An Unexpected Discovery: Ireland is an Island

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Ireland is an island. Obviously, Ireland is an island, so why are you telling me that, you ask. Well, as I understand it, not everyone knows that. And it wouldn’t be funny if it wasn’t about one who has come to Ireland and lived here for over a year.

I assume that millions of people worldwide have no idea that Ireland is an island, and hundreds of thousands or probably millions don’t know that Ireland even exists. But that’s another story.

The Discovery

Ireland is an island - travel to Ireland

It was a couple of years ago when a colleague and I went to a launch and had a chat. He had come to Ireland from another European country for work.

“Why do you think cars are so rarely stolen in Ireland? Is it because of good people or something else?” he asked me.

“Well,” I said, “the people here are certainly nice, but that doesn’t mean there are no criminals. Ireland is an island, and it’s pretty hard for hijackers to cross the border in a stolen car.”

You should have seen his face when I said Ireland is an island. He was surprised. “I had no idea Ireland is an island,” he said.

I must admit I was surprised too. How could he not have known that? You prepare to live in another country for a while, buy tickets, fly to another country, and have no idea it’s an island? Then I laughed heartily.

Fact: Ireland is an Island

Ireland is an island - that's a fact

Ireland is an island. And it’s not just any island, it’s the third-largest island in Europe (after Great Britain and Iceland). The area of Ireland is 84,421 km². For comparison, Denmark has an area of 42,951 km²; Netherlands 41,543 km²; Belgium 30,688 km². So, Ireland is twice the size of Denmark or the Netherlands and almost three times the size of Belgium.

Ireland’s Coastline

The coastline of Ireland is about 3171 km long. That’s a lot of coastline for such a small island! The coastline is so long because of the many inlets, bays, and peninsulas. It has many beaches too, about 300 beaches dotted around the island.

People love Ireland’s beaches for the sun and sand. Sunbathers love to relax on the beach and get a great tan. Surfers love to catch the waves and ride them to shore. Swimmers love to take a dip in the cool water. And nature lovers enjoy walking along the beach, looking for shells, and watching the birds.

There are also many interesting rock formations along the coast. The Giant’s Causeway is a great example of this. It is an area of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, the result of an ancient volcanic eruption.

The Cliffs of Moher are another popular attraction. They are about 214 m high and extend for about eight kilometres. On a clear day, you can see the Aran Islands, Galway Bay, as well as the Twelve Bens mountain range in Connemara.

Geography of Ireland

Ireland is located in Northwestern Europe in the north Atlantic Ocean. It lies on the European continental shelf. The island’s main geographical features include low central plains surrounded by coastal mountains. Corrán Tuathail (Carrauntoohil) is the highest peak on the island, 1039 metres above sea level.

The west coast is rugged, with many islands, peninsulas, headlands, and bays. The island is split by the Shannon River, 360.5 km long with an estuary 102.1 km long, which is the longest river in Ireland and flows south from County Cavan in Ulster to flow into the Atlantic Ocean south of Limerick. There are several large lakes along Ireland’s rivers, of which Lough Neagh is the largest.

Conclusion

Enough facts, if you are planning to visit Ireland, all you need to know is that you will love it. The people are friendly, the scenery is beautiful, and there’s plenty to see and do. And if you didn’t already know, Ireland is an island!

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