Irish Treasures: 36 Quirky Facts That Make Ireland Unique

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1Robert McCartney

Robert McCartney

In 2005, a man named Robert McCartney was murdered after a pub brawl in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The murder still remains unsolved due to all 71 of the possible witnesses claiming to be in the bathroom, leading the bathroom to be nicknamed the Tardis.

2. The 5th century Irish warlord known as Niall of the Nine Hostages has over 3 million direct male descendants. Men with common Irish surnames like O'Neil, O'Connor, O'Reilly are among his descendants.

3. The shortest St. Patrick's Day parade in the world takes place in Dripsey, Cork. The parade lasts just 100 yards and travels between the village's two pubs.

4. When workers were renovating Ireland's Leap Castle, they found so many human remains impaled on wooden spikes within a wall that it took three cartloads to remove all of them.

5. Snakes have never existed in Ireland. Because they are cold-blooded, the snake couldn't survive the frozen ground during the previous ice age.

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6Airsoft guns

Airsoft guns

The law governing firearms in Ireland used to consider airsoft guns legally equivalent to a 20mm anti-tank rifles, as the law failed to specify a minimum energy for a gun's projectile.

7. In the 1930s, an Irish man named Michael Malloy survived being intentionally fed Antifreeze, turpentine, rat poison, being left in −14°F and getting hit by a taxi as part of being a victim of a life insurance scam. His was nicknamed “Mike the Durable.”

8. The Irish Elk is an extinct species of deer that had the largest antlers of any known deer with a maximum size of 3.65 meters (12 feet) from tip to tip, which weighed up to 40kg (88lb).

9. 75% of all alcohol consumed in Ireland in 2013 was done so as part of a binge drinking session.

10. During the Great Famine, Ireland continued to export enormous quantities of food to England. This kept food prices far too high for the average Irish peasant to afford and was a major contributing factor in the large death toll from the famine.

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11Katie Mulrennan

Katie Mulrennan

An Irish woman named Katie Mulrennan was denied for a teaching job in South Korea, citing the “alcoholic nature” of Irish people as a reason for rejection.

12. In Ireland, on your 100th birthday, you receive a letter and €2,540 from the President as part of the Centenarian Bounty. On each subsequent birthday, you receive a letter and a commemorative coin.

13. When Irish Banks went on strike for 6 months in the 1970s, people used pubs to cash their pay-cheques and to keep the economy running.

14. There is an ancient temple named Newgrange in Ireland that predates Giza and Stonehenge. During the winter solstice, light penetrates through to the burial tomb for about 19 minutes.

15. In 980, an Irish High King named Máel Sechnaill mac Domnaill defeated the Vikings of Dublin after a three-day siege of Dublin city. The Vikings surrendered, and the King then freed all slaves in the city.

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16National Museum of Ireland

National Museum of Ireland

In 2016, an anonymous donor sent two Bronze Age axes and two pieces of rare Viking jewelry to the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin. The museum believes the items were illegally excavated.

17. James Sligo Jameson, the heir to Irish whiskey manufacturer Jameson's, bought an 11-year-old girl and offered her to cannibals to document and sketch how she was cooked and eaten.

18. There is a youth subculture in Ireland called the Dublin Pony Kids. These boys and girls camp with their horses in front yards or on city wasteland.

19. An Irish man named Frank Buckley owns a house that is actually made from decommissioned Euro bills that previously amounted to €1.4 billion.

20. The most popular sport in Ireland (Gaelic football) is a completely amateur sport. The players play in front of 80,000 people and don't get paid.

21Robert Erskine Childers

Robert Erskine Childers

An Irish Nationalist named Robert Erskine Childers smuggled guns into Ireland during their civil war. When he was sentenced to death, he shook hands with the firing squad members and told them when they were about to shoot “Take a step or two forward, lads. It will be easier that way.”

22. In 2011, a 14-year-old Irish boy named Jake hacked into Modern Warfare 2 servers. As a result, Microsoft offered to "develop his talent for legitimate purposes."

23. Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw is the only person to ever win both a Nobel Prize and an Oscar.

24. A pub named Downey's Pub in Dublin once had a strike that lasted 14 years.

25. A pub named Whiskey Joe's in Ireland gives out free drinks to customers that don't use their phones

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