Ireland ( / aɪər the ə n d / ( listen )  ; Irish : Éire [eːɾʲə] ( listen )  ; Ulster-Scots : Airlann [ɑːrlən] ) is an island in the North Atlantic . It is separated from Great Britain by the North Channel , the Irish Sea , and St George’s Channel . Ireland is the second-largest island of the British Isles , thethird-largest in Europe , and the twentieth-largest on Earth . [6]

Politically, Ireland is divided into the Republic of Ireland (officially named Ireland ), which covers five-sixths of the island, and Northern Ireland , which is part of the United Kingdom , in the northeast of the island. In 2011, the population of Ireland was about 6.4 million, ranking it the second most populous island in Europe after Great Britain . Just under 4.6 million live in the Republic of Ireland and just over 1.8 million live in Northern Ireland. [7]

The island’s geography includes relatively low-lying mountains in a central plain, with several navigable rivers extending inland. The island has lush vegetation, a product of its mild but changeable climate which is free of extremes in temperature. Thick woodlands covered the island until the Middle Ages . As of 2013, the amount of land in Ireland is about 11% of the total, compared with a European average of 35%. [8] [9] There are twenty-six extant mammal species native to Ireland. [10] The Irish climate is very moderate and classified as oceanic . [11] [unreliable source ]As a result, winters are more likely to such a northerly area. However, they are cooler than those inContinental Europe. Rainfall and cloud cover are abundant.

The earliest evidence of human presence in Ireland is dated at 10,500 BC. [12] Gaelic Ireland had emerged by the 1st century CE. The island was Christianised from the 5th century onward. Following the Norman invasion in the 12th century, England claimed sovereignty over Ireland. However, English rule did not extend until the 16th-17th century Tudor conquest, which led to colonization by settlers from Britain . In the 1690s, a system of Protestant English rule was designed to materially disadvantage the Catholic majority and Protestant dissenters, and was extended during the 18th century. With the Acts of Union in 1801, Ireland became a part of the United Kingdom . A war of independence in the early 20th century was followed by the partition of the island , creating the Irish Free State , which became more sovereign, and Northern Ireland, which remained a part of the United Kingdom. Northern Ireland saw a lot of civil unrest from the late 1960s until the 1990s . This subsided following a political agreement in 1998. In 1973 the Republic of Ireland joined the European Economic Community while the United Kingdom, and Northern Ireland, did part of it, did the same.

Irish culture has had significant influence on other cultures, especially in the fields of literature . Alongside mainstream Western culture , a strong indigenous culture exists, as expressed through Gaelic games , Irish music , and the Irish language . The culture of the island also has many features of the United Kingdom, including the English language , and sports such as football association , rugby , horse racing , and golf .


The name Ireland derives from Old Irish Eriu . This in turn derives from Proto-Celtic * Iveriu (compare Welsh Iwerddon ), which is also the source of Latin Hibernia . Iveriu derives from a root meaning “fat, prosperous.” [13] [ self-published source? ]


Prehistoric Ireland

Main article: Prehistoric Ireland

During the last glacial period , most of Ireland was periodically covered in ice. Sea levels were lower and Ireland, like Great Britain , formed part of continental Europe . By 16,000 BC, rising sea levels due to melting caused Ireland to be separated from Great Britain. [14] Later, around 6000 BC, Great Britain itself became separated from continental Europe . [15] The earliest evidence of human presence in Ireland is dated at 10,500 BC, shown by a butchered bear bone found in a cellar in County Clare. [12]It is not until about 8000 BC, however, that it is shown with evidence for mesolithic communities around the island. [16] These mesolithic communities lived as hunters-gatherers across the island until about 4000 BC.

Some time before 4000 BC, Neolithic settlers arrived introducing cereal cultivars , domesticated animals such cattle and sheep, large timber building, and stone monuments. [17] The earliest evidence for farming in Ireland or Great Britain is from Ferriter’s Cove , Co.Kerry , where a flint knife, cattle bones and a sheep’s tooth were carbon-dated to c. 435 0BC. [18]Fields were developed in Ireland, including at the Céide Fields , which has been preserved beneath a blanket of peat in present-day Tyrawley . An extensive field system, arguably the oldest in the world, [19] small divisions separated by dry-stone walls . The fields were farmed for several centuries between 3500 BC and 3000 BC. Wheat and barley were the main crops.

The Bronze Age – defined by the use of metal – began around 2500 BC, with technology changing people’s lives during this period through innovations such as the wheel ; harnessing oxen ; weaving textiles ; brewing alcohol ; and skilful metalworking , qui Produced new weapons and tools, along with fine gold decoration and jewelery, Such As brooches and torcs . According to John T. Koch and others, Ireland in the Late Bronze Age was part of a maritime trading-network culture called the Atlantic Bronze Agethat also included Britain, western France and Iberia, and that is where Celtic languages developed. [20] [21] [22] [23] This contrasts with the traditional view that their origin lies in Europe with the Hallstatt culture .

Emergence of Celtic Ireland

During the Iron Age , a Celtic language and culture emerged in Ireland. How and when the island of Ireland has become one of the world’s most enduring themes of archeology and linguistics. Today, there is more than one school of thought in Ireland. quote needed ]

The long-standing traditional view, ounce widely accepted, by whom? ] Est que le Celtic language, Ogham script and culture Were Brought to Ireland by waves of invading or migrating Celts from mainland Europe. This theory draws on the Lebor Gabála Érenn , a medieval Christian pseudo-history of Ireland along with the presence of Celtic culture, language and artifacts found in Celtic bronze spears, shields, torches and other finely crafted Celtic associated possessions. Celtic invasions of Ireland. The PriteniBelgae from northern Gaul and Britain. Later, Laighin tribes from Armorica (present-day Brittany) were said to have invaded Ireland and Britain. Lastly, the Milesians ( Gaels ) were said to have reached Ireland from northern Iberia or southern Gaul. [24] It was claimed that a second wave named the Euerni, belonging to the Belgae people of northern Gaul. They were said to have given their name to the island. [25] [26]

A more recent theory, with broad support among archaeologists, is that of cultural diffusion. This theory proposes that the Celticization of Ireland may have been the culmination of a long process of social and economic interaction between Ireland, Britain and Continental Europe. quote needed ]

The theory is advanced in part because of lack of archeological evidence for large-scale Celtic immigration , though it is accepted that these movements are notoriously difficult to identify. Some proponents of this theory hold that it is possible that migration to smaller groups of countries has been established, but that this is not the fundamental cause of insular Celticisation. citation needed ]Historical linguists are skeptical of this method of accounting for the absorption of celtic language, with some saying that an affirmative processional view of Celtic linguistic training is ‘an especially hazardous exercise’. [27] [28]Genetic lineage investigation into the area of Celtic migration to Ireland HAS led to Findings That Showed no significant differences in mitochondrial DNA entre wide areas of Ireland and continental Europe, in contrast to shares of the Y-chromosome pattern. The Atlantic Atlantic Association of European Atlantic Aids in the Atlantic Area. [29]

In 2012, research was published showing the occurrence of genetic markers for the earliest farmers of the world by Beaker-culture immigrants to Ireland: Y-chromosome R1b marker, believed to have originated in Iberia about 2500 BC . The prevalence among modern Irish men for this mutation is a remarkable 84%, the highest in the World, and closely matched in other populations along the Atlantic fringes down to Spain. A similar genetic replacement occurred with lineages in mitochondrial DNA. The implication of this evidence is a series of migrations and the arrival of the early Irish language, giving some credence to the tales in Lebor Gabála Érenn . [18] [30]

Late antiquity and early medieval times

The earliest written records of Ireland come from classical Greco-Roman geographers. Ptolemy in his Almagest refers to Ireland as Mikra Brettania ( Little Britain ), in contrast to the larger island, which he called Megale Brettania ( Great Britain ). [31] In his later work, Geography , Ptolemy refers to Ireland as Albernia and Great Britain as Albion . These “new” names were likely to be local names for the islands at the time. The earlier names, in contrast, were likely to be contacted by local people was made. [32]

The Romans Would later Refer to Ireland by this name too in icts Latinised form, Hibernia , [33] [ unreliable source ] gold Scotia . [34] Ptolemy records sixteen nations inhabiting every part of Ireland in 100 CE. [35] The relationship between the Roman Empire and the kingdoms of ancient Ireland is unclear. However, a number of findings have been made for the Iron Age Hill settlement of Freestone Hill near Gowran and Newgrange . [36]

Ireland continued as a patchwork of rival kingdoms purpose, beginning in the 7th century, a concept of national kingship-making became articulated through the concept of a High King of Ireland . Medieval Irish literature portrays an almost unbroken sequence of high kings stretching back thousands of years but modern historians believe the scheme was constructed in the 8th century to justify the status of powerful political groupings by projecting the origins of their rule into the remote past. [37]

