Ireland Destinations Travel Guide




Flag of Ireland

Language: Irish, English

Currency: Euro

Calling code: +353



Ireland is a state in Western Europe that occupies most of the island of Ireland. In the north it borders with Northern Ireland (part of Great Britain). Area - 70.2 thousand km². The name of the country comes from the Irish Éire "state".

The capital is the city of Dublin, which is home to about a quarter of the country's population (1.4 million people).

Member of organizations: Council of Europe (since 1949), UN (since 1955), OECD (since 1960), European Union (since 1973), Euratom (since 1973), European Monetary System (since 1979).



Travel Destinations in Ireland




East Coast and Midland

Dublin County (Ireland)

Ardgillan Castle

Ashtown Castle

Clontarf Castle Drimnagh Castle
Howth Castle Malahide Castle Monkstown Castle  



Kildare County (Ireland)

Barberstown Castle Castletown House Kilkea Castle  



Laois County (Ireland)




Longford County (Ireland)




Louth County (Ireland)

Castle Roche      



Meath County (Ireland)

Dunsany Castle

Hill of Tara

Newgrange Trim Castle



Offaly County (Ireland)

Birr Castle Clonony Castle Kinnitty Castle Leap Castle



Westmeath County (Ireland)




Wicklow County (Ireland)




Shannon Region

Clare County (Ireland)

Ballinalacken Castle Bunratty Castle Burren National Park Caherconnell Stone Fort
Carrigaholt Castle Cliffs of Moher Craggaunowen Castle Doonagore Castle
Dromoland Castle Knappogue Castle Leamaneh Castle  



Limerick County (Ireland)

King John's Castle Castle Oliver Springfield Castle  



Tipperary County (Ireland)

Athassel Priory Ardfinnan Castle Cahir Castle Holy Cross Abbey
Ormonde Castle Powerscourt Estate Rock of Cashel  


Southwest Ireland

Cork County (Ireland)

Bantry House Barryscourt Castle Belvelly Castle Blackrock Castle
Blarney Castle Carriganass Castle Castle Donovan Drombeg Stone Circle
Dunasead Castle Dunboy Castle Kanturk Castle  



Kerry County (Ireland)

Ardfert Cathedral

Ballycarbery Castle

Carrigafoyle Castle Dunbeg Promontory Fort
Killarney National Park Lakes of Killarney Listowel Castle Mount Brandon
Ross Castle      


West Ireland

Galway County (Ireland)

Aran Islands Aughnanure Castle Connemara National Park Dunguaire Castle
Fiddaun Castle Kylemore Abbey Oranmore Castle Portumna Castle
Thoor Ballylee      


Mayo County (Ireland)

Ashford Castle Ballycroy National Park


Rockfleet Castle


Roscommon County (Ireland)

Donamon Castle Roscommon Castle    


Northwest Ireland and Lakelands

Cavan County (Ireland)

Cabra Castle      


Donegal County (Ireland)

Doe Castle Donegal Castle Glenveagh Castle

Glenveagh National Park



Leitrim County (Ireland)



Monaghan County (Ireland)



Sligo County (Ireland)

Ballymote Castle Markree Castle Parke's Castle  


Southeast Ireland

Carlow County (Ireland)

Ballymoon Castle


Carlow Castle Huntington Castle aka Clonegal
Wicklow Mountains      


Kilkenny County (Ireland)

Burnchurch Castle Dunmore Cave Foulksrath Castle Jerpoint Abbey
Kilkenny Castle Shankill Castle    



Waterford County (Ireland)

Lismore Castle      



Waterford County (Ireland)

Lismore Castle      



Ancient time
The first people settled Ireland during the Mesolithic, in the IX millennium BC. e .; The oldest traces of life are Dauth, Nauth and Newgrange (now included in the list of cultural heritage of Ireland). According to genetic research, the Irish are the descendants of farmers from the Mediterranean, who destroyed the ancient population of the Emerald Isle, as well as pastoralists from the Black Sea. Black Sea immigrants are Indo-Europeans who brought their tongue and hemochromatosis genes, as well as genes that allow them to absorb lactose and drink milk. The similarity of the genomes of the people of the Bronze Age and modern Irish, Scots and Welsh suggests that already by 2000 BC the main characteristics of the “island”, different from the Gallic, Celtic genome, the descendants of which the Irish people can be considered, have developed. One of the first mentions of the civilization of Ireland is the mention of Pythaeus (end of the 4th century BC). In the Irish language there are many borrowings from the pre-Celtic population of the territory.

