The annual Irish national holiday for Saint Patrick's Day has long inspired Emerald Isle-themed record challenges marking the occasion, including the world's largest Irish dance, largest gathering of people dressed as St Patrick and largest gathering of people dressed as leprechauns.
In celebration of the nation where Guinness World Records can trace much of its roots, here are a few of our favourite Irish achievements…
1. Largest gathering of people dressed as leprechauns
A total of 1,263 leprechauns – each boasting the prerequisite green top hat and waistcoat, red beard and black buckled shoes – filled the streets of Bandon in County Cork, Ireland, on 17 March 2012.
2. Largest St. Patrick's Day celebration (multiple venues)
The largest St. Patrick’s Day celebration taking place at multiple venues was promoted and monitored by Guinness, and attended by 361,077 individuals worldwide on 17 March 2012. The attempt formed part of Guinness' 'Friendliest Day of the Year' campaign, which also saw of 70,000 people pledging to celebrate the day with their friends. Venues all over the world were monitored on the day, including large celebrations in Ireland, Malaysia, Spain and the United States.
3. Largest Irish dance
The largest Irish céilí jig involved 10,036 participants at the Dublin Irish Festival organised by the City of Dublin in Dublin, Ohio, USA on 4 August 2007.
4. Largest gathering of people dressed as St Patrick
On 14 March 2013, Saint Brigid’s National School in Castleknock, Dublin celebrated the opening of a large extension to their building by inviting students to dress as Saint Patrick. An amazing 882 people took part.
5. Most players in a hurling exhibition match
Hurling is an outdoor team game that originated in Ireland and is massively popular in the region. Meelin GAA Club and Meelin Carnival (both Ireland) set a record when 911 people took part in a huge hurling exhibition game in Meelin, Cork, Ireland on 25 August 2013.
6. Most international appearances in Rugby Union
Irish former professional rugby union player Brian O’Driscoll made 141 international appearances from 12 June 1999 to 15 March 2014, playing for Ireland a remarkable 133 times and eight times for the British and Irish Lions (2001, 2005, 2009 and 2013 tours). He scored 47 international tries and won 81 matches, ending with the 22–20 victory over France that secured the 2014 Six Nations trophy.
O’Driscoll’s record breaking doesn’t stop there – he also holds the record for Most international Rugby Union caps won as captain (84) and Most appearances in a Five-Six Nations Championship career (65).
7. Longest 'Riverdance' line
The longest Riverdance line was achieved by 1,693 participants at an event organised by Abhann Productions (Ireland) in Dublin, Ireland, on 21 July 2013.
8. Most 1-2-3 Irish dance steps in 30 seconds
The most 1-2-3 Irish dance steps in 30 seconds is 43 and was achieved by Ben Carolan (Ireland) on the set of 'Elev8' (for RTÉ) in Dublin, Ireland, on 3 August 2012. The record attempt was staged as part of a segment called '101 Things To Do Before You're A Teenager', number 1 of which was breaking a world record.
9. Largest gathering of people dressed as nuns
Men and women alike had to wear strictly judged habits to mark Nunday in the Irish town of Listowel, County Kerry, on 30 June 2012. They set a new record with 1,436 nuns.
The attempt was a fundraiser for non-profit organization Pieta House (Ireland).
10. Most jump racing Champion Jockey titles
Among his many claims to greatness, Tony McCoy holds the record for the most times a single jockey has been named jump racing Champion Jockey – 19 times between 1996 to 2014.