All of the Irish kingdoms had their own kings but were nominally subject to the High King. The High King was drawn from the ranks of the provincial kings and ruled also the royal kingdom of Meath , with a ceremonial capital at the Hill of Tara . The concept did not become a political reality until the Viking Age and even was not a consistent one. [38] Ireland did have a cultural rule of law, the Brehon Laws , which was administered by a professional class of lawyers . [39]

The Chronicle of Ireland records that in 431, Bishop Palladius arrived in Ireland on a mission from Pope Celestine I to minister to the Irish “already believing in Christ”. [40] The same chronicle records that St. Patrick , Ireland’s best known patron saint , arrived the following year. Palladius and Patrick, but the consensus is that they both took place [41] and that the older druid tradition collapsed in the face of the new religion. [42] Irish Christian scholars excelled in the study of Latinand Greek learning and Christian theology. In the monastic culture that followed the Christianization of Ireland, Latin and Greek learning was preserved in Ireland during the Early Middle Ages in contrast to elsewhere in Europe, where the Dark Ages followed the Fall of the Western Roman Empire . [42] [43]

The arts of manuscript enlightenment , metalworking and sculpture flourished and produced treasures such as the Book of Kells , ornate jewelery and the many carved stone crosses [44]that still dot the island today. A mission founded in 563 on Iona by the Irish monk Saint Columba began a tradition of Irish missionary work that spread Celtic Christianity and learning to Scotland , England and the Frankish Empire on Continental Europe after the fall of Rome. [45] These missions continued until the late Middle Ages, establishing monasteries and centers of learning, producing scholars such as Sedulius Scottus and Johannes Eriugena and exerting much influence in Europe.

From the 9th century, waves of Viking raiders plundered Irish monasteries and towns. [46] These raids added to a pattern of raiding and endemic warfare that was already deep-seated in Ireland. The Vikings were also involved in the development of Dublin , Limerick , Cork , Wexford , Waterford , and other smaller settlements. [47]

Norman and English invasions

On May 1, 1169, an expedition of Cambro – Norman knights with an army of about six hundred landed at Bannow Strand in present-day County Wexford . It was led by Richard de Clare , called Strongbow due to his prowess as an archer. [48] The invasion, which coincided with a renewed period of Norman expansion, was at the invitation of Dermot Mac Murrough , the king of Leinster . [49]

In 1166, Mac Murrough had fled to Anjou , France, following a war involving Tighearnán Ua Ruairc , of Breifne , and sought the assistance of the Angevin king, Henry II , in recapturing his kingdom. In 1171, Henry arrived in Ireland in order to review the general progress of the expedition. He wanted to re-exert royal authority over the invasion which was expanding beyond his control. Henry successfully re-imposed his authority on the Strong War and the Cambro-Norman warlords and persuaded many of the Irish kings to accept their overlord, an agreement confirmed in the 1175 Treaty of Windsor .

The invasion Was legitimised by the provisions of the Papal Bull Laudabiliter , Issued by Adrian IV in 1155. The bull Encouraged Henry to take control in Ireland in order to Oversee the financial and administrative reorganization of the Irish Church and Its integration into the Roman Church system . [50] Some restructuring had already begun at the ecclesiastical level following the Synod of Kells in 1152. [51] There has been significant controversy regarding the authenticity of Laudabiliter , [52] and there is no general agreement gold for forgery. [53] [54]

In 1172, the new pope, Alexander III , further encouraged Henry to advance the integration of the Irish Church with Rome. Henry Was authorized to impose a tithe of one penny per hearth as an annual contribution. This church levy, called Peter’s Pence , is extant in Ireland as a voluntary donation. In turn, Henry accepted the title of Lord of Ireland , John Lackland , in 1185. This is the Irish state of the Lordship of Ireland . citation needed ] When Henry’s successor died unexpectedly in 1199, John inherited the crown of England and retained the Lordship of Ireland.

Over the century that followed, Norman feudal law was replaced by the Gaelic Brehon Law, which by the late 13th century Norman-Irish had established a feudal system throughout much of Ireland. Norman settlements were characterized by the establishment of baronies, manors, towns and the seeds of the modern county system. A version of the Magna Carta ( Great Charter of Ireland ), Dublin for London and Irish Church for England , was published in 1216 and the Parliament of Ireland was founded in 1297.

From the mid-14th century, after the Black Death , Norman settlements in Ireland went into a period of decline. The Norman rulers and the Gaelic Irish elites intermarried and the areas under Norman rule became Gaelicised . In some parts, a hybrid Hiberno-Norman culture emerged. In response, the Irish parliament passed the Statutes of Kilkenny in 1367. These were a set of laws designed to prevent the assimilation of the Normans into Irish society by forced English, follow English customs and abide by English law. [55]

By the end of the 15th century central English authority in Ireland had been removed and renewed Irish culture and language, with Norman influences, was dominant again. English Crown control Remained Relatively unshaken in an amorphous foothold around Dublin Known As The Pale , and under the provisions of Poynings’ Law of 1494, the Irish Parliamentary legislation Was subject to the approval of the English Parliament . [56]

The Kingdom of Ireland

The title of King of Ireland was re-created in 1542 by Henry VIII , then King of England , of the Tudor dynasty . English rule of law was reinforced and expanded in Ireland during the latter part of the 16th century, leading to the Tudor conquest of Ireland . A near complete conquest was achieved by the turn of the 17th century, following the Nine Years’ War and the Flight of the Earls .

This control was further consolidated during the wars and conflicts of the 17th century, which witnessed English and Scottish colonization in the Plantations of Ireland , the Wars of the Three Kingdoms and the Williamite War . Irish losses during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms (which, in Ireland, included the Irish Confederacy and the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland ) are estimated to include 20,000 battlefield casualties. 200,000 civilians are estimated to have died as a result of a combination of war-related famine, displacement, guerrilla activity and pestilence over the duration of the war. A further 50,000 [Note 1] were sent into indentured servitudein the West Indies . Some historians estimate that as much as half of the pre-war population of Ireland may have died as a result of the conflict. [59]

The religious struggles of the 17th century left a deep sectarian division in Ireland. Religious allegiance now determined the perception of the law of loyalty to the Irish King and Parliament. After the passing of the Test Act 1672 , and with the victory of the forces of the dual monarchy of William and Mary over the Jacobites , Roman Catholics and nonconforming Protestant Dissenters were barred from sitting in the Irish Parliament . Under the emerging Penal LawsRoman Catholic Catholics and Dissenters have been widely deprived of various civil and property rights. Additional regressive punitive legislation followed 1703, 1709 and 1728. This is a comprehensive systemic effort to materially disadvantage Roman Catholics and Protestant Dissenters, while enriching a new ruling class of Anglican conformists. [60] The new Anglo-Irish ruled the Protestant Ascendancy .

An extraordinary climatic shock known as the ” Great Frost ” struck Ireland and the rest of Europe between December 1739 and September 1741, after a decade of relatively mild winters. The winters destroyed stored crops and other staples and the poor summers severely damaged harvests. [61] This resulted in the famine of 1740 . An estimated 250,000 people died from the ensuing pestilence and disease. [62] The Irish government halted export of corn and kept the army in quarters but did little more. [62] [63] Local gentry and charitable organizations provided relief but could not prevent the ensuing mortality. [62] [63]

In the aftermath of famine, an increase in industrial production and a surge in trade brought to succession of construction booms. The population soared in the latter part of this century and the architectural legacy of Georgian Ireland was built. In 1782, Poynings’ Law was repealed, giving Ireland legislature the independence of Great Britain for the first time since 1495. The British government, however, still retained the right to nominate the government of Ireland without the consent of the Irish parliament.

Union with Great Britain

Main article: Great Britain and Ireland

In 1798, members of the Protestant Dissenter tradition (mainly Presbyterian ) made common cause with Roman Catholics in a republican rebellion and led by the Society of United Irishmen , with the aim of creating an independent Ireland. Despite assistance from France the rebellion was put down by British and Irish government and yeomanry forces. In 1800, the British and Irish parliaments both passed Acts of Union , with effect from 1 January 1801, merged the Kingdom of Ireland and the Kingdom of Great Britain to create a United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland . [64]

The passage of the Act in the Irish Parliament was substantially achieved with substantial majorities, having failed in the first attempt in 1799. Service Office, and the awarding of peerages, places and honors to secure votes. [64] Thus, the parliament in Ireland was abolished and replaced by Westminster in London , though resistance remained, as evidenced by Robert Emmet ‘s failed Irish Rebellion of 1803 .

Aside from the development of the linen industry, Ireland Was Largely Passed over by the industrial revolution , Partly Because it lacked coal and iron resources [65] [66] and Partly Because of the impact of the sudden union with the Structurally superior economy of England , [67] which saw Ireland as a source of agricultural produce and capital. [68] [69]

The Great Famine of 1845-1851 devastated Ireland, as in those years Ireland’s population fell by one-third. More than one million people died from starvation and disease, while an additional two million people emigrated, mostly to the United States and Canada. [70] By the end of the decade, half of all immigration to the United States was from Ireland. The period of civil unrest that is followed by the end of the 19th century is referred to the Land War . Mass emigration became deeply entrenched and the population continued to decline until the mid-20th century. Immediately prior to the famine was recorded as 8.2 million by the 1841 census . [71]The population has never returned to this level. [72] The population continued to fall until 1961 and it was not until the 2006 census that the last county of Ireland ( County Leitrim ) to record a rise in population since 1841 did so.

