The island of Ireland is off the northwest of continental Europe, and west of Great Britain. The island is divided into two parts: Ireland (sometimes referred to as “the Republic of Ireland”) and Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom. Ireland is a member of the European Union.
Official Languages: Irish and English
Climate: Ireland has a mild climate and frequent rainfall. Although it can be quite cold, the temperature is rarely extreme, and snowfall is uncommon. Hours of sunlight vary throughout the year. During the winter, it receives approximately eight hours of daylight. During the summer, it receives up to 17 hours of daylight. Ireland practices ‘Daylight Saving Time’ (DST), which means the clocks go forward one hour during the summer, so the evening daylight lasts longer.
Geography: Ireland is known for its rolling green hills and beautiful coastline. The cities are small but diverse and bustling.
Safety: The safety situation in Ireland is relatively good and the political situation is stable. However, normal precautions are advised. In case of facing any risk, call 112 or 999 or head to the nearest police station. Police in Ireland are called ‘An Garda Síochána’. The police force of Ireland is trustworthy. They will look out for your safety and will do everything to help you. It is important that you report any danger or threat.
Generally, we recommend that you always be attentive and avoid risky situations. If you are a victim of assault, remember that your life is the most important consideration. Do not resist and hand-over what is being asked of you.
Basic things to know about Irish Culture
- In Ireland there is freedom of religion, meaning that all people have the right to practice different religions. 78.3% of the population of Ireland is Roman Catholic (2016 Census).
- Ireland’s national sports are Hurling and Gaelic Football, but many other sports are played around the country (rugby, football, tennis, cricket, swimming, athletics, gymnastics, etc.)
Popular Irish expressions
- Fáilte (pronounced ‘fall-cha’) – the Irish word for ‘welcome’
- Craic (pronounced ‘crack’) – the Irish word for ‘fun’
- Sláinte (pronounced ‘slawn-cha’) – means ‘good health’ and is used as a toast before taking a drink.