Culture of Ireland
This article is about the modern culture of Ireland and the Irish people. It includes customs and traditions, language, music, art, literature, folklore, cuisine and sport associated with Ireland and Irish people today. However, the culture of the people living in Ireland is not homogeneous. There are notable cultural divides between urban Irish and rural Irish, between Catholics and Protestants, between Irish-speakers in the Gaeltacht and English-speakers, between immigrants and the native population, and between Travellers and the settled population. For an overview of Ireland's culture during the Gaelic period, see Gaelic Ireland.
Although most Irish people are of Gaelic descent, today Ireland is an ethnically diverse country as a result of large-scale immigration from many different countries throughout its history. Also, due to emigration of the Irish people themselves overseas, Irish culture has a global reach and Irish festivals such as St. Patrick's Day and Halloween are observed and celebrated all over the world.
Farming and rural tradition
As archaeological evidence from sites such as the Céide Fields in County Mayo and Lough Gur in County Limerick demonstrates, farming in Ireland is an activity that goes back to the very beginnings of human settlement. In historic times, texts such as the Táin Bó Cúailinge show a society in which cattle represented a primary source of wealth and status. Little of this had changed by the time of the Norman invasion of Ireland in the 12th century. Giraldus Cambrensis portrayed a Gaelic society in which cattle farming and transhumance was the norm.
Townlands, villages, parishes and counties
The Normans replaced traditional clan land management (Brehon Law) with the manorial system of land tenure and social organization. This led to the imposition of the village, parish and county over the native system of townlands. In general, a parish was a civil and religious unit with a manor, a village and a church at its centre. Each parish incorporated one or more existing townlands into its boundaries. With the gradual extension of English feudalism over the island, the Irish county structure came into existence and was completed in 1610.
These structures are still of vital importance in the daily life of Irish communities. Apart from the religious significance of the parish, most rural postal addresses consist of house and townland names. The village and parish are key focal points around which sporting rivalries and other forms of local identity are built and most people feel a strong sense of loyalty to their native county, a loyalty which also often has its clearest expression on the sports field.
Land ownership and land hunger
With the Elizabethan English conquest, the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland, and the organised plantations of English and Scottish settlers, the patterns of land ownership in Ireland were altered greatly. The old order of transhumance and open range cattle breeding died out to be replaced by a structure of great landed estates, small tenant farmers with more or less precarious hold on their leases, and a mass of landless labourers. This situation continued up to the end of the 19th century, when the agitation of the Land League began to bring about land reform. In this process of reform, the former tenants and labourers became land owners, with the great estates being broken up into small- and medium-sized farms and smallholdings. The process continued well into the 20th century with the work of the Irish Land Commission. This contrasted with Britain, where many of the big estates were left intact. One consequence of this is the widely recognised cultural phenomenon of "land hunger" amongst the new class of Irish farmer. In general, this means that farming families will do almost anything to retain land ownership within the family unit, with the greatest ambition possible being the acquisition of additional land. Another is that hillwalkers in Ireland today are more constrained than their counterparts in Britain, as it is more difficult to agree rights of way with so many small farmers involved on a given route, rather than with just one landowner.
Holidays and festivals
Much of the Irish calendar still today reflects the old pagan customs, with later Christian traditions also having significant influence. Christmas in Ireland has several local traditions, some in no way connected with Christianity. On 26 December (St. Stephen's Day), there is a custom of "Wrenboys" who call door to door with an arrangement of assorted material (which changes in different localities) to represent a dead wren "caught in the furze", as their rhyme goes.
The national holiday in the Republic is Saint Patrick's Day, 17 March and is marked by parades and festivals in cities and towns across the island of Ireland, and by the Irish diaspora around the world. The festival is in remembrance to Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. Pious legend credits Patrick with banishing snakes from the island, and legend also credits Patrick with teaching the Irish about the concept of the Trinity by showing people the shamrock, a 3-leaved clover, using it to highlight the Christian belief of 'three divine persons in the one God'.
Brigid's Day (1 February, known as Imbolc or Candlemas) also does not have its origins in Christianity, being instead another religious observance superimposed at the beginning of spring. The Brigid's cross made from rushes on this day represents a pre-Christian solar wheel.
