Ireland is an island to the north-west of continental
It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentiethlargest island on Earth.
To its east is the island of Great Britain, from which it is
separated by the Irish Sea.
Location : Western Europe or Northern
Area: 84, 421 km2
Capital City : Dublin
Politically, the island is divided
between Ireland, a sovereign state
also called the Republic of
Ireland, and Northern Ireland, a
constituent country of the United
They share an open border and both
are part of the Common Travel Area.
Both Ireland and the United
Kingdom are members of
the European Union, and as a
consequence there is free movement
of people , goods , services and
capital across the border.
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND
The Republic of Ireland is a parliamentary democracy
based on the Westminister model with a written
constution and a popularly elected president who has mostly
The Government is headed by a prime minister, who is
appointed by the President on the nomination of the lower
house of parliament.
Ireland today ranks amongst the wealthiest countries in the
world in terms of GDP per capital and in 2011 was ranked
the seventh most developed nation in the world by the
United Nations' Human Development Index.
The predominant religion in Ireland
is Christianity, with the largest church
being the Roman Catholic Church.
Ireland's constitution states that the
state may not endorse any particular
religion and guarantees freedom of
Although the majority of the Irish
population is Christian, the country is
religiously pluralistic. The
country's Hindu and Muslim population
s have experienced significant growth
in recent years, due chiefly to
There are two currencies in use on the island of Ireland. In
the Republic of Ireland, the official currency is the euro.
In Northern Ireland, pound sterling is the local currency.
Ireland has an ancient industry based on peat (known
locally as "sod" or "turf") as a source of energy for home
Renawable energy such as wind power has increased
FLORA AND FAUNA
As Ireland was isolated from mainland Europe by rising
sea levels after the ice age, it has less diverse animal and
plant species than either Great Britain or mainland Europe.
There are 55 mamal species in Ireland and of them only 26
land mammal species are considered native to Ireland. ome
species, such as, the red fox, hedgehog and badger, are
very common, whereas others, like the Irish hare, red
deer and pine marten are less so.
Aquatic wildlife, such as species of sea
turtle, shark, seal, whale, and dolphin, are common off the
About 400 species of birds have been recorded in Ireland.
Many of these are migratory, including the Barn Swallow.
Several different habita types are found in Ireland, including
farmland, open woodland, temperate broadleaf and mixed
forests, conifer plantations, peat bogs and a variety of
However, agriculture drives current land use patterns in
Ireland, limiting natural habitat preserves,particularly for
larger wild mammals with greater territorial needs.
With no top predator in Ireland, populations of
animals, such as semi-wild deer, that cannot be controlled
by smaller predators, such as the fox, are controlled by
The Republic lies in 42nd place (out of 55) in a list of the
most forested countries in Europe.
Much of the land is now covered with pasture and there are
many species of wild-flower.
Because of its mild climate, many species, including subtropical species such as palm trees, are grown in Ireland.
People have lived in Ireland for over 9,000 years, although
only a limited amount is known about the
palaeolithic, neolithic and Bronze Age inhabitants of the
The population of Ireland rose rapidly from the 16th
century until the mid-19th century, but a
devastatingfamine in the 1840s caused one million deaths
and forced over one million more to emigrate in its
Over the following century the population was reduced by
over half, at a time when the general trend in European
countries was for populations to rise by an average of three-
DIVISIONS AND SETTLEMENTS
Traditionally, Ireland is subdivided
into fourprovinces: Connacht (west),
Leinster (east), Munster (south), an
d Ulster (north).
Ireland has 32 traditional counties.
Twenty-six of these counties are in
the Republic of Ireland and six are
in Northern Ireland. The six counties
that constitute Northern Ireland are
all in the province of Ulster (which
has nine counties in total.)
Dublin, with over 1 million
residents in the Greater Dublin
Area, is the largest city on the
Two main languages are spoken in
Ireland: Irish and English. Both languages have widely
contributed to literature.
Irish also known as Irish Gaelic or Gaelic,is a Goidelic
language of the Indo-European language family, originating
in Ireland and historically spoken by the Irish people.
Less than 10% of the population of the Republic of Ireland
today speak Irish regularly outside of the education system
and 38% of those over 15 years are classified as "Irish
Since the 1960s with the increase in immigration, many
more languages have been introduced, particularly deriving
from Asia and Eastern Europe.
Ireland's culture comprises elements of the culture of
ancient peoples, later immigrant and broadcast cultural
Ireland is regarded as one of the Celtic nations of Europe
and this combination of cultural influences is visible in the
intricate designs termed Irish interlace or Celtic knotwork.
The style is still popular today in jewellery and graphic
art,as is the distinctive style of traditional Irish music and
dance, and has become indicative of modern "Celtic" culture
The national holiday in the
Republic of Ireland is Saint Patrick's
Day, 17 March and is marked by
parades and festivals in cities and
towns across the island of
Ireland, and by the Irish diaspora
around the world.
The Leprechaun has been
estimated to figure to a large degree
in Irish folklore mainly due to
popularity overseas, particularly in
the United States of America.
The island's most widely known literary works are
undoubtedly in English. Particularly famous examples of
such works are those of James Joyce, Bram
Stoker,Jonathan Swift, Oscar Wilde and Ireland's four
winners of the Nobel Prize for Literature; William Butler
Yeats, George Bernard Shaw, Samuel Beckett and Seamus
The Irish tradition of folk music and dance is also widely
known. In the middle years of the 20th century, as Irish
society was attempting to modernise, traditional Irish
music fell out of favour to some extent, especially in urban
Irish traditional music sessions are
Irish dancing is popular all over the world
Popular Irish beer (Guinnes)
Irish coffee a cocktail consisting of hot coffee, Irish
whiskey, and sugar
Pub culture pervades Irish society, across all cultural
divides. The term refers to the Irish habit of
frequentingpublic houses (pubs) or bars.
Traditional pub culture is concerned with more than just
drinking, even though Ireland has a recognised problem with
over-consumption of alcohol. In 2003, Ireland had the
second-highest per capita alcohol consumption in the world.
Typically pubs are important meeting places, where people
can gather and meet their neighbours and friends in a
relaxed atmosphere; similar to the cafe cultures of other
Pubs vary widely according to the clientele they serve, and
the area they are in. Best known, and loved amongst
tourists is the traditional pub, with its traditional Irish
music (or "trad music"), tavern-like warmness, and
memorabilia filling it. Often such pubs will also serve
Sport on the island of Ireland is popular and widespread.
Throughout the island a wide variety of sports are
played, the most popular being Gaelic
football, hurling, rugby union, soccer and hockey.
Gaelic football is the most popular sport in Ireland in terms
of match attendance and community involvement.