The name of the island in Irish is "Eriu" (Dr. Irl. Ériu, Irl. Éire). The ancient Irish lived as separate tribes - clans under the control of hereditary leaders, jointly owned land and were engaged almost exclusively in cattle breeding. Ireland was not part of the Roman Empire, but Roman historians mention it (Ptolemy, Tacitus, Juvenal). The ancient capital of Ireland (until the XII century) is Tara.

Adoption of christianity
The first Christian burial places of Ireland date back to the end of the 4th century; archaeological finds indicate that the Christianization of Ireland began more likely from the south rather than from the north, where St. Patrick acted, who is usually credited with the Christianization of Ireland; the first bishop of Ireland, according to the "Chronicle" of Prosper of Aquitaine, was the Gallo-Roman St. Palladium, who was ordained by Pope Celestine in 431. According to legend, his mission was unsuccessful - he fell ill and died when he returned to Britain.

In his Confession, Saint Patrick himself mentions thousands of baptisms he performed; he confesses that he presented gifts to kings and judges in the lands where he visited especially often, but says that he himself refused bribes and gifts. He mentions that once with his companions he was in prison for two weeks in shackles. The initial flock of Patrick, judging by the people mentioned in the Confession, consisted mainly of young people, women and slaves, that is, from fairly marginalized sections of society. The annals of the four masters mention that he founded 600 churches (according to other sources - there were 300 churches), and more than 120,000 who received the baptism of the Irish from him. In 1991, S. V. Shkunaev, referring to “The Life of St. Patrick” by Murkhu Mokka Mahteni (moccu Machtheni), suggested that the Christianization of Ireland was supported by St. Patrick by the local landowner aristocrats according to the Indian "Kshatriya Revolt" model, which contradicts the "marginal" theory of Christianization. It is difficult to judge the whole process of the early Christianization of Ireland, since the next literary monument of Irish church law, following the works of Patrick, is “The First Synod of St. Patrick’s, was composed only in the middle of the VII century.

Ireland was not affected by the civil wars and invasions of the Germans that accompanied the collapse of the Roman Empire, which contributed to the development of written culture and education in the early Middle Ages. Soon after the country's baptism, the first works in Latin appear; from the beginning of the 7th century, literature in Old Irish appears. Already in the VI century, Ireland became the center of Western scholarship; preachers of Christianity on the mainland came out of her monastery schools. One of the main cultural centers was the monastery on the island of Iona. Irish monks made a significant contribution to the preservation of Latin culture during the early Middle Ages. Ireland of this period was famous for its arts - illustrations for handwritten books, metalwork and sculpture.

Significant damage to the Irish culture, economic and political stability of the island as a whole, was caused by the Vikings raids. Soon they began to establish settlements on the shores of the island (in particular, Dublin, Limerick, Waterford). Only at the beginning of the XI century, the Irish, led by the Munster king Briand Bohr, defeated the Vikings. Brian Boru died in the decisive battle of Klontarf in 1014.

Lordship of Ireland under the rule of England

At the end of the XII century, part of the territory of Ireland was conquered by the British under King Henry II. The English barons took possession of the lands of the Irish clans and introduced English laws and a system of government. The conquered area was called the outskirts (English the Pale) and both in management and in its further development was very different from the still not conquered, the so-called Wild Ireland, in which the British constantly sought to make new conquests.

When Robert Bruce took possession of the Scottish crown and successfully waged a war with England, the Irish leaders turned to him for help against a common enemy. His brother Edward arrived with the army in 1315 and was proclaimed king by the Irish, but after a three-year war that terribly devastated the island, he died in battle with the British. However, in 1348, the “Black Death” came to Ireland, exterminating almost all the British who lived in cities where mortality was particularly high. After the plague, British power extended no further than Dublin.

