Snakes in Ireland?

The legend goes that Saint Patrick chased Ireland's snakes into the sea in the fifth century after they attacked him during a 40-day fast atop a hill, leaving the isle free of slithering creatures once and for all. While it's true that the country is devoid of native snake species, just like a few other places around the globe (including Iceland, New Zealand and Greenland), Saint Patrick can't take the credit. 

"A lot of people think St Patrick banished snakes from Ireland ... well, there were never snakes in Ireland [in the first place]

In fact, reptiles in general are in short supply. Ireland can lay claim to only a single native reptile, the common (or viviparous) lizard. As for any snake-resembling creatures, if you're in the Burren region in County Clare, you might just spot a slow worm (Anguis fragilis) – but it's believed that these limbless burrowing lizards were actually introduced in Ireland fairly recently.

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