Hawthorn's Ramblings

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

At Home In Ireland

This is a short little article of basic facts about Ireland, and a taste of what the country is like. I will presume you know very little about Ireland or its culture. It is an island just west of the UK. The island is divided in two; the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland is part of the united kingdom of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, so here I will deal mainly with the republic.

The island is divided into 32 counties, 26 in the Republic and 6 in the North. Population of the republic is about 5 million, and growing. Currently Ireland has one of the top economies in Europe, or even the world, known as the Celtic Tiger. However its wealth and the benefits of this economic boom are not distributed evenly, many people think, and therefore there is a certain amount of poverty. We also have a health service many people think is in crisis, and also growing public order and crime problems, many drug related.

But there are many great things about Ireland; the relaxed and laid back way of life, unless you live and work in the cities amid the traffic chaos; the breathtaking scenery all over the country; the traditional music scene; and the modern and rock music scene, to name but a few.

The main language is English, though in recent years irish or gaelic has been revived, and we have our own native language TV station TG4. The music scene is alive and well. Among our most famous music exports are The Chieftans, Paul Brady, Enya, The Corrs, Clannad, De Dannan, Brian Kennedy, and of course U2. There are many more that I may elaborate in further articles, but suffice to say that there is a vibrant and exciting music scene here.

Ireland has many many different kinds of industries, from butter making to computers. Tourism is one of the big businesses with millions of tourists from all over the world every year.

So there you have just a taste of Ireland, more to follow shortly! Slan go foill (goodbye for now)!