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Social Life in Ireland

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Social Life in Ireland

Language

Thankfully you won’t need to learn a new language to have a social life in Ireland, as Irish and English are both the official languages of Ireland, with Irish being the first national official language, and the language used in the EU. It is a Celtic language and a compulsory subject to study in school. Around 10% of the population are fluent in Irish, as English is the mother tongue for most Irish nationals. In the west you may find some, mostly elderly, people who only speak Irish. Erse is another name for Irish Gaelic. The longest place name in Ireland is Muckanaghederdauhaulia.

Road signs are usually in Irish and English (and until recently, kilometres or miles, which could lead to some confusion). TG4, the Irish language television station, has helped to rejuvenate Irish Gaelic, especially among young people. The Irish language also has a highly visible presence on the Internet. The Irish have a proverb, “a country without a language, is a country without a soul”.

Social Life in Ireland

Ireland is stunningly beautiful, with a fabulous coastline, fens and mountains — and a rich archaeological heritage. The country is not called the Emerald Isle for nothing and copious rainfall ensures the land keeps well watered.

Music and dance have always been part of Irish culture, including the ballads. Going for a pint in the local is something of a national pastime. Many pubs offer live music and comedy — and all are “smoke-free” now.

The unique sports of Gaelic football, hurling and camogie (the fastest field sport played by women) are popular as are more recognised sports, like hill walking, sailing but especially horse racing (and betting).

Dublin bars are world famous, but despite its reputation as a party city, clubbing in Dublin can be a bit tame, because the licensing laws require venues to close by 3 o’clock in the morning.

Tourist information centres have a generous amount of information on the sites to visit, and the local library will have details of the culture — theatre, music, art and exhibitions.

The Heritage Ireland website will give you details and whet your appetite:

National Holidays

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Published By VanOne
Last updated on 12th August 2019

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