Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians
Brigid McCrory: Division 25

Philadelphia, PA

Irish Facts and Trivia


Did you know that ...

 

The Harp is the official Emblem of Ireland, not the Shamrock. The handheld Harp was played by our Celtic Forefathers.

It was Saint Patrick who made the Shamrock so popular.

 The potato"e" Potato is not native to Ireland. It was orginally brought to Ireland from the American Continent.

Ireland is not the only place Gaelic is spoken. It is also spoken on the Isle of Man, and in Scotland.

 The Book of Kells, an ancient illustration of the Bible, is over1000 years old. Beside it at Trinity College, Dublin The Book of Durrow. It was created by Irish Monks.

Over 40% of the United States Presidents had Irish ancestors.

Eamon De Valera was the first President of the Irish Republic. He was born in Manhattan, New York City.

Hibernia (Latin) and Éire (Gaelic) mean "Ireland". [i.e. Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH)]

Irish & Irish-Americans laid the ground work for America's Bridges, Tunnels, and Subways. Many lost their lives as Sandhogs.

Mike Quill (b.1905, d.1966) born in County Kerry, Ireland was the founding president of the Transport Workers Union of America. During his tenure the U.S. labor movement made great strides.

Irish Triads are the arrangement of ideas in groups of three. Many of these triads are witty, with an amusing climax - or anticlimax - in the third item.

Ceide Fields is the most extensive Stone Age Monument in the world. It is in, North Mayo, a farming community that is fifty centuries old.

70 Million people, worldwide, can claim Irish ancestry.

St. Brendan, an Irish Monk, was a 5th century sailor. It is alleged that he discovered America before Christopher Columbus.

St. Patrick's Day, the way we celebrate it, is more American than Irish. In Ireland, St. Patrick's Day is a religious holiday-shops and businesses are closed to give everyone a day off to be spent with family and friends.

Catholics begin their day by attending Mass. Families gather for celebratory meals and spend the day at popular sporting events-Gaelic games, championship rugby matches or a steeplechase.

There are big parades in Dublin and Belfast to celebrate national pride.

 

It is said there are more Americans of Irish descent in America than there are Irishmen in Ireland.

Americans celebrate St. Patrick's Day with such fun and wild abandon that many people in Ireland tune in their televisions to watch celebrations and parades in the U.S..

The first St. Patrick's Day celebration in America was in 1737 hosted by the Charitable Irish Society of Boston. The second was established in 1780 by the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick in Philadelphia.

It is not known if March 17 is celebrated because it is the date of St. Patrick's birth or his death. Some claim it is both, others say neither. As to St. Patrick's birthplace, the only definite statement is that he most certainly was not born in Ireland. He founded 165 churches and started a school with each one. St. Patrick is widely acknowledged as the patron saint of Ireland.

There are no snakes in all of Ireland thanks to St. Patrick. Of all the legends surrounding this popular figure, the most long-lived is the story of St. Patrick driving the snakes from Ireland. As the population of Ireland looked on, St. Patrick pounded a drum and banished the snakes.

 

The shamrock is seen everywhere on St. Patrick's Day. St. Patrick used the shamrock when he preached the doctrine of the Trinity as a symbol of its great mystery. Today, it is widely worn in Ireland and America to celebrate Irish heritage. In fact, several million shamrock plants are grown in County Cork, Ireland, and shipped all over the world for St. Patrick's Day. 

  • 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 between them.
 
1845 -3,251,907 quarters (8 bushels=1 quarter) of corn exported from Ireland to England

1845 - 257,257 sheep exported to Britain

1846 - 480,827 swine exported to Britain

1846 - 186,383 0xen exported to England

1847 - 4,000 ships carrying peas, beans, rabbits, salmon, honey and potatoes left Ireland for English ports

1847 - 9,992 Irish cattle sent to England

1847 - 4,000 Horses and Ponies sent to England

1847 - Approximately 1,000,000 gallons of butter sent to England

1847 - Approximately 1,700,000 gallons of grain derived alcohal sent to England

1847 - 400,000 Irish people died due to starvation

No issue has provoked so much anger or so embittered relations between two countries England and Ireland as the indisputable fact that huge quantities of food were exported from Ireland to England throuhout  the period when people were dying from starvation.


1845 -3,251,907 quarters (8 bushels=1 quarter) of corn exported from Ireland to England

1845 - 257,257 sheep exported to Britain

1846 - 480,827 swine exported to Britain

1846 - 186,383 0xen exported to England

1847 - 4,000 ships carrying peas, beans, rabbits, salmon, honey and potatoes left Ireland for English ports

1847 - 9,992 Irish cattle sent to England

1847 - 4,000 Horses and Ponies sent to England

1847 - Approximately 1,000,000 gallons of butter sent to England

1847 - Approximately 1,700,000 gallons of grain derived alcohal sent to England

1847 - 400,000 Irish people died due to starvation

No issue has provoked so much anger or so embittered relations between two countries England and Ireland as the indisputable fact that huge quantities of food were exported from Ireland to England throuhout  the period when people were dying from starvation.


