Ireland is one of the oldest nations and one of the youngest states in Europe. It is therefore a land of contrasts, where respect for tradition coexists with a desire for progress which in recent years has brought material progress on a scale unprecedented in its history.
This is the basic theme of the Irish Pavilion (at International Square 4), reflecting the specific character of a country which, while contributing with names such as Yeats, Shaw, Joyce and Beckett to modern literature, still draws inspiration from the art of 2000 years ago, where agriculture mainly represented here by dairy and meat products, flourishes alongside rapid and intensive industrialisation, and where the quality of life of a multitude of natural attractions and recreational facilities attracts millions of overseas visitors each year like a magnet.
Bridging the gap between antiquity and modernity, the pavilion boasts megalithic remains (2,000 years old and among the best in Europe), as well as the sophisticated products of a growing export industry. Agriculture, Ireland's oldest industry, remains one of the most important, but in recent years the country has made rapid and substantial progress in developing and diversifying the industrial sector of the economy and today Irish manufactured goods, from cosmetics to computers and crystal glassware for satellite space parts, are competing successfully, in volume and variety, on world markets. At the same time, Ireland is showcasing its unique cultural traditions and charms as a holiday destination.
Thus, the pavilion gives an important impression of the Ireland of yesterday and today with the added attraction of a restaurant where the visitor can enjoy Irish food and drink. This pavilion, in its various aspects, gives an idea of the richness of Irish life today.