Our pages Ireland for Kids provides interesting and fun facts about Ireland, its geography, its landmarks and attractions.
Here are some interesting Ireland Facts which were choosen and researched by kids especially for kids.
Ireland is the third largest island of Europe and the second largest island of the British isles – Great Britain is the largest.
Here we will refer to the Republic of Ireland as Ireland, as this is the name also commonly used for the country to the west of the Great Britain and to the south of Northern Ireland.
Ireland Facts for Kids
Ireland for Kids
- Population: about 5.1 million people live in the Republic of Ireland (2020)
- Capital: Dublin with 1.2 million inhabitants
- Name: Ireland (or Éire in Gaelic)
- Nickname: Emerald Isle
- Government: Parliamentary Republic
- Languages: English, Irish Gaelic
- Religion: mainly Christians, 87% are Roman Catholics
- Currency: 1 Euro = 100 cents
- National Anthem: ‘Amran na bhFiann‘ (The Soldier’s Song)
- National Holiday: 17 March – Saint Patrick’s Day
- National Symbol: harp, shamrock (young clover leaf), blue and green (national colours)
- History: Celtic tribes on the island of Ireland from 600 BC. Later Normans invaded the island in the 12th century. The big famine (hunger) in Ireland led many people to emigrate. Ireland was neutral in World War II. The Republic of Ireland is part of the EU. Independence from the UK was gained in 1921, then the republic became part of the Irish Free State. Since 1949 Republic of Ireland.
Ireland for Kids | Geography
- The Republic of Ireland is a country in Western Europe on the island of Ireland.
- The Republic of Ireland and the UK share the island of Ireland which is situated in the North Atlantic Ocean. The island is 486 km long and 275 km wide.
- The Republic of Ireland shares a border with Northern Ireland, that belongs to the UK.
- The border between the two countries is about 490 km/ 304 miles long. Northern Ireland’s land area is about five times smaller than that of the Republic of Ireland.
- Ireland is well known for its green pastures, the many medieval monuments and castles such as Kilkenny Castle, the shamrock, a young clover leaf, which is one of the national symbols and Saint Patrick, the national patron saint.
- Ireland’s nickname is ‘Emerald Isle’ due to the lush vegetation, green pastures and soft rolling hills.
- Ireland’s name ‘Éire’ comes from the Gaelic language. ‘Eriu’ is the name of the goddess of the land.
Ireland for Kids | Country Facts
- Ireland is slightly larger than the state of West Virginia/USA and slightly bigger than Georgia or Sri Lanka.
- The landscape is dominated by rolling plains and rugged cliffs on the country’s western coast. The western part of the country has many mountains and poorer soil conditions.
- The climate is temperate but humid, with mild winters and cool summers.
Ireland for Kids | Geography Superlatives
- Ireland’s highest mountain is called Carrauntoohill. Ireland’s highest peak measures 1,038 m/ 3,407 ft in height. The mountain is located in Country Kerry in southwestern Ireland.
- The longest river of Ireland is the Shannon River. It travels across the island over 350 km/ 224 miles. The river runs through Limerick. The river is often quite shallow, but navigable.
- The largest lake in the Republic of Ireland is Lough Corrib which is the island’s second largest lake but this is the deepest lake of the whole island. The island’s largest lake is Lough Neagh which is located in Northern Ireland. Lough is the Irish word for ‘lake’.
- Achill Island off the country’s west coast is the largest of the Irish isles. The first human settlement on this island dates back to 3000 BC! The island is known for the third highest sea cliffs in Europe and nearby Keem Bay is popular for its beach.
Ireland for Kids | Landmarks and Attractions in Ireland
- Dublin: Ireland’s capital city houses many fine attractions. Among them are the famous Liffey Bridge, also called Ha’Penny bridge by the locals. This bridge that was built in 1826 replaced the old ferry. Crossing the bridge one had to pay toll – exactly the same as a ferry crossing cost! Today one of the most famous bridges of the city is the Samuel Beckett Bridge, which is also referred to as Harp Bridge due to its shape. The harp is one of Ireland’s national symbols.
- Trinity College: Ireland’s oldest university near Dublin was founded by Queen Elizabeth I and established in 1528. Trinity College is one of the most prestigious university colleges in Europe. The Campanile (Clocktower) in Parliament Square is one of the landmarks of Ireland.
- Limerick: This is old medieval city is located at the Shannon River, Ireland’s longest river. The city is known for its Georgian architecture. St Mary’s Cathedral founded in 1138 is the oldest building of the city. The 800-year-old St John’s Castle and the buzzing market life at the Milk Market are among other popular attractions of this city.
- Cliffs of Moher: The Cliffs of Moher in the west of the country are among the most visited sites in Ireland. They are about 14 km/ 9miles long. More than 1.5 million people visit this landmark of Ireland every year!
