- How many official languages are there in the Republic of Ireland?
- Which colour dominates on the island?
- What do the colours of the Irish flag mean?
- What Irish name is now used as a noun in several European languages?
- After what Irish person did a geographical place get its name?
- What are the two things associated with the country?
- Why is the name of an Irishman well-known in the United States?
A. One of the informal names of Ireland is ‘the Emerald Isle’. This is because of its lush greenery and rolling hills. The country receives a lot of rain each year, which keeps the grass green and the plants blooming. Experts argue that the flora of Ireland demonstrates more than forty shades of green.
B. The most famous symbol of Ireland is undoubtedly the shamrock clover. However, the official emblem of the country is the Celtic harp. Ireland is the only country in the world to have a musical instrument as its national symbol. The harp has become Ireland’s national symbol not because it was created there but due to the collection of the oldest harps in the world which now can be seen in the museum at Trinity College in Dublin.
C. There is a tricolour of green, white and orange vertical stripes on the national flag of the Republic of Ireland. The flag was designed to reflect the country’s political situation. Created in 1848, the orange stripe represents Irish Protestants. Green is for Irish Catholics and white is for the hope that peace might eventually be reached between them.
D. Most people of the Republic of Ireland speak English. Itis the second official language of the country because, according to the Constitution, Irish (Gaelic) is the national language of the Republic of Ireland. Irish was the primary language that was used on the island. Though children are still taught Irish at school, the language is losing its importance.
E. The White House, the official residence of the US President, was designed by an Irishman. James Hoban was born in Ireland and studied architecture in his homeland. In 1792, James Hoban won a competition for the construction of the President’s house in America. He spent nine years supervising the building process. He also designed a few other important buildings in the American capital. No wonder that the name of James Hoban is famous across the ocean.
F. The widely used word boycott originated in Ireland. In 1880, a campaign of isolation against Charles Boycott, a land agent, was started. He threw out the farmers from his land when they complained that the rents were too high. After that, the local shops refused to serve him, his servants left and the boy who delivered his mail disappeared too. The surname of the land agent became a word which means ‘silently ignoring somebody or something’. The word was adopted in English, French, Dutch, German, Russian etc.