Top ten little-known facts about Ireland (VIDEO)

Think you know everything there is to know about the Emerald Isle. We bet a few of these will catch you out. 

1. Ireland is the only country in the world that has a musical instrument – the harp – as its national symbol. The oldest known harp in existence is housed in Trinity College, Dublin. It dates back to at least 1300.

Image: Getty images.


2. Ireland is the third largest island in Europe and the twentieth largest in the world.

Image: Tourism Ireland.

Read more: Mysterious history of Skellig Michael, ancient Irish island in 'Star Wars' (PHOTOS)

3. Up until 1973, many women employed in the public service faced mandatory retirement once they got married.

Image: Getty images.

4. The first Irish Constitution was signed at Dublin’s Shelbourne Hotel.

Irish Constitution.

5. The longest place name in Ireland is Muckanaghederdauhaulia, in County Galway.

County Galway's Muckanaghederdauhaulia.

6. James Joyce once described Guinness stout as "the wine of Ireland."

Guinness.

7. Shannon became the world’s first duty-free airport in 1947, and we’ve been buying tax-free liquor and perfume ever since.

Shannon airport.

8. One of the most popular radio shows in rural Ireland is still the daily broadcast of local obituaries.

Image: Getty images.

9. The Newgrange passage tomb in County Meath was constructed around 3200 BC, making it more than 600 years older than the Giza Pyramids in Egypt, and 1,000 years older than Stonehenge.

The Winter Solstice at Newgrange. Christianity adapted many of their feast days to match.

10. Ireland's 15 principal railway stations are named after the leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising.

(James) Connolly station, for example.

Sources: Specialized Travel Services; Ireland Fun Facts; Jetpacker.

* Originally published in 2013. 

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