Last Updated: 14th Nov 2013

<p><img src="" class="rightwise" title="ireland kilkenny castle" alt="ireland kilkenny castle" /></p> <p><strong>Capital:</strong> <a href="/contikipedia/articles/dublin">Dublin</a></p> <p><strong>Currency:</strong> <a href="/contikipedia/articles/the-euro">Euro</a></p> <p><strong>Language:</strong> Irish, English</p> <p><strong>Visas:</strong> <a href="/contikipedia/articles/visas-travelling-to-europe">Travel Visa Information</a></p> <p><a href="/search?scope=tours&amp;terms=ireland"><strong>Contiki Tours that travel to Ireland &gt;</strong></a></p> <h2>Manners and Customs</h2> <ul> <li>The Irish are fiercely proud and independent and to even remotely associate them with the British is generally an insult</li> <li>Irish accents vary greatly from region to region but throughout the country politeness and manners go along way</li> <li>Smoking is banned in enclosed public places including bars and clubs</li> <li>Tipping is generally not required although it is becoming more common. Up to 10% in considered a standard tip while some restaurants may include a 10-15% service charge in lieu of a tip.</li> </ul> <h2>History</h2> <p>Ireland fought long and hard for their independence from the British but it is not only British occupation that have cause trouble within Ireland over the years. Basically, the &#8216;troubles&#8217; in Ireland began in the late 1600s with Oliver Cromwell and his Protestant English Parliamentary government victorious over the Irish. He suppressed the culture – stopping Irish music, religion and worse, language. He outlawed Catholicism, and made it illegal for Catholics to own land, and after a few years 95% of land in Ireland was owned by Protestants. This tore the country apart with the aftereffects still being felt today. A civil uprising and what was effectively a war after Irish independence was declared in 1916 eventually lead to the independence of most of the island in 1922, with parts or Northern Ireland (most notoriously parts of Ulster) remaining part of the United Kingdom. Since then both the Irish and British authorities have worked towards a peace in the north, most recently manifested in the &#8216;Good Friday&#8217; agreement of 1998.</p> <h2>Places Contiki Visits in Ireland</h2> <ul> <li><a href="/contikipedia/articles/the-blarney-stone-and-blarney-castle">The Blarney Stone and Blarney Castle</a></li> </ul> <ul> <li><a href="/contikipedia/articles/cliffs-of-moher">Cliffs of Moher</a></li> </ul> <ul> <li><a href="/contikipedia/articles/cork">Cork</a></li> </ul> <ul> <li><a href="/contikipedia/articles/dublin">Dublin</a></li> </ul> <ul> <li><a href="/contikipedia/articles/killarney">Killarney</a></li> </ul> <ul> <li><a href="/contikipedia/articles/kilkenny">Kilkenny</a></li> </ul> <ul> <li><a href="/contikipedia/articles/galway">Galway</a></li> </ul>