Top ten little-known facts about Ireland in honor of the Gathering Ireland 2013
Wacky, ridiculous and surprising things you never knew about Ireland
1. Ireland is the only country in the world which has a musical instrument – the harp – as their national symbol. The oldest known harp in existence is housed in Trinity College, Dublin. It dates back from at least 1300.
2. Ireland is the third largest island in Europe and the twentieth largest in the world.
3. Up until 1973, many women employed in the public service faced mandatory retirement once they got married.
4. The first Irish Constitution was signed at Dublin’s Shelbourne Hotel.
5. There are no postal or ZIP codes in Ireland outside of Dublin and Cork city.
6. The longest place name in Ireland is Muckanaghederdauhaulia, in County Galway.
7. James Joyce once described Guinness stout as "the wine of Ireland."
8. Shannon became the world’s first duty-free airport in 1947, and we’ve been buying tax-free liquor and perfume ever since.
9. One of the most popular radio shows in rural Ireland is still the daily broadcast of local obituaries.
10. 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.