Travel Guides: Ireland
Ireland is a country in Western Europe that occupies about 80% of the island of Ireland, the other part being occupied by Northern Ireland, part of the United Kingdom.
Ireland is the westernmost member of the European Union; it has a developed economy and a population of slightly more than 4 million. In the republic’s constitution, the name of the country is only Ireland (Éire in Irish) although the name Republic of Ireland is used not to be confused with Northern Ireland and the entire island of Ireland. Dublin is Ireland’s capital. Ireland is situated in Northwest Europe and occupies four fifths of the British Isles. Northern Ireland, an administrative division of the United Kingdom of Great Britain occupies the northeast corner of the island. Ireland is separated from Britain by St George’s Channel, Irish Sea and North Channel. West Coast is crossed by deep valleys, rocks and hundreds of small islands to large island detached from the powerful waves of the Atlantic.
The country has a mainly plain relief, covered with swamps, lakes, bogs and meadows, surrounded by a frame of hills and low mountains. Pastures and hayfields occupy two thirds of the island. Ireland has a mild climate, due to the warm waters of the Gulf Stream current. In terms of tourism, Ireland is a country where a special atmosphere reigns on rural cultural tradition of this country. Predominant color and joy reflected in the brightly colored buildings, the children you meet everywhere, and lots and lots of music. The island is so small that it can drive through its length and width in one day in a few hours. However, tourists should not cross it without stopping to admire the natural beauty of this unique land.
When arriving in Ireland, be prepared, it rains often. The more and more often is in County Kerry, which may be sprinkled even 270 days per year. But this way you may come to bless the Irish already famous saying: “In the pub does not rain!” Certainly, Dublin is the ideal place to start your holiday in Ireland. The city knew a surprising pre-crisis economic boom, so it has changed seriously in the last decade. Vibrant and noisy, is situated in the top tourist destinations in Europe, having a new cultural identity. Really special is the free spirit of the Irish. And, beyond the changes, their city is accessible and friendly. You can check with 18 euro / night or 400, depending on what you want. But, no matter where you want to stay, you have very much to do once you leave the room. Tour castles can be a fun alternative to get acquainted with Irish history: Drimnagh, Malahide, Dalkey, Ardgillan and Dublin Castle, are the best known.
Fortress of power for 700 years it is an English creation of the eighteenth century, more like a palace than a castle with turrets. Only the tower survived from the construction of the original record of the thirteenth century. The most fascinating part of the castle is the basement, the place where you can see the old city walls and canals. And, if you are tempted with an Irish spa, there are few hotels where you can not fail, some look like fairytale castles, others are built in tune with the latest trends. Places that host them are areas of land with gardens and trees of endless millennia. For example, the Adare Manor hotel spa & Golf Resort in County Limerick, was created as a sanctuary of pro-escaping. Located on the banks of a river, surrounded by secular woods, it has an 18 holes golf course, a riding center, several boutiques, and others. The elegant interior welcomes its guests to introduce them in a world of luxury and beauty and health treatments of 5 stars.
The staff has been carefully selected, being educated in the spirit of caring for the needs of those who buy big money relaxation. The attraction exerted on tourists, Ireland is a superlative destination that is often characterized by clichés such as the greenest country, full of the friendliest people, who would all be geniuses if they had not been attracted by the many pubs. Ireland is indeed a green country – a benefit of heavy rains, and the inhabitants are known for their kindness. The country also boasts four Nobel Prize winners for literature. It is already known as an Irish custom to compose verses, which must be recited in the pub. Ireland from the other day was too cold and dark to attract the Romans. It is even said that the Romans were mistaking the west coast of Ireland with Spain. The Celts continued to worship the sun until the fifth century, when Saint Patrick was able to convert people to Christianity.
Today, visitors find beautiful scenery in Ireland in small and a lot of areas away from civilization, waiting to be explored. Burren region is an extraordinary place with underground springs, caverns, chasms and crevices. The best known are Aliwee Caves, which is in a continuous remodeling. The areas around Killarney are ideal for hiking and biking. If you visit the Aran Islands, do not miss Inis Meain, Cloncmanois and Connemara, Galway and Sligo to spend wonderful experiences in nature. Ireland would be an ideal destination if you would have fickle weather. It would be so stupid as to stop you. And if it starts raining, you can always take refuge in the nearest pub to enjoy a pint of beer.
