance to the idea that the country should be independent. By the end of the war, the two governments partitioned Northern and Southern Ireland. The North is still governed by the U.K.


Find out more about the country that brought us St. Patricks Day and famous literary figures like James Joyce.



A view of Clare Island from the top of Croagh Patrick, the 2,510-foot peak in County Mayo where St. Patrick supposedly fasted for 40 days in 441 A.D., in Ireland.

(AP Photo/David Pace)


The river Quoile winds through the countryside near Downpatrick, County Down, Northern Ireland.

(AP Photo/ Audrey Woods)


Giant's Causeway, a cliffside formation of crystal-shaped rocks, seen in an undated handout photo, is Northern Ireland's most famous attraction. As the Irish Republican Army and pro-British paramilitary groups stick to cease-fires, tourists are discovering that Northern Ireland no longer lives up to its bad reputation.

(AP Photo/Northern Ireland Tourist Board)


Ha'Penny Bridge is shown on the river Liffey in Dublin, Ireland.

(AP Photo/Peter Morrison)


This undated photo shows Bunratty Castle, in County Clare, Ireland. Bunratty features a folk park recreating 19th century Victorian Ireland and a medieval banquet, with storytelling and medieval music.

(AP Photo/Tourism Ireland)

2 comments on “Passport: Ireland

  1. Trey

    I find this very intrestring…but my question is, why is it that “Irish” peps not get there North is them selves and let the “Brits” have it to them selfs?


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