The 19th and early 20th century saw the rise of modern Irish nationalism , primarily among the Roman Catholic population. The pre-eminent Irish political figure after the Union was Daniel O’Connell . He was elected as Member of Parliament for Ennis in a surprise result and despite being unable to attend Roman Catholic . O’Connell spearheaded a vigorous campaign that was taken over by the Prime Minister, the Irish-born soldier and statesman, the Duke of Wellington . Steering the Catholic Relief Bill through Parliament, aided by future prime minister Robert Peel , Wellington prevailed upon a reluctant George IVto sign the Bill and proclaim it into law. George’s father HAD Opposed the map of The Earlier Prime Minister, Pitt the Younger , to Introduce Such a bill Following The Union of 1801 fearing Catholic Emancipation to be in conflict with the Act of Settlement 1701 .

Daniel O’Connell led a subsequent campaign, for the repeal of the Act of Union, which failed. Later in the century, Charles Stewart Parnell and others campaigned for autonomy within the Union, or ” Home Rule “. Unionists, especially those located in Ulster, were strongly opposed to Home Rule, which they thought would be dominated by Catholic interests. [73] After several attempts to pass the bill through parliament, it was considered that one would finally pass in 1914. To prevent this from happening, the Ulster Volunteers were formed in 1913 under the leadership of Edward Carson . [74]

Their training Was Followed in 1914 by the establishment of the Irish Volunteers , Whose aim Was to Ensure que le Home Rule Bill Was Passed. The Act was passed with the “temporary” exclusion of the six counties of Ulster that would become Northern Ireland. Before it could be implemented, however, the Act was suspended for the duration of the First World War . The Irish Volunteers split into two groups. The majority, approximately 175,000 in number, under John Redmond , took the name National Volunteers and supported Irish involvement in the war. A minority, approximately 13,000, retained the Irish Volunteers’ name, and opposed Ireland’s involvement in the war. [74]

The Easter Rising of 1916 was conducted with a smaller socialist militia, the Irish Citizen Army . The British response, executing fifteen leaders of the Rising over a period of ten years and interning more than a thousand people, turned the mood of the country in favor of the rebels. Support for Irish Republicanism Increased in Europe, Consensus Crisis of 1918 . [75]

The pro-independence republican party, Sinn Féin , received overwhelming endorsement in the general election of 1918 , and in 1919 proclaimed an Irish Republic , setting up its own parliament ( Dáil Éireann ) and government. Simultaneously the Volunteers, which became known as the Irish Republican Army (IRA), launched a three-year war , which ended in a truce in July 1921 (though violence continued until June 1922, mostly in Northern Ireland). [75]


In December 1921, the Anglo-Irish Treaty was concluded between the British Government and the representatives of the Second Dil . It gives Ireland complete independence in its home affairs and practical independence for foreign policy, but an opt-out clause allowed Northern Ireland to remain within the United Kingdom, which it immediately exercised as expected. Additionally, an oath of allegiance to the King has been taken. [76] Disagreements over these provisions led to a split in the nationalist movement and a subsequent Irish Civil War between the new government of the Irish Free State and those opposed to the treaty, led by Éamon de Valera. The civil war officially ended in May 1923 when de Valera issued a cease-fire order. [77]


During its first decade, the newly formed Irish Free State was governed by the victors of the civil war. When of Valera achieved power, he took advantage of the Statute of Westminster and political circumstances to build upon inroads to greater sovereignty by the previous government. The oath was abolished and in 1937 a new constitution was adopted. [75] This completed a process of gradual separation from the British Empire which has been pursued since independence. However, it was not until 1949 that the state was declared, officially, to be the Republic of Ireland .

The state was neutral during World War II , but offered clandestine assistance to the Allies , particularly in the potential defense of Northern Ireland. Despite their country’s neutrality, approximately 50,000 [78] volunteers from independent Ireland joined the British forces during the war, four being awarded Victoria Crosses .

The Abwehr was also active in Ireland. [79] German intelligence operations carried out in September 1941 when the police carried out on the basis of surveillance in Dublin, including that of the United States. To the authorities, counterintelligence was a fundamental line of defense. With a regular army of only one thousand two thousand men at the beginning of the war, and with a limited supply of modern weapons, the state would have had great difficulty in defending itself from invasion. [79] [80]

Large-scale emigration marked most of the post-WWII period (particularly during the 1950s and 1980s), but beginning in 1987 the economy improved, and the 1990s saw the beginning of substantial economic growth. This period of growth has become known as Celtic Tiger . [81] The Republic’s real GDP grew by an average of 9.6% per annum between 1995 and 1999, [82] in which year the Republic joined the euro . In 2000, it was the sixth-richest country in the world in terms of GDP per capita. [83]

Social affairs, most markedly with the decline in authority of the Catholic Church. The financial crisis that began in 2008 dramatically ended this period of boom. GDP fell by 3% in 2008 and 7.1% in 2009, the worst year since records began. [84] The state has had a deep recession, with unemployment, which doubled during 2009, remaining above 14% in 2012. [85]

Northern Ireland

Main articles: History of Northern Ireland and Economy of Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland was created as a division of the United Kingdom by the Government of Ireland Act 1920 and until 1972 it was a self-governing jurisdiction within the United Kingdom with its own parliament and prime minister. Northern Ireland, as share of the United Kingdom, Was not neutral During the Second World War and Belfast Suffered oven bombing raids in 1941. Conscription Was not extended to Northern Ireland and Roughly an equal number Volunteered Volunteered from Northern Ireland as from the south. One, James Joseph Magennis , received the Victoria Cross for valor.

Though Northern Ireland was largely spared the strife of the civil war, it was sporadic episodes of inter-communal violence. Nationalists, especially Roman Catholic, wanted to unite Ireland as an independent republic, mostly unionists, mainly Protestant, wanted Northern Ireland to remain in the United Kingdom. The Protestant and Catholic communities in Northern Ireland Voted Largely along sectarian lines, meaning que le Gouvernement of Northern Ireland (Elected by “first-past-the-post” from 1929) Was controlled by the Ulster Unionist Party . Over time, the minority Catholic community felt increasingly alienated with further Top disaffection fueled by practices Such As gerrymandering anddiscrimination in housing and employment. [86] [87] [88]

In the late 1960s, nationalist civil rights were protests, which were often confronted by loyalist counter-protests. [89] The government’s reaction to confrontations has been seen to be one-sided and heavy-handed in favor of unionists. Law and order broke down as unrest and inter-communal violence increased. [90] The Northern Ireland government asked the British Army to help the police, who were exhausted after several nights of serious rioting . In 1969, the paramilitary Provisional IRA , which favored the creation of a united Ireland , emerged from a split in theIrish Republican Army and a campaign against what it called the “British Occupation of the Six Counties”.

Other groups, on Both the unionist side and the nationalist side, participated in violence and a period Known as the Troubles Began. Over 3,600 deaths over the last three decades of conflict. [91] Owing to the civil unrest during the disturbances, the British government suspended the rule in 1972 and imposed direct rule . There were several unsuccessful attempts to end the troubles politically, such as the Sunningdale Agreement of 1973. In 1998, following a ceasefire by the Provisional IRA and multi-party talks, the Good Friday Agreement was concluded between the British and Irish governments, annexing the text agreed in the multi-party talks.

The substance of the Agreement was formally referred to the Belfast Agreement. The Agreement on Self-Government in Northern Ireland on the basis of power-sharing in a regional executive drawn from the Northern Ireland Assembly , with entrenched protections for the two main communities. The Executive is a First Minister and a Deputy Minister of National Defense. Violence of the Provisional IRA and Loyalist Ceasefires in 1994 and in 2005 the Provisional IRA announced the end of its armed forces and an independent commissionsupervised its disarmament and that of other nationalist and unionist paramilitary organizations. [92]

The Assembly and power-sharing Executive were retired in 2007. In that year, the British government is officially in charge of the police in Northern Ireland ( Operation Banner ). On 27 June 2012, Northern Ireland’s deputy prime minister and IRA trainer, Martin McGuinness, shook hands with Queen Elizabeth II in Belfast, symbolizing reconciliation between the two sides.


Politically, the island is divided between the Republic of Ireland, an independent state , and Northern Ireland (a constitute country of the United Kingdom ). They share an open border and both are part of the Common Travel Area .

Both the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom are members of the European Union , and the result is a movement of people, goods, services and capital across the border.