Other pre-Christian festivals, whose names survive as Irish month names, are Bealtaine (May), Lúnasa (August) and Samhain (November). The last is still widely observed as Halloween, followed by All Saints' Day, another Christian holiday associated with a traditional one. Important church holidays include Easter, and various Marian observances.
Roman Catholicism is the most widely practiced religion in Ireland. Christianity was brought to Ireland during or prior to the 5th century and its early history among the Irish is in particular associated with Saint Patrick, who is generally considered Ireland's patron saint. The Celtic festival of Samhain, known as Halloween, originated in Ireland and is now celebrated all over the world.
In the Republic, the last time a census asked people to specify what their religion was in 2006. The result was 86.8% Roman Catholic, 3% Church of Ireland (Anglican), 0.8% Islam, 0.6% Presbyterian, 0.3% Methodist, less than 0.05% Jewish, approximately 1.4% other religious groupings and 4.4% identified as having no religion. About 2% did not state their religious identity.
Ireland is a country where religion and religious practice have always been held in high esteem. Although the majority of Irish people are Roman Catholics, many other religions are respected and represented. There are Church of Ireland, Presbyterian, Methodist and Baptist Churches, as well as Eastern Orthodox and Salvation Army communities. Several American gospel groups are represented as well as Jehovah's Witnesses and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS) . In addition to the Christian denominations there are centres for Buddhists, Hindus, Bahais and for people of the Islamic and Jewish faiths
In Northern Ireland in 2001, the population was 40.3% Roman Catholic, 20.7% Presbyterian, 15.3% Church of Ireland (Anglican), 3.5% Methodist, 6.1% other Christian, 0.3% other religion and philosophy, and 13.9% religion not stated. Amongst the Republic's Roman Catholics, weekly church attendance dropped from 87% in 1981 to 60% in 1998, though this remained one of the highest attendance rates in Europe.
The Leprechaun figures large in Irish folklore. A mischievous fairy type creature in emerald green clothing who when not playing tricks spend all their time busily making shoes, the Leprechaun is said to have a pot of gold hidden at the end of the rainbow, and if ever captured by a human it has the magical power to grant three wishes in exchange for release. The stories of Fionn mac Cumhaill and his followers, the Fianna, form the Fenian cycle. Legend has it he built the Giant's Causeway as stepping-stones to Scotland, so as not to get his feet wet; he also once scooped up part of Ireland to fling it at a rival, but it missed and landed in the Irish Sea — the clump became the Isle of Man and the pebble became Rockall, the void became Lough Neagh. The Irish king Brian Boru who ended the domination of the so-called High Kingship of Ireland by the Uí Néill, is part of the historical cycle. The Irish princess Iseult is the adulterous lover of Tristan in the Arthurian romance and tragedy Tristan and Iseult.
Halloween is a traditional and much celebrated holiday in Ireland on the night of October 31. The name Halloween is first attested in the 16th century as a Scottish shortening of the fuller All-Hallows-Eve, and according to some historians it has its roots in the gaelic festival Samhain, where the Gaels believed the border between this world and the otherworld became thin, and the dead would revisit the mortal world. In Ireland, traditional Halloween customs include; Guising — children disguised in costume going from door to door requesting food or coins — which became practice by the late 19th century, turnips hollowed-out and carved with faces to make lanterns, holding parties where games such as apple bobbing are played. Other practices in Ireland include lighting bonfires, and having firework displays. Mass transatlantic Irish and Scottish immigration in the 19th century popularized Halloween in North America.
Literature and the arts
For a comparatively small country, Ireland has made a disproportionate contribution to world literature in all its branches, in both the Irish and English languages. The island's most widely-known literary works are undoubtedly in English. Particularly famous examples of such works are those of James Joyce, Bram Stoker, Jonathan Swift, Oscar Wilde and Ireland's four winners of the Nobel Prize for Literature; William Butler Yeats, George Bernard Shaw, Samuel Beckett and Seamus Heaney. Three of the four Nobel prize winners were born in Dublin (Heaney being the exception, having lived in Dublin but being born in County Londonderry), making it the birthplace of more Nobel literary laureates than any other city in the world. The Irish language has the third oldest literature in Europe (after Greek and Latin), the most significant body of written literature (both ancient and recent) of any Celtic language, as well as a strong oral tradition of legends and poetry. Poetry in Irish represents the oldest vernacular poetry in Europe, with the earliest examples dating from the 6th century.