Main attractions: Trinity College is an elegant Elizabethan oasis in the heart of Dublin and is the place where is the famous Book of Kells. Here have studied personalities like Oscar Wilde, Bram Stoker and Samuel Beckett. Admire the rare books and artifacts of the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin, whose collection includes some of the most remarkable examples of the Quran in the world, and one of the earliest biblical fragments in the world. Visit the Guinness store, part of the brewery and one of the most visited attractions in Dublin. Discover the history of this brand of beer. Visit Kilmainham Gaol prison, where were closed most of those who fought against Great Britain and where the 1916 Easter rebellion leaders were executed.
Explore the burial places of the Bru na Boinne, west of Drogheda in the lands of Louth and Meath, who are older than the pyramids. Among these, Newgrange is the most remarkable tomb with compartments, built about 5,000 years ago. Admire wilderness of the land of Connemara, including Ireland’s only fjord of Killary harbor and road network by Twelve Bens mountain chain. Dance by traditional rhythms of the land bars Clare – Kilfenora, Lisdoonvarna and Corrofin which are places where you can listen to the original Irish music. Visit the approximately 2,000 stone forts, scattered on the land territory Clare, famous for its landscape consisting of limestone rocks, The Burren.
Do not miss the collection of medieval castles of Ireland. Some are tourist attractions (the land of Blarney in Cork), and some are luxury hotels (Dromoland and Ashford to clear land in the region of Galway). Visit the medieval city of Kilkenny. During the festival you can take advantage of bars and nightlife of the city. Explore Ireland on foot, covering the 31 tracks. The most famous is the Wicklow Way, which runs from the suburbs of Dublin to Carlow. Explore the Ring of Kerry, a scenic 180 km route around the Iveragh Peninsula, with numerous violations to the coast and islands like Skellig Michael, one of the rockiest parts of Ireland. Visit the island of Ireland, with attractions from gardens to wild Italian Garinish Tory. Do not forget the Aran Islands.
Ireland is an agricultural country, famous for its meat, bacon, poultry and dairy products. The capital Dublin is a selection of restaurants for every budget, like all big cities. Recently, Ireland has become a mandatory for all gourmets. All over the country are held cooking classes, from the schools to offer courses for chefs in restaurants from rural enthusiasts. Tea is often a complete meal with sandwiches and cakes. National specialties include shrimp, oysters, Irish stew (lamb or beef meat, potatoes, onions, carrots and garlic), pig feet and a blow from marine algae. National drinks are whiskey (which is matured for seven years in a wooden barrel), Irish coffee (strong coffee, brown sugar, whiskey and cream) and Guinness, one of the most popular beverages in the world.
The Republic of Ireland is a country in Western Europe, occupying approx 80 percent of the island of Ireland, the other part being occupied by Northern Ireland, part of the United Kingdom. Ireland is separated from Great Britain through the Channel St. George, the English Channel and Irish Sea. Objectives submitted to the UNESCO World Heritage List are: Bend of the Boyne Archaeological Ensemble and Michael Skelling. The country is best known for its landscapes shrouded in fog, because of its mountains, traditions, legends, folklore and its rich culture. The capital and largest city of the country is Dublin, called in the past Baile Atha Cliath, situated on the banks of the River Liffey. Dublin is the main cultural and educational center of the country.
Here are the most prestigious museums in the country and the Irish Museum of Modern Art, National Gallery, Irish, Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery, and Chester Beatty Library, which holds many rare books, manuscripts and invaluable collection of images and publications in miniature, Irish three branches of the National Museum of Ireland. The University of Dublin is the oldest in Ireland was founded in the sixteenth century; National University of Ireland is the second and most recent is the Dublin City University. The district Temple Bar area is a bustling night life area, with bars and pubs that are always full of both locals and tourists. Phoenix Park is the largest urban park in Europe and has a polo field and a zoo.
In the park have their residences the President of Ireland and the U.S. ambassador. Christ Church Cathedral dates from the XI century, the oldest building in Dublin. The most interesting part of it is a crypt which is much older than the cathedral. Cork is the most visited destination in Ireland after Dublin. This is a very nice city in terms of
architecture and very quiet. Here are found historic buildings, monuments, modern restaurants and many different specific locations. St. Patrick’s Day is very special for the Irish here, being celebrated with performances of theater and music, with parades and street parties. Ardmore is a fishery village and a famous resort in Ireland, situated on the south coast, in the Waterford region.
