Here's a quick trip around Ireland with one piece of trivia from each county

They’re explored in Fatti and John Burke’s new book, Irelandopedia.


US IRISH LOVE a bit of folklore and local history, and thankfully this small county is full of exactly that.

These facts are strewn across the country, and dozens have been brought together in a new book by a father and daugther team.

Irelandopedia describes itself as a compendium of maps, facts, and knowledge about Ireland, aimed at children.


The mini-encyclopedia was put together by John Burke, a retired primary school and boffin for local history, and his daughter Fatti Burke, an illustrator described by the Irish Independent as one of the Rising Female Stars of 2015.

Fatti said the book allows parents to pass on their own children the knowledge she learned herself from John.

We’ve pulled one piece of trivia featured in Irelandopedia from each county.


Yellowman_portions (1) Wikimedia Commons Wikimedia Commons

Have you ever had a bit of Yellowman? It’s a toffee made from golden syrup and brown sugar, and is often associated with The Ould Lammas Fair at Ballycastle.


sp1873 / YouTube

William McCrum from Milford is credited with inventing the penalty kick in 1890, to stop players being deliberately fouled as they attempted to score a goal. Although it became an international rule the following year, it wasn’t received well at first as it wasn’t considered possible for a gentleman sportsman of the Victorian era to cheat.


Pierce_butler Wikimedia Commons Wikimedia Commons

One of the Founding Fathers of the United States, Pierce Butler, was born in Tinryland in 1744. He was also at one point among the richest men in the United States, before going bankrupt, as well as a significant slaveholder.


. LtoR Maureen Reidy, John Leon Farrell / Leon Farrell / /

The Corleck Head is an unusual three-faced stone idol first uncovered in Drumeague, in 1855. It has been described as the finest example of its kind, and was “associated with a shrine reflecting Romano-British traditions located close to where the carving was discovered”.


lossy-page1-1155px-Holland_(SSl)._Starboard_bow,_on_ways,_1900_-_NARA_-_512954.tif Wikimedia Commons Wikimedia Commons

John Philip Holland lived in Liscannor until 1873, when he emigrated to the United States and is now considered the father of the modern submarine. Pictured above is the USS Holland under construction, the first submarine as we know them today to be used by the United States Navy.


PastedImage-87505 A scene from the Dripsey parade. RTÉ News RTÉ News

Dripsey was previously home to the shortest St Patrick’s Day parade in the world, travelling less than 100 metres between two pubs. Sadly, one of the pubs closed.


Austins' Department Store, Londonderry stevecadman stevecadman

Austins in the Derry city’s Diamond area makes the claim of being the oldest independent department store in the world, having been established in 1830.


PastedImage-91399 RTÉ News RTÉ News

Tory Island is a small island off the north west coast of Donegal. Its community of 144 people is the only in Ireland to be ruled over by a king. The current Rí Thoraí is  Patsy Dan Rodgers.


Ice cream distillated distillated

An ice cream is sometimes called a poke. So there.


DaVinci030 / YouTube

The original MGM lion was Slats, a resident of Dublin Zoo.


Fishes-18 - 006 - GILLAROO TROUT

You won’t find this variety of trout, the Gillaroo, anywhere else in the world. It is only found in Lough Melvin.


Archaeological-Consultancy Archaeological Consultancy Services Uni Archaeological Consultancy Services Uni

Have you ever heard the story of Fury the dog at Portumna Castle? It was believed the Irish wolfhound saved a child who fell from a building, standing underneath and breaking their fall. Sadly, Fury didn’t survive, and a plaque was placed in the building in her memory. During excavations, her skeleton was found buried in the castle’s grounds.


CHARLIE CHAPLIN EMPICS Sports Photo Agency EMPICS Sports Photo Agency

Charlie Chaplin was fond of holidaying in Waterville. The Charlie Chaplin Film Festival now takes in place in the village every year.


Arm small

Dan Donnelly was the first Irish-born heavyweight champion, fighting his most famous fight at Donnolly’s Hollow in Kildare. His corpse was stolen following his burial and his arm removed. It made its way around the United Kingdom, from medical schools to travelling circuses, before eventually ending up back in Kilcullen more than a century later in the 1950s.