The early history of Irish visual art is generally considered to begin with early carvings found at sites such as Newgrange and is traced through Bronze age artefacts, particularly ornamental gold objects, and the Celtic brooches and illuminated manuscripts of the "Insular" Early Medieval period. During the course of the 19th and 20th centuries, a strong indigenous tradition of painting emerged, including such figures as John Butler Yeats, William Orpen, Jack Yeats and Louis le Brocquy.
The Irish tradition of folk music and dance is also widely known. In the middle years of the 20th century, as Irish society was attempting to modernise, traditional Irish music fell out of favour to some extent, especially in urban areas. Young people at this time tended to look to Britain and, particularly, the United States as models of progress and jazz and rock and roll became extremely popular. During the 1960s, and inspired by the American folk music movement, there was a revival of interest in the Irish tradition. This revival was inspired by groups like The Dubliners, the Clancy Brothers and Sweeney's Men and individuals like Seán Ó Riada.
Before long, groups and musicians like Horslips, Van Morrison and even Thin Lizzy were incorporating elements of traditional music into a rock idiom to form a unique new sound. During the 1970s and 1980s, the distinction between traditional and rock musicians became blurred, with many individuals regularly crossing over between these styles of playing as a matter of course. This trend can be seen more recently in the work of bands like U2, Snow Patrol, The Cranberries and The Corrs.
Irish and English are the most widely spoken languages in Ireland. English is the most widely spoken language on the island overall, and Irish is spoken as a first language only by a small minority, primarily, though not exclusively, in the government-defined Gaeltacht regions. A larger minority speak Irish as a second language, with 40% of people in the Republic of Ireland and 10% of people in Northern Ireland being Irish speakers. Article 8 of the Constitution of Ireland states that Irish is the national and first official language of Ireland. English in turn is recognised as the state's second official language. Hiberno-English, the dialect of English spoken in Ireland, has been greatly influenced by Irish.
Some other languages have entered Ireland with immigrants – for example, Polish is now the second most widely spoken language in Ireland after English, Irish being the third most commonly spoken language.
- Irish language
- Irish Sign Language
- Northern Ireland Sign Language
- Ulster Scots language
- Shelta language
Food and drink
Food in early Ireland
There are many references to food and drink in early Irish literature. Honey seems to have been widely eaten and used in the making of mead. The old stories also contain many references to banquets, although these may well be greatly exaggerated and provide little insight into everyday diet. There are also many references to fulacht fia, which are archaeological sites commonly believed to have once been used for cooking venison. The fulacht fia have holes or troughs in the ground which can be filled with water. Meat can then be cooked by placing hot stones in the trough until the water boils. Many fulach fia sites have been identified across the island of Ireland, and some of them appear to have been in use up to the 17th century.
Excavations at the Viking settlement in the Wood Quay area of Dublin have produced a significant amount of information on the diet of the inhabitants of the town. The main animals eaten were cattle, sheep and pigs, with pigs being the most common. This popularity extended down to modern times in Ireland. Poultry and wild geese as well as fish and shellfish were also common, as were a wide range of native berries and nuts, especially hazel. The seeds of knotgrass and goosefoot were widely present and may have been used to make a porridge.
The potato in Ireland
The potato would appear to have been introduced into Ireland in the second half of the 16th century, initially as a garden crop. It eventually came to be the main food field crop of the tenant and labouring classes. As a food source, the potato is extremely efficient in terms of energy yielded per unit area of land. The potato is also a good source of many vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamin C (especially when fresh). As a result, the typical 18th and 19th century Irish diet of potatoes and buttermilk was a contributing factor in the population explosion that occurred in Ireland at that time. However, due to the political rule of the time, the majority of Irish produce (root crops, cereals and animal produce) was exported to Britain, leaving few strains of potato as the sole food source for the Irish. This, along with the spread of potato blight led to shortages and famine, the most notable instance being the Great Irish Famine (1845-1849), which more or less undid all the growth in population of the previous century. The cause of which was a UK-armed demand to keep food exports at the pre famine level which caused a form of forced starvation, and thus prompted disease and emigration.
