Why We Love Ireland

U2, Guinness, Irish stew, Bunratty Castle, Croghaun Cliffs and Riverdance are just a few reasons why we love The Emerald Isle.
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We love the Irish band U2, and we admire the band’s front man, Bono, for his social activism. We also enjoy listening to other popular Irish singers and bands, including Sinead O’ Connor, Enya, The Cranberries, Van Morrison and The Corrs.

Take a night stroll across Dublin’s Liffey Bridge aka the Ha’penny Bridge. More than 27,000 people walk cross over the bridge each day. The pedestrian bridge was built over the River Liffey in 1816. Beyond Dublin and its tourist attractions, we recommend you visit Cork and Belfast, two of Ireland’s biggest cities.

Gaelic football (pictured), hurling and soccer are the most popular sports in Ireland. We love the Irish for their fun competitive spirit and sportsmanship.

Stop by a local pub in Ireland, where they serve a variety of beers, including one of the most popular brews in the world --Guinness. This Irish dry stout originated in Arthur Guinness’ brewery located at St. James’ Gate in Dublin.

You may not know it, but Ireland is known for its beautiful gardens. Illnacullin is a very tranquil yet popular tourist attraction located in County Cork’s Glengarriff harbor. Powerscout Gardens, Glenveagh National Park and Mount Stewert House Gardens are also popular spots for travelers who enjoy spending time in a natural setting of meticulously manicured lawns and gardens.

Head to Dalkey, Ireland, a seaside resort and suburb of Dublin. We love visiting Ireland’s quiet towns like Carlingford, Inistioge, Kinsale, Dingle, Kenmare and Ardara.

Ireland is home to several literary celebrities that we love, including George Bernard Shaw (pictured), Oscar Wilde, James Joyce, Samuel Beckett and Jonathan Swift.

We enjoy seeing Riverdance, a theatrical show that consists of traditional Irish stepdancing. The show pays homage to Irish culture and the Irish immigration to America.

We love Irish pubs! So the next time you’re in Dublin, make sure you pick up a pint at The Brazen Head, Ireland’s oldest pub and the best music venue to hear traditional Irish music. McGann’s in County Clare, Moran’s Oyster Cottage in County Galway and Crown Liquor Saloon in Belfast are other options to chat with locals and experience the ambience of an authentic Irish pub.

We enjoy sipping on an Irish coffee, a cocktail with hot coffee, Irish whiskey and brown sugar, topped with thick cream.

Although he’s Irish and German, we love Michael Fassbender, an actor who has appeared in numerous movies, such as <i>Inglourious Basterds, Fish Tank, X-Men: First Class, </i> and <i>Shame.</i> Kenneth Branagh, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Farrell, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Spencer Tracy, Peter O’ Toole and Daniel Day-Lewis are a few more Irish actors we love.

Travel to Ireland and visit some of the country’s historic ruins, including Glendalough Round Tower, a 30-meter tower rebuilt in 1876. Round towers were landmarks for visitors, built as bell towers and served on occasion as store-houses and as places of refuge when villages or towns were under attack. We recommend history buffs visit The Rock of Cashel, Jerpoint Abbey, Skellig Michael, Clonmacnois and Inishmurray, too.

Each year, thousands of people pass through the gates of the 15th century Bunratty Castle, a large tower house in County Clare. A folk park near the castle is particularly popular with families, tourists and schools because it features reconstructed cottages and buildings from the 19th century. Ireland has several castles if that’s what you fancy doing. Visit Trim Castle, Cahir Castle, Blarney Castle, Dunluce Castle, Doe Castle, Carrickfergus Castle or KilKenny Castle.

Who doesn’t like a hearty Irish stew for dinner? In addition to this tasty dish, other delicious Irish foods include bangers and mash, black pudding, potato pancakes and cabbage.

Irish actress Saoirse Ronan was in Atonement, The Lovely Bones, The Way Back and Hanna. Brenda Fricker, Kerry Condon, Fiona Shaw, Evanna Lynch and Maureen O’Hara are a few Irish actresses who have graced us with their presence on the silver screen, too.

We enjoy hiking to the Croghaun cliffs for breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean and to see a variety of wildlife, including killer whales, bottle-nosed dolphins, basking sharks and peregrine falcons. In case you didn’t know Croghaun is a mountain in County Mayo, Ireland. Croghaun cliffs are the highest cliffs in Europe.

We enjoy fun, traditional Irish music performed by The Dubliners (pictured), The Chieftains, Clancy Brothers, The Wolfe Tones and Christy Moore.