Republic of Ireland

The Republic of Ireland is a parliamentary democracy based on the British model, with a written constitution and a popularly elected president who has most ceremonial powers. The government is headed by a prime minister, the Taoiseach , who is appointed by the President on the nomination of the lower house of parliament, the Dáil . Members of the government are chosen from both the Dáil and the upper house of parliament, the Seanad . Its capital is Dublin .

The Republic today ranks among the wealthiest countries in the world by GDP per capita [93] and in 2015 ranked third in the world by the United Nations’ Human Development Index . [94] A period of rapid economic expansion from 1995 onwards has been known to the Celtic Tiger period, was brought to an end in 2008 with an unprecedented financial crisis and an economic depression in 2009.

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland is a part of the United Kingdom with a local executive and assembly which exercise devolved powers. The executive is jointly headed by the first and deputy-first minister, with the ministries being allocated to each party’s representation in the assembly. Its capital is Belfast.

Ultimately political power is held by the UK government , from which Northern Ireland has gone through intermittent periods of suspended power. Northern Ireland elects 18 of the UK House of Commons ‘ 650 MPs. The Northern Ireland Secretary is a cabinet-level post in the British government.

Along with England and Wales and Scotland , Northern Ireland forms one of the three separate legal jurisdictions of the UK, all of which share the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom as their final appeal.

All-island institutions

As part of the Good Friday Agreement , the British and Irish governments agreed on the creation of all-island institutions and areas of cooperation.

The North / South Ministerial Council is an institution in which the Government of Ireland and the Northern Ireland Executive is responsible for all-island policies. At least six of these areas must have an all-island implementation and at least six others must be implemented separately in each jurisdiction. The implementation bodies are: Waterways Ireland , the Food Safety Promotion Board , InterTradeIreland , the European Union’s Special European Union Programs , the North / South Language Body and the Foyle, the Carlingford and the Irish Lights Commission .

The British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference provides for co-operation between the Government of Ireland and the Government of the United Kingdom on all matters of mutual interest, especially Northern Ireland. In light of the Republic of Northern Ireland, “regular and frequent” meetings co-chaired by the ROI Minister for Foreign Affairs and the UK Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, dealing with non-devolved matters with Northern Ireland and non-devolved all-Ireland issues, are required to take place under the friendly treaty.

The North / South Inter-Parliamentary Association is a joint body for the island of Ireland. It has no formal powers as a forum for discussing matters of common concern between the respective legislatures.


Despite the two jurisdictions using two distinct currencies (the euro and sterling pound ), a growing amount of business activity is carried out on an all-Ireland basis. The European Union is a European Union member of the European Union , and it has been called by the members of the business community and the policymakers for the creation of an all-Ireland economy to take advantage of economies of scale and boost competitiveness. . [95]

There are two multi-city regions on the island of Ireland:

  1. Dublin-Belfast corridor – 3.3 m
  2. Cork-Limerick-Galway corridor – 1 m

Below is a comparison of the Regional GDP on the island of Ireland.

Republic of Ireland: Border Midlands & West Republic of Ireland: Southern & Eastern United Kingdom: Northern Ireland
€ 30 bn [96] € 142 bn (Dublin € 72.4bn) [96] € 43.4 bn (Belfast € 20.9 bn) [97]
€ 23,700 per person [97] € 39,900 per person [97] € 21,000 per person [97]
Area Population Country City 2012 GDP € GDP per person € 2014 GDP € GDP per person €
Dublin Region 1,350,000 KING Dublin € 72.4 € 57,200 € 87.238 € 68.208
South-West Region 670,000 KING Cork € 32.3 € 48,500 € 33.745 € 50,544
Greater Belfast 720,000 OR Belfast € 20.9 € 33.550 € 22.153 € 34.850
West Region 454,000 KING Galway € 13.8 € 31,500 € 13.37 € 29.881
Mid-West Region 383,000 KING Limerick € 11.4 € 30,300 € 12.116 bn € 31.792
South-East Region 510,000 KING Waterford € 12.8 € 25,600 € 14.044 € 28.094
Mid-East Region 558,000 KING Bray € 13.3 € 24,700 € 16.024 € 30.033
Border Region 519,000 KING Drogheda € 10.7 € 21,100 € 10.452 € 20.205
East of Northern Ireland 430,000 OR Ballymena € 9.5 € 20,300 € 10.793 € 24,100
Midlands Region 290,000 KING Athlone € 5.7 € 20,100 € 6.172 bn € 21.753
West and South of Northern Ireland 400,000 OR Newry € 8.4 € 19,300 € 5.849 € 20,100
North of Northern Ireland 280,000 OR Derry € 5.5 bn € 18,400 € 9.283 € 22,000
Total 6.6 m € 216.7 € 241 bn


  • The BMW region of the Republic of Ireland (of The Connacht , Laois Counties , Offaly , Westmeath , Longford , Donegal , Monaghan , Cavan , Louth )
  • The S & E region of the Republic of Ireland (consisting of Munster , Counties Dublin , Wicklow , Meath , Kildare , Kilkenny , Carlow , Wexford ).


There are three World Heritage Sites on the island: Brú na Bóinne , Michael Skellig and the Giant’s Causeway . [99] A number of other places are on the list attempts, for example the Burren, the Ceide Fields [100] and Mount Stewart . quote needed ]

Some of the most visited sites in Ireland include Bunratty Castle , the Rock of Cashel , the Cliffs of Moher , Holy Cross Abbey and Blarney Castle . [101] Historically important monastic sites include Glendalough and Clonmacnoise , which are maintained as national monuments in the Republic of Ireland. [102]

Dublin is the most heavily touristed region [101] and one of the most popular attractions in the Guinness Storehouse and Book of Kells . [101] The west and south west, which includes the Lakes of Killarney and the Dingle Peninsula in County Kerry and Connemara and the Aran Islands in Galway County , are also popular tourist destinations. [101]

Achill Island lies off the coast of County Mayo and is Ireland’s largest island. It is a popular tourist destination for surfing and contains 5 Blue Flag beaches and Croaghaun one of the worlds highest sea cliffs. Stately Homes , built during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries in Palladian , Neoclassical and neo-Gothic styles, such as, Castle Ward , Castletown House , Bantry House , Glenveagh Castle are also of interest to tourists. Some-have-been converted into hotels, Such As Ashford Castle , Castle Leslieand Dromoland Castle .


Ireland has an ancient industry based on peat (known locally as “turf”) as a source of energy for home fires. A form of biomass energy, this source of heat is still widely used in rural areas. However, due to the importance of peatlands in storing carbon and their rarity, the EU is attempting to protect this habitat by fining Ireland if they are dug up. In cities, heat is supplied by heating oil , although some urban suppliers distribute “sods of turf” as “smokeless fuel”.

An area in which the island operates as a single market is electricity . [103] For much of their existence, electricity networks in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland were entirely separate. Both networks were designed and constructed independently post partition. However, they are now connected to three interlinks [104] and also connected through Great Britain to mainland Europe. The situation in Northern Ireland is complicated by the supply of Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE) with enough power. In the Republic of Ireland, the ESBhas failed to modernize its power stations and the availability of power plants has been reduced to 66%, one of the worst such rates in Western Europe. EirGrid is a HVDC transmission line between Ireland and Great Britain with a capacity of 500 MW, [105] about 10% of Ireland’s peak demand.

As with electricity, the natural gas distribution network est now all-island, with a pipeline linking Gormanston, County Meath , and Ballyclare , County Antrim completed in 2007. [106] Most of Ireland’s gas comes through interconnectors entre Twynholm in Scotland and Ballylumford , County Antrim and Loughshinny , County Dublin . A County of Coral Gas Co. off the coast of County of Cork County [107] [108] and the Corrib Gas Field off the coast of County Mayohas yet to come on-line. The Mayo County is facing some localized opposition over a controversial decision to refine onshore gas.

The Republic of Ireland has shown a strong commitment to renewable energy, ranking among the top ten markets for cleantech investment in the 2014 Global Green Economy Index. [109] Research and development in Ireland in renewable energy Such As wind power HAS Increased since 2004. Large wind farms are constructed in coastal counties being white Such As Cork, Donegal, Mayo and Antrim. The building of wind farms In Some boxes HAS-been delayed by opposition from local communities, some of Whom overall Consider the wind turbines to be unsightly. The Republic of Ireland is also hindered by an aging network that is not designed to handle the recurrence of wind power. The ESB’sTurlough Hill facility is the only power-storage facility in the state. [110]


The island of Ireland is Located in the north-west of Europe , entre latitudes 51 ° and 56 ° N , and longitudes 11 ° and 5 ° W . It is separated from the North Sea coast by the Irish Sea and it has a width of 23 kilometers (14 mi) [111] at its narrowest point. To the west is the Atlantic Ocean and to the south is the Celtic Sea , which is between Ireland and Brittany , in France. Ireland has a total area of ​​84,421 km 2 (32,595 sq mi), [1] [2] [112]of which the Republic of Ireland occupies 83 percent. [113] Ireland and Great Britain, together with many nearby smaller islands, are known collectively as British Isles . As the term British Isles is controversial in relation to Ireland, the alternate term Britain and Ireland is often used as a neutral term for the islands.