Foxe's_Christian_martyrs_of_the_world;_the_story_of_the_advance_of_Christianity_from_Bible_times_to_latest_periods_of_persecution_(1907)_(14597416707) Wikimedia Wikimedia

The story of Dame Alice Kyteler is one of the first cases in Europe of a woman being accused of being a witch. After her fourth husband died in 1324, she was investigated by the local bishop, who found she and her followers killed animals and offered their remains as sacrifices to demons. She eventually fled Ireland, and her maid was burnt at the stake.



Laois is the only doubly landlocked county in Ireland. So there.


File:Margaret Statue Sept2015 Front Close.jpg - Wikimedia Commons Wikimedia Wikimedia

Margaret Haughery came from humble beginnings in Tully to receiving a state funeral in the United States when she died. She helped open up four orphanages in New Orleans, earning her titles such as Mother of the Orphans and Angel of the Delta.


Grange_stone_circle Wikimedia Commons Wikimedia Commons

This the Grange stone circle at Lough Gur. It’s the largest stone circle in Ireland, consisting of 113 standing stones.


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Longford is home to Ireland’s longest-running air show, which has been held annually at Abbeyshrule since 1955.


Oliver_Plunkett_Shrine,_St_Peter's_Church,_Drogheda,_Ireland_-_Diliff David Iliff David Iliff

Saint Oliver Plunkett’s head can still be seen at St Peter’s Catholic Church in Drogheda, more than four centuries after his death.


Brian Fleming / YouTube

There’s a pretty unusual bridge at Bellacorick. If you drag a stone along the parapet, it plays a tune.


Tower_of_Loyd (1) Wikimedia Commons Wikimedia Commons

The Spire of Loyd near Kells is (not surprisingly) the only inland lighthouse in Ireland. It’s a folly built in 1791 and was used for watching horse racing in the 19th century. Its top floor is 428ft above sea level.


Juan_Mackena Wikimedia Commons Wikimedia Commons

Juan (originally John) MacKenna from Monaghan town became a hero of the Chilean War of Independence, having ended up in South America from his role in an Irish brigade of the Spanish army.


Balloon Week Switzerland File photo. EMPICS Sports Photo Agency EMPICS Sports Photo Agency

Tullamore is home to what is probably the world’s first air disaster. details that in May 1785, a hot air balloon struck the chimney of a barracks in the town. The ensuing fire destroyed 130 homes.


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Elphin Windmill, restored in the mid-1990s, is believed to be the oldest working windmill in Ireland. It was built in 1730.


Routes_of_the_Spanish_Armada Wikimedia Commons Wikimedia Commons

An estimated 1,800 people drowned off the coast after three ships from the Spanish Armada were grounded along the west coast of Ireland in 1588.


London_to_Brighton_stage_coach,_1822 Stagecoach. Wikimedia Commons Wikimedia Commons

Charles Bianconi launched Ireland’s first stagecoach running between the towns of Clonmel, Cahir, and Cashel in 1815.  The idea grew out of his work as an engraver, having to travel to Waterford by boat to pick up gold leaf.


photo158120965215203030 PA Wire PA Wire

Former US presidents Ulysses S Grant and Woodrow Wilson could both trace their family tree back to Co Tyrone.


Two rashers Kai Hendry Kai Hendry

Without Waterford, we wouldn’t have rashers. Henry Denny patented the modern process of curing bacon in the city in the 1820s.


Sean's_bar Chris55 Chris55

Sean’s Bar in Athlone has the title of the oldest pub in Europe, dating back to 900AD. The oldest pub in Dublin, The Brazen Head, first came into existence as a coach house in 1198.


snadhghus / YouTube

An unique form of Middle English existed in the south of Wexford until the mid-1880s, known as Yola.


Hardcourt Bike Polo Morry Gash / AP/Press Association Images Morry Gash / AP/Press Association Images / AP/Press Association Images

An Irish cycling enthusiast by the name of Richard J McCready was the first to take the horse out of polo in 1891 when the first game of bicycle polo was played at Scalp.

Irelandopedia, published by Gill & Macmillan is priced at €24.99

Read: The true tale of the Irish rugby players killed in World War I >

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