Ireland has a rich cultural life with long traditions, not least in literature, with names such as Jonathan Swift, James Joyce, William Butler Yeats, Roddy Doyle and Anne Enright. Even in music, groups like U2 and The Pogues have hit big in many parts of the world.

Thanks to medieval monks, not only religious literature but also folk beliefs and the Celtic fairytale world have been preserved in magnificent manuscripts.

At the end of the 19th century, what has been called the Irish Renaissance emerged, a movement with roots in the island’s fairytale and folk traditions. It was inspired by national romanticism and linked to movements striving for political independence. Even before that, Irish writers and playwrights such as Jonathan Swift and Thomas Moore had gained world renown. They were often considered English because they wrote in English.

The great writers also include Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw (Nobel Prize 1925), William Butler Yeats (Nobel Prize 1923), Sean O’Casey and James Joyce. Later came, among others, Brendan Behan, Flann O’Brien, Samuel Beckett (Nobel Prize 1969), Frank O’Connor and Edna O’Brien. Nobel laureate and poet Seamus Heaney, who was born in Northern Ireland, lives in Dublin. A younger generation of writers includes Dermot Bolger, Maeve Binchy, Patrick McCabe, Neil Jordan, Nuala O’Faolain (1940–2008), Colm Tóibin, Roddy Doyle, John Banville, Anne Enright, Emma Donoghue and Joseph O’Connor. Two writers who have made a name for themselves internationally are Marian Keyes and Cecelia Ahern (daughter of former Prime Minister Bertie Ahern). A new literary star is Sally Rooney, whose two novels, Conversations with Friends and Normal People.
Among the most prominent domestic filmmakers are Neil Jordan and Jim Sheridan. In 2011, the black comedy The Guard directed by John Michael McDonagh became a huge audience success in Ireland.

Groups such as The Dubliners and The Chieftains have made Irish folk music famous. Among the instruments are the bagpipe uileann pipes, the flute tin whistle and the drum bodhran. Typical dances are jig and reel. The groups The Corrs and The Pogues mix folk music with modern rock music.

U2 is one of the most popular rock groups. Several so-called boy bands such as Boyzone and Westlife, which were formed in the 1990s, have also gained great influence, as have the twins Jedward, who in 2011 and 2012 represented Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest.

The great upswing for the popular music industry is to some extent due to the government in 1969 introducing tax exemption for the authors’ income (also applies to literature and art), although some restrictions were made in 2005. Many foreign writers, artists and musicians have therefore settled in the country.

Ireland Immigration Statistics



Micheál Martin heads a new government coalition

June 28

According to Abbreviationfinder, Ireland is now getting a new government. A coalition between the two arch rivals Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil as well as the Green Party, after party members gave their approval for the settlement. New Prime Minister becomes Fianna Fáil’s leader Micheál Martin, who will lead the government during the half-term, then Fine Gaels Leo Varadkar will take over as head of government, until then he will be responsible for business affairs. The day before, Martin was approved as new Prime Minister by Parliament, having won the support of 93 members, while 63 members voted no. Martin promises to try to boost the economy, which is suffering hard due to the corona crisis, through a stimulus package to be presented in July. Among other things, it should include support for small businesses. About 26 percent of Irish people are now unemployed, temporary or more permanent.

  • Countryaah: Overview of the capital city of Ireland, including information about its population, economy, geography, history and map.

Ireland takes a seat on the UN Security Council in 2021

June 18

Ireland will take a seat in the UN Security Council 2021 and 2022, together with Norway, Mexico and India. They will be joined by either Kenya or Djibouti, but it will be decided later on as none of the countries have received enough votes on the African continent to win a seat already.

On the way to a new government coalition

June 15

It looks like Ireland will soon have a new government, between Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and the Green Party. The leaders of the three parties have been in intensive negotiations and are now agreeing on a government program. It seems that Fianna Fáil’s leader Mícheál Martin will take over the Prime Minister’s post from Leo Varadkar until December 22, 2022, after which Varadkar will again take over as head of government. But before a new ministry can take office, the settlement must be approved by the members of the three parties.