1845 -3,251,907 quarters (8 bushels=1 quarter) of corn exported from Ireland to England

1845 - 257,257 sheep exported to Britain

1846 - 480,827 swine exported to Britain

1846 - 186,383 0xen exported to England

1847 - 4,000 ships carrying peas, beans, rabbits, salmon, honey and potatoes left Ireland for English ports

1847 - 9,992 Irish cattle sent to England

1847 - 4,000 Horses and Ponies sent to England

1847 - Approximately 1,000,000 gallons of butter sent to England

1847 - Approximately 1,700,000 gallons of grain derived alcohal sent to England

1847 - 400,000 Irish people died due to starvation

No issue has provoked so much anger or so embittered relations between two countries England and Ireland as the indisputable fact that huge quantities of food were exported from Ireland to England throuhout  the period when people were dying from starvation.

Old Irish Naming Patterns

Old Irish Naming Patterns


 
Sons
1st son was named after the father's father
2nd son was named after the mother's father
3rd son was named after the father
4th son was named after the father's eldest brother


Daughters
1st daughter was named after the mother's mother
2nd daughter was named after the father's mother
3rd daughter was named after the mother
4th daughter was named after the mother's eldest sister
 
 

Who were the Black & Tans?

They were a affiliated force of the Royal Irish Constabulary that executed their missions during the War of Independence with a particular viciousness.
 
They were not, as many Irish Nationalists claim, British jailbirds assembled to wreck havoc in Ireland, but ex-World War I soldiers lured back from demobilization in 1920 by the promise of money and action. Whence their nickname?
 
Once the war was on, there simply wasn't enough RIC uniforms for all the forces, and so this gang went about in khakis. Admittedly, Michael Collins and his Volunteers - now called the Irish Republican Army - didn't shrink from potshot and assassination, but even by IRA standards the Black and Tans were a ruthless bunch.
 
Decades later, mention of their name sends a shiver up the spine of an Irishman, while discussing them at a literary reading on the decorous Upper East Side of Manhattan.
 
In the audience were various Irish and English and Irish Americans, as well as some just-plain Americans. The reading had an Irish slant and was generally well received. But there were odd moments, not the least of them when the evening's host, apparently of English descent, mentioned during his introduction of tonight's guest that he himself had dressed for balance - tan sports coat, black slacks - since the forthcoming words were sure to be very green. The audience laughed politely.

Claddagh Rings

There are many stories about the Claddagh Ring. Claddagh itself refers to a small fishing village just near Galway city. The Claddagh Ring supposedly originated around this area. The ring has a design of a heart being encircled by a pair of delicate hands with a crown above the heart. In earlier times this design was the symbol of the "Fishing Kings of Claddagh" meaning "in love and friendship, let us reign". In the 17th century the symbol was first depicted on a ring which became the fashionable exchange of friends or lovers. In marriage the heart was worn towards the wrist otherwise towards the fingertips. There are many modern versions of the Claddagh Ring.
 
Here are some folk legends about the Claddagh:

(a)  Way back in the sandy mists of time, so the story went, it seems there was this king. This king was madly in love witha peasant woman, but as she was of a lower class the love had to go unrequited. In dread despair the king killed himself and had his hands lopped off and placed around the heart as a symbol of his undying love for the woman.

(b)  It symbolizes love (heart). friendship/faith (hands), and loyalty (crown). Two hands joined together in love and crowned by the glory of Christ.

(c)  There was a Dublin version of this ring that appeared some 100 years back with two hands and two hearts but no crown. Some call this version the Fenian Claddagh.

(d)  The Crown to the Father, The Left Hand to the Son, and the Right Hand to the Holy Ghost. This explanation is directly correlative to the Shamrock, one of the Earliest Symbols of the Holy Trinity among the Irish.

(e)  Some will say Beathauile is the Crown, Anu is the Left Hand, and the Dagda Mo/r is the Right Hand and the Heart is the Heart of all mankind and that which gives the everlasting music to the Gael.

(f)  As legend has it, the town developed the ring (originally a sigil to be painted on ships and sails) to be worn by the sailors of Claddagh. When these sailors would run into other fishermen in their waters, they would check for the sirgil, and if they did not find it, they would kill them.

(g)  The original Claddagh Ring is generally attributed to one Richard Joyce, a native of Galway, who while being transported as a slave to the plantations of the West Indies was captured by mediterranean pirates and sold to a Moorish goldsmith who trained him in his craft. In 1689 he was released and returned to Galway and set up his shop in the Claddagh. (The Claddagh is said to be the oldest fishing village in Ireland.) By tradition the ring is to signify the wish that Love and Friendship should reign supreme. The hands signify friendship, the crown loyalty, and the heart love. The ring has become popular outside Connamera since the middle of the last century. Its spread being helped by vast exodus from the west during the Great Famine in 1847 - 1849. These rings were kept as heirlooms with great pride and passed from mother to daughter. Today, the ring is worn extensively across Ireland, either on the right hand turned outward showing the wearer is "fancy free", or with the heart turned inward which shows she id "spoken for". The pride of place is on the left hand, with the heart turned in, indicating that the wearer is happily married.