irish record holders

Article updated on 17 March 2021

The annual Irish national holiday for St Patrick's Day has long inspired Emerald Isle-themed record attempts marking the occasion. 

In past years the date has seen a host of successful record attempts around the world including the world's largest Irish dance, the largest gathering of people dressed as St Patrick and the 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 favourites:

largest gathering of people dressed like leprechauns

1. Largest gathering of people dressed as leprechauns 

The largest gathering of people dressed as leprechauns was achieved by 1,263 participants in an event organised by Bandon Town (Ireland) in Bandon, Ireland. 

The attempt took place on 17 March 2012 to bring the town together to celebrate St. Patrick's Day.

2. Most sausages produced in a minute

Butcher Barry John Crowe from Cavan, Ireland, is an accomplished sausage maker. 

When he and his family realised that he had extremely speedy sausage tying skills, he decided to apply for the most sausages produced in a minute.

He achieved the record with 78 on RTE's Big Week on the Farm in April 2017, and landed himself a spot in Guinness World Records 2019.

most people dressed as st patrick

3. Largest gathering of people dressed as Saint Patrick

The largest gathering of people dressed as Saint Patrick is 882 participants and was achieved by Saint Brigid's National School (Ireland) in Castleknock, Dublin, Ireland, on 14 March 2013.


Fastest 100 m zorbing: 23.21 seconds by James Duggan 🇮🇪 ##zorbing##hamsterwheel

♬ original sound - Guinness World Records

4. Fastest 100 m zorbing

The fastest 100 m zorbing is 23.21 seconds and was achieved by James Duggan (Ireland) in Dunmanway, Cork, Ireland, on 8 September 2019.

The previous record was 26.59 seconds, achieved by formed England cricket player Andrew Flintoff (UK) in March 2012.

5. Most successful Eurovision country

Although Eurovision hasn't been kind to Ireland in recent years, the country can still proudly hold onto this title.

After wins in 1970, 1980 and 1987, it was the nineties that belonged to the Irish as they won three on the bounce between 1992 and 1994 and then again in 1996 (when Eimear Quinn performed 'The Voice'), their most recent win.

Photo credit: Graham Timmins

6. Longest recorded solitary dolphin

According to a 2019 report reviewing the world’s documented lone whales and dolphins published by cetacean charity Marine Connection, a male Atlantic bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncates) called Fungie is the longest-lived solitary dolphin with 36 years. 

He was first sighted off the coast of Dingle in County Kerry, Ireland, in 1983, and subsequently has become a much-loved symbol of the region among both locals and tourists. Fungie, who is still living off Dingle as of September 2019, is estimated to be at least 40 years old.

7. Largest traditional Irish dance

The largest Irish dance involved 10,036 participants at the Dublin Irish Festival organised by the City of Dublin in Dublin, Ohio, USA on 4 August 2007.

largest gathering of nuns

8. Largest gathering of people dressed as nuns

The largest gathering of people dressed as nuns was 1,436 and was achieved by Nunday Listowel (Ireland) in Listowel, County Kerry, Ireland, on 30 June 2012.

9. 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.

AP Mccoy

10. Most jump racing Champion Jockey titles

Among his many claims to greatness, AP McCoy holds the record for the most jump racing Champion Jockey titles – 20 times between 1996 to 2015.

11. Best selling act with no concert appearances

Irish singer/songwriter Enya, has sold 70 million albums around the world since going solo in 1988, despite having never performed a solo concert.

12. Largest breakfast cereal consumption per capita

In 2011 Ireland consumed an average of 8.1 kg (17 lb 13 oz) of breakfast cereal per capita. To put this into perspective, the global average was 0.6 kg (1 lb 5 oz) and the average in the USA was 4.4 kg (9 lb 11 oz)

Between 1998 and 2000, Ireland also had the largest tea consumption per capita with 2.69 kg (5 lb 14 oz) per capita, which is approximately 1,184 cups per person each year, before the country lost the record to Paraguay. 

13. Largest attendance at a Rugby Union World Cup match

In 2015 Irish rugby fans helped achieve this record when Ireland played Romania in front of 89,267 spectators at Wembley Stadium in London, UK, beating the previous record of 89,019 set just days earlier when New Zealand and Argentina met at the same location.

One of Irish rugby's favourite sons also held the record for the most international appearances in Rugby Union; Brian O'Driscoll turned out for his country 133 times and for the British and Irish Lions for a further eight matches between 1999 and 2014, bringing the total number to 141.

He held this record until New Zealand's Richie McGaw retired the  following year after playing 148 matches for the All Blacks.

14. Tallest windmill

The tallest windmill in the world is the St Patrick's Distillery Mill in Dublin, Republic of Ireland, now without sails. It is 45.7 m (150 ft) tall.

15. Largest gathering of people dressed as the Hulk

The largest gathering of people dressed as the Hulk was achieved by 574 participants at the Muckno Mania Festival (Ireland), Castleblayney, Ireland, on 13 July 2012.

16. Oldest Moon map

A series of carvings on a rock at Knowth, in the valley of the River Boyne, has been identified as the most ancient Moon map discovered to date. It is estimated to have been carved around 5,000 years ago.