A ring of coastal mountains low plains at the center of the island. The highest of these is Carrauntoohil ( Irish : Corran Tuathail ) in County Kerry , which rises to 1,038 m (3,406 ft) above sea level. [114] The most arable land lies in the province of Leinster . [115] Western areas can be mountainous and rocky with green vistas . The River Shannon , the longest river is 386 km (240 mi) long, rises in County Cavan in the north west and flows 113 km (70 mi) to Limerick city ​​in the mid west.[114] [116]

The island consists of varied geological provinces . In the West, County Galway and County Donegal , is a medium to high grade metamorphic and complex igneous complex of Caledonide affinity, similar to the Scottish Highlands . Across southeast of Longford and south to Navan is a province of Ordovician and Silurian rocks, with similarities to the Southern Uplands province of Scotland . Further south, along the County Wexford coastline, is an area of intrusive granite into more Ordovician and Silurian rocks, like that found in Wales. [117] [118]

In the southwest, around Bantry Bay and the mountains of Macgillicuddy’s Reeks , is an area of ​​substantially deformed, but only lightly metamorphosed , Devonian-aged rocks. [119] This partial ring of “hard rock” geology is covered by a blanket of carboniferous limestone over the center of the country, giving rise to a comparatively fertile and lush landscape. The west-coast district of the Burren around Lisdoonvarna has well-developed karst features. [120] Significant stratiform lead-zinc mineralization is found in the limestones around Silvermines and Tynagh .

Hydrocarbon exploration is ongoing following the first major at the Kinsale Head gas field off Cork in the mid-1970s. [121] [122] In 1999, economically significant findings of natural gas were made in the Corrib Gas Field off the County Mayo coast. This North West hydrocarbon province is a step-out of the North Sea hydrocarbon province . The Helvick oil field, estimated to contain 28 million barrels (4,500,000 m 3 ) of oil, is another recent discovery. [123]


Main article: Climate of Ireland

The island’s lush vegetation, a product of its mild climate and frequent rainfall, earns it the sobriquet the Emerald Isle . Overall, Ireland has a mild but changeable oceanic climate with few extremes. The climate is typically insular and is temperate in the extreme temperatures of many other parts of the world at similar latitudes. [124] This is a result of the moderating moist winds which ordinarily prevails from the South-Western Atlantic .

Precipitation falls throughout the year, especially in the east. The west tends to be wetter on average and prone to Atlantic storms, especially in the late autumn and winter months. These are some of the most destructive winds and increases in these areas, as well as sometimes snow and hail. The regions of North County Galway and East County may have the highest incidents of recorded light annually. [125] Munster , in the south, records the lowest snow Ulster , in the north, records the most.

Inland areas are warmer in summer and colder in winter. They are usually 0 ° C (32 ° F) in inland weather stations , compared to 10 days at coastal stations. Most recently in 1995, 2003 , 2006 and 2013. In common with the rest of Europe, Ireland was unusually cold weather during the winter of 2009/10 . Temperatures fell as low as -17.2 ° C (1 ° F) in County Mayo on 20 December [126] and up to a meter (3 ft) of snow fell in mountainous areas.

Flora and fauna

Because Ireland est devenu isolated from mainland Europe by rising sea levels before the last ice age HAD finished completely Call, It has land Fewer animal and plant species than Great Britain, qui separated later, gold mainland Europe. There are 55 mammal species in Ireland and of em only 26 land mammal species are native to Ireland regarded. [10] Some species, such as, the red fox , hedgehog and badger , are very common, like others, like the Irish hare , the red deer and the pine marten are less so. Aquatic wildlife, such as species of sea ​​turtle ,shark , seal , whale , and dolphin , are common off the coast. About 400 species of birds have been recorded in Ireland. Many of these are migratory, including the barn swallow .

Several species are found in Ireland, including farmland, open woodland, broadleaf and mixed forests , conifer plantations, peat bogs and a variety of coastal habitats. However, the use of these compounds in Ireland, limiting natural habitat preserves, [127] is particularly important for larger mammals with greater territorial needs. With no large apex predators in Ireland other than humans and dogs, such populations of animals are less likely to be controlled by smaller predictors, such as the fox, are controlled by annual culling .

There are no snakes in Ireland and only one species of reptile (the common lizard ) is native to the island. Extinct species include the Irish elk , the great auk and the wolf . Some previously extinct birds, such as the golden eagle , were reintroduced in the year 2000 after decades of extirpation . [128] Until medieval times Ireland was heavily forested with oak , pine and birch . Forests today cover about 12.6% of Ireland, [9] of which 4,450 km² or one million acres is owned by Coillte , the Republic’s forestry service.[129] [ verification needed ]

As of 2012, the Republic is one of the least forested countries in Europe. [130] [131] Much of the land is now covered with many species of wild-flower. Gorse ( Ulex europaeus ), a wild furze , is commonly found growing in the air and is most commonly found in western parts. It is home to hundreds of species, some of them unique to the island, and has been “invaded” by some fat, such as Spartina anglica . [132]

The algal and seaweed flora is that of the cold-temperate variety. The total number of species is 574 [133] and is distributed as follows:

  • 264 Rhodophyta (red algae)
  • 152 Phaeophyceae (brown algae including kelps)
  • 114 Chloropyta (green algae)
  • 31 Cyanophyta (Blue-green algae)

Rarer species include: [133]

  • Itonoa marginifera (J.Agardh) Masuda & Guiry
  • Schmitzia hiscockiana Maggs & Guiry
  • Gelidiella calcicola Maggs & Guiry
  • Gelidium maggsiae Rico & Guiry
  • Halymenia latifolia PLCrouan & HMCrouan ex Kützing.

The island has been invaded by some algae, some of which are now well established. For example: [134]

  • Asparagopsis armara Harvey, which originated in Australia and was first recorded by M. De Valera in 1939
  • Colpomenia peregrina Sauvageau, which is now locally abundant and first recorded in the 1930s
  • Sargassum muticum (Yendo) Fensholt, a local area of ​​the south, west, and north-east coasts
  • Codium fragile ssp. fragile (formerly reported as tomentosum ), now well established.

Codium fragile ssp. atlanticum has been established to be native, although for many years it has been considered as an alien species.

Because of its mild climate, many species, including sub-tropical species such as palm trees , are grown in Ireland. Phytogeographically , Ireland belongs to the Atlantic European province of the Circumboreal Region within the Boreal Kingdom . The island itself can be subdivided into two ecoregions : the Celtic broadleaf forests and the North Atlantic moist mixed forests.

Impact of agriculture

The long history of agricultural production, coupled with modern intensive agricultural methods such as pesticide and fertilizer use and runoff from contaminants into streams, rivers and lakes, impact the natural fresh-water ecosystems and their placement in biodiversity in Ireland. [135] [136]

A land of green fields for crop cultivation and cattle rearing limits the space available for the establishment of native wild species. Hedgerows, however, traditionally used for maintaining and demarcating land boundaries, act as a refuge for native wild flora. This ecosystem stretches across the countryside and has a network of connections to preserve the ecosystem that once covered the island. Subsidies under the Common Agricultural Policy, which are undergoing reforms. The common agricultural policy has had a negative impact on the use of fertilizers and pesticides; and reforms have been decoupled from production levels and environmental and other requirements. [137]

Forest covers about 12.6% of the country, most of it designated for commercial production. [127] Forested areas typically consist of monocultures plantations of non-native species, which may be useful in the environment. Remnants of native forest can be found scattered around the island, in particular in the Killarney National Park . Natural areas require fencing to prevent over-grazing by deer and sheep that roam over uncultivated areas. Grazing in this manner is one of the main factors preventing the natural regeneration of forests in many parts of the country. [138]


Proportion of respondents to the 2011 Irish census 2011 or the Northern Ireland census 2011 who said they were Catholic. Areas in which Catholics are in the majority are blue. Areas in which Catholics are in a minority are red.

People have lived in Ireland for over 9,000 years. The different eras are termed mesolithic , Neolithic , Bronze Age, and Iron Age.

Early historical and genealogical records note of the existence of major groups Such As the Cruthin , Corcu Loígde , Dál Riata , Dáirine , Deirgtine , Delbhna , Erainn , Laigin , Ulaid . Slightly later major groups included the Connachta , Ciannachta , Eóganachta .

Smaller groups included the aithechthúatha (see Attacotti ), Cálraighe , Cíarraige , Conmaicne , Dartraighe , Déisi , Eile , Fir Bolg , Fortuatha , Gailenga , Gamanraige , Mairtine , Múscraige , Partraige , Soghain , Uaithni , Uí Maine , Uí Liatháin . Many survived late medieval times, others vanished as they became politically unimportant.

