1. The Irish state pays you to have kids.

It is about $150 a month until they are 18.

2. Writers and Artists are free from income tax.

Income earned by writers, composers, visual artists, and sculptors from the sale of their works is exempt from tax in Ireland in certain circumstances.

3. There is free public transport for people aged over 66.

“Everyone aged 66 and over living permanently in the State is entitled to the Free Travel Scheme. Some people under 66 also qualify.”

4. It is much drier in the east part of the country.

Most of the eastern half of the country has between 30 and 40 inches of rain and rainfall in the west generally averages closer to 50. In many mountainous districts, rainfall exceeds 70 inches per year.

5. Since November 2014 it has been possible to drive from Belfast to Cork without hitting a traffic light since the opening of the Newlands Cross flyover in South Dublin.

6. The word "boycott" originated in Ireland, after the town of Ballinrobe, Co. Mayo started a campaign of isolation against Charles Cunningham Boycott, a vicious land agent who worked for the 3rd Lord Erne.

History tells it that in 1880 all local shops refused to serve him, and the boy who delivered his mail was threatened forcing him to quit.

7. Ireland was originally known as Hibernia, later Eire, and then Ireland.

The root of the name Éire is uncertain but it is thought to be a name of considerable antiquity. It first appears as Ierne in Greek writings which may have a base dating as early as the 5th century BC. The name appears as Iouvernia in Ptolemy's map (c AD 150) and has also been found translated into Latin as Hibernia. The Latin form, Hibernia, appears in the works of Caesar.

8. The national symbol of Ireland is not the shamrock but the harp making Ireland the only world country that has a musical instrument as its symbol.

9. Ireland had Dublin Mean Time 25 minutes behind Greenwich Mean Time until October 1916. Then to synchronize, British clocks went back by one hour and Irish by 35 minutes.

10. The Oscar statuette handed out at the Academy Awards was designed by Cedric Gibbons, who was born in Dublin in 1893.

Gibbons won 11 Oscars himself after moving to Hollywood and becoming an art director and set designer for MGM.

*Originally published in 2015