- Newgrange: Part of the Brú na Bóinne UNESCO world heritage sites, Newgrange is one of three prehistoric sites. A neolithic passage tomb from about 3200 BC was discovered in a huge circular mount. Ancient fossil bones and tools were discovered here. The Newgrange tomb is older stand Stonehenge or the Egyptian Pyramids. Many of the stones show megalithic art.
- Glendalough is known for its early medieval monastery. Glendalough is a glacial valley and the cathedral is one of the famous medieval ruins in the valley. Other monuments in the Lower Glen include the Round Tower and the Gatway.
Ireland for Kids | Irish People
Dublin was settled by various ethnic groups already over 9,000 years ago. Among the earliest settlers in Ireland were the Corcu Loígde, Dál Riada and Iverni people. Later Vikings, Normans, Welsh and Flemish groups settled in the region.
Today Ireland is a multicultural country, however, the vast majority of the people are Irish (82%). About 40% of the Irish speak Gaelic and 87% of the people in the republic are Roman Catholics.
Ireland is known for its Irish Celtic music and Irish dance. Famous dance companies such as ‘Riverdance’ or ‘Lord of the Dance’ tour the world and fascinate people everywhere with their Irish dance programmes.
Most of the people live in the eastern part of the country, mainly around the capital city Dublin. About 40% of the people live in and around Dublin.
The biggest cities of Ireland are Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Galway. Dublin is the only city with more than 1 million inhabitants.
Ireland Facts for Kids | Economy
- Natural resources in Ireland include natural gas, copper, zinc, peat (also called turf) and limestone.
- Most of the land is used for agriculture (66%), mainly growing potatoes, wheat and barley.
- About 10% of the country are covered by forests.
- The main trade partners of Ireland are the UK and the USA, France and Germany.
- Ireland is located on the major air and sea routes between Europe and North America. The main sea ports in the Republic of Ireland are Dublin and Cork.
Ireland for Kids | Irish Food
Ireland is known for quite hearty dishes and root vegetables such as potatoes and carrots or grains such as barley and wheat are used in many dishes.
Fish includes even salmon that is found also in Ireland’s longest river Shannon while oyster are popular along the West Coast, especially in Galway. The most commonly eaten meat includes Pork, Beef and Lamb.
Popular food in Ireland are:
- Boxty: These potato fritters are usually served for breakfast. The fried raw potato cakes are eaten with sour cream and onion pickle
- Bacon and Cabbage: slices of boiled bacon are served with cabbage and potatoes
- Colcannon: This is traditional Irish dish and is quite a simple potato mash mixed with shredded kale. The four main ingredients are: potatoes, butter, milk and kale.
- Irish Stew: the typical Irish stew is mainly made with either lamb or beef meat and consists of a thick stew made with onions, carrots and potatoes, fresh herbs and spices.
- Soda bread: The typical Irish bread is handmade but does not use yeast but baking soda instead. The soda bread has a cross cut on top – whether people believe this is to let the devil out or the fairies out, it is helping the dough to rise during the baking process.
- Barmbrack: Traditional Irish bread or cake made with yeast and filled with raisins and sultanas.
Barmbrack is usually shared at Halloween. The bread or cake will contain a ring, a coin and a piece of cloth, these three items will symbolise love, wealth and bad luck.
Ireland for Kids | Animals
In the coastal waters around Ireland, bottlenose dolphins, orca whales and sea turtles can be found, even giant squid has been spotted.
On land, there are only 26 species of mammals native to the island. Red foxes, hedgehogs, badgers and otters can be encountered, whereas the Irish hare or the red deer are more elusive and mainly encountered in nature reserves.
There are about 80,000 farms in Ireland. Many farmers raise cattle or sheep. About seven million cattle are raised in Ireland. The most famous dairy cattle is the Kerry cattle which is native to Ireland. Here the dairy cattle grazes on lush pastures, thus County Kerry is famous for its superior butter and milk. You probably have seen Kerrygold butter in the shops, now you know where this butter comes from!
There are about four million sheep in Ireland, although there is an old saying that there are more sheep in Ireland than people.
There are more than 400 species of birds in Ireland. Robins, blackbirds and wrens are amongst the most common birds. Robins are known for their red breast feathers.
Ireland for Kids | Useful Resources
For this Ireland for Kids page we used the following resources:
- UNESCO. “Brú na Boínne – Gallery.” WorldHeritageSites. Last accessed 30 October 2020
- Central Intelligence Agency. “Ireland”. CIA World Fact Book. Last updated 27 October 2020. Last accessed 29 October 2020
- Tourism Ireland. “Flavours of Ireland.” Ireland.com. Last accessed 30 October 2020
- Official Ireland Tourism. “Island of Ireland – 2018”. TourismIreland. Last accessed 30 July 2019. Last accessed 30 October 2020
Image Credits on Ireland for Kids page: Shutterstock.com and wikipedia commons
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