The Celts probably began to settle in Ireland around 300 BC and named the land "Eire". The Celtic population was originally from Central Europe (France and Germany); they had pale skin, blond-red hair and were taller than their contemporaries.
The Celtic Gaels conquered Ireland and divided it into five kingdoms. They mixed their culture with that of the indigenous people, creating a mythology that survived until Christian colonisation led by St.Patrick in 300 AD.
During the following centuries Celtic influences remained prevalent in Ireland and Gaelic culture made a strong imprint on the landscape of the country.
The Celtic Irish culture has been told through the years in the form of Heroic Tales, such as the Ulster Cycle which tells of the exploits of Cú Chullain, the Hound of Ulster.
Celtic art, music and spirituality are still preserved in the hearts and the lives of the Irish people who are very proud of their strong Celtic heritage.
The Celtic Culture
The Celts spoke a Indo-European language called Irish Gaelic.
Modern Irish descends from Celtic languages and dialects.
After the British colonisation and the institution of english as the official language, Irish Gaelic was almost considered a dead language.
In the last decades however, the Irish have set an intensive program for the recovery of Gaelic linguist tradition. Now Irish Gaelic is the second official language after English, and Irish is a compulsory subject in public schools.
Irish Gaelic Translator
Ireland is a nation of sports fans that support their national teams with an exuberance that is uniquely Irish. This sports mania moves into another realm when it comes to the traditional Irish sports of Hurling and Gaelic football.
Hurling is a field game similar to hockey, in that it is played with a small ball and a curved wooden stick. The game has been played in Ireland in one form or another for over 2000 years when the Celt's first brought the game to Ireland.
Gaelic Football is a sort of blend of soccer and rugby, though it is older than both of those games. It is a field game which is played on a pitch 137m long and 82m wide. The goalposts are the same shape as on a rugby pitch.
The ball is round like a soccer ball and the object of the game is to get the ball over the cross bar of the Opposing teams goal getting it up the pitch by bouncing, kicking, passing and running with the ball.
During the summer months in Ireland, each town and village is involved at some level in Gaelic Games. Fever pitch is reached during the All-Ireland Finals in September played at Croke Park in Dublin city.
A must see for all sports fans is the GAA Museum where you can trace the history of these unique games and even test your skills with the interactive exhibits.
New Cusack Stand
Tel: + 353 1 855 8176
Fax: + 353 1 855 8104
Gaelic Athletic Association
Gael Sport: Gaelic Sport Portal