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Ireland (Irish Eire) is situated in northwestern
Europe, the second largest of the British Isles. It lies to the
west of Great Britain, the largest island in the archipelago. It
is separated from Great Britain to the east by the North Channel
and the Irish Sea and to the southeast by Saint George’s Channel.
The western and southern shores of Ireland meet up the North Atlantic
Ireland is divided into four provinces, Leinster, Munster, Connaught,
Ulster and into 32 counties. The capital and largest city is Dublin.
It is called the famous Emerald Isle due to its vibrant green landscapes
in the southwest region which shows visitors at first glance why
it is called the Emerald Isle. Lush green pastures stretch as far
as the eye can see, and the colorful hills are cut with meandering
streams. The Lakes of Killarney offer some of the most refreshing
natural view in the south. Visiting towns and villages, like Adare
and Kinsale, surely soothe the soul.
history has been defined in three eras since 1916. First is the
period of 1916 to 1923, a time of rebellion, civil war, and the
partition of Ireland. A treaty of independence for Ireland, which
recognized Northern Ireland as a part of the United Kingdom, was
deeply troublesome and had a profound influence on the nation’s
political and cultural life for much of the 20th century. Second
is the long era of internal closure that ensued after Ireland’s
independence. Marked by isolationism, protectionist economic policies,
and cultural nationalism, this inward-looking period lasted until
the 1950s. Third is the post-1950s period of economic expansion.
During this time Ireland emerged as an outward-looking and markedly
more prosperous country.
It is located in the Western Europe, occupying five-sixths of the
island of Ireland in the North Atlantic Ocean, west of Great Britain
Though almost all the people of Ireland speak in English, about
one-fourth also speak in Irish.
Ireland has a maritime temperate climate with little seasonal
or regional variation due to the moderating influence of the Gulf
Stream, which brings warm, moist winds from the Atlantic Ocean.
The average winter temperature ranges from 4° to 7°C (40°
to 45°F), approximately 14-Celsius degrees (25-Fahrenheit degrees)
higher than that of most other places in the same latitude in the
interior of Europe or on the eastern coast of North
Religious attachment is remarkably regular in Ireland: 85 percent
of the population is Roman Catholic. However, this figure covers
a sharp and ongoing decline in church attendance, particularly in
urban areas and among young people. At the same time, the Roman
Catholic Church in Ireland has difficulties in recruiting clergy.
Protestant groups include the Church of Ireland (Anglican) and the
Presbyterian and Methodist denominations. Ireland’s constitution
guarantees freedom of worship
Cultural heritage of Ireland has ancient roots. Human occupancy
in Ireland dates back almost 10,000 years, when Mesolithic-era hunter-fishers
occupied the island. Neolithic peoples used flint tools, and then
people from the Mediterranean region, known as the Firbolgs, used
bronze implements. Soon the Picts, also an immigrant people of the
Bronze Age arrived.
The arrival of Celts during the Iron Age, about 350 BC, introduced
a new culture to Ireland, one that would have a lasting historical
influence. Ireland was Christianized by Saint Patrick in the 5th
century AD. However, many Celtic converts followed Druidic religious
practices, and Ireland became the center of a distinctive form of
By the 18th century many Irish-born authors wrote in the English
language. However, literature in the Irish language survived, and
it continued to have a powerful influence on Ireland’s cultural
identity. In the late 19th century Irish nationalists sought to
bring about a resurgence of Celtic culture, including the Irish
language and traditional forms of music and dance. This cultural
revival inspired much new literary and artistic work, and it helped
encourage Ireland’s struggle for independence in the early
The currency in the Republic Ireland, as with most of the European
Union, is the Euro €.
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