IRELANDIreland known as the emerald isle Ireland is a rich countrywith lots of interesting things to do.Ireland is located northwest of Europe, part of the Britishislands, the surface of the island is 84,421 km ² The westernlandscape mostly consists of rugged cliffs, hills andmountains. The central lowlands are extensively coveredwith glacial deposits of sand and lakes and its travesed bythe River Shannon, which is the longest river in Ireland. Thewest coast have numerous islands, peninsulas, headlandsand bays.There are moreless five millions of habitants in Ireland, hemost populous urban areas in Ireland are: Dublin(Capital) ,Cork,Limerick, Galway and Waterford. Irish is thenational language, but English is the dominant language,Irish is spoken as a community language only in a smallnumber of rural areas and as a result of immigration, Polishis one of the most widely spoken languages in Ireland.
The average life expectancy in Ireland is 79.2 years, It hasthe highest birth rate in the EU and a very low infantmortality rate.Religious freedom is constitutionally provided for in Ireland.Christianity is the predominant religion, with the RomanCatholic Church as the largest church with 86.8% of thepopulation. Irelands patronsaints are Saint Patrick, Saint Bridget and Saint Columba.Saint Patrick is the patron saint. Saint Patricks Day iscelebrated on 17 March in Ireland and abroad as the Irishnational day, with parades and other celebrations. Much ofthe Irish calendar still today reflects the old pagan customs.The mythology of pre-Christian Ireland did not entirelysurvive the conversion to Christianity, but much of it waspreserved, shorn of its religious meanings, in medieval Irishliterature, The Leprechaun is one of the most famous Irishculture character,A fairy type creature in emerald greenclothing who when not playing tricks spend all their timebusily making shoes, the Leprechaun is said to have a pot ofgold hidden at the end of the rainbow, and if ever capturedby a human it has the magical power to grant three wishesin exchange for release.Halloween is a traditional and much celebrated holiday inIreland on the night of October 31.According to some
historians it has its roots in the gaelic festival Samhain,where the Gaels believed the border between this worldand the otherworld became thin, and the dead would revisitthe mortal world.Irish traditional music has remained vibrant, despiteglobalising cultural forcesbut Ireland has also producedmany internationally known artists in other genres, such asrock, pop, jazz, and blues, including The Corrs, TheCranberries, Thin Lizzy, U2.... Gaelicfootball and hurling are the traditional sports of Ireland aswell as Rugby, Cricket, Golf and athetlics.From the Act of Union on 1 January 1801 until 6 December1922, the island of Ireland was part of the United Kingdom.In January 1919 a Declaration of Independence was issuedand proclaimed an Irish Republic. The Irish Civil War was theconsequence of the creation of the Irish Free State.On 29December 1937, the new Constitution of Ireland came intoforce.Ireland was technically a member of the British untilthe declaration of a republic on 18 April 1949.Irelandbecame a member of the United Nations in December 1955.