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Irishman who saved 6,500 from Nazis

Monsignor Hugh O’FlahertyA memorial to an Irish priest who helped to rescue over 6,500 people from the Nazis has been unveiled in Killarney.

Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty who is dubbed ‘Ireland’s Oskar Schindler’ was in Italy at the time of the collapse of the Italian government during the Second World War.

The Germans occupied Rome and Italian Jews lived in fear of being captured. Although Ireland had a neutral status during the war, O’Flaherty worked tirelessly to help those who were under threat from the Nazis. Read more.

Philomena – tears and laughter in equal measure

It may seem strange to report then that the hit movie Philomena, starring Judi Dench in the title role and Steve Coogan as journalist Martin Sixsmith, serves up just as many tears of laughter as tears of sorrow. Read more

English celebrate St Patrick more than St George

People in England are more likely to know the date of St Patrick’s Day and the US Independence Day than that of their own patron saint, St George. Read more.

American businessmen buying Ireland’s castles

Ireland’s castles are being snapped up at bargain prices by wealthy businessmen from around the world. The state of the economy has forced sellers to slash their prices and rich CEOs and MDs from America and Asia are taking advantage. Read more.

The lighter side of Ireland

So that’s where our red hair comes from
Irish cab driver wows youtube with dancing
Irish soccer fans conquer the world with song
So what is the essence of being Irish?
Twitter and Facebook ‘make you brainier’
Ryanair want crew to lose weight to save fuel
At last- a helping hand for Irish pubs

‘Best small country in the world by 2016’
‘Majestic Ireland’ real star of The Quiet Man
Will Ferrell insists he’s Irish
Barack Obama wishes to visit Ireland
Irishmen considered ugliest in the world
Trainer stunned by reaction to sex comment
Now even polar bears are claiming to be Irish

Image copyright - Ireland Calling

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Ireland’s 100 favourite poems

1. The Lake Isle of Innisfree by W. B. Yeats
2.He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven by W. B. Yeats
3. Mid-Term Break by Seamus Heaney
4. The Song of Wandering Aengus by W. B. Yeats
5. Raglan Road by Patrick Kavanagh
6. Easter, 1916 by W. B. Yeats
7. When You are Old by W.B. Yeats
8. Canal Bank Walk by Patrick Kavanagh
9. Stony Grey Soil by Patrick Kavanagh
10. The Stolen Child by W. B. Yeats

Click here to see the full list of Ireland’s 100 favourite poems


Famous Irish wits

George Bernard Shaw Irish writer

Irish people are spread widely around the world

Mass emigration in the 19th century caused by famine, mass evictions and poverty led millions of emigrants to leave Ireland in search of a better life.Sydney Opera House photo by Kazuhisa-Togo licenced under CC2

They headed for newly developing countries like the United States, Australia, Canada and South America.

Everywhere they went they brought their culture, their music and their indomitable spirit and optimism with them.

But no matter how much the Irish prospered in their new lands, they never forgot the old country they left behind.


Celtic symbols

Brigid's Cross copyright Ireland CallingBrigid’s Cross – Has come to be known as the cross of St Brigid but is actually much older than Christianity.



Celtic Cross copyright Ireland CallingCeltic Cross – Symbol of both culture and faith that has inspired many legends.



Claddagh Ring copyright Ireland CallingCladdagh Ring – Symbolises love, loyalty and friendship.



Celtic symbols, harp copyright Ireland CallingHarp – The harp is an ancient instrument and a national emblem of Ireland.



Shamrock copyright Ireland CallingShamrock – National flower of Ireland that has had significance in the country since the days of the Druids.

Check out Celtic symbols available in our store




Colin Farrell copyright Tabercil cc2


Several Irish actors have headed to America and conquered Hollywood.

Photo copyright - Ericci8996CC3


Ireland is scattered with castles, many dating back more than 1,000 years. All are steeped in tradition and have a wealth of stories to tell.

Irish names - copyright Ireland Calling

Irish Surnames

Some Irish names are thousands of years old. We tell the stories behind some of the most popular surnames in Ireland

Tristan and Isolde from old Irish story


From love stories to epic tales, from fairy stories to harsh realism…Ireland has a rich heritage of storytelling.


