A few, perhaps unknown, facts about Ireland…

The majority of people attribute the guillotine to the French, but there is evidence of it being used in Ireland almost 500 years before it made its way to France. A man named Murcod Ballagh seemingly used it for an execution near Merton in Co Galway on 1 April 1307.

Dundalk Jail was built in 1853 by a man named John Coffee. In an unfortunate turn of events, while he was building the prison he encountered some financial difficulties, ended up declaring bankruptcy, and became the very first inmate in his own prison when he couldn’t pay off his debts.

A nickname for people from Co Wicklow is ‘goat suckers’. The term was coined because of the goats that frequented the Wicklow mountains.

Ireland was the last country in the European Union without a postcode system. That recently changed – at the small cost of 15 million Euro.

In 2007, the small town of Doon in Co Limerick successfully changed its legal Irish name from An Dun, meaning simply ‘the fort’, to its historical name of Dun Bleisce, a slightly more risqué title meaning ‘fort of the harlots’. More than 800 locals signed the petition to revert to the original name.

Although there are some strong contenders, the title of the longest place name in Ireland goes to: Muckanaghederdauhaulia, or ‘Muiceanach idir Dha Sahaile’ to give its Irish name. It literally means ‘ridge shaped like a pig’s back between two expanses of briny water.’ It’s in the parish of Kilcummin in Co Galway.

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Stair na hÉireann is steeped in Ireland's turbulent history, culture, ancient secrets and thousands of places that link us to our past and the present. With insight to folklore, literature, art, and music, you’ll experience an irresistible tour through the remarkable Emerald Isle.