Ireland (Irish: Éire, Ulster Scots: Airlann) is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island in the world. It lies to the north-west of continental Europe and is surrounded by hundreds of islands and islets. The Republic of Ireland covers five-sixths of the island. Northern Ireland, a part of the United Kingdom, covers the remainder and is located in the northeast of the island. The population of Ireland is estimated to be 6.2 million. Slightly less than 4.5 million are estimated to live in the Republic of Ireland and slightly less than 1.8 million live in Northern Ireland.
Relatively low-lying mountains surrounding a central plain to epitomise the Ireland's geography with several navigable rivers extending inland. The island has a lush vegetation, a product of its mild but changeable oceanic climate, which avoids extremes in temperature. Thick woodlands covered the island until the 1600s. Today, it is the most deforested area in Europe. Twenty-six mammal species are native to Ireland, with some, such as the red fox, hedgehog and badger, being very common. Others, like the Irish hare, red deer and pine marten are less so.
Irish culture has had a significant influence on culture world-wide, particularly in the fields of literature and, to a lesser degree, science and learning. A strong indigenous culture, expressed for example through native sports and the Irish language, exists alongside a regional culture, such as Rugby football and golf. Read more ...
Aibidil Gaoidheilge agus Caiticiosma ("Irish Alphabet and Catechism") is the first book printed in Ireland in the Irish language. Meant as a Protestant primer, the book was written by John Kearney (Irish: Seán Ó Cearnaigh), a treasurer of St. Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin. It includes a short section on the spelling and sounds of Irish.
The production of this book was part of a larger endeavour by Irish Protestants to print the Bible in the Irish language so that the common person could read it. The book was printed on a press which was set up in the home of Alderman John Ussher (Irish: Sheón ?user). Ussher, who was a well-known Dublin Protestant, also paid for the venture. Though the printer's identity is unknown, it is possible that William Kearney, a nephew of John Kearney was the printer.
200 copies of the book were printed but only four known copies exist today. In 1995 a copy of the book was bought by Trinity College Library Dublin for £47,700 ($76,463) at Christie's. Read more...
One Direction are an English-Irish pop boy band based in London, comprising Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson. They finished third in the seventh series of the British televised singing competition The X Factor in 2010. Propelled to international success by social media, Their three albums, Up All Night (2011), Take Me Home (2012) and Midnight Memories (2013) broke records, topped charts in most major markets, and generated hit singles.
Their achievements include four Brit Awards and four MTV Video Music Awards among many others. According to Nick Gatfield, the chairman and chief executive of Sony Music Entertainment UK, One Direction represented a $50 million business empire by June 2012. They were proclaimed 2012's "Top New Artist" by Billboard. According to the Sunday Times Rich List, by April 2013 they had an estimated personal combined wealth of £25 million ($41.2m) making them the second wealthiest musicians in the UK under 30 years of age. After the release of Midnight Memories, One Direction became the first band in the US Billboard 200's history to have their first three albums debut at number one. Additionally, the album was a global success, debuting at number one on the UK Albums Chart, and became the biggest selling album worldwide of 2013. Read more...
Selected series: Irish cities