This is very popular due to its beaches and rocky shores. The city is a blend of old and modern buildings. On one of the hills above it you can see today a 30-m high tower, dating from the twelfth century, the ruins of St Declan of the XIII century church and the oratory of St. Declan. Galway is a holiday town in western Ireland, a major urban center with restaurants, pubs and modern hotels, one of the liveliest cities in Ireland. In the city is an old university, the building was being a classic example of Irish architecture and the oldest part of the city’s Eyre Square. There may be water skiing, windsurfing in the ocean and can take boat trips to the three Aran Islands. If you go by the River Corrib River, you reach the Claddagh, where is the famous local Roisin Dubh, Red Rose, one of the best in Ireland, where live concerts are held frequently.
Among the most beautiful places in Ireland lies the town of Killarney. It has wonderful scenery, the best known being the Waterfall Torc, being able to climb to the top of it. On the road between Killarney-Kenmare Road and Muckross Gardens are landscaped gardens stretching in Irish style and from here you can reach Muckross Lake. Ireland is a very small country. Even Irish people say you can not get lost in it more than an hour because after you turn over any hill or a house. The most quiet holiday town west of Ireland, with only 60,000 inhabitants and a lot of festivals, Galway has a picture of a perfect tourist town. You can do water skiing, boat, you can walk, you can swim in the few days of sunshine in May, you can windsurf on the waves of the ocean and you can take a small boat to the three Aran Islands.
People here are a bit weird, not very sociable, quite old and heavy winds, unusual place with strangers, and especially with tourists, speak little, and that if they understand English, but if they pass by on the street will be the first will give you a good day, in any language would that be. Inishmore, the smallest of the islands, is the most welcoming and most aligned with the standards of European tourism: you can go in a carriage, you can rent a bike, you can visit a museum, you can go up to the highest cliffs on the island, about 100 m, go straight and perpendicular to the ocean. Galway site has attractions beyond the usual and some lovely places. One is an old fishing village, the Claddagh, whose legend has created one of the most romantic symbols of Ireland: a ring as two hands supporting a crowned heart.
Claddagh ring’s motto is “Let Love and Friendship Reign”. Another specific place is the Saturday market. Every weekend, one of the center’s pedestrian streets, small manufacturers are coming to town and install its colorful stalls. You can find all here: fruits, vegetables, cheese of all kinds of handicrafts, woolen sweaters and socks. And after you’ve eaten well, obviously a beer or a hot whiskey is appropriate (whiskey infused with cinnamon, sugar and lemon). All pubs have a very pleasant atmosphere and are the most frequented places in town. Rarely you find two free tables for more than a half hour during the day and evening, starting at 8 am so full as terrible to have to squeeze the bar, or if you fail, then wait for the bartender that will look lip-read what and how much beer you want, then money and pints of beer (a pint – about a liter) circulates from hand to hand until the bar and vice versa.
Celtic tribes settled in Ireland in the 4th century BC. The small Irish feudal states from the centuries 8-11, reject the Viking attempts to establish sustainable island, and in 1711 King Henry II proclaimed English sovereignty over Ireland, which will take several centuries. During World War I the Irish patriots trigger in 1916, an uprising anti-British, proclaiming the independence of Ireland, but they are defeated by the English army. In 1919, the Constituent Assembly in Dublin proclaimed independence for Ireland, who received dominion status in 1921 (except Ulster – Northern Ireland today.) Acceptance of this agreement has sparked strong international crisis, which culminated in a civil war. In 1937, Ireland was declared independent and sovereign, and in 1949 left the Commonwealth.
Neutral during the Second World War, Ireland becomes a member of the UN in 1955 and in 1973 of the EEC. Area: Total: 70,280 sq km, Water: 1380 km, Land: 68,890 sq km. Climate: Tempered, feels the influence of ocean currents, mild winters, cool summers. Extreme points: The deepest point: Atlantic Ocean, 0 m. Highest point: 1041 m Carrauntoohil. Population: 3,924,140 (July 2003 estimate). Age structure: Between 0 and 14 years: 21.2% (427,017 men, 404,191 women), 15-64 years: 67.4% (male 1,322,982; female 1,322,429), over 65 years: 11.4% (male 194,724, female 252,797) (2003 estimate). Ethnic groups: Irish, British. Religion: Roman – Catholics, other religions.