Food in Ireland today
In the 20th century the usual modern selection of foods common to Western cultures has been adopted in Ireland. Both US fast-food culture and continental European dishes have influenced the country, along with other world dishes introduced in a similar fashion to the rest of the Western world. Common meals include pizza, curry, Chinese food, and lately, some west African dishes have been making an appearance. Supermarket shelves now contain ingredients for, among others, traditional, European, American (Mexican/Tex-Mex), Indian, Polish and Chinese dishes.
The proliferation of fast food has led to increasing public health problems including obesity, and one of the highest rates of heart disease in the world. Due to the current "anti-meat fad", the government has broadcasted television advertisements to discourage meat consumption. In the north, the Ulster fry has been particularly cited as being a major source for a higher incidence of cardiac problems, quoted as being a "heart attack on a plate". All the ingredients are fried, although more recently the trend is to grill as many of the ingredients as possible. These advertisements however, do not explain the health and vigor of native Irish people while eating their traditional diets high in both fat and meat.
In tandem with these developments, the last quarter of the century saw the emergence of a new Irish cuisine based on traditional ingredients handled in new ways. This cuisine is based on fresh vegetables, fish, especially salmon and trout, oysters and other shellfish, traditional soda bread, the wide range of hand-made cheeses that are now being made across the country, and, of course, the potato. Traditional dishes, such as the Irish stew, Dublin coddle, the Irish breakfast and potato bread, have enjoyed a resurgence. Schools like the Ballymaloe Cookery School have emerged to cater for the associated increased interest in cooking with traditional ingredients.
Representative Irish Foods
Pub culture, as it is termed, pervades Irish society, across all cultural divides. The term refers to the Irish habit of frequenting public houses (pubs) or bars. Traditional pub culture is concerned with more than just drinking, even though Ireland has a recognized problem with over-consumption of alcohol. In 2003, Ireland had the second-highest per capita alcohol consumption in the world, just below Luxembourg at 13.5 litres (per person 15 or more years old), according to the OECD Health Data 2009 survey. Typically pubs are important meeting places, where people can gather and meet their neighbours and friends in a relaxed atmosphere. Pubs vary widely according to the clientele they serve, and the area they are in. Best known, and loved amongst tourists is the traditional pub, with its traditional Irish music (or "trad music"), tavern-like warmness, and memorabilia filling it. Often such pubs will also serve food, particularly during the day. Many more modern pubs, not necessarily traditional, still emulate these pubs, only perhaps substituting traditional music for a DJ or non-traditional live music.
Many larger pubs in cities eschew such trappings entirely, opting for loud music, and focusing more on the consumption of drinks. Such venues are popular "pre-clubbing" locations. "Clubbing" has become a popular phenomenon amongst young people in Ireland during the celtic tiger years. Clubs usually vary in terms of the type of music played, and the target audience.
A significant recent change to pub culture in the Republic of Ireland has been the introduction of a smoking ban, in all workplaces, which includes pubs and restaurants. Ireland was the first country in the world to implement such a ban which was introduced on 29 March 2004. A majority of the population support the ban, including a significant percentage of smokers. Nevertheless, the atmosphere in pubs has changed greatly as a result, and debate continues on whether it has boosted or lowered sales, although this is often blamed on the ever-increasing prices, or whether it is a "good thing" or a "bad thing". A similar ban, under the Smoking (Northern Ireland) Order 2006 came into effect in Northern Ireland on 30 April 2007.
Sport in Ireland is popular and widespread. Throughout the country a wide variety of sports are played, the most popular being Gaelic football, hurling, rugby union, soccer and hockey. Gaelic football is the most popular sport in Ireland in terms of match attendance and community involvement, and represents 34% of total sports attendances at events in Ireland and abroad, followed by hurling at 23%, soccer at 16% and rugby at 8%. and the All-Ireland Football Final is the most watched event in Ireland's sporting calendar. Swimming, golf, aerobics, soccer, cycling, Gaelic football and billiards/snooker are the sporting activities with the highest levels of playing participation. Soccer is the most popular sport involving national teams.
