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Portal:Ireland

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Fáilte go dtí Tairseach na hÉireann!
Fair faa ye tae tha Airlann Inlat!
Welcome to the Ireland Portal!


Sister portal:
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Northern Ireland
Satellite image of Ireland

Ireland (Irish: Éire, Ulster Scots: Airlann) is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island in the world. It lies to the north-west of continental Europe and is surrounded by hundreds of islands and islets. The Republic of Ireland covers five-sixths of the island. Northern Ireland, a part of the United Kingdom, covers the remainder and is located in the northeast of the island. The population of Ireland is estimated to be 6.2 million. Slightly less than 4.5 million are estimated to live in the Republic of Ireland and slightly less than 1.8 million live in Northern Ireland.

Relatively low-lying mountains surrounding a central plain to epitomise the Ireland's geography with several navigable rivers extending inland. The island has a lush vegetation, a product of its mild but changeable oceanic climate, which avoids extremes in temperature. Thick woodlands covered the island until the 1600s. Today, it is the most deforested area in Europe. Twenty-six mammal species are native to Ireland, with some, such as the red fox, hedgehog and badger, being very common. Others, like the Irish hare, red deer and pine marten are less so.

Irish culture has had a significant influence on culture world-wide, particularly in the fields of literature and, to a lesser degree, science and learning. A strong indigenous culture, expressed for example through native sports and the Irish language, exists alongside a regional culture, such as Rugby football and golf. Read more ...


Selected article

Monifeith Pictish stone

The Clàrsach (Gd.) or Cláirseach (Ga.) is the name given to the wire-strung harp of either Scotland or Ireland. The word was originally cruit, but clàrsach begins to make its appearance in the sources by the end of the 14th century.

The earliest descriptions of a European triangular framed harp i.e. harps with a fore pillar are found on 8th century Pictish stones. Pictish harps were strung from horsehair. The instruments apparently spread south to the Anglo Saxons who commonly used gut strings and then west to the Gaels of the Highlands and to Ireland. Historically the carvings were made in the period after the establishment of the Gaelic kingdom of Dál Riata. Despite the lack of direct evidence, some argue for a Gaelic influence. However, there are only thirteen depictions of any triangular chordophone from pre-11th century Europe, and twelve of them come from Scotland. Moreover, the earliest Irish word for a harp is in fact Cruit, a word which strongly suggests a Pictish provenance for the instrument.

One study suggests Pictish stone carvings may be copied from the Utrecht Psalter, the only other source outside Pictish Scotland to display a Triangular Chordophone instrument. The Utrecht Psalter was penned between 816-835 A.D. While Pictish Triangular Chordophone carvings found on the Nigg Stone dates from 799 A.D. and pre-dates the document by up to thirty-five years. Read more...

Selected biography

WBYeats1908.jpg

William Butler Yeats (/ˈjts/; 13 June 1865 - 28 January 1939) was an Irish poet and dramatist, and one of the foremost figures of 20th-century literature. A pillar of both the Irish and English literary establishments, in his later years Yeats served as an Irish Senator for two terms. He was a driving force behind the Irish Literary Revival, and together with Lady Gregory and Edward Martyn founded the Abbey Theatre, and served as its chief during its early years. In 1923, he was awarded a Nobel Prize in Literature for what the Nobel Committee described as "inspired poetry, which in a highly artistic form gives expression to the spirit of a whole nation;" and he was the first Irishman so honoured. Yeats is generally considered one of the few writers whose greatest works were completed after being awarded the Nobel Prize; such works include The Tower (1928) and The Winding Stair and Other Poems (1929).

Yeats was born and educated in Dublin, but spent his childhood in Sligo. He studied poetry in his youth, and from an early age was fascinated by both Irish legends and the occult. Those topics feature in the first phase of his work, which lasted roughly until the turn of the century. His earliest volume of verse was published in 1889, and those slowly paced and lyrical poems display debts to Edmund Spenser and Percy Bysshe Shelley, as well as to the lyricism of the Pre-Raphaelite poets.

From 1900, Yeats' poetry grew more physical and realistic. He largely renounced the transcendental beliefs of his youth, though he remained preoccupied with physical and spiritual masks, as well as with cyclical theories of life. Over the years Yeats adopted many different ideological positions, including, in the words of the critic Michael Valdez Moses, "those of radical nationalist, classical liberal, reactionary conservative and millenarian nihilist". Read more...

 

Selected series: Irish cities

Galway
Gaillimh
The Tribes of Galway, Eyre Square
The Tribes of Galway, Eyre Square
Flag of Galway
Flag
Coat of arms of Galway
Coat of arms
Nickname(s): City of the Tribes
Motto(s): Laudatio Ejus Manet In Secula Seculorum[1]  (Latin)
"His Praise Remains unto Ages of Ages"
Country Ireland
Province Connacht
County Galway
Government
 • Type City Council
 • Lord Mayor Michael Crowe[2]
 • LEAs 3
 • Dáil Éireann Galway West
 • European Parliament North-West
Population (2006)
 • City 72,414
 • Urban 72,729
 • Demonym Galwegian
Time zone WET (UTC0)
 • Summer (DST) IST (UTC+1)
Area code(s) 091
Car plates G
Website www.galwaycity.ie
  1. ^ "William R. Wilde's Loch Coirib - Its Shores and Islands". Galway.net. Retrieved 2010-08-12. 
  2. ^ "Mayor of Galway City". Galway City Council. Retrieved 6 September 2010. 


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