Over the past 1200 years, Vikings , Normans , Welsh , Flemings , Scots , English , Africans , Eastern Europeans and South Americans have all had significant influence on Irish culture.

Ireland’s largest religious group is Christianity . The largest denomination is Roman Catholicism representing over 73% of the island (and about 87% of the Republic of Ireland). Most Protestant denominations (about 48% of Northern Ireland). [139] The largest is the Anglican Church of Ireland . The Muslim community is growing in Ireland, with increased immigration, with a 50% increase in the population between the 2006 and 2011 census. [140] The island has a small Jewish community. 14% of the population and about 14% of the Northern Ireland population [139] describe themselves as of no religion. In a 2010 survey conducted on behalf of the Irish Times , 32% of respondents said they went to a religious service more than once a week.

The population of Ireland rose rapidly from the 16th century until the mid-19th century, interrupted by the Famine of 1740-41 , which killed roughly two fifths of the island’s population. The population rebounded and multiplied over the next century, but another devastating famine in the 1840s caused one million deaths and forced over one million more to emigrate in its immediate wake. Over the following century the population was reduced by over half, at a time when the general trend in European countries was for people to rise by an average of three-fold.

Divisions and settlements

Further information: Provinces of Ireland, Counties of Ireland, and City status in Ireland

Traditionally, Ireland is subdivided into four provinces : Connacht (west), Leinster (east), Munster (south), and Ulster (north). In the United States, [141] 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). As such, Ulster is often used as a synonym for Northern Ireland, although the two are not coterminous.

In the Republic of Ireland, counties form the basis of the system of local government. Counties Dublin , Cork , Limerick , Galway , Waterford and Tipperary have been broken up into smaller administrative areas. However, they are still treated by the Ordnance Survey Ireland . Counties in Northern Ireland are no longer used for their purposes, [142] but, as in the Republic, their traditional boundaries are still used for informational purposes. [143]

City status in Ireland is decided by legislative or royal charter . Dublin , with over 1 million residents in the Greater Dublin Area , is the largest city on the island. Belfast, with 579,726 residents, is the largest city in Northern Ireland. City status does not directly equate with population size. For example, Armagh , with 14,590 is the seat of the Church of Ireland and the Roman Catholic Primate of All Ireland and Was re-granted city status by Queen Elizabeth II in 1994 (HAVING Lost That status in local government Reforms of 1840 ). In the Republic of Ireland,Kilkenny , seat of the Butler dynasty , since the 2001 Local Government Act , is entitled to continue to use the description.

Cities and towns by populations
Dublin Cork  # Settlement Urban Area Population Metro population Belfast Derry 
1 Dublin 1,173,179 [144] 1,801,040
( Greater Dublin )
2 Belfast 333,000 [145] 579,276 [146]
( Belfast Metropolitan Area )
3 Cork 208,669 [147] 300.0000
( Cork Metro )
4 Limerick 94,192 [147]
5 Derry 93.512
6 Galway 79,934 [147]
7 Waterford 53,504 [147]
8 Craigavon 57,651 [145]
9 Drogheda 38.578
10 Dundalk 37.816


The population of Ireland since 1603 showing the consequence of the Great Famine (1845–52) (Note: figures before 1841 are contemporary estimates)

The population of Ireland collapsed dramatically during the second half of the 19th century. A population of over 8 million in 1841 was less than 4 million by 1921. In part, the fall in population was due to death from the Great Famine of 1845 to 1852, which took about 1 million lives. However, by far the greatest cause of population decline was the economic state of the world which led to an entrenched culture of emigration lasting until the 21st century.

Emigration from Ireland in the 19th century contributed to the populations of England, the United States, Canada and Australia, where a large Irish diaspora lives. As of 2006 , 4.3 million Canadians, or 14% of the population, are of Irish descent. [148] As of 2013 , a total of 34.5 million Americans claim Irish ancestry. [149]

With growing prosperity since the last decade of the 20th century, Ireland has become a destination for immigrants. Since the European Union expanded to include Polandin 2004, Polish people have made up the largest number of immigrants (over 150,000) [150] from Central Europe . There has been significant immigration from Lithuania , the Czech Republic and Latvia . [151]

The Republic of Ireland in particular has seen large-scale immigration, with 420,000 foreign nationals as of 2006, about 10% of the population. [152] A quarter of births (24 percent) in 2009 were to mothers born outside Ireland. [153] Chinese and Nigerians , along with people from other African countries, have accounted for a large proportion of the non- European Union migrants to Ireland. Up to 50,000 eastern and central European migrant workers left Ireland in response to the Irish financial crisis. [154]


The two official languages ​​of the Republic of Ireland are Irish and English . Each language has produced a noteworthy literature. Irish, but now only the language of a minority, was the vernacular of the Irish people for two years and was possible during the Iron Age . It began to be published in the Scottish Gaelic and Manx languages ​​respectively.

The Irish language has a vast treasury of written texts from many centuries, and is divided by linguistics into Old Irish from the 6th to 10th century, Middle Irish from the 10th to 13th century, Early Modern Irish to the 17th century, and the Modern Irish spoken today. It has the dominant language of Ireland, with influences from Latin , Old Norse , French and English. It declined under the rule of law, but it remained in the minority language until the beginning of the 19th century.

The Gaelic Revival of the early twentieth century has had a long-term influence. There is now an extensive network of Irish speakers (Gaeilgeoiri) in both the Republic and Northern Ireland , especially in Dublin and Belfast . They represent an expanding demographic, with their own schools (called Gaelscoileanna ) and their own social media. It has been argued that they tend to be more highly educated than monolingual English speakers, with better employment prospects and higher social status. [155] [156] Recent research suggests that urban Irish is developing in a direction of its own, both in pronunciation and grammar. [157]Irish is also taught in mainstream English-speaking schools, but has been criticized for its ineffectiveness. [158]

Traditional rural Irish-speaking areas, known collectively as Gaeltacht , are in linguistic decline. The main Gaeltacht areas are in the west, south-west and north-west. They are to be found in Donegal, Mayo, Galway and Kerry with smaller Gaeltacht areas near Dungarvan in Waterford, Navan , in Meath. [159]

English in Ireland was first during the Norman invasion . It was spoken by a few peasants and merchants brought over from England, and by the Irish before the Tudor conquest of Ireland . It was introduced as the official language with the Tudor and Cromwellian conquests. The Ulster Plantations gave it a permanent foothold in Ulster, and it remained official and upper-class language elsewhere, the Irish-speaking chieftains and nobility having been deposed. Language shift during the 19th century with a vast majority of people. [160]

Less than 10% of the population of the Republic of Ireland today speak Irish Regularly Reviews outside of the education system [161] and 38% Of Those over 15 years are classified as “Irish speakers”. In Northern Ireland, English is the de facto official language, but official recognition is afforded to Irish, including specific protective measures under Part III of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages . A lesser status (including recognition under Part II of the Charter) is given to Ulster Scots dialects , which are spoken by roughly 2% of Northern Ireland residents, and also spoken in the Republic of Ireland. [162] Since the 1960s with the increase in immigration, many more languages ​​have been introduced, particularly deriving from Asia and Eastern Europe.

Shelta , the language of the Irish nomadic Travelers is native to Ireland. [163]


Ireland’s culture includes elements of the culture of ancient peoples, later immigrants, and cultural influences (chiefly Gaelic culture , Anglicization , Americanization, and aspects of the wider European culture ). In broad terms, Ireland is regarded as one of the Celtic nations of Europe, alongside Scotland , Wales , Cornwall , Isle of Man and Brittany . This combination of cultural influences is visible in the intricate designs termed Irish interlace or Celtic knotwork .These can be seen in the ornamentation of medieval religious and secular works. The style is still popular today in graphic art, [164] is the distinctive style of traditional Irish music and dance, and has become indicative of modern “Celtic” culture in general.

Religion has played a significant role in the cultural life of the island since ancient times (and since the 17th century plantations , has been the focus of political identity and divisions on the island). Ireland’s pre-Christian heritage fused with the Celtic Church following the missions of St. Patrick in the 5th century. The Hiberno-Scottish missions , started by the Irish monk Saint Columba , spread the Irish vision of Christianity to pagan England and the Frankish Empire . These missions brought to an illiterate population of Europe during the Dark Agesthat followed the fall of Rome , earning Ireland the sobriquet, “the island of saints and scholars”.

Since the 20th century the Irish Pubs worldwide, especially those with a full range of cultural and gastronomic offerings, outposts of Irish culture.