In Ireland many sports, such as rugby union, Gaelic football and hurling, are organised in an all-island basis, with a single team representing Ireland in international competitions. Other sports, such as soccer, have separate organising bodies in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. At the Olympics, a person from Northern Ireland can choose to represent either the Great Britain team or the Ireland team.
- Community Games
- Gaelic Athletic Association
- Irish Derby Stakes
- Irish Rugby Football Union
- Northern Ireland national football team
- Republic of Ireland national football team
There are several daily newspapers in Ireland, including the Irish Independent, The Irish Examiner, The Irish Times, The Star, The Evening Herald, Daily Ireland, the Irish Sun, and the Irish language Lá Nua. The best selling of these is the Irish Independent, which is published in both tabloid and broadsheet form. The Irish Times is Ireland's newspaper of record.
The Sunday market is quite saturated with many British publications. The leading Sunday newspaper in terms of circulation is The Sunday Independent. Other popular papers include The Sunday Times, The Sunday Tribune, The Sunday Business Post, Ireland on Sunday and the Sunday World.
There are quite a large number of local weekly newspapers, with most counties and large towns having two or more newspapers. Curiously Dublin remains one of the few places in Ireland without a major local paper since the Dublin Evening Mail closed down in the 1960s. In 2004 the Dublin Daily was launched, but failed to attract enough readers to make it viable.
One major criticism of the Irish newspaper market is the strong position Independent News & Media has on the market. It controls the Evening Herald, Irish Independent, Sunday Independent, Sunday World and The Star as well as holding a large stake in the cable company Chorus, and indirectly controlling The Sunday Tribune. The Independent titles are perceived by many Irish republicans as having a pro-British stance. In parallel to this, the Independent titles are perceived by many opposition supporters as being pro Fianna Fáil.
The Irish magazine market is one of the world's most competitive, with hundreds of international magazines available in Ireland, ranging from Time and The Economist to Hello! and Reader's Digest. This means that domestic titles find it very hard to retain readership. Among the best-selling Irish magazines are the RTÉ Guide, Ireland's Eye, Irish Tatler, VIP, Phoenix and In Dublin.
The first known radio transmission in Ireland was a call to arms made from the General Post Office in O'Connell Street during the Easter Rising. The first official radio station on the island was 2BE Belfast, which began broadcasting in 1924. This was followed in 1926 by 2RN Dublin and 6CK Cork in 1927. 2BE Belfast later became BBC Radio Ulster and 2RN Dublin became RTÉ. The first commercial radio station in the Republic, Century Radio, came on air in 1989.
During the 1990s and particularly the early 2000s, dozens of local radio stations have gained licences. This has resulted in a fragmentation of the radio broadcast market. This trend is most noticeable in Dublin where there are now 6 private licenced stations in operation.
While some areas of Ireland received signal from Wales earlier, BBC Northern Ireland began broadcasting television programmes in 1959 and RTÉ Television opened in 1961. Teilifís na Gaeilge (TnaG), now called TG4, started its Irish language service in 1996 and commercial television arrived when TV3 began broadcasting in 1998.
British and satellite-carried international television channels have widespread audiences in Ireland. The BBC and ITV families of channels are available free to air across the island of Ireland and there is widespread availability of the four main UK channels (BBC1, BBC2, ITV1 and Channel Four) but only limited coverage from Five. Sky One, E4, and several hundred satellite channels are widely available. Parts of Ireland can access the UK digital TV system Freeview.
The Irish Film industry has grown rapidly in recent years thanks largely to the promotion of the sector by Bord Scannán na hÉireann (The Irish Film Board) and the introduction of generous tax breaks. Some of the most successful Irish films included Intermission (2001), Man About Dog (2004), Michael Collins (1996), Angela's Ashes (1999), My Left Foot (1989), The Crying Game (1992), In the Name of the Father (1994) and The Commitments (1991). The most successful Irish film directors are Neil Jordan and Jim Sheridan. Irish actors include Richard Harris, Peter O' Toole, Maureen O'Hara, Michael Gambon, Colm Meaney, Gabriel Byrne, Pierce Brosnan, Liam Neeson, Daniel Day-Lewis, Cillian Murphy, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Saoirse Ronan, Michael Fassbender and Colin Farrell.