Capital: Dublin. Independence Day: December 6, 1921 (under British occupation). Coin: Euro (EUR). Means of communication: Telephones: 1.6 million (2002 estimate), Mobile: 3 million (2002 estimate), TV stations: 4. Internet country code: .ie. Internet users: 1.31 million (2002 estimate). Airports: 36 (2002 estimate). Although Ireland was in the 90s the “Celtic Tiger” of Europe, surprising everyone with spectacular economic gains, Dublin could not avoid the “humiliation” of being saved by the injection of 85 billion dollars from the EU and IMF. Now the economy is in shock and tourism, one of the most dynamic sectors of Ireland, is not in discordant note.
Irish not deny that they are in suffering. The population is facing a difficult situation, but the solution is to go out and win the business market and this will not happen by itself. The global economic crisis had a significant impact on the number of American and British tourists visiting Ireland. In 2009, the total number of tourists visiting Ireland amounted to 7.6 million, down from 8.6 million in 2008. Revenue from tourism amounted in 2009 to 3.4 billion euros, while a year before it amounted to 4.3 billion euros. Preliminary data for 2010 showed that the total number of tourists decreased to 6.6 million.
Although the figures are worrying, people remain optimistic. Their strengths are the people, scenery and the hospitality. Tourism is 3% of GDP in Ireland. Tourism contributes to Ireland’s GDP by only 3%, but the explosive growth in the number of tourists during the ‘90s was a huge source of national pride. In 2011 tourism will continue contracting and authorities will launch promotional campaigns in the United States, Britain and elsewhere in Europe. In 2011 they will launch a big campaign in the main markets. They are optimistic that they will return to growth. British and US tourists are visiting Ireland in the largest number, followed by German and French. In the past decade, the typology of visitors from North America has changed.
Traditionally 70% of American tourists had relatives or ancestral ties to Ireland, about 70% of visitors from the United States do not have such ties. For the first time in history, Ireland will have an advertising campaign on television in Germany, with translation by promoting social networks. Ireland has 185,000 people watching Ireland on Facebook and Twitter accounts. Ireland is an island divided into two regions: Northern Ireland (14 120 sq km), which is part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Irish Independent, which occupies most part of the island. It is a land of rocky mountains, forests and the remains of three ancient cultures – Celtic, Norman and Anglo-Saxon.
At each step you will encounter here the ruins of palaces, castles and abbeys, and legends that still live today. Even if the development of tourism disturbs the tranquility and isolation somewhat of Ireland, many of the green hills and white sand beaches are still untouched. In some cities during the summer festivals are held in traditional Irish music and jazz, sometimes folk dances. In respect of the local people is enough to quote an old saying: “In Ireland they are not strangers, just friends that still have not met yet.” When you say Ireland, one of the first things that come to minds is Dublin, Ireland’s charming capital that protects original cultural elements such as museums, castles that tell stories of kings and queens, princes and princesses.
Ireland is also the home of rugby, for here we find the dreaded Irish rugby team. Athletes are like colds and some Vikings that emanate strength. Dublin Castle, National Museum, Grafton Street are feeling the tourist attractions in Ireland. Grafton Street is a pedestrian street lined with exclusive access to restaurants, where you find free artistic demonstrations. One of the most visited tourist attractions are the Moher cliffs, where you can admire the birds, as a protection area for birds. Ireland is surrounded by the Atlantic, but the portion between Ireland and Great Britain is called Great Irish. Atlantic provides a source of income for Ireland in fishing, but also a major tourist attraction, with the stories about Vikings and whale hunts. Tourists can participate in fishing contests. Because Ireland is called a landscape forever green, the emerald Country, a myth is that here we find over 40 shades of green. During the summer you can sunbathe, in a place known as Curracloe, in Wexford, a beach very appreciated by tourists.
Ireland lies to the north-west of continental Europe and is surrounded by hundreds of islands and islets. The Irish government on the island is divided between two independent jurisdictions: Ireland (also known as the “Republic of Ireland”) and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The Republic covers just under five sixths of the island. Relatively low surrounding mountains, simply summarize to central Ireland, with several navigable rivers. The island has lush vegetation, a product of oceanic climate but slightly changing that avoids extreme temperatures. Today, Ireland is the most deforested area in Europe.
Twenty-six species of mammals are native to Ireland, such as red foxes, hedgehogs and badgers, are very common. Others, like red hare, Irish deer and pine marten are less. The population of Ireland is estimated at 6.2 million people, just under 4.5 million in the Republic of Ireland and only slightly below 1.8 million in Northern Ireland. This is a significant increase from a modern historical low of 4.2 million in 1960, but still much lower than the peak population of over 8 million in the mid 19th century. In 1801, Ireland became part of the United Kingdom. A war of independence in the early 20th century led to the division of the island, creating the Irish Free State, which has become increasingly sovereign in the coming decades. Northern Ireland remained part of the United Kingdom and had a lot of civil unrest in the late 1960s until 1990.
