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Saturday 19 April 2014

Our world-beaters

From plucking turkeys to the world's biggest Riverdance, Ireland has had its fair share of record-breakers over the years. With the 'Guinness Book of World Records' celebrating its 50th birthday, Catherine Troy lists some of Ireland's great (and not-so-great) achievements

Largest alcohol consumption per capita: The country with the largest per capita consumption of alcohol is Ireland, with 12.3 litres (21.6 pints) of pure alcohol per person, according to surveys done in 2000.

Biggest literary prize: The International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award carries a prize of ?100,000.

Fastest game of Operation: The British Association of Urological Surgeons completed a game of Operation in one minute and two seconds on June 28, 2001, in Dublin.

Fastest time to drink one pint of stout: Patrick Carelli drank a pint of Guinness stout in 2.94 seconds at Keeling's Bar in Donabate, Dublin, on March 31, 2001.

Fastest time to drink two pints of stout: Patrick Carelli drank two pints of Guinness stout in 6.9 seconds at Keeling's Bar in Donabate, Dublin, on March 31, 2001.

Fastest time to pluck a turkey: Vincent Pilkington of Cootehill, Co Cavan, plucked a turkey in one minute and 30 seconds on RTE television in Dublin on November 17, 1980.

Youngest canine winner in gundog trials: The world record for the youngest dog ever to win a gundog trial was a black Labrador puppy, Surprise of Triple Crown, owned by Robert O'Farrell, who came first at the Gundog Trial Stakes, Birr, Co Offaly, on December 6, 1971.

Largest Riverdance: The largest simultaneous Riverdance consisted of 1,032 people dancing along the banks of the canal in Vicarstown, Co Laois, on April 30, 2000.

Largest drum: The world's largest drum is the 'Ireland Millennium Drum', which has a diameter of 4.72 metres and is 1.91 metres deep.

Largest duck egg: The largest duck egg measured 14cm in height, with a circumference of 20cm, and weighed just over 227g. The egg was laid in November 1999 by a White Peking duck owned by Willie and Kitty Costello of Tuam, Co Galway.

Largest fishing vessel: The 145.6m (477.7ft), 14,055grt Irish-registered trawler, Atlantic Dawn, is the world's largest fishing vessel.

Largest floral arrangement (number of blooms): The Irish Cancer Society created a floral sculpture with 37,500 daffodils on March 23, 2000. It measured five metres (16ft), was portable and covered with a single sheet of cellophane bound by a giant bow.

Largest quiz: The largest quiz ever held at one location was attended by 888 participants at the Radisson SAS Hotel, Galway, on October 14, 2003.

Largest rugby tour: The largest rugby tour consisted of 264 players and coaches from Ealing Rugby Club (UK), who played matches in Ireland between April 11-14, 2003.

Largest simultaneous yo-yo: The world's largest simultaneous yo-yo involved 426 people all yo-yoing continually for two minutes at the RDS, Dublin, on June 13, 2002.

Largest temporary coin mural: On December 4, 2001, Foroige created a temporary coin mural measuring 706.5 metres square (a circle of 30m diameter), displayed at the National Museum, Collins Barracks, in Dublin.

Largest Wellington boot race: Held since 1981, the New Year's Day Castlecomer Race in Co Kilkenny is run over a 6.4km (4-mile) circuit and has a turn-out of more than 400 runners, wearing Wellington boots.

Longest distance flight by a model aircraft: Maynard Hill, Barrett Foster and David Brown (all American) flew a piston-engined radio-controlled model called The Spirit of Butts' Farm a distance of 3,030km (1,882.7 miles) from Cape Spear, Newfoundland, Canada, to Mannin Beach, Ireland, without refuelling or landing on August 11, 2003.

Longest duration flight by a model aircraft: Hill, Foster and Brown flew the The Spirit of Butts' Farm (TAM-5) from Cape Spear, Newfoundland, Canada, to Mannin Beach, Co Galway, in a flight lasting 38 hours, 52 minutes and 19 seconds on August 11, 2003.

Most Isle of Man Tourist Trophy Race wins in a career: The most Isle of Man TT race wins in a career is 26 by Joey Dunlop (1952-2000) of Ballymoney, Co Antrim, between 1977 and 2000.

Most Isle of Man TT Race wins in a year: The most Isle of Man TT races won in one year is four (Formula One, Senior, Junior and Production classes) by Phillip McCallen (Ireland) in 1996.

Longest play: John Arden and Margaretta D'Arcy wrote The Non-Stop Connolly Show, which has a text length of 14 hours and which took a full 26 hours to perform at the Liberty Hall in Dublin at Easter, 1975.

Longest-serving altar boy: Tommy Kinsella of Bray in Co Wicklow began serving Mass in the Church of the Holy Redeemer, Bray, in April 1917 and continued in the same church for 81 years until his death in 1999.

Loudest roar for an outdoor stadium sports crowd: A peak reading of 125.4dBA was recorded during the Ireland v Scotland rugby union international at Lansdowne Road, Dublin, on February 7, 1998.