Kingdom of Ireland
During the English Reformation, the Irish remained Catholics, which created a surviving split between the two islands. In 1536, Henry VIII crushed the rebellion of Silk Thomas Fitzgerald, an English protege in Ireland, and decided to re-conquer the island. In 1541, Henry declared Ireland a kingdom, and himself king of it. Over the next hundred years, under Elizabeth and Jacob I, the British strengthened control over Ireland, although they could not make the Irish Protestants, but the entire English administration consisted only of Anglican Protestants.

During the civil war in England, English control over the island was greatly weakened, and the Irish Catholics rebelled against the Protestants, temporarily creating Confederate Ireland, but already in 1649 Oliver Cromwell arrived in Ireland with a large and experienced army, taking the city of Droeda by attack near Dublin and Wexford . In Drode, Cromwell ordered the entire garrison and the Catholic priests to be killed, while in Wexford the army massacred without permission. For nine months, Cromwell conquered almost the entire island, and then transferred the command to his son-in-law Ayrton, who continued the work that had begun. Cromwell's goal was to put an end to the unrest on the island by ousting Irish Catholics, who were forced to either leave the country or move west to Connaught, while their lands were distributed to the English colonists, most of them to Cromwell’s soldiers. In 1641, more than 1.5 million people lived in Ireland, and in 1652 only 850 thousand remained (of which 150 thousand were English and Scottish new settlers).

In 1689, during the Glorious Revolution, the Irish supported the English king Jacob II, deposed by William of Orange, for which they paid again.

As a result of English colonization, the native Irish almost completely lost their land holdings; a new ruling stratum was formed, consisting of Protestants, immigrants from England and Scotland.

As part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
In 1798, with the support of France, an Irish uprising unfolded: despite the initial success, it ended in the defeat of the rebels.

In 1801, Ireland became part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Irish began to be superseded by English.

At the beginning of the XIX century, about 86% of the population of Ireland was engaged in agriculture, in which dominated by bonded forms of exploitation. Ireland served as one of the sources of the accumulation of English capital and the development of industry in England.

The Great Hunger
In the mid-1840s, an agrarian coup began. The fall in bread prices (after the repeal of the "grain laws" in England in 1846) prompted landowners to begin an intensive transition from a small peasant lease system to a large pasture farm. The process of driving small tenants off the ground has intensified (the so-called cleaning of estates).

The abolition of the "bread laws" and the disease of potato, which was the main crop among the small-land Irish peasants, led to a terrible famine of 1845-1849. As a result of hunger, about 1 million people died.

Emigration increased significantly (from 1846 to 1851 1.5 million people left), which became a constant feature of the historical development of Ireland.

As a result, in 1841-1851, the population of Ireland decreased by 30%.

And in the future, Ireland was rapidly losing population: if in 1841 the population was 8 million 178 thousand people, then in 1901 - only 4 million 459 thousand

Irish Independence

In 1919, the Irish Republican Army (IRA) launched active hostilities against the British troops and police. April 15-27, 1919 on the territory of the county of the same name there is the Republic of Limerick Council. In December 1921, a peace treaty was signed between Great Britain and Ireland. Ireland gained dominion status (the so-called Irish Free State), with the exception of the six most industrially developed northeastern counties (Northern Ireland) with a predominance of Protestants who remained part of the United Kingdom. However, Britain retained military bases on the territory of Ireland, the right to receive “redemption” payments for the former possessions of English landlords. In 1937, the country adopted the official name Éire.

In 1949, Ireland was proclaimed an independent republic. The republic was announced to withdraw from the British Commonwealth. Only in the 1960s did emigration from Ireland cease and population growth was noted. In 1973, Ireland became a member of the European Economic Community.

In the 1990s, Ireland entered a period of rapid economic growth, which continued until 2007. With the onset of the global financial crisis of 2008, the Irish economy is experiencing a sharp recession associated with declining exports, problems in the construction industry and the banking sector. According to the IMF, in 2008 the country's economy experienced a decline of 3.5%, in 2009 - by 7.6%, which was the largest decline in the history of the country.

As a result of a referendum held on May 22, 2015, Ireland became the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage by popular vote.