Irish Facts and Trivia

  • 40% of all U.S. Presidents had Irish ancestry. (As of 2006)
  • Maewyn Succat is St. Patrick's real birth name. 
  • St. Patrick was not Irish.  His father was Italian and his mother was a Scot.  St. Patrick was actually born in Scotland.
  • Irish Coffee was actually invented in San Francisco, not Ireland.
  • Ireland has several nicknames.  The most common is The Emerald Isle, but it is also known as The Old Sod, Four Green Fields and The Bower.
  • Leprechauns are supposedly little Irish shoemakers.  They have a reputation as being very rich, but mean.
  • A whisky made from potatoes is known as 'poteen'.
  • The Irish are said to have brought oatmeal to America.
  • The 1800's term "Paddy Wagon" got its name because when drunk Irishmen were arrested, they all claimed their name was "Paddy".  (Similar to John Doe today)
  • The celtic harp is Ireland's official emblem and the only musical instrument used as a national emblem.
  • The Vikings founded Dublin in 988.
  • Ireland's 15 principle railway stations are named after the leaders of the 1916 uprising.
  • James Joyce once called Guiness stout "the wine of Ireland."
  • Bailey's Irish Cream, launched in the early 70's, is now the most popular liqueur in the world.
  • Louth is the smallest county in Ireland.  Cork is the largest.
  • The Irish tricolor flag, created in 1848, was designed to reflect the country's political realities.  Orange stands for the Irish Protestants, green for the Irish Catholics, and white for the hope that peace might eventually be reached bewteen them.