Wexford Town in detail

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Birthplace of the Guinness Book of Records

During a wildfowling trip to the Slobs near Wexford in 1951, the chairman of Guinness Brewery, Sir Hugh Beaver, shot at but missed a golden plover. This provoked a spirited debate over whether it, or the red grouse, was Europe's fastest game bird. Sir Hugh realised that similar debates regularly cropped up all over the world, and that publishing definitive answers could prove profitable.

He was right about that – the first Guinness Book of Records was an immediate bestseller when it was published in 1955, and today it is itself a record-holder, as the world's biggest-selling copyrighted book – but wrong about Europe's fastest game bird (it's actually the spur-wing goose).