Have you ever traveled to Ireland? Well if you’re one of the 8.6 million tourists who explore the Emerald Isle each year you may have Sir Cornelius O’Brien to thank, say our pals over at NationalGeographic.com:
Ireland’s booming tourist industry was predicted by Sir Cornelius O’Brien–a self-proclaimed descendant of legendary High King Brian Boru–who wanted to capitalize on the throngs of Victorian tourists coming to see the magnificent views from the Cliffs of Moher in County Clare. In 1835, O’Brien built his tower at the highest point of the cliffs so that visitors could stand on the roof in hopes of catching a glimpse of attractions like Galway Bay, the Twelve Pins, and the Aran Islands.
O’Brien did his part in the 17th century to promote Ireland’s prominence, and today Irish culture is celebrated on St. Patrick’s Day in celebrations around the globe. But the first St. Patrick’s Day parade was actually held in colonial New York City in 1762, when Irish immigrants in the British colonial army marched their way down to St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The parade in Dublin has only been happening, in comparison, for just over a wee 75 years.
- Nat Geo Expeditions