It fell after a political agreement in 1998. In 1973, both parts of Ireland joined the European Community. Republic of Ireland has experienced unprecedented economic growth since the mid 1990s until 2008. Ireland has had a significant influence on other cultures, especially in the fields of literature and, to a lesser extent, science and education. There is a strong culture, for example through sport native Irish language and Irish music, with a common Western culture such as contemporary music, theater, sports such as football, rugby and golf, and English language.
Ireland has two distinct jurisdictions: Ireland (Irish Republic), sovereign state which covers five sixths of the island, with its capital at Dublin; Northern Ireland, part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, which covers one sixth of the island, with the capital at Belfast. Traditionally, Ireland is divided into four provinces: Connacht; Leinster; Munster; Ulster and in 32 counties. 26 counties are in the Republic of Ireland and the other six (all in Ulster) in Northern Ireland. The island has an area of 84,412 sq km of which 81,638 kilometers square belong to the Republic of Ireland. On 6 December 1922 was a civil war, which lasted until 1923, then formed the Irish Free State (IFPA Free State).
Official languages: Irish, English. It is a parliamentary democracy. Ethnic groups: Irish, English (minority). Languages: English and Irish (Gaelic). Administration: 26 counties, 34 local authorities. Religions: Roman Catholic, Church of Ireland, Presbyterian, Muslim, Jewish and others. Ireland’s west coast is rocky, with hills and tall mountains. The interior of the island is flat, crossed by rivers such as: Shannon and several large lakes called lochs. A ring of coastal mountains surrounds low central plains. The highest peak is Carrauntoohil in County Kerry, of 1038 m. It is called the “Emerald Isle” because of vegetation, a product of climate, with frequent rain. The maritime temperate climate is modified by North Atlantic Current and is relatively mild. Rainfall is at home, some parts of the country reaching 275 rainy days a year.
Ireland is a country which is better explored on foot. Renowned for its fishing in rivers and lakes is also an opportunity for a variety of water sports like surfing, scuba diving and sailing. The capital of Ireland is Dublin, on the east coast, which is a city pulsating energy due to restaurants, boutiques, legendary pubs, art galleries, elegant architecture and history fascinating and disturbing. In addition they make a single settlement on the edge of the Irish Sea. Other cities: Galway, west coast, the most beautiful city in Ireland; Limerick, in the mid-west, with the largest private collection of Irish art and antiques and a lot of history; Waterford, south east coast; Cork Ballina; Kenmare; Kinsale; Sligo; Tralee.
In smaller towns and villages, it is customary to say hello if you pass by one and eventually you will be asked “how are you?” It is polite to answer, but do not give very detailed explanations. A remark about the weather is always welcomed. If you drive on a narrow road and the car coming in front let you go, it’s polite to greet with a sign of gratitude. Although there are many similarities between Britain and Ireland, the Irish are proud of the cultural differences and do not appreciate the tourists that make confusion. One tip is to not expose your opinions about cultural and historical differences between Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland.
Republic of Ireland: Form of government: republic. Area: 70,000 sq km. Population: 4,000,000 inhabitants. Republic of Ireland is located in Western Europe and occupies approximately 80% of the island of Ireland and the other part is occupied by Northern Ireland, part of the United Kingdom. Ireland is the westernmost member of the European Union, has a developed economy and a population of just over 4 million. In the constitution of the republic, the country is only by Ireland, Irish Republic is the name used to not be confused with Northern Ireland and the entire island of Ireland. Ireland is completely surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, although the portion of water between Ireland and Great Britain is known as the Irish Sea.
Republic of Ireland is divided into 26 counties. Each county has a district council. In addition to the 26 counties, four main towns are administered individually by their council: Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Waterford. In addition, the County Dublin is divided into three different councils (Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, Fingal and South Dublin), in addition to the administration of Dublin. West Coast of Ireland is composed of hills and mountains with small height, the highest point being Carrauntoohil at 1041 m. In the center of the country is mostly flat terrain, favorable for agriculture and crossed by rivers and lakes like Shannon. The country has a mainly plain relief, covered with swamps, lakes, bogs and meadows, surrounded by a frame of hills and low mountains. Pastures and hayfields occupy two thirds of the island.