The Republic of Ireland’s National Theater is the Abbey Theater , which was founded in 1904, and the national Irish-language theater is An Taibhdhearc , which was established in 1928 in Galway . [165] [166] Playwrights Such As Seán O’Casey , Brian Friel , Sebastian Barry , Conor McPherson and Billy Roche are Internationally renowned. [167]



Ireland has made a large contribution to the world in all its branches, both in Irish and English. Poetry in Irish is among the oldest vernacular poetry in Europe, with the earliest examples dating from the 6th century. Irish remained the dominant literary language down to the nineteenth century, despite the spread of English from the seventeenth century on. Prominent names from the medieval period include Gofraidh Fionn Ó Dálaigh (Fourteenth Century), Dáibhí Ó Bruadair (Seventeenth Century) and Aogán Ó Rathaille (Eighteenth Century). Eibhlín Dubh Ní Chonaill(c.1743 – c.1800) was an outstanding poet in the oral tradition. The latter part of the nineteenth century saw a rapid replacement of Irish by English. By 1900, however, cultural nationalists had begun the Gaelic revival , which saw the beginnings of a modern literature in Irish. Reviews This was to Produce a number of notable writers, Including Máirtín Ó Cadhain , Máire MHACs year tSaoi and others. Irish-language publishers such as Coisedim and Cló Iar-Chonnacht continue to produce scores of titles every year.

En English, Jonathan Swift (30 November 1667 – 19 October 1745), often called the foremost satirist in the English language, gained fame for works such as Gulliver’s Travels and A Modest Proposal . Other notable eighteenth century writers of Oliver Goldsmith and Richard Brinsley Sheridan , though they spent most of their lives in England. The Anglo-Irish novel came to the fore in the nineteenth century, featuring such writers as Charles Kickham , William Carleton , and (in collaboration) Edith Somerville and Violet Florence Martin . The playwright and poetOscar Wilde , noted for his epigrams, was born in Ireland.

In the 20th century, Ireland won the Nobel Prize for Literature : George Bernard Shaw , William Butler Yeats , Samuel Beckett and Seamus Heaney . Although not a Nobel Prize winner, James Joyceis widely considered to be one of the most significant writers of the 20th century. Joyce’s 1922 novel Ulysses is considered one of the most important works of modernist literature in Bloomsday . [168]A comparable writer in Irish is Máirtín Ó Cadhain, of which novel Cré na Cille is regarded as a modernist masterpiece and has been translated into several languages.

Modern Irish literature is often connected with its rural heritage [169] English-language writers such as John McGahern and Seamus Heaney and Irish-language writers such as Máirtín Ó Direáin and others from the Gaeltacht .


Music has been in evidence in Ireland since prehistoric times. [170] Although in the early Middle Ages the church was “quite uncontrolled in continental Europe”, [171] there was considerable interchange between monastic settlements in Ireland and the rest of Europe that contributed to Gregorian singing . Outside religious establishments, musical genres in early Gaelic Ireland are referred to as a triad of weeping music ( goltraige ), laughing music ( geantraige ) and sleeping music ( suantraige ). [172] Vocal and instrumental music (eg for the harp, pipes, and various string instruments) was transmitted orally, but the Irish harp , in particular, was of such significance that it became Ireland’s national symbol. Classical music Following European models first Developed in urban areas, in establishments of Anglo-Irish rule Such As Dublin Castle , St Patrick’s Cathedral and Christ Church as well as the country houses of the Anglo-Irish ascendancy, with the first performance of Handel ‘s Messiah(1742) being among the highlights of the baroque era. In the 19th century, public concerts provided access to classical music to all classes of society. Yet, for political and financial reasons Ireland has been too small to provide a living to many musicians, so the names of the best-known Irish composers of this time to emigrants.

Irish traditional music and dance has had a surge in popularity and global coverage since the 1960s. In the middle years of the 20th century, the Irish society was modernizing, traditional music had fallen out of favor, especially in urban areas. [173] HOWEVER DURING THE 1960s, There Was a revival of interest in Irish traditional music led by groups Such As The Dubliners , The Chieftains , The Wolfe Tones , the Clancy Brothers , Sweeney’s Men and Individuals like Seán Ó Riada and Christy Moore . Groups and musicians including Horslips ,Van Morrison and Thin Lizzy Incorporated elements of Irish traditional music and contemporary rock music , during the 1970s and 1980s, the distinction between traditional and rock musicians became blurred, with many individuals regularly crossing between these styles of playing. This trend can be seen more recently in the work of artists like Enya , The Saw Doctors , The Corrs , Sinéad O’Connor , Clannad , The Cranberries and The Pogues Among Others. Since then there have been a number of stylistic fusions including folk metal and others, while some contemporary music groups stick closer to a “traditional” sound.


The earliest known graphic art sculptures are Neolithic carvings found at such sites as Newgrange [174] and is traced through Bronze age artifacts and the religious carvings and illuminated manuscripts of the medieval period. John Butler Yeats , William Orpen , Jack Yeats, and Louis le Brocquy, during the course of the 19th and 20th centuries . Contemporary Irish visual artists of note include Sean Scully , Kevin Abosch , and Alice Maher .


The Irish philosopher and theologian Johannes Scotus Eriugena was considered one of the leading intellectuals of the early Middle Ages. Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton , an Irish explorer, was one of the leading figures of Antarctic exploration. He, along with his expedition, made the first ascent of Mount Erebus and the discovery of the South Magnetic Pole . Robert Boyle was a 17th-century natural philosopher, chemist, physicist, inventor and early gentleman scientist . He is widely regarded as one of the founders of modern chemistry and is best known for the formulation of Boyle’s law. [175]

19th century physicist John Tyndall , discovered the Tyndall effect . Father Nicholas Joseph Callan , Professor of Natural Philosophy in Maynooth College , is best Known For His invention of the coil induction , turn and he Discovered an early method of galvanisation in the 19th century.

Other notable Irish physicists include Ernest Walton , winner of the 1951 Nobel Prize in Physics . With Sir John Douglas Cockcroft , he was the first to split the nucleus of the atom by artificial means and made contributions to the development of a new theory of wave equation . [176] William Thomson, or Lord Kelvin , is the person whom the absolute temperature unit, the kelvin , is named after. Sir Joseph Larmorphysicist and mathematician, made innovations in the understanding of electricity, dynamics, thermodynamics and the electron theory of matter. His most influential work was Aether and Matter, a book on theoretical physics published in 1900. [177]

George Johnstone Stoney introduced the term electron in 1891. John Stewart Bell was the originator of Bell’s Theorem and a paper concerning the discovery of the Bell-Jackiw-Adler anomaly and was nominated for a Nobel prize.[178] The astronomer Jocelyn Bell Burnell, from Lurgan, County Armagh, discovered pulsars in 1967. Notable mathematicians include Sir William Rowan Hamilton, famous for work in classical mechanics and the invention of quaternions. Francis Ysidro Edgeworth’s contribution of the Edgeworth Box remains influential in neo-classical microeconomic theory to this day; while Richard Cantilloninspired Adam Smith , among others. John B. Cosgrave was a specialist in number theory and discovered a 2000-digit prime number in 1999 and a composite record Fermat number in 2003. John Lighton Synge made progress in different fields of science, including mechanics and geometrical methods in general relativity. He had John Nash mathematician as one of his students. Kathleen Lonsdale , born in Ireland and most known for her work with crystallography, became the first female president of the British Association for the Advancement of Science. [179]

Ireland has nine universities, seven in the Republic of Ireland and two in Northern Ireland, including Trinity College, Dublin and the University College Dublin , as well as many other third-level colleges and institutes and a branch of the Open University, the Open University in Ireland .


Main article: Sport in Ireland
See also: List of Irish sports people

Gaelic football is the most popular sport in Ireland, with about 2,600 clubs on the island. In 2003 it represented 34% of total sports attendances at events in Ireland and abroad, followed by hurling at 23%, soccer at 16% and rugbyat 8%. [180] The All-Ireland Football Final is the most watched event in the sporting calendar. [181] Soccer is the most widely played team game on the island, and the most popular in Northern Ireland . [180] [182]

Other sporting activities with the highest levels of playing participation include swimming, golf, aerobics, cycling, and billiards / snooker. [183] Many other sports are also played and followed, including boxing , cricket , fishing , greyhound racing , handball , hockey , horse racing , motor sport , show jumping and tennis .

The island of Ireland in the sports world. One notable exception to this association, both associations continued to field international teams under the name “Ireland” until the 1950s. The sport is also the most notable exception where the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland separate international teams. Northern Ireland has produced two World Snooker Champions.

Field sports

Gaelic football , hurling and handball are the best-known of the traditional Irish sports, collectively known as Gaelic games . Gaelic Games are governed by the Gaelic Athletic Association(GAA), with the exception of ladies’ football and camel (women’s variant of hurling), which are governed by separate organizations. The headquarters of GAA (and the main stadium) is located at 82,500 [184] capacity Croke Park in Dublin. Many major GAA games are played there, including the semi-finals and finals of the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship and All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship. During the 2007-2010 edition of the Lansdowne Road stadium , international rugby and soccer were played there. [185] All GAA players, who are amateurs, receiving no wages, are permitted to receive a limited amount of sports-related income from commercial sponsorship.

