What you may not know is that Ireland also has a long history with the joys of bingo, and here we are going to examine how the game has developed in the country through the years. After that, it will then be time to take a look at some of the Irish-themed bingo calls that have also become a staple of the game in many areas.

Irish bingo history

It is widely accepted that the story of bingo begins back in Italy in the 1500s, when people played Lo Giuoco del Lotto D’Italia in local exclusive clubs Fast forward a few years, and variations of the game start to pop up across Europe and the rest of the world, with the definitive modern take arguably emerging in the US in the 1920s. A toymaker called Edwin S Lowe watched a game called beano being played, and chose to create his own version, with one player allegedly shouting ‘bingo’ by accident as the game reached a conclusion. The rest, as they say, is history.

Many attribute the game’s success in Ireland to the Catholic Church, which apparently set about driving it forward around the 1950s and 1960s. The baton was then taken on by the Gael Linn organization, which established bingo operations as it pushed on with its own efforts to promote and raise awareness of the Irish language.

Irish bingo – Embraced by many

Over the years, the pastime went on to become more and more popular in a range of different circles. For instance, the game developed a significant following in the country’s gay community through the decades, thanks to famous nights including Bingo games with Shirley Temple Bar at The George nightclub in Dublin. According to the Irish Times, profits made from bingo were even used to produce the Miss Eire pageant at one point too, while the entire nation has also taken the game to their hearts thanks to Telly Bingo. Essentially the Irish National Lottery, it is broadcast on TV and functions in a similar manner to a classic game of bingo.

Finally, if you wanted any further proof of Ireland’s extensive bingo credentials, then look no further than the fact that the country is apparently home to the biggest bingo card in the world. According to the Irish Examiner, the Rock Bingo Hall in Togher is home to the card, which measures nine by four meters – roughly 1,000 times larger than a standard card.

Shifting relationship

Understandably, as the years have gone by, Ireland’s relationship with bingo has shifted. Like in many countries, the emergence of online forms of the game has changed how some people choose to play, while it has also opened the pastime up for a whole new audience to experience it for the very first time.

Now available on PC, as well as smartphones, and tablets, people across Ireland are able to play bingo whenever they like.

Ireland’s bingo call inspiration

So, while Ireland has clearly liked bingo now for a great number of years, has the country ever gone on to inspire any of the bingo calls used within the game? For the most part, the bingo calls commonly used in Ireland tend to be the traditional phrases used elsewhere in the UK. However, there are a couple which may well ensure Irish eyes are smiling during a round of the game.

A famous name

The bingo call most obviously related to Ireland would probably be the one often used to highlight the number 52 – ‘Danny La Rue’. The entertainer born Daniel Patrick Carroll was much loved and enjoyed a hugely successful career across stage and screen up until his death in 2009. He was born in Cork and moved to London at a young age, before then going on to hone his famous female impersonator routine. The fact his name is used as a bingo call is perhaps a testament to just how popular his work was, with it forever cementing his place in popular culture.

A legendary link

While there are no other bingo calls obviously inspired by famous names or culture from Ireland, one which might catch the eye is number 55 – also known as ‘Snakes Alive’. Snakes of course have an interesting link to Ireland, considering it is said that the country’s patron saint St Patrick apparently banished every single one of them from the country many centuries ago. Why? Because they attacked him during a 40-day fast. Debate may rage on amongst experts as to whether Ireland has ever been home to snakes, but the creatures at least get a namecheck every now-and-again when people across the country are playing a game of bingo.

Play Irish bingo today

It is probably not a surprise to discover that many people in Ireland have tried their hand at bingo through the years. Now, however, it is your turn.

If you fancy some Irish-themed action, then why not take a look at our slots. Alternatively, if you’re seeking some classic bingo action, sign up today and discover which of our promotions you can take advantage of.