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Irish Blessings | Gaelic Proverbs | Toasts and Greetings | Quips

Our website celebrates Ireland, a small island of extraordinary beauty, fascinating history, and evocative myths and legends where the old and the new thrive together in an interesting mix. From ancient standing stones and portal dolmens to breathtaking pastoral scenes and energetic cities of architectural sophistication, we take a photographic tour reflecting the soul and passion of this spectacular island.

But Ireland is far more than beautiful landscape. Much of the magic of the country lies in the people themselves. Crumbling ruins of ancient monuments and haunting views of abandoned fields bound by inaccessible cliffs that drop to the Atlantic bear silent testament to a people's resilience and strength in the face of centuries of invasion and hardship.

Ireland seems almost like an appendix to the great European landmass. Precariously positioned in the Atlantic Ocean, nothing but 3,000 miles of sea stands between Ireland and the land that its emigrants have so influenced, the USA.

Ireland's size and island status mean that you are never far from the sea. Ireland's distinctive indented coastline, together with a myriad of lakes and the longest river in the British Isles, the Shannon, means that water is a recurring theme.

In terms of industry, agriculture has for centuries been the economic mainstay of the country. Apart from a small area around Belfast, the island was free from heavy industry. Life in the country often seems untouched by time, the pace of life is noticeably slower. This coupled with the natural friendliness of the people means Ireland is a place where one can truly relax.

Ireland has become increasingly integrated with the industrial economies of western Europe, yet the modernization of the country has to date made few marks. It's a place to explore slowly, roaming through agricultural landscapes scattered with farmhouses, or along the endlessly indented coastline. In town, too, the pleasures are unhurried: evenings over Guinnesses in the snug of a pub, listening to the chat around a turf fire.

Especially in the Irish-speaking Gaeltacht areas, you'll be aware of the strength and continuity of the island's oral tradition. The speech of the country, moulded by the rhythms of the ancient tongue, has fired such twentieth-century greats as Yeats, Joyce, Beckett and Heaney. Music, too, has always been at the centre of Irish community life, and you can expect to find traditional music sessions in the pubs of all towns of any size and along the west coast.

Irish Blessings | Gaelic Proverbs | Toasts and Greetings | Quips

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