Ireland is lifting restrictions faster than planned

June 5

Ireland is now starting to open up society at a faster rate than planned. From June 7, the Irish will be allowed to travel up to two miles from their homes, most workplaces will reopen and it will also be allowed to visit people belonging to another household. However, hotels, bars and restaurants will only start their business on June 29. According to official figures, nearly 1,700 people have died in covid-19 in Ireland. Nearly € 1.4 billion has been paid to people who have been laid off or lost their jobs during the corona crisis.


14 days quarantine for visitors from abroad

May 22

From May 28 until at least June 18, anyone visiting Ireland will have to quarantine for 14 days. Before traveling into the country, they must complete a form about where they will be during the quarantine period.

Ireland eases the restrictions

May 5th

Ireland is now slowly beginning to ease the severe restrictions imposed to limit the spread of the new corona virus. Initially, people are allowed to move farther from their homes, five kilometers away instead of, as before, two kilometers. Even people who are extra susceptible to infection due to illness may go out to exercise if they avoid other people. Those who work outdoors may return to their jobs on May 18. All schools will be closed in September, while childcare for people with socially important jobs will open at the end of June, all others may wait until July 20. From June 8, you can visit other households, but only from June 29 can you visit someone who lives two miles away. Weddings, baptisms and smaller gatherings, for families and close friends will be allowed from June 8,

Coveney warns of new Brexit crisis

May 5th

Ireland’s Foreign Minister Simon Coveney says that talks between the EU and the UK on the terms that will apply when the transition period expires at the end of the year are, to say the least, slow. Coveney expresses concern that Ireland will face a new crisis by the end of the year, if no progress is made soon.

Ready for talks on new government

May 5th

The leaders of Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Green Party have agreed to meet on May 7 for negotiations on a new government program. Eamon Ryan, leader of the Green Party, says he is positive that the other party leaders are positive about more comprehensive climate measures. It is pointed out that the talks will take several weeks to complete.


Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael agree on a framework

April 14

The two bourgeois parties Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael have agreed on a framework to form a coalition government. An important part, according to sources quoted by the Reuters news agency, is how to get the economy to recover when the corona crisis is over. Another point should apply to government investments in infrastructure and housing construction. Other sources mention public childcare for everyone at a reasonable cost to families, pledges on living expenses and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. The hope is that the two parties will thereby be able to gain enough support to form a government, but the smaller parties whose support is hoped for do not seem particularly interested in supporting them. The issue of collaboration is also sensitive within Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, which are traditionally arch rivals.

Ireland’s corona quarantine is extended

April 10

Acting Prime Minister Leo Varadkar announces that the restrictions imposed on restricting the spread of the new corona virus will be extended for another three weeks, until May 5.

Varadkar jumps in as a doctor

April 5

Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, who is a trained physician, will now work like that one day a week during the corona crisis. According to the Irish Times, he will help with assessments over the phone. According to the HSE Health Authority, about 70,000 people have signed up to assist with the pandemic. At the same time, efforts are being made to increase the capacity to test people to 4,500 a day. Nearly 5,000 cases of covid-19 have been detected in Ireland and 158 people have died in the disease.

“May be worse than during the financial crisis”

April 3

The Bank of Ireland warns that the economic consequences of the ongoing pandemic could be worse than those that hit the country after the financial crisis. Bank representatives say it can be difficult to make a forecast right now, because you don’t know how long the pandemic will last or how hard the economy will be, but it is estimated that GDP will fall by just over 8 percent on current measures against the new coronavirus will be in effect for three months and unemployment will rise from just under 5 percent to over 25 percent. To date, the number of people seeking unemployment benefit or other benefits has tripled. About one-fifth of the total workforce now depends on the state for their living, which is more than during the most difficult period of the financial crisis.