Ireland has also proved a popular location for shooting films with The Quiet Man (1952), Saving Private Ryan (1998), Braveheart (1995), King Arthur (2004) and P.S. I Love You (2007) all being shot in Ireland.
Cultural institutions, organisations and events
Ireland is well supplied with museums and art galleries and offers, especially during the summer months, a wide range of cultural events. These range from arts festivals to farming events. The most popular of these are the annual Dublin Saint Patrick's Day Festival which attracts on average 500,000 people and the National Ploughing Championships with an attendance in the region of 400,000. There are also a number of Summer Schools on topics from traditional music to literature and the arts.
Major organisations responsible for funding and promoting Irish culture are:
- Arts Council of Ireland
- Arts Council of Northern Ireland
- Culture Ireland
- Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Republic of Ireland)
- Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (Northern Ireland)
- List of institutions and organisations
- Abbey Theatre
- Ambassador Theatre
- Arts Council of Ireland
- Art Projects Network
- Boardmatch Ireland
- Chester Beatty Library
- Cnuasach Bhéaloideas Éireann COBÁC
- Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann
- Conradh na Gaeilge
- Cork Opera House
- Culture Ireland
- Druid Theatre, Galway
- Dublin Writers Museum
- Gate Theatre
- Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery, Dublin
- Heritage Council
- Irish Architecture Foundation
- Irish Georgian Society
- Ireland Literature Exchange (ILE)
- Irish Museum of Modern Art at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham
- Irish Museums Association
- James Joyce Centre
- Lime Tree Theatre, Limerick
- Macnas, performance arts company, Galway
- National Archives of Ireland
- National Concert Hall
- National Folklore Collection UCD
- National Gallery of Ireland
- National Library of Ireland
- National Museum of Ireland
- National Photographic Archive
- National Transport Museum of Ireland
- National Wax Museum
- Northern Ireland Screen
- National Trust (UK)
- Office of Public Works
- Poetry Ireland
- Royal Dublin Society (RDS)
- Royal Irish Academy
- Royal Irish Academy of Music
- Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland
- Royal Ulster Academy of Arts
- SFX City Theatre
- State Heraldic Museum
- Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe, Irish language theatre, Galway
- Temple Bar Cultural Trust
- The Helix, performing arts centre, Dublin
- The Hunt Museum, Limerick
- The Point Theatre
- Ulster American Folk Park, Omagh
- Ulster Folk and Transport Museum, Co. Down
- Ulster Museum, Belfast
- University Concert Hall, Limerick
- Visual Artists Ireland/Ealaíontóiri Radharcacha Éire
- W5, Belfast
- Saint Patrick's Day
- St. Patrick's Festival and Skyfest
- National Ploughing Championships
- Puck Fair, Killorglin
- Galway Arts Festival
- Cork Jazz Festival
- Bray Jazz Festival
- Dublin Theatre Festival
- Fleadh Cheoil
- Harvest Time Blues
- Heritage Week
- Kilkenny Cat Laughs Comedy Festival
- City of Derry Jazz and Big Band Festival
- TULCA: contemporary visual art festival in Galway
- Dún Laoghaire Festival of World Cultures
- Open House Dublin, an annual architecture festival
- Open House Galway, an annual architecture festival
- List of Ireland-related topics
- Culture of Gaelic Ireland
- Culture of Northern Ireland
- Irish name
- Heritage sites (Ireland)
- Sir James G. Frazer - "The Golden Bough", 1922 - ISBN 1-85326-310-9
- Central Statistics Office Ireland, population classified by religion.
- "Percentage of persons stating religion as:" (MS Excel). Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency. Retrieved 2011-05-04.