The Irish Football Association (IFA) was originally the governing body for the island. The game has been played in an organized fashion in Ireland since the 1870s, with Cliftonville FC in Belfast being Ireland’s oldest club. It was most popular, especially in its first decades, around Belfast and in Ulster. However, some clubs based in Belfast thought that the IFA largely favored Ulster-based clubs in such matters for the national team. In 1921, following an incident in which, despite an earlier promise, the IFA moved to the Irish Cup semi-final replay from Dublin to Belfast, [186]Dublin-based clubs broke away to form the Football Association of the Irish Free State. Today the southern association is known to the Football Association of Ireland (FAI). Despite being initially blacklisted by the Nations ‘ associations, the FAI was recognized by FIFA in 1923 and organized in 1926 (against Italy ). However, both the IFA and FAI continue to select their teams from Ireland, with some international players. Both also referred to their respective teams as Ireland .

In 1950, FIFA directed the associations to their respective territories and, in 1953, directed that the FAI’s team be known only as ” Republic of Ireland ” and that the IFA’s team be known as ” Northern Ireland ” (with certain exceptions). Northern Ireland qualified for the World Cup finals in 1958 (reaching the quarter-finals), 1982 and 1986 and the European Championship in 2016 . The Republic qualified for the World Cup finals in 1990 (reaching the quarter-finals), 1994 , 2002 and the European Championshipsin 1988 , 2012 and 2016 . Across Ireland, there is significant interest in the English and, to a lesser extent, Scottish leagues soccer.

Unlike soccer, Ireland continues to field a single national rugby team and a single association, the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU), governs the sport across the island. The Irish rugby team has played in every Rugby World Cup , making the quarter-finals in four of them. Ireland also hosted games during the 1991 and 1999 Rugby World Cups (including a quarter-final). There are four professional Irish teams; all four play in the Pro14 and at least three compete for the Heineken Cup . Irish rugby has become more competitive in both the international and provincial levels since 1994. During that time,Ulster ( 1999 ), [187] Munster ( 2006 [188] and 2008 ) [187] and Leinster ( 2009 , 2011 and 2012 ) [187] have won the Heineken Cup. In addition to this, the Irish International side has had some success in the Six Nations Championship against the other European elite sides. This success, including Triple Crowns in 2004, 2006 and 2007, culminated with a clean sweep of victories, known as Grand Slam , in 2009. [189]

Other sports

Horse racing and racing are both popular in Ireland. There are frequent horse races and greyhound stadiums are well-attended. The island is noted for breeding and training horses and is also a large exporter of racing dogs. [190] The horse racing sector is highly concentrated in the County Kildare . [191]

Irish athletics has had a heightened success rate since the year 2000, with Sonia O’Sullivan winning two medals at 5,000 meters on the track; gold at the 1995 World Championships and silver at the 2000 Sydney Olympics . Gillian O’Sullivan wins silver in the 20k walk at the 2003 World Championships, while sprinting hurdler Derval O’Rourke won gold at the 2006 World Indoor Championship in Moscow . Olive Loughnane won a silver medal in the 20k walk in the World Athletics Championships in Berlin in 2009.

Ireland has won more medals in boxing than in any other Olympic sport. Boxing is governed by the Irish Athletic Boxing Association . Michael Carruth won a gold medal and Wayne McCullough won a silver medal at the Barcelona Olympic Games . In 2008 Kenneth Egan won a silver medal in the Beijing Games. [192] Paddy Barnes in the 2010 European Amateur Boxing Championships ( 2010 ) and 2010 Commonwealth Games . Katie Taylorhas won gold in every European and World championship since 2005. Katie Taylor created history by becoming the first Irish woman to win a gold medal in boxing in the 60 kg lightweight. [193]

Golf is very popular, and golf is a major industry attracting more than 240,000 golfing visitors annually. [194] The 2006 Ryder Cup was held at The K Club in County Kildare . [195] Pádraig Harrington became the first Irishman since Fred Daly in 1947 to win the British Open at Carnoustie in July 2007. [196] He successfully defended his title in July 2008 [197] before going on to win the PGA Championship in August. [198]Harrington became the first European to win the PGA Championship in 78 years and was the first winner from Ireland. Three golfers from Northern Ireland have been particularly successful. In 2010, Graeme McDowell became the first Irish golfer to win the US Open , and the first European to win that tournament since 1970. Rory McIlroy , at the age of 22, won the 2011 US Open, while Darren Clarke’s latest victory was the 2011 Open Championship at Royal St. George’s. In August 2012, McIlroy won his 2nd major championship by winning the USPGA Championship by a record of 8 shots.


The west coast of Ireland, Lahinch and Donegal Bay in particular, have been popular surfing beaches, being fully exposed to the Atlantic Ocean . Donegal Bay is shaped like a funnel and catches west / south-west Atlantic winds, creating good surf, especially in winter. Since just before the year 2010, Bundoran has hosted European championship surfing. Scuba diving is widely popular in Ireland with clear waters and large populations of sea life, particularly along the western seaboard. There are also many shipwrecks along the coast of Ireland, with some of the best wrecks being in Malin Head and off the County Cork coast.[199]

With Thousands of lakes, over 14.000 kilometers (8,700 mi) of fish bearing rivers and over 3.700 kilometers (2,300 mi) of coastline, Ireland is a popular angling destination. The temperate Irish climate is suitable for sport angling. While salmon and trout fishing remain popular with anglers, salmon fishing has been reported to have improved in the past year . Coarse fishing continues to increase its profile. The sea is being developed with many beaches mapped and signposted, [200] and the range of sea angling species is around 80. [201]

Food and drink

Food and cooking in Ireland ict takes effect from the crops grown and animals farmed in the island’s temperate climate and from the social and political Circumstances of Irish history. For example, while in the Middle Ages until the arrival of the potato in the 16th century the dominant feature of the Irish economy was the herding of cattle, the number of cattle in the world. [202]Thus herders would avoid slaughtering a milk-producing cow. [202]

For this reason, the meat of fattened bacon (or rashers ) and the eating of salted butter have been a central feature of the diet in Ireland since the Middle Ages. [202] The practice of bleeding cattle and mixing the milk with butter (not unlike the practice of the Maasai ) was common [203] and black pudding , made from blood, grain (usually barley) and seasoning, remains a breakfast staple in Ireland. All of these influences can be seen today in the phenomenon of the ” breakfast roll “.

The introduction of the potato in the second half of the 16th century has a great influence on the cuisine. Great poverty encouraged a subsistence approach to food and by the mid-19th century the vast majority of the population sufficed with a diet of potatoes and milk. [204] A typical family, consisting of a man, a woman and four children, would eat 18 stone (110 kg) of potatoes a week. [202] Consequently, dishes That are regarded as national dishes Represent Fundamental unsophistication has to cooking, Such As the Irish stew , bacon and cabbage , Boxty , a kind of potato pancake, gold colcannon , a dish of mashed potatoes andkale or cabbage . [202]

Since the last quarter of the 20th century, with a re-emergence of wealth in Ireland, a “New Irish Cuisine” based on traditional ingredients incorporating international influences [205] has emerged. [206] This cuisine is based on fresh fish, especially salmon , trout , oysters , mussels and other shellfish, and is more commonly used in the past. An example of this new kitchen is “Dublin Lawyer”: lobster cooked in whiskey and cream. [207]The potato remains however a fundamental feature of this cuisine and the Irish remains the highest per capita [202] consumers of potatoes in Europe. Traditional regional foods can be found Throughout The Country, for example coddle in Dublin or drisheen in Cork, both, a kind of sausage, gold blaa , a doughy white bread Particular to Waterford .

Ireland once dominated the world’s market for whiskey , producing 90% of the world’s whiskey at the start of the 20th century. However, as a consequence of bootleggers in the United States(who sold poor-quality whiskey bearing Irish-sounding names thus eroding the pre-prohibition popularity for Irish brands) [208] and tariffs on Irish whiskey across the British Empire during the Anglo-Irish Trade War of the 1930s, [209] sales of Irish Whiskey worldwide fell to a mother 2% by the mid-20th century. [210]In 1953, an Irish government survey found that 50 per cent of whiskey drinkers in the United States had never heard of Irish whiskey . [211]

Irish whiskey, as researched in 2009 by the CNBC American broadcaster, remains popular domestically and has grown in international sales steadily over a few decades. [212] Typically CNBC states Irish whiskey is not a Scotch whiskey , but not as sweet as American or Canadian whiskeys. [212] Whiskey forms the basis of traditional cream liqueurs , Such As Baileys , and the ” Irish coffee ” (a cocktail of coffee and whiskey reputedly invented at Foynes flying-boat station ) is probably the best-known Irish cocktail.

Stout , a kind of porter beer , particularly Guinness , is typically associated with Ireland, although historically it was more closely associated with London . Porter remains very popular since the mid-20th century to lager . Cider , particularly Magners (marketed in the Republic of Ireland as Bulmers ), is also a popular drink. Red lemonade , a soft drink, is consumed on its own and a mixer, particularly with whiskey. [213]

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