are 118 castles in Co Clare on the west coast of Ireland.
2006, some 146 prisoners serving sentences of between one and five years
went AWOL from Irish prisons.
Some 152 candidates contested
the Seanad general election in 2002; 103 of them were not elected.
In 1698 some 153 priests fled Wicklow
ahead of coercive penal laws outlawing their religion.
As of 2006, the
1997 film Titanic had the highest box office take in movie
history. It starred Leonard DiCaprio and Kate Winslett and the theme
song My Heart Will Go On.
The Belfast-made ship sank in 1912, after hitting an iceberg.
The iceberg was never found.
Kate Winslett was found at the end of the movie, in the water, very
The Irish Companion
is an arresting collection of mythology and strange facts that will
keep you enthralled long past the witching hour when soft noises on
the windowpane will persuade you to douse the light and snuggle beneath
the bedcovers, for fear of an Irish night.
A copy, signed and
dedicated, by contributing editor Brendan Nolan makes an ideal gift
and memento for visitors, for those Irish living in the fifth province
and for native alike.
signed copies of the hardback @ €14.95 (£9.99) plus
P&P will be dispatched forthwith if you tell us to whom and
Ireland did not exist it could not be invented. It was once the economic
success story of the European Union and a place that recalls centuries-old
rural events with an everyday familiarity.
It won Eurovision song contests with ease and in the interval introduced
the world to the exotic swirl of Irish dancing and Riverdance.
Ireland has been invaded on numerous occasions and the invaders stayed
on to become more fiercely Irish than the vanquished. In fact, Irish
fairies may be the remnants of one such invader, defeated by others,
who took magical powers with them into underground exile from where
they emerge in force at Hallowe’en.
Guinness began in Ireland in the 18th century and is still manufactured
at its Dublin brewery for Ireland and the world. Clever and sustained
marketing made it the national drink imbibed by local and visitor alike.
visit the bones of St Valentine in a Dublin church every February and
have their engagement and marriage rings blessed.
These and other stories are to be found in the Irish Companion,
a book that contains more facts and strange reports than a cattle drover
could shake a stick at.
Ten Nobel prizes have been awarded to Irish people, four of them in
literature. Three went to Irish peacemakers.
The Titanic sailed from Ireland on its doomed voyage.
Europe was first linked to America by an undersea telegraph cable running
out from Co Kerry.
Pilots making the first transatlantic flights in the early 20th century
made landfall in Ireland and an Irishman invented a spidercatcher in
the late 20th century, though these events are not necessarily related,
The Planning Appeals Board has ruled that householders may not store
helicopters in garden sheds without planning permission.
Engaging contradictions abound and here begins your exploration with
an Irish Companion in hand.
A plaque to a fictitious
priest sat in the parapet of Dublin's O’Connell Bridge for two
years without being noticed by council officials.
Father Pat Noise was commemorated there as a prank by a pair of anonymous
Tourists have been photographed at the memorial.
Someone else left flowers.
was his housekeeper.
It's still there.
1899, Emma Whelan from Cork gave birth to Alfred Hitchcock filmmaker.
Limerick resident Dolores McNamara in July 2005 won 115
million euro in the EuroMillions lottery.
years was the life expectancy of the Irish male in 2002 according to the
Central Statistics Office Ireland.
80 years was the life expectancy of the Irish female in 2002
said the CSO.
Male deer give up the ghost after 12 years
of life in Dublin's Phoenix Park.
Female deer live to the age of 20 years
in Phoenix Park.
In 1983 the IRA kidnapped Shergar a horse belonging
to the Aga Khan . No ransom was paid and the horse was never seen again.
Tullamore Gaol was the scene of the last hanging of a woman in Ireland.
Mary Daly was hanged there in 1903.
In 1047 it snowed all over the island from Christmas
In 1947 snow lay on the ground until April.
Though that was a different year.