Ireland Travel Information

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Ireland > Map Economy History

Cork
Dublin
Galway
Kilkenny
Killarney
Limerick
Sligo
Tralee

Facts About Ireland

Background: A failed 1916 Easter Monday Rebellion touched off several years of guerrilla warfare that in 1921 resulted in independence from the UK for the 26 southern counties; the six northern counties (Ulster) remained part of Great Britain. In 1948 Ireland withdrew from the British Commonwealth; it joined the European Community in 1973. Irish governments have sought the peaceful unification of Ireland and have cooperated with Britain against terrorist groups. A peace settlement for Northern Ireland, approved in 1998, was implemented the following year.
Government type: republic
Capital: Dublin
Currency: euro (EUR)

Geography of Ireland

Location: Western Europe, occupying five-sixths of the island of Ireland in the North Atlantic Ocean, west of Great Britain
Geographic coordinates: 53 00 N, 8 00 W
Area:
total: 70,280 sq km
land: 68,890 sq km
water: 1,390 sq km
Land boundaries:
total: 360 km
border countries: UK 360 km
Coastline: 1,448 km
Maritime claims:
continental shelf: not specified
exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm
Climate: temperate maritime; modified by North Atlantic Current; mild winters, cool summers; consistently humid; overcast about half the time
Terrain: mostly level to rolling interior plain surrounded by rugged hills and low mountains; sea cliffs on west coast
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Carrauntoohil 1,041 m
Natural resources: zinc, lead, natural gas, barite, copper, gypsum, limestone, dolomite, peat, silver
Land use:
arable land: 13%
permanent crops: 0%
permanent pastures: 68%
forests and woodland: 5%
other: 14% (1993 est.)
Environment - current issues: water pollution, especially of lakes, from agricultural runoff
Environment - international agreements:
party to:  Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified:  Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Endangered Species, Marine Life Conservation
Geography - note: strategic location on major air and sea routes between North America and northern Europe; over 40% of the population resides within 97 km of Dublin

People of Ireland

The Irish people are mainly of Celtic origin, with the country's only significant sized minority having descended from the Anglo-Normans. English is the common language, but Irish (Gaelic) also is an official language and is taught in the schools.

Population: 4,015,676 (July 2005 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years:  21.57% 
15-64 years:  67.08%
65 years and over:  11.35%
Population growth rate: 1.12% 
Birth rate: 14.57 births/1,000 population 
Death rate: 8.07 deaths/1,000 population 
Net migration rate: 4.69 migrant(s)/1,000 population 
Infant mortality rate: 5.53 deaths/1,000 live births 
Life expectancy at birth:
total population:  76.99 years
male:  74.23 years
female:  79.93 years 
Total fertility rate: 1.9 children born/woman 
Nationality:
noun: Irishman(men), Irishwoman(women), Irish (collective plural)
adjective: Irish
Ethnic groups: Celtic, English
Religions: Roman Catholic 91.6%, Church of Ireland 2.5%, other 5.9% (1998)
Languages: English is the language generally used, Irish (Gaelic) spoken mainly in areas located along the western seaboard
Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 98% (1981 est.)

SOURCES: The World Factbook, U.S. Department of State

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