Ireland webquest

Discovering Ireland

1. To get you started, go to to collect information on the following questions

a) How many people live in Ireland? What is the most densely-populated area?

– 4 million people live in Ireland. More than a third of the people live in the Dublin area.

b) How many counties are there in the Republic of Ireland? How many counties does Northern Ireland consist of?

There are 26 counties in the Republic of Ireland.

Northern Ireland consists of 6 counties.

c) What two languages are the most frequently spoken in Ireland?

– English and Gaelic are most frequently spoken in Ireland.

d) What is the official currency in the Republic of Ireland? What currency is used in Northern Ireland?

The “Euro” is the official currency in the Republic of Ireland.

“Pounds” is used in Northern Ireland.

e) Name the percentage of Irish people who are Roman Catholics.

– 92 % are Roman Catholics.

f) What image can you see on an old Irish 5 pound note and what does this say about the importance of religion in education?

– You can see a classroom presided over by a nun. It shows that religion and education are closely connected.

g) What public and national holidays are mentioned? How many of them are also public holidays in Germany?

– Public and National Holidays

  • New Year’s Day (January 1), if falling on a weekday, or if not, the next day.
  • St Patrick’s Day (March 17), if falling on a weekday, or if not, the next day.
  • Good Friday – the Friday before Easter.
  • Easter Monday – the day after Easter.
  • May Holiday – the first Monday in May.
  • June Holiday – the first Monday in June.
  • Summer Holiday – the first Monday in August.
  • October Holiday – the last Monday in October.
  • Christmas Day, if falling on a weekday or, if not, the next Tuesday.
  • St Stephen’s Day (December 26), if falling on a weekday or, if not, the next day.

I think only “Summer Holiday” is also public holidays in Germany.

I don’t know if e.g. the holidays in spring correspond to our Easter holiday or the “October Holiday” to our autumn holiday in Germany.

h)         Is smoking allowed in Irish pubs?

– In 2004 a smoking ban was introduced which also includes pubs and restaurants. So smoking is forbidden in Irish pubs and a majority of the population support the ban.

i)          What is the number one drug of choice in Ireland?

– Alcohol is the number one drug of choice in Ireland.

j)          Name the three major airports in Ireland.

– Shannon Airport, Dublin Airport, Cork Airport

k)         As a European citizen, what documents do you need in order to look for a job in   Ireland?

– As a European citizen you do not need any documents in order to look for a job in Ireland.

2. Filling the gaps: More facts about Ireland.

Go to for more information and answer the following questions.

a)                  How many people live in Dublin, the capital of Ireland?

– In the city of Dublin live 1.2 million people (2006).

b)                  How many people speak Gaelic as a first language?

– 55,000 people speak Gaelic as a first language.

c)                  What is the name of Ireland`s Prime Minister and what party does he represent?

– The name of Ireland’s Prime Minister is Brian Cowen. He represents the Fiana Fail party.

d)                  What is the name of the public broadcasting corporation and what influence does it have on the media scene in Ireland?

– The public broadcasting corporation is called “Radio Telefis Eireann” (RTE) which dominates the radio and TV sector. It provides in both English and Irish.

e)            Where can you find the General Post Office (GPO)?

– The General Post Office is in O’Connell Street, Dublin.

f)              When wanting to phone a number in Ireland, what country code do you need to dial before the area code? Do you need the zero or do you leave it out?

– You need to deal 353 before the area code. You can leave out the zero.

h)              Go to the food section and name six Irish specialties. Also name the national drinks mentioned on the website.

– National specialties:
• Dublin Bay prawns.
• Oysters, served with Guinness and wholemeal bread.
• Irish stew, traditionally made with mutton or old sheep, now mostly made with lamb or juicy beef, this dish is usually served with potatoes, stock, onions, carrots and garlic.
Crubeens (pigs’ trotters).
Colcannon (a mixture of potatoes and cabbage cooked together).

National drinks:
• Whiskey: popular brands are Jamesons, John Powers Gold Label, Hewitts, Midleton, Old Bushmills, Paddy, Reserve and Tullamore Dew.
• Irish coffee is popular (a glass of strong black coffee, brown sugar and whiskey with cream).
Guinness, one of the most famous, popular and distinctive drinks in the world, is found everywhere.
• Other popular alternatives to Guinness are Murphy’s and Beamish, both brewed in Cork.
• One of the most popular lighter ales is Smithwick’s, also available everywhere.
• Liqueurs such as Bailey’s and Irish Mist are both made from a base of Irish whiskey.

i)                What is the legal drinking age? When do teenagers have to leave the pub at night?

– The legal drinking age is 18. Teenagers have to leave pubs by 21 o’clock.

j)                Why is Ireland an ideal destination for hiking and cycling?

– Ireland is an ideal destination for hiking and cycling because of its sparsely populated countryside.

k)              Where and when could you as a German tourist learn Gaelic without having to move to Ireland?

– There are summer schools where it is possible to learn Gaelic.

l)                Is it advisable to bring rainwear, even in the summer? Quote some statistics to back your view.

– Yes, it is advisable to bring rainwear, even in the summer.

3. In order to learn a little more about Irish symbols as well as Irish music, Irish dance, Irish literature and poetry and also Irish cuisine, please search the net for information. These websites might come in handy but basically, you`re free to choose where to go on the net as long as you access sites that are English. Choose two topics you can give a short presentation about, using images and audio files.  Publish the presentation on your own blog about the Ireland topic.

Food in Ireland today:

Today, like in many Western cultures, you can find the usual modern food in Ireland.

US fast-food and European food have influenced the country.

This development has led to increasing public health problems.

Ireland has got one of the highest rates of heart disease in the world.

In order to stop this development a new Irish cuisine, based on traditional ingredients handled in new ways, was invented. The traditional dishes have enjoyed a resurgence.

4. Assessing what you have learnt during the web quest.

a)       Name the top five most important insights you`ve had about Ireland when   working on the introductory activities.

1. smoking ban in pubs

2. the percentage of Roman Catholics

3. public and national holidays

4. national specialities and drinks

5. Irish weather

b)       What aspects you are aware of haven`t been covered so far and need more            attention later on?

– School in Ireland, Irish music

c)       What aspects you are aware of could be neglected because they aren`t all that      relevant for the topics that need to be covered? Check the ministry of   education`s website for more precise information   

d)       Name the top three websites you consider to be very useful when doing research   on

Ireland. Give reasons for your verdict.




All these websites contain lots of and interesting information.

Information which were outdated (e.g. the Prime Minister) could be found updated on “”.

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