The minute people hear of the words Irish and Ireland, they immediately think: St. Patrick’s Day, green beer, four leaf clovers and Leprechauns. All of those are a rich part of the Irish Culture, but there is far more to the Emerald Isle than just green beer and leprechauns.
Ireland has often been called the ‘Emerald Isle’ because of the lush green expanses that remind anyone who is lucky enough to view it, of a beautifully faceted emerald glinting in the sun. Ireland is divided in two: The Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland is a part of the United Kingdom with an estimated population of nearly 2 million people. The population now is a great improvement against the plummet in the 1960s.This region had her share of political and religious conflicts throughout history. However all the conflict has managed to add to the cultural richness of the region.
The Irish are a warm people with a rich cultural and historical background. They have been around for a long time and can trace their lineage back to the Celts. The Irish people are divided in culture and religion. The population is mainly a mix of Protestants and Catholics. Politically they are split between Nationalists and Unionist. The division has effectively inspired and inflamed the artistic, religious, political and philosophical passions of the Irish people.
In the eastern coast of Northern Ireland lies the capital city of Belfast. It is considered to be the biggest urban area in this region. It is the 15th largest city in all of the United Kingdom. The city’s motto is inscribed in Latin and states “Pro tanto quid retribuamus”. It is a phrase taken from the Biblical book of Psalms and is loosely translated as: “In return for so much, what shall we give back?”
The city of Belfast is home to impressive modern and periodic architecture as portrayed by the Belfast Castle and the Belfast Waterfront Hall. The Belfast Eye and other daunting structures have given an aura of diversity to the city. The residents of Belfast and Northern Ireland are crazy in love with football, like so many other countries in the EU and in the rest of the world. The spectator sport of Gaelic football remains to be the most popular with the residents of this city.
Northern Ireland remains and continues to be a very beautiful country with rolling fog laden hills and rich cultural heritage to match.