Ireland (Irish: Éire, Ulster Scots: Airlann) is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island in the world. It lies to the north-west of continental Europe and is surrounded by hundreds of islands and islets. The Republic of Ireland covers five-sixths of the island. Northern Ireland, a part of the United Kingdom, covers the remainder and is located in the northeast of the island. The population of Ireland is estimated to be 6.2 million. Slightly less than 4.5 million are estimated to live in the Republic of Ireland and slightly less than 1.8 million live in Northern Ireland.
Relatively low-lying mountains surrounding a central plain to epitomise the Ireland's geography with several navigable rivers extending inland. The island has a lush vegetation, a product of its mild but changeable oceanic climate, which avoids extremes in temperature. Thick woodlands covered the island until the 1600s. Today, it is the most deforested area in Europe. Twenty-six mammal species are native to Ireland, with some, such as the red fox, hedgehog and badger, being very common. Others, like the Irish hare, red deer and pine marten are less so.
Irish culture has had a significant influence on culture world-wide, particularly in the fields of literature and, to a lesser degree, science and learning. A strong indigenous culture, expressed for example through native sports and the Irish language, exists alongside a regional culture, such as Rugby football and golf. Read more ...
'Modern Celts are peoples who consider themselves, or have been considered by others, to be Celts in modern times i.e. post 1800. However, the term is generally used for a number of peoples in Europe sharing various cultural traits and speaking Indo-European languages with a common Proto-Celtic origin. Since the Enlightenment, the term Celtic has been applied to a wide variety of peoples and cultural traits present and past. Today, Celtic is often used in order to describe the people and their respective cultures and languages of several ethnic groups in Ireland, France, Wales, Scotland, Cornwall, parts of northern Spain and northern Portugal (the Celtic nations). Read more...
Father Jack Hackett is a fictional character in the Channel 4 television series Father Ted. The character (played by Frank Kelly) is the deeply alcoholic, and at times violently psychotic, third priest in Father Ted's household. According to one of Graham Linehan's former peers at Catholic University School in Dublin, Fr. Hackett has been based on one of the former resident priests at the school. Through much of the series he is comatose in his chair and most of his waking moments are spent calling for alcohol. Despite his feeble appearance, he is capable of impressive feats such as stealing drink at seemingly impossible speeds. Jack is also able to tell the vintage and variety of wine just from the sound of the bottle clinking.
Jack is a chronic alcoholic and is in a constantly inebriated state. As a result of this, his speech is crude and limited. The few words he speaks occasionally are "Drink!", "Feck!", "Arse!" and "Girls!", though occasionally he blurts out nonsensical comments like "Are those my feet?", "I like cake!" and "I'm a happy camper!". Once, Father Ted tried to improve father Jack's speech with some success; he taught Jack the phrases "Yes!" and "That would be an ecumenical matter!" so that he could communicate at a basic level with three bishops that were guests on Craggy Island. Jack uses his alcoholism to escape from his depressing life on the island; on one occasion during Lent, he became sober and was shocked to learn that he was "still on that feckin' island!" Father Ted described Jack's sobriety in that episode as being "like some weird hallucinogenic trip to him". Read more...
Selected series: Irish cities