Ireland is not only home to some of the world’s most magnificent scenery but also to an astounding number of animals. In this article, we’ll go through the most common animal names in Irish and present you with all the pertinent facts you need to know about pet ownership in Ireland. To help you get started speaking about the animals, we will also give you some phrases you can use when you want to strike a conversation related to animals.
Whenever one thinks of visiting Ireland, most of us usually envision the grand old castles, great water activities in Achill Island, or perhaps the Eyre Square at Galway. However, there’s so much more to these tourists destinations! In fact, if you are after some wild adventure with your family and friends, then visiting some of the local zúnna (or zoo in English) is what you should consider. Presently, the country has around 11 zoos and aquariums scattered in touristy places like Dublin, Carrigtwohill, Dingle, Mallow, and Letterkenny.
The country’s most popular zoo is the Dublin Zoo at Phoenix Park, which was first opened in 1831 by the Zoological Society of Ireland to create outstanding animal habitats. Today, it is home to more than 500 animals, including rare species with a very low survival rate in the wild. It is also currently partnered with a number of institutions from across the globe since it has become one of the centers for breeding programs for quickly going-extinct species. Some of these animals include:
- Irish hare
- Irish setter
- Connemara pony
- Red fox
- Red deer
Let’s get to know more about the noble animals in Ireland below.
Animals In Ireland
Given the country’s unique location, there is no surprise that there are tons of beautiful and strong wolves that might make you feel like you are on the set of Game of Thrones! To make matters much more interesting, the Irish locals actually call them with the name Mactíre (pronounced as mock cheer uh), which directly translates to “Son of the Land!” Interesting, right?
As for current pet ownership statistics, about 45% of adults in Ireland are open to living with domesticated animals like dogs or cats. According to one report, most of the locals prefer taking care of dogs, while some from the older age group are also willing to take care of cats, small mammals, birds, and fish. Horses are also popular with some of the folks from the rural part of the country.
With most of the people being left stuck at home due to the pandemic, the locals were also able to keep themselves entertained by adopting pets. Based on one news report, there was a sudden spike in the number of interested individuals who are willing to give some of the furry animals a perfect home, and it seems to be on a continuous rise! After all, isn’t this the perfect time to get a pet and give it the love and attention it so deserves?
Animal Names In Irish Language
While it is true that countries do have a specific animal to represent them, Ireland actually has different ones, which makes it truly interesting to know. In 1990, it was declared that the Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus) is the national bird of Ireland. Still, it was found to be only an unofficial declaration by the Irish Wildlife Conservancy. Today, the country still does not have one specific bird to represent them, but most locals believe it is the raven since it is used in many official “coat of arms.”
As for the national fish, Ireland is known for the Northern Pike (Esox lucius), usually found in the north of Lough Neagh. According to anglers, you can find the pike almost anywhere in the river and canal, and it is estimated to grow up to 20kg!
The country also is quite unclear about the national land animal that will represent them. Some say that it is the Irish hare, while others believe it should be the Red Deer.
|Fox||Sionnach / Madra rua|
|Red squirrel||Iora rua|
As we reach this part of the post, we hope that you were able to learn the names and the specific meaning or translation behind some of the most famous creatures in Ireland. Hopefully, this post has encouraged you to come and visit the country (not just because of the week-long festivities) to try to have a little tour with some of the animals that can only be found in this place!
If you enjoyed this post, we recommend that you read out other blog posts related to the Irish language, like the most common verbs, slang words, and how to structure a question like a total pro. Also, if you’d like to master the Irish language truly, it would be great to continue reading below to find out our most recommended learning tool.
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