A bilingual country !
- If you go to Ireland, you will be surprised by strange names on roadsigns ! Everywhere in the Republic of Ireland, names of villages and towns are in two languages on roadsigns. There is English of course, but also Gaelic.
- Irish Gaelic is very similar to the language in Wales (Welsh) or in Britanny (Breton). The Gaelic languages are ancient languages people spoke in Europe before the Romans !
- Irish Gaelic is compulsory for Irish children at school. Many people in the west of Ireland speak Gaelic in everyday life.
The Great Famine (1845 to 1848)
- Irish people have a monument in Dublin to commemorate the Great Famine. It was between 1845 and 1848.
- There was much rain and potatoes didn't grow correctly: they rotted. People could not eat them and they died because they had nothing to eat.
- Many Irish people emigrated to the USA. Today in the USA, a lot of Americans are descendants of Irish immigrants. Boston is the largest Irish city outside Ireland !
The Partition (1921)
Ireland was part of England for many centuries. In 1921, England decided to leave Ireland: it was the "Partition". But England kept one small part of Ireland: Northern Ireland.
The Guinness Museum , Dublin
- Did you know the most famous ship in the world "was born" in Belfast ? The Titanic was built in Belfast. It went under water between Europe and New York in April, 1912 during its maiden voyage (= its first voyage). An iceberg hit the boat in the night and it sank. Rich and poor people died.
- In Belfast, a new museum opened to show everything about the Titanic.
Have you got some blarney ?
- The Irish are famous the world over for their blarney. To have some blarney is to be a very good speaker.
- In Blarney castle, you can kiss the stone and this is supposed to make you a brilliant speaker !
- Why Blarney ? Because a long time ago, the local lord spoke for a long time to defend the Irish people against the English ( England dominated Ireland).