The climate is modified by North Atlantic Current and is relatively mild. Summers are hot and winters are rarely cold. Precipitation is very common, especially in the form of rain. In parts of the country, up to 275 days a year are rainy. Ireland is situated in Northwest Europe and occupies 80% of the British Isles. Northern Ireland, an administrative division of the United Kingdom of Great Britain occupies the northeast corner of the island. Ireland is separated from Britain by the Canal St. George, Irish Sea and North Channel. West Coast is crossed by deep valleys, rocks and hundreds of small islands to large island detached from the powerful waves of the Atlantic. In terms of tourism Ireland is a country where a special atmosphere reigns on rural cultural tradition of this country. Predominant color and joy reflected in the brightly colored buildings, the children you meet everywhere, and lots and lots of music. The island is so small that it can drive through its length and width in one day than a few hours. However, tourists should not cross it without stopping to admire the natural beauty of this unique land.
Dublin is the capital and largest city of Ireland. The city is situated on the banks of the River Liffey. They say the English name “Dublin” is derived from the name of the Irish “Dubh Linn” which means “black pool”. However, many historians do not like this etymology, because contemporary Irish name Baile Átha Cliath city is not Dubh Linn. The first reference to the city was in the writings of Ptolemy in 140, where it refers to the city Eblana. Eblana name is close enough to put doubt on the derivation of Dubh Linn. A similar word is found in Icelandic – djúp lind, which means deep pond. Dublin is a major cultural center in Ireland. Temple Bar district is an area known worldwide for nightlife and is popular with people in the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe. The city has a growing gay community, although homosexuality was legalized only in 1992 after a case in European Court of Human Rights.
The city is the origin of many important artists and writers. James Joyce, the famous Irish writer was born in Dublin and has written various pieces of literature about the city, including the great novel Ulysses (Odysseus), which is full of details about the 1920′s Dublin. In Dublin there are the largest and most prestigious museums in Ireland: Irish Museum of Modern Art, National Gallery of Ireland, Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery, Chester Beatty Library and three branches of the National Museum of Ireland. Dublin is the largest educational center in Ireland, with three universities: University of Dublin, which is the oldest in Ireland, founded in the sixteenth – century, National University of Ireland, the second university in Dublin and most recently, Dublin City University (Dublin City University), specializes in business, engineering, science and industry.
Ireland has a small economy, modern and dependent on external trade. With a GDP of approximately $ 40,000 per capita, Ireland is the third richest country in Europe and the fourth biggest in the world. The economy is characterized by a highly educated workforce and a very high rate of foreign investment. Economic growth reached an average of 10% per year between 1995 and 2000, because of the trial Celtic Tiger. Between 2002 and 2004, average growth per year was around 4-6%. Agriculture, which was for long the most important economic sector, is now overshadowed by the industry, which is 46% of GDP, Ireland being currently among the most industrialized economies in the world.
80% of exports consist of industrial goods although this sector employs only 28% of the workforce. Although exports remain the largest source of dynamic economic growth, Ireland is benefiting from an increase in consumption and a revival of the sectors of construction and business investment. Ireland has a two-year industry with old branches and new branches: textile, metallurgical industries, chemical, pharmaceutical, electronics (computers) and equipments. In the last decade, Ireland has implemented a series of national economic projects with the goal of reducing inflation and the rates charged. Other goals include: reducing government spending as a percentage of GDP, improving the preparation of the workforce and promote foreign investment, which already is among the highest levels in the world.
Ireland adopted the euro by a further 11 other European Union countries in 2002. Most Irish are of Celtic ethnicity, though English is a significant minority. The official languages are Irish, a Celtic language, and English, which is the second official language. Irish is compulsory in the educational system and is the first official language, although English is the language spoken by most people as their mother tongue. Public signs are usually bilingual. Communities who speak Irish as their first language live mainly in the Gaeltacht areas in western Ireland, although they comprise a small percentage of the total population of the country.
92% of the population is Roman Catholics, although lately it has been a massive decline of religious faith and involving Irish Catholics. In 2001, only 48% of those who declare themselves Catholics usually go to religious services. The second is the Anglican religion, officially known as the Irish Church (Church of Ireland in English). There is a minority who believes in Judaism and a small but increasing number of Muslims.
It is the largest European manufacturer of personal computers. Ireland’s population is nearly 4 million inhabitants. Currently living in Ireland (April 2010) