What Are Five Interesting Facts About Ireland?

Ireland has been inhabited for more than 7,000 years, and, as of 2015, it was home to roughly 4 million people. It was not until the British took control of the government that a single entity ruled the entire land and implemented the rules of feudalism. As the legend says, Ireland really is snake-free; it also lacks populations of other common animals. Finally, the Titanic's last port of call was in Cobh.

Though St. Patrick was said to have driven the snakes out of Ireland, it is actually Ireland's island status that kept them from ever settling there in the first place. Similarly, no species of moles, polecats, weasels or roe deer live there, despite being common in other parts of Europe.

Prior to the British taking control of the island, Ireland was ruled by several chieftains who were only nominally united under a single High King, who was based at Tara. It is possible that this is also why Ireland was among the last areas in Europe to adopt feudalism. The chiefs and clans oversaw all aspects of pre-British rule, so there were no serfs, but they did practice slavery, and Ireland was among the last countries to abolish the practice.

Finally, Cobh, Ireland, then known as Queenstown, was the Titanic's last port of call before she set sail into the North Atlantic. The ship had been built in the Belfast dockyards, but stopped in the County Cork town to deliver and pick up mail and to take on 123 additional passengers. Of them, only 44 survived. The city now boasts a large Titanic museum on its waterfront, in addition to a memorial to those who died on board.