- Rogers, Jonathan (2010). Saint Patrick. Thomas Nelson. p. 55. ISBN 978-1-59555-305-8. "By 431, there were enough believers in Ireland that Pope Celestine gave them their own bishop (Palladius)"
- Von Dehsen, Christian D. (1999). Philosophers and Religious Leaders. Greenwood Publishing. p. 150. ISBN 978-1-57356-152-5.
- Rogers, Nicholas (2002). "Samhain and the Celtic Origins of Halloween". Halloween: From Pagan Ritual to Party Night, pp. 11–21. New York: Oxford Univ. Press. ISBN 0-19-516896-8.
- The Leprechaun Legend: Fantasy Ireland
- Arnold, Bettina (2001-10-31), "Bettina Arnold – Halloween Lecture: Halloween Customs in the Celtic World", Halloween Inaugural Celebration (University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee: Center for Celtic Studies), retrieved 2007-10-16
- Simpson, John; Weiner, Edmund (1989), Oxford English Dictionary (second ed.), London: Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-861186-2, OCLC 17648714
- O'Driscoll, Robert (ed.) (1981) The Celtic Consciousness New York, Braziller ISBN 0-8076-1136-0 pp.197-216: Ross, Anne "Material Culture, Myth and Folk Memory" (on modern survivals); pp.217-242: Danaher, Kevin "Irish Folk Tradition and the Celtic Calendar" (on specific customs and rituals)
- Frank Leslie's popular monthly: Volume 40 (1895) p.540
- Rogers, Nicholas. (2002) "Festive Rights:Halloween in the British Isles". Halloween: From Pagan Ritual to Party Night. p.48. Oxford University Press
- Samhain, BBC Religion and Ethics. Retrieved 21 October 2008.
- Council faces €1m clean-up bill after Halloween horror Irish Independent Retrieved 04-12-2010
- Rogers, Nicholas. (2002). "Coming Over: Halloween in North America" Halloween: From Pagan Ritual to Party Night. pp.49-77. New York: Oxford University Press.
- "Dublin Travel Guide - Dublin Travel Guide Ireland". Onlinedublinguide.com. Retrieved 2008-10-28.
- "Languages : Indo-European Family". Krysstal.com. Retrieved 2008-10-28.
- Census 2006 results, Central Statistics Office Ireland
- Northern Ireland, CIA World Factbook
- Constitution of Ireland Article 8
- Hiberno-English Archive Dho.ie
- "An Apology to Ireland". The New York Times. 1997-06-05.
- "Nutrition and Physical Degeneration" Chapter 4. "Isolated and Modernized Gaelics" by Weston A. Price
- Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (November 2009). "OECD Health Data 2009: Frequently Requested Data". Retrieved 24 March 2010.
- Snowdon, Christopher (2009). Velvet glove, iron fist: a history of anti-smoking. Little Dice. p. 234. ISBN 9780956226501.
- "NI Smoking ban set for 2007". Flagship E-Commerce. November 2006. Retrieved February 2007.
- TheSite.org Smoking ban.
- "The Social Significance of Sport". The Economic and Social Research Institute. Retrieved 2008-10-21.
- "Sports Participation and Health Among Adults in Ireland". The Economic and Social Research Institute. Retrieved 2008-10-15.
- Mitchell, Frank and Ryan, Michael. Reading the Irish landscape (1998). ISBN 1-86059-055-1
- National Museum of Ireland. Viking and Medieval Dublin: National Museum Excavations, 1962 - 1973 (1973).
- R. Comerford, Ireland Inventing the Nation. (Hodder Books, 2003).
- Hospitality in Mediaeval Ireland, 900-1500, Catherine Sullivan, Four Courts Press, Dublin, 2006.
- The Progress of Music in Ireland, Harry White, ISBN 1-85182-879-6
- Music, Ireland and the Seventeenth Century:Irish Musical Studies 10, ed. Barra Boydell and Kerry Houston, Dublin, 2009
- Music at Christ Church before 1800, ed. Barra Boydell, Dublin, 1998
- BBC Northern Ireland Television & Radio Archive
- Central Statistics Office Ireland
- Irish Department of Foreign Affairs: Facts about Ireland
- Irish Broadcasting
- Population figures by religion
- Audio Podcasts from Irish Writers and archival audio from Irish people