Ireland and Its Culture

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Ireland is a large island off the eastern coast of Great Britain. The estimated population of the island is 6.5 million people. Ireland is divided into two separate regions, the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. The Republic of Ireland’s capital city is Dublin and the capital city of Northern Ireland is Belfast. Northern Ireland is not part of the country of Ireland, it is governed under the United Kingdom.

The island of Ireland is a beautiful, scenic land, composed of low mountains, rolling hills, seaside cliffs, wooded areas, and lush, green farmlands. The approximate size of the island is 302 miles by 174 miles. For an island so small, Ireland is littered with thousands of castles, both still standing and viewable by public tours and those that are in ruins. A few of the most famous castles on the island are Kilkenny Castle, Dunguaire Castle, and Glenveagh Castle.

Some noteworthy famous people from Ireland are Michael Fassbender, actor in X-Men movies, Conor McGregor, UFC fighter, and C.S. Lewis, author and theologist.

Family Practices

Irish culture generally consists of the traditional (nuclear) family, comprised of both mother and father (husband and wife) and their minor children, all living together in the home. It is common for extended family to live in close proximity to each other. Children in rural areas typically leave home at the age of 18 or 19 to attend university or to seek employment in larger cities where there is more opportunity.

Gender equality is becoming more common as the times are changing. Husband and wife tend to share marital, financial, and family responsibilities in urban areas. In rural areas, it is more common for a more traditional gender role, where the wife/mother stays home to care for children and the household and the husband/father is the one to work outside the home and provide for the family.

Death in the Irish culture is commonly viewed as a time for celebration of the deceased person’s life, both before and after the funeral. These celebrations are a time for the family and friends to share stories, play music, sing songs, reminisce, and enjoy food and drinks together in honor of their loved one that passed. After the celebrations and funeral, it is typical for a person to be buried at a family burial plot.

Health Care Practices

In the early centuries, Jervis Street Hospital was the first hospital founded in 1718. This hospital was known as the voluntary hospital because it was funded by several organizations and donations from around the world. Patients would apply for the “red ticket” because it helped them attend the hospital without being charged for services. After the first World War, Ireland was impacted by several donations that mostly came from British. Ireland decided that with all the donations they could build more hospitals, have more beds, and more advanced equipment then they did before. All these hospitals being built lead to the development of the National Health Services.

After the constitution declared Ireland a “republic” they decided that one of their main goals was to eliminate tuberculosis as much possible. It was decided that if they offer their patients free healthcare services, more people would attend checkups. In the end, this proposal failed because many people had different opinions about it and it just didn’t work out. Healthcare system has changed in Ireland ever since then. Now the healthcare system is being funded by the government. Residents who live in Ireland longer than one year are entitled to receive health care services through the Health Service Executive (HSE). The HSE helps with public funds. It is also known that emergency rooms aren’t being visited as often as before because of having access to their primary care.

Dietary Practices

As early as the 1st century BC, Greek writers such as Athenaeus were describing the eating habits of the Gaels for those in mainland Europe, They described the dining habits as the Celts placed dried grass on the floor when they would eat their meals and used tables that were barely off the ground, They would roast and boil their meat which they ate with their bare hands. As time went on the Normans came and took their place as the Irish expanded their dairy products, vegetables and grains expanded as well. They ate real, unprocessed foods with a good balance of meat, vegetables and carbohydrates, along with a generous amount of dairy.

The Potato

In Ireland eating potatoes was very common because in rural Ireland the only food sources people had could only be raised or grown on their land. A potato is a nutritional powerhouse, it contains so many vital nutrients such as B6, Vitamin c, Potassium and Magnesium.

The potato is easily grown even in poor soil conditions. Many families mainly cooked potatoes in Ireland because of the weather conditions, in Ireland they have poor weather and with potatoes it’s a fast, easy way people get their families fed before the rest of the crop comes in.


Dairy played a large role in the Irish diet, almost everything they ate from the prehistoric times contained dairy.

Depending on the time of year Irish families chose from drinking milk, fresh curds, old curds, buttermilk, real curds and sour milk made by mixing with water.

Their fondness of milk expanded, and the Irish found a way to produce a variety of products. Such as onion butters, Garlic butters and sour butters. A favorite type of butter in Ireland was “Bog Butter” which they buried in a bog for a long time allowing the butter to absorb its flavor.

Growth and Development

Ireland was taken over by humans in the 4000BC where farmers were the first ones to take settle. The Celts (Indo-European ethnolinguistic group of Europe) were the main ones who were influenced in living in Ireland and came to settle down from far away Europe. Ireland has been through five wars from the early 1900s to the early 2000s.

In the 1920s Ireland was separated into two different countries (North and South) after the people of Ireland decided to go into war with the British rulers. This conflict brought the Ireland people more violence for decades. They thought that violence would help them come to a decision to be part of the United Kingdom or become an independent state. In 1998 an agreement known as the Good Friday brought peace to the divided country.


Cite this paper

Ireland and Its Culture. (2021, Aug 14). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/ireland-and-its-culture/

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