Ireland is an island situated on the northwestern periphery of Europe which together with the neighbouring island of Great Britain to its east, makes up part of the geographical area known as IONA or the British Isles. "IONA" is a recently created abbreviation for "Islands of the North Atlantic", a term designed to avoid the political implications of the word "British".

The Island

Ireland, the island (area 84,421 km2) is split between two countries. The country called Republic of Ireland (area 70,282 km2) covers the greater part of the island, while Northern Ireland (area 14,139 km2), a part of the United Kingdom, covers the remainder and is located in the northeastern corner of the island. There is a land border of 360 km in length between the two countries.

Ireland is located between 51.5 and 55.5 degrees north latitude and between 5.5 and 10.5 degrees west longitude. The island measures 275 km at its widest point (east-west), and 486 km at its longest (north-south), and has a coastline 3,172 km in length.

The population of the island is a little over 5 million people, with the greatest population density along the eastern coast, and the lowest density along the western seaboard. 1998.gif

The Country

File:Ireland flag medium.png

Ireland is the official name of the state in the English language, while Éire is the official name of the state in the Irish language, according to the Constitution of Ireland. The official description of the state is Republic of Ireland, according to The Republic of Ireland Act, 1948.


Ireland is a small, modern, trade-dependent economy with growth averaging a robust 9% in 1995-99. Agriculture, once the most important sector, is now dwarfed by industry, which accounts for 39% of GDP and about 80% of exports and employs 28% of the labor force. Although exports remain the primary engine for Ireland's robust growth, the economy is also benefiting from a rise in consumer spending and recovery in both construction and business investment. Over the past decade, the Irish government has implemented a series of national economic programs designed to curb inflation, reduce government spending, and promote foreign investment. The unemployment rate has been halved; job creation remains a primary concern of government policy. Recent efforts have concentrated on improving workers' qualifications and the education system. Ireland joined in launching the euro currency in January 2000 along with 10 other EU nations.


The national anthem is Amhran na bhFiann (The Soldiers' Song). An understanding of Irish history also come from examination of Pádraic Pearse's poem Mise Éire.

Ireland has produced Irish traditional music, George Berkeley, James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, Guinness and many other fine things.


See also Taoiseach, President of Ireland

From the CIA World Factbook 2000:

See also:

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