The geography of Ireland comprises relatively low-lying mountains surrounding a central plain, with several navigable rivers extending inland. Its lush vegetation is a product of its mild but changeable climate which is free of extremes in temperature. Much of Ireland was woodland until the end of the Middle Ages. Today, woodland makes up about 10% of the island, compared with a European average of over 33%, and most of it is non-native conifer plantations. There are twenty-six extant land mammal species native to Ireland. The Irish climate is influenced by the Atlantic Ocean and thus very moderate, and winters are milder than expected for such a northerly area, although summers are cooler than those in continental Europe. Rainfall and cloud cover are abundant. (Full article...)
Irish whiskey (Irish: Fuisce or Uisce beatha) is a whiskey made in Ireland. There are several types of whiskey common to Ireland: Single Malt, Single Grain, Pure Pot Still and Blended Whiskey. The word whiskey is an Anglicisation of the ancient Gaelic term "uisce beatha" which translates as "water of life". (The Craythur is a modern Irish term for whiskey, from 'the creature', as in 'created'...)
At one time, all whisky was spelled without the extra 'e', as "whisky". In around 1870, the reputation of Scottish whisky was very poor as Scottish distilleries flooded the market with cheaper spirits produced using the Coffey still. The Irish and American distilleries adopted the spelling "whiskey", with the extra "e", to distinguish their higher quality product. Today, the spelling whisky (plural whiskies) is generally used for whiskies distilled in Scotland, Wales, Canada, Australia and Japan, while whiskey is used for the spirits distilled in Ireland and America.
Traditional Irish whiskey was distilled from a mash of mixed malted and unmalted grains whereas Scotch is either distilled exclusively from malted grain (hence "single malt"), or from unmalted grain. Today, most Irish whiskey is blended from a mixture of pot still whiskey and cheaper grain whiskey. Bushmills, however, is an exception, as it produces no Irish-style pot-still whiskey.
Most Irish whiskey is distilled three times, but so is some Scotch; thus it is a myth, although a common one, that this is the main distinction between the two varieties. Irish whiskey also differs in that peat is almost never used in the malting process, so the smoky, earthy overtones common to Scotches (particularly Islay Scotches) are not present except for the Connemara Peated Irish Malt whiskey from the Cooley distillery. Although Scotland sustains approximately 90 distilleries, Ireland has only three producing a number of different whiskeys. Read more...
William Butler Yeats (/ˈjeɪts/; 13 June 1865 - 28 January 1939) was an Irishpoet and dramatist, and one of the foremost figures of 20th-century literature. A pillar of both the Irish and English literary establishments, in his later years Yeats served as an Irish Senator for two terms. He was a driving force behind the Irish Literary Revival, and together with Lady Gregory and Edward Martyn founded the Abbey Theatre, and served as its chief during its early years. In 1923, he was awarded a Nobel Prize in Literature for what the Nobel Committee described as "inspired poetry, which in a highly artistic form gives expression to the spirit of a whole nation;" and he was the first Irishman so honoured. Yeats is generally considered one of the few writers whose greatest works were completed after being awarded the Nobel Prize; such works include The Tower (1928) and The Winding Stair and Other Poems (1929).
Yeats was born and educated in Dublin, but spent his childhood in Sligo. He studied poetry in his youth, and from an early age was fascinated by both Irish legends and the occult. Those topics feature in the first phase of his work, which lasted roughly until the turn of the century. His earliest volume of verse was published in 1889, and those slowly paced and lyrical poems display debts to Edmund Spenser and Percy Bysshe Shelley, as well as to the lyricism of the Pre-Raphaelite poets.
From 1900, Yeats' poetry grew more physical and realistic. He largely renounced the transcendental beliefs of his youth, though he remained preoccupied with physical and spiritual masks, as well as with cyclical theories of life. Over the years Yeats adopted many different ideological positions, including, in the words of the critic Michael Valdez Moses, "those of radical nationalist, classical liberal, reactionary conservative and millenarian nihilist". Read more...
Portrait of James II of England by Sir Godfrey Kneller. Forty years later, Irish Catholics, known as "Jacobites", fought for James from 1688 to 1691, but failed to restore James to the throne of Ireland, England and Scotland.
After an unusually bitter Irish Catholic rebellion and civil war, Oliver Cromwell, on behalf of the English Commonwealth, re-conquered Ireland by invasion which lasted from 1649 to 1651. Under Cromwell's government, landownership in Ireland was transferred overwhelmingly to Puritan soldiery and commercial undertakers to pay for the war.
Irish family evicted at Moyasta, County Clare during Land War, c.1879
A 16th century perception of Irish women and girls, illustrated in the manuscript "Théâtre de tous les peuples et nations de la terre avec leurs habits et ornemens divers, tant anciens que modernes, diligemment depeints au naturel". Painted by Lucas d'Heere in the 2nd half of the 16th century. Preserved in the Ghent University Library.
The city centre is an island positioned between two channels of the River Lee which meet downstream at the eastern end of the city centre, where the quays and docks along the river lead outwards towards Lough Mahon and Cork Harbour, one of the largest natural harbours in the world. (Full article...)
Chapel Royal 360x180, Dublin Castle, Dublin, Ireland - Diliff
DUANE, William J-Treasury (BEP engraved portrait)
Dingle peninsula panorama crop
Dublin Stephen's Green-44 edit
Francisco Goya - Portrait of the Duke of Wellington
John's Lane Church Exterior, Dublin, Ireland - Diliff
John's Lane Church Interior 1, Dublin, Ireland - Diliff
Kilmainham Gaol Main Hall 2016-06-03
Long Room Interior, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland - Diliff
Maritana - Nov 22 1845 Illustrated London News
Sir Anthony Van Dyck - Charles I (1600-49) - Google Art Project
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