Ireland has produced a host of great scientists who’ve made a major contribution in areas such as medicine, industry and technology.



we provide a platform for talented poets and writers to publish their work to a worldwide audience.


Irish music


Find out more about Irish singers


Read about Ireland’s top bands


Discover more about Ireland’s traditional songs


Irish humour

I don’t see teenagers anymore. I see… I see youths. Slumped S shapes in their hoodies, all huddled round a bin of burning grannies. All texting each other because they’ve given up on speech. – Dylan Moran

* * *

Who are the most decent people in the hospital? The ultrasound people. – David O’Doherty

Ardal O’Hanlon Live on BBC


Irish wisdom

Irish saying - Image copyright Ireland Calling

Always remember to forget_Blessing_May the sun


Celtic mythology

cycle-of-kings_menu-pic The Cycle of Kings took place between the 3rd century BC and the 11th century AD and features some fantastic stories about the Irish kings, some real and some mythological.
More on the Cycle of Kings


fenian-cycle_menu-pic The Fenian Cycle is a collection of stories that relate to the ancient Irish warriors, the Fenians. They were elete warriors from various clans, brought together by the High King of Ireland.
More on the Fenian Cycle


cycle-of-mythology_menu-pic The Mythological Cycle is a series of stories about the ancient Irish Gods. They date back thousands of years to the pagan times.
More on the Mythological Cycle


Irish art

irish-art-historyHistory of art – Ireland has a long and rich artistic heritage, some artworks are over 5,000 years old, making them older than the Pyramids in Egypt.



book-of-kellsThe Book of Kells – is Ireland’s most treasured artifact. The religious manuscript is beautifully decorated and is believed to be about 1,200 years old.



oghamOgham symbolsOgham is an ancient form of Irish writing. It is at least 1,700 years old.


Irish history

5-Minute Irish History – a quick overview of the major characters and events of Irish history.

Ancient Ireland

Before the Celts – first people to live in Ireland.

The Neolithics – the first people to leave their mark on Ireland.

The tomb builders – Ireland’s ancient burial sites.

The Romans – Ireland avoided an Roman invasion.

Major events

Easter Rising 1916 – the rebellion that turned defeat into victory and changed Irish history forever.

On this day …


Key characters from Irish history

Bridget Dirrane – Republican who knew Padraig Pearse and lived for more than 100 years.

Douglas Hyde – the first Irish President and founder of the Gaelic League.

Peadar Kearney – wrote the lyrics to The Soldier’s Song (Irish National anthem).

James Larkin – trade unionist who coined the phrase ‘A fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay’.

William Smith O’Brien – one of the leading lights of Irish nationalism in the 19th century.

Grace O’Malley – Irish Pirate Queen, who was a thorn in the side of Queen Elizabeth for 40 years.


Holiday attractions

Cork, Ireland - photo Tourism Ireland

Cork city at night photo Tourism Ireland

Cities like Dublin, Belfast, Cork and Galway are vibrant, cosmopolitan centres that are excellent for weekend breaks. They’re all plenty big enough to provide everything you want but not so big as to be overwhelming.

Belfast – Capital of Northern Ireland. A vibrant city with a fascinating history.

Cork – The 2005 European Capital of Culture. Cork is full of places to visit including the famous Blarney Stone.

Dublin – One of the finest cities in Europe…steeped in history and culture yet bustling with life and excitement.

Galway – Bustling city on the West Coast of Ireland. Galway is surrounded by beauty spots with stunning views.

Waterford – The oldest city in Ireland. Waterford is a vibrant city founded by the Vikings in 914 AD.


Irish writers

Maeve Binchy

Ireland’s most recognisable and best-loved writer of her generation.

Patrick Kavanagh

Raglan Road fame…the self-educated farm labourer who became one of Ireland’s greatest poets.

Irish writer George Bernard Shaw

George Bernard Shaw

The man behind My Fair lady and one of the most quoted writers of all time.

Jonathan Swift

Author of Gulliver’s travels and one of Ireland’s greatest ever writers.

Seamus Heaney

A Nobel prize winner and widely regarded as one of Ireland’s greatest ever poets.

WB Yeats

W B Yeats

Ireland’s greatest poet and its first winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature.