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Ireland

The island to the west on Britain and the last significant landmass before America. Ireland has a rich culture and a troubled history which mean that Folk Music, Song and Dance abound. It is an entirely infectious culture which has spread all over the world. It is said that you can find an Irish Session in any city in the World and most of the towns too.

Ireland is known as Eire to the Irish and the Island is host to both the Republic of Ireland and the province of Northern Ireland. It is a Celtic country originally divided into 5 kingdoms which lasted until the Middle Ages. There was also a High King who preside over the 5.

St Patrick is the patron saint and his day is celebrated around the world on 17th March by Irish food, drink music and dance.

Vikings also raided Ireland and added to the culture, as did the English.

In the 1840s, the Great Famine drove many Irish to Emigrate mainly to America. The Grave at Skibbereen is a lasting testament to those who didn't make it.

The Easter Rising of 1916 is immortalised in the song Grace.

The revival in traditional music has produced many band such as The Dubliners, Sweeneys Men, De Danann, Planxty, The Chieftans, Patrick Street and The Bothy Band.

Irish music and dance was brought to the fore with Riverdance.