Ireland’s capital city Dublin has fast become one of the most visited short break city destinations in Europe. It seems these days that anyone and everyone has been there, done it and seen it all in Dublin. Besides being home to Guinness, Trinity College, The Temple Bar and Grafton Street there is far more to Dublin that initially meets the eye.
1. Dublin is called Baile Atha Cliath in Gaelic and dates back to the 9th century. It was originally a Viking settlement.
2. At one stage O’ Connell Street, the city’s main street was regarded as the widest street in Europe.
3. Dublin is also a county as well as a city but is actually one of the smallest of the 32 Irish counties.
4. The head of the Irish government is called An Taoiseach, which translated literally from Gaelic means “leader”
5. The home of the Irish parliament is in Dublin and is called The Dail. The three major political parties based in The Dail are Fianna Fail, Fianna Gael and Labour.
6. Dublin has less pubs per head of the population than any other European capital. Amazing but true!
7. The home of The Dubs, as they are fondly known is Croke Park. The Dubs are the Dublin Gaelic Football team. Croke Park is recognized as being one of the best Stadiums in the entire world due to its size and shape which creates a natural amphitheatre effect.
8. Dublin is home to the second largest outdoor park in the world-The Phoenix Park. This is the largest park in Europe and second only in the world to Central Park in New York.
9. The biggest crowd ever assembled in Ireland gathered in the Phoenix Park in 1819 to a rally led by Daniel O Connell calling for the freedom of Ireland from English oppression and rule. Over 1.5 million impassioned people gathered to hear O Connell proclaim “that the freedom of Ireland is not worth the shedding of one drop of blood”.
10. The freedom of Dublin city has only been bestowed on a small number of people including Nelson Mandela, U2 and Bob Geldof. This honour carries the unusual privilege of allowing its’ recipients to graze sheep free of charge in St Stephens Green, one of Dublin’s best known landmarks.
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