The headline of this essay is Ireland. Ireland is split in two parts, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Ireland is a great country with a beautiful nature and a lot of history. The principal religion of the Republic is Roman Catholicism which con-stitutes over 91% of the population. The remaining 9% are mainly Protestant and Jewish with an increasing representation of Islamic and other world religions. The Irish people have two languages - Irish (Gaelic) and English. Irish (Gaelic) is the first language of the Republic and is compulsory in all schools up to secondary level. A few areas speak Irish fluently, and as a new thing all teachers in the Republic must pass an oral examination in Irish in order to be allowed to teach. Ireland is a country that is not like other EU-countries. On our study tour this spring, we were in Dublin. Dublin is the capital of the Republic of Ireland and it has 3.6 million people. Below I will tell about Dublin's history and the most historic ground in Dublin, the location of Dublin Castle.
The history of Dublin dates back to approximately 8000 BC, corresponding to the Middle Stone Age. The first farmers on the site appeared in the New Stone Age, and archaeologists have found stone monuments and evidence of their culture's survivel. Later on in 930 AC Danish vikings came to Dublin, where they settled in what they called Dyflinn. Dyflinn is a corruption of Dubhlinn, which is a contraction of Dubh Linn. Dubh Linn means Black Pool in Irish and the reason why it was named like that is that at the place where the vikings settled there was a river called The River Pod-dle. Before it ran out into The River Liffey, it passed a pool, which was very muddy so it looked as if, it was black. That is where the city got its name from. The vikings quickly found out that the location was perfect for a military base and a trading cen-tre of slaves and silver. Norwegian vikings also came to Dublin to trade goods and they built the fortress.