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Dublin: 6 °C Saturday 20 December, 2014

It’s official: Ireland is a Third World country*

*But it’s probably not what you think.

WE’VE ALL HEARD jokes about it. Some of us may have thought it. Michael Noonan has denied it in the strongest terms, during those nightmares when he’s answering questions from Mario Draghi in the nude.

But visitors to Wikipedia may be surprised to learn that Ireland is, in fact, a Third World country.

Anyone visiting the entry for the Third World is presented with a map which clearly shows the First (blue), Second (red) and Third (green) worlds. See us there in shining emerald?

Image: Wikimedia Commons

But before we tool up with pitchforks and flaming torches for the trip over to Jimmy Wales’s gaff, let’s pause for a little history lesson.

Wikipedia helpfully informs us that the term Third World arose during the Cold War, when it referred not to economic development but to military and political alliances. So basically any country allied to the US was First World, any allied to Russia was Second World, and any neutral or non-aligned country (like us!) was Third World.

So there we go. Ireland is officially a Third World country. But not in the bad way.

VIDEO: The drive across Ireland… in just 219 seconds>

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