The Emerald Isle
Ireland, the Emerald Isle, is divided into two parts, Northern Ireland, or Ulster, which is part of United Kingdom, and the Republic of Ireland, or Eire, which is an independent Nation.
Belfast is the capital of Northern Ireland. Dublin is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Ireland.
The Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland is a mass of more than 40,000 basalt columns left by a volcanic eruption. The tops of the columns form stepping stones that lead from the cliff and disappear under sea. Legend says that Ireland giant Fionn Mac Cumhaill built the causeway to walk to Scotland to flight his Scottish rival , Benandonner.
Londonderry in Northern Irelnad is one of the oldest cities in Ireland. It was founded around 1610 by settlers from London. The original city was destroyed by fire and rebuilt in the early seventeenth century.
At the time of the Industrial Revolution , Londonderry became a shipping centre , with many ships leaving for the Americas.
Donegal is in the north of Ireland . It has wild mountains and a rugged coastline . Donegal is probably Ireland’s mostly beautiful county.
Dublin Castle was the seat of British rule in Ireland until 1922. Most of the building dates from the eighteenth century. It fulfilled a number of roles over the centuries , but first and foremost , it was a royal residence. Today , the State Apartments are one of the most splendid sites in Dublin .
These richly decorated rooms are used by the Irish Government for presidential inaugurations, to host foreign Heads of State and for State ceremonies.
The shamrock is the symbol of Ireland. It was traditionally used for medicinal purposes. The shamrock was originally chosen as the national emblem of Ireland because of the legend that Saint Patrick used the plant to illustrate the doctrine of the Trinity.
Shamrock have been considered by the Irish as good-luck charms . Many Irish all over the world wear shamrock on Saint Patrick’s Day , March 17 th.