18 - The Republic of Ireland
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18. The Republic of Ireland BASIC FACTS − Ireland is the name of the island where The Republic of Ireland lies − The population is about 4 and half milion of people − There are two official languages: English and Irish Gaelic • English is the most widely spoken • Gaelic is a compulsory subject at schools − Irish beer and whiskey is known al over the world − St. Patrick´s Day on March 17 is the most famous irish holiday • green color is typical for this day POLITICS − It is a republic with bicameral parliament − The head of state is the president − The head of government is the Prime Minister HISTORY − The first settlement can be traced back to 8000 BC − In the Middle Ages the island faced Vikings and Norman invasions GEOGRAPHY − Ireland has a temperate, wet climate with warm/pleasant summers and mild winters − The land is quite flat covered by grass and fields − It gets a lots of rain so the grass keeps its green color, earning Ireland the nickname The Emerald Isle − The coastline of Ireland is very rugged with many cliffs and peninsulas − The longest river is Shannon, which is 386 km long CITIES − Dublin is the Irish capital • It is situated on the east coast of the island • There are many traditional pubs, music and other forms of entertainment (especial y in the Temple bar district) • Famous buildings include the mediaval Dublin Castle and St. Patrick´s Cathedral, the largest church in Ireland • It is a birth place of many famous irish people (Joyce, Beckett, Wilde) − Cork is the second largest city of Ireland • it is located on the south-west • There is Finnbarr Cathedral − Kilkenny and Limerick are famous mediaval towns with many historical buildings − Limerick is the third largest city of Ireland − Galway is a town famous from a song Galway Girl from Ed Sheeran FAMOUS PLACES − The Cliffs of Moher are spectacular cliffs on the south-western coast − Blarney Castle is a mediaval castle where the famous Blarney Stone can be found FAMOUS PEOPLE − famous irish writers Include Jonathan Swift, George Bernard Shaw, Oscar Wilde, James Joyce, … − Irish music is popular al over the world, with bands playing traditional music (The Dubliners, …) as wel as bands and singers playing pop and rock (U2, The Cranberries, Ash, …) − Famous irish actors include Colin Farel , Liam Neeson, Cil ian Murphy, … SPORTS − Hurling is a national sport