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\"Dublin's

Dublin's Croke Park, the headquarters of the Gaelic Athletic Association, is the fourth largest stadium in Europe. Photo by: Alan O' Connor / Tourism Ireland

Ten surprising facts about Ireland

\"Dublin's

Dublin's Croke Park, the headquarters of the Gaelic Athletic Association, is the fourth largest stadium in Europe. Photo by: Alan O' Connor / Tourism Ireland

Rugby and soccer were banned from the stadium up until 2007 because of a long-standing rule banning “foreign” games. The rule was relaxed when the country’s main soccer and rugby stadium, Lansdowne Road, was closed for redevelopment.

8. In the summer of 2007, it rained in Ireland for 40 days straight

Even by Irish standards, 2007 was a wet summer. By August 24, it had rained in Ireland for 40 days - fulfilling an old Irish proverb that says it will rain for 40 days if it rains on St. Swithin's day (July 15). The rain usually takes a break in the summer for a couple of weeks and the rare sunshine sends the country pure mad!

9. Playboy was banned in Ireland until 1995

In 1995 you could get Playboy TV but you couldn't get the magazine, which was banned under the censorship laws.

10. More Guinness is sold in Nigeria than in Ireland

That's right: Ireland is the third largest market for Guinness. Nigeria is at second, and Britain is first.

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