Largest attendance at a Gaelic football match: The record crowd for a Gaelic football game is 90,556 for the Down vs Offaly final in Croke Park, Dublin, in 1961.

Longest hit in a hurling contest: The greatest distance for a 'lift and stroke' hit is 118m (129yds), credited to Tom Murphy of Three Castles, Kilkenny, in the 'long puck' contest held in 1906.

Largest attendance for a hurling match: The largest crowd ever to attend a hurling match was 84,865 for the All-Ireland final between Cork and Wexford at Croke Park, Dublin, in 1954.

Most oysters eaten in three minutes: Rune Naeri (Norway) ate 187 oysters in three minutes as part of the World Oyster Eating Championship at the Hillsborough International Oyster Festival, Co Down, on September 6, 2003.

Most public appearances by a pop band in 36 hours: The greatest number of public appearances by a pop band in 36 hours in different cities is five by Westlife from November 10 to 11, 2002.

Most targets shot in eight hours (30m range): The most 40mm (1.57ins) targets shot in eight hours from 30 metres (98.42ft) with a spring-powered air rifle is 1,738 by Christopher Suttey at the GAA club at Tournafulla in Limerick on March 30, 2002.

Most skips in 24 hours (individual): Jim Payne skipped a record 141,221 jumps of a rope in 24 hours at City Square, Waterford, from March 26 to 27, 2004.

Most successful Eurovision country: The country with the most Eurovision Song Contest wins is Ireland, which has won the event on seven occasions.

Most points by an individual in a Six Nations match: The most points scored by an individual in an international championship match is 30 by Ronan O'Gara for Ireland (60) against Italy (13) at Lansdowne Road, Dublin, on March 4, 2000.

Most trees planted in one hour: The most trees planted in one hour is 2,000 oak trees and was carried out by 100 people from Balla, Co Mayo, on January 1, 2000.

Most veteran tractors ploughing simultaneously: The greatest number of veteran tractors (i.e. older than 30 years) to plough the same field simultaneously is 1,833, at the Working 1800 event at Cooley, Co Louth, on August 4, 2002.

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

Oldest solo pilot helicopter flight: David Tyndall completed a helicopter solo flight at the age of 82, over Kildare on July 30, 1999.

Fastest one-mile speed march with 40lb pack: Paddy Doyle covered a distance of one mile with a rucksack weighing 40lb (18.1kg) on his back in five minutes and 35 seconds at Ballycotton, Co Cork, on March 7, 1993.

Longest punch-bag marathon: The record for a punch-bag marathon is 24 hours and 16 minutes and was set by Irishman Eunan Devenney at the Ballybofey and Stranorlar Boxing Club, Donegal, from May 25 to 26, 2001.

Highest sheaf tossing: The world record for sheaf tossing is 18m and 33cm (60ft 2in) high for an 3.62kg (8lb) sheaf, which was achieved by Michael O'Brien at the Irish National Ploughing Championships, Ballacolla, Co Laois, on September 26, 2002.

Longest softball game: The longest game of softball played was one of 55 hours and 11 minutes at St Mary's Rugby Club in Templeogue, Dublin, from April 30 to May 2, 2004.

Most valuable flag: The Royal Standard rescued by Sir Ernest Shackleton from his doomed ship 'Endurance' in 1915 became the most valuable flag when it was bought by an anonymous buyer at Christie's, London, in September 2002 for ?167,448.

Most straight arm pullovers (two 56lb weights): The greatest number of consecutive lifts of two half-hundred weights with straight arms while lying on the back is 35 by Con Griffin at Rylane, Co Cork, on April 6, 2001.

Tallest foxglove: In 1997 Lydia Foy grew a foxglove measuring a total height of 3.29m (10ft, 10in) in her garden at Athy, Co Kildare.

Tallest man: The tallest Irishman was Patrick Cotter O'Brien (1760-1806), born in Kinsale, Co Cork, who measured 2.46m (8ft, 1in).

Biggest tea consumption: Between 1998 and 2000 the country with the greatest annual consumption of tea was Ireland, with 2.69kg (5lb, 14oz) per capita - about 1,184 cups per person each year.

Fastest time to run 100 miles (treadmill): The record for the fastest time to run 100 miles on a treadmill is held by Richard Donovan who completed that distance in 17 hours, 46 minutes and six seconds at Barcuba, Galway, on July 31, 2003.

Fastest time to run 100km (treadmill): The fastest time to run 100km (62.13 miles) on a treadmill is nine hours, 25 minutes and 37 seconds by Richard Donovan at Barcuba, Galway, on July 31, 2003.

Greatest distance covered in 48 hours (treadmill): The record for the greatest distance travelled on a treadmill in 48 hours is 372.08km (231.2 miles), which was set by Tony Mangan at the RDS, Dublin, from October 24 to 26, 2003.

Youngest elected US president: John F Kennedy (US), the Democratic victor in the 1960 US presidential election was, at the age of 43, the youngest man ever to win the American presidency. Winning by a narrow margin in the popular vote, Kennedy became the first Roman Catholic president. He was also the youngest president to die in office.

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