Ireland tightens the restrictions

March 27th

Acting Prime Minister Leo Varadkar is now announcing even tougher restrictions to prevent the spread of the new corona virus. People are only allowed to leave their homes for shopping and for easier exercise, no more than two kilometers from their homes. All collections, both public and private, are prohibited, as are visits to hospitals and prisons. Exceptions are made for agriculture and those who have to travel to work that is considered to be indispensable for society. The restrictions will be in effect from midnight on the same day until April 12. On March 29, 2,615 cases of covid-19 have been reported in Ireland and 46 people have died. An opinion poll indicates that support for Varadkar’s Fine Gael party has increased during the corona crisis, from just under 22 percent in the February election to 34 percent, including Sinn Féin increased from 24.5 percent to 28 percent, Varadkar has previously said that the preparations made for a possible contractless Brexit have made Ireland better prepared for a crisis than many other countries.

Institutes warn of recession

March 26

The Institute for Economic and Social Research ESRI predicts that if the government’s restrictions to fight covid-19 will be in force for twelve weeks, the Irish economy will shrink by just over 7 percent by 2020 and 350,000 people will lose their jobs.

Martin: No new government before Easter

March 20

Fianna Fáil’s leader Micheál Martin says it is unlikely that Ireland will have any new government until the earliest after Easter. Much to the extent that such a large part of all the work is about managing the ongoing corona crisis. The authorities have now received applications from 58,000 people to take part in crisis compensation to workers and small businesses who have lost their jobs as a result of the crisis. The number of reported cases in Ireland had increased to 557 on 19 March.

“Ireland may have 15,000 cases by the end of the month”

March 17

Prime Minister Leo Varadkar gives speeches to the nation, warning that the ongoing crisis may continue into the summer and that Ireland may have 15,000 cases of covid-19 by the end of the month. He urges people to do everything they can to avoid infection. Ireland has already closed all schools and universities, and later pubs. All events that gather more than 100 people have also been banned. Varadkar also says that the effects of the pandemic, not least the financial ones, will be felt for a long time to come. However, he concludes by saying that “we will get through this”. It is estimated that 140,000 workers cannot work because of the measures.

Schools are closed to prevent coronary infection

the 12th of March

Ireland’s acting prime minister Leo Varadkar announces that all preschools, schools and universities should be kept closed from March 29 to prevent the new corona virus from spreading further in Ireland. At the same time, all indoor events with more than 100 participants and all outdoor events with more than 500 participants are prohibited. The measures are taken the day after the WHO was determined to be a pandemic. However, it is decided that public transport should go as usual and that stores, restaurants and cafes may be kept open. Even before that, several big events such as the celebration of StT Patricks Day in many places. In Ireland, 43 people have so far been infected with covid-19 disease. At the same time, there are 18 disease cases in Northern Ireland, which are not, however, covered by the rules.

Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil negotiate a government coalition

11th of March

The two bourgeois parties Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil are now holding formal talks to form a new government. The process is accelerated by the ongoing corona pandemic. In order to gain a majority, a possible government coalition would need support from at least eight members from other parties or from independent members. The two parties have switched to power and have never before worked together in a government.


Leo Varadkar is leaving

February 20th

Leo Varadkar resigns formally as Prime Minister of Ireland when the parties have not been able to agree on a new government. However, he remains as acting head of government, at the head of an expedition minister. All parties seem to agree that it will take a long time to get a new government, in 2016 it took ten weeks before a minority government with Fine Gael could take office. A first meeting between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil to discuss government formation was held on February 26.

Fianna Fáil is trying to form a government

February 19

Fianna Faíl’s leader Micheál Martin says his party will make a gathering of power to try to create a new government. The party has held informal talks with both the Green Party and the Social Democrats, as well as some independent members. Martin has already said that he should first consult with the smaller parties before taking the initiative to talk with Fine Gael.

Fianna Faíl says no to Sinn Féin

February 13

The opportunities for Sinn Féin to be able to get a new ministry are now almost non-existent when Fianna Faíl says no to any government cooperation. Now it is up to Fianna Faíl and Fine Gael to agree not to risk a new election, where Sinn Féin would probably win more votes (the party only put up 42 candidates in the February elections). Fine Gael’s leader, acting prime minister Leo Varadkar, has said on several occasions that he can imagine a government collaboration with Fine Gael.

Labor says no to government cooperation with Sinn Féin

February 12

Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald’s prospect of being able to form a coalition government is significantly diminished as the Labor Party clearly declares that it will not participate in it. Labor leader Brendan Howlin makes this statement as he announces his departure. He emphasizes that voters have not mandated his party to participate in a formal coalition, but that the party is likely to support certain proposals. Labor lost a mandate, but in addition, two leading politicians, including former leader Joan Burton, lost their seats in Parliament. Leo Varadkar, now acting prime minister, says his party Fine Gael is now ready to sit in opposition. However, he adds that Fine Gael is ready to take part in talks about a new government if Sinn Féin fails to get a minister together.

Sinn Féin is seeking government cooperation with small parties

February 12

Sinn Féin starts talks with several small parties about the possibility of forming a government, that is without the other two major parties Finn Fáil and Fine Gael. However, it does not appear likely that the party will be able to gather support from 80 MPs, which is required for them to gain a majority in the Chamber of Deputies. In that case, the party is required, in addition to having to bring all small parties with it, that it will also be supported by at least 13 independent members. Irish judges do not believe that Sinn Fein has such great potential to succeed, speculating that it may be a minority government led by Fianna Fáil, but with the support of Fine Gael, and in that case also by at least eight other members. Foreign Minister Simon Coveney, from Fine Gael, however, has rejected all such thoughts. Some evaluators choose, at least not at this stage,

Great success for Sinn Fein in the parliamentary elections

February 8

The parliamentary election will be a big success for the left-wing party Sinn Féin, which is the first choice for 24.5 percent of voters, ahead of Fianna Fáil who gets 22.2 percent and the ruling party Fine Gael who gets 21.9 percent. However, Sinn Féin does not become the largest party in parliament, the Chamber of Deputies (Dáil Éirann). Instead, it will be Fianna Fáil who gets 38 seats, against 37 seats for Sinn Fein, while Fine Gael ends on 35 seats. The fact that Fianna Fáil receives a more mandate is because the President is automatically re-elected. The Green Party also makes a strong choice and receives 12 seats and just over 7 percent of the first vote. The Labor Party loses a mandate and ends on 6 mandates, the Social Democrats increase from 3 to 6 mandates and Solidarity – People before profit receive 5 mandates. Ireland’s complicated electoral system means that the results were only clear around midnight on 10 February. After the election, Prime Minister Leo Varadkar ruled out that his party, Fine Gael, would exclude all cooperation with Sinn Féin. Fianna Fáil’s leader Micheál Martin does not go that far, although he points out that there are major political differences between his party and Sinn Féin.

Sinn Fein is increasing most before the election

February 3

With one week left for the election, Republican Sinn Féin is largely on par with the largest opposition party the bourgeois Fianna Fáil in opinion polls with 23-24 percent. Soon after, the Fine Gael government party stands at 2021 percent. Behind Sinn Fein’s increase in opinion is probably a desire for a change after nine years with Fine Gael in power. There is also a strong distrust of Fianna Fáil that ruled Ireland up to the deep economic crisis of 2008. However, analysts point outthat Sinn Fein seemed to be doing better in the 2016 parliamentary elections than the result was then. Fianna Fáil’s party leader Micheál Martin, however, excludes any talk of a government collaboration with Sinn Féin, citing, among other things, that the Republican Left Party’s tax policy would strike against business. In fourth place in the opinion polls, the Green Party stands at just over 8 percent, the Labor Party looks to get 5 percent and the Social Democrats 5 percent and Solidarity 3 percent.


Ireland goes for election February 8

January 14

It is now clear that there will be parliamentary elections in Ireland on February 8. Prime Minister Leo Varadkar announces that he will ask President Michael Higgins to dissolve Parliament. Ahead of the election, the ruling party Fine Gael, who has been in power for almost nine years, barely heads the equally bourgeois Fianna Fáil. Fine Gael, who has been able to rule with the support of Fianna Fáil since the last election in 2016, is expected to push hard on the growing economy and Varadkar’s defense of Ireland in the Brexit process, and the fact that there will be no hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland. The opposition, for its part, can benefit from the dissatisfaction with long care queues and the lack of housing. The latter has led to a growing number of homeless people in Ireland, especially in the larger cities.

Ireland Culture and Traditions
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