Ireland is the 20th largest island in the world. Population: 4.5 m. Capital: Dublin. There are 4 provinces: Ulster, Munster, Leinster, Connacht. Land mass: 70280sqm. Longest river: Shannon 386km. Highest mountain: Carrauntoohil 1038m. Official emblem: The Harp. Most popular sport: Gaelic football. Biggest rock band: U2. Most famous brand: Guinness. Sheep population: 5.5m
The first inhabitants of Ireland were hunter gatherers using stone implements. Around 3000bc they evolved into Bronze Age people who cultivated crops, raised domestic animals, and made weapons, tools, and jewellery out of bronze. They created fine stone implements and traded abroad. Around 2000bc, they built megaliths - massive stone sanctuaries and tombs
Surrounded by dizzying drops, Dunluce Castle perches on a headland overlooking the north Antrim coast, with a sea cave called the Mermaid’s Cave. Stories tell how, in 1639, the kitchen fell into the sea, along with the cooks and servants.
The Book of Kells is a masterpiece of Celtic art unrivalled for the exquisite quality of its decoration, intricate designs, and visionary concept. It is regarded as one of the world’s greatest illuminated manuscripts with decoration so stunning and lavish that it was thought to be the work of angels.