"What whiskey will not cure, there is no cure for." - Irish Proverb
Whilst the Scots take bragging rights over their neighbours for creating whisky, the term "whisky" itself is derived from a Gaelic term meaning "water of life" - typical of the Irish, it could be said.
Ireland is also home to the oldest licenced distillery in the world, being Bushmills, which received its licence in 1608. The Irish whiskey industry once boomed and was THE most popular spirit in the world, but crashed to house only 3 distilleries in the 1890's and has since flourished once again from the last century onwards.
One noticeable difference between scotch and irish whiskey is that peat is very rarely used in the malting process in Ireland, leading to a smoother finish rather than the smoky and earthy overtones common in some scotches.
Like Scotch whisky, Irish whiskey must be produced entirely in Ireland, have an ABV (alcohol by volume percentage) of 40+ and have no added ingredients other than water and caramel. Irish whiskeys can exist as single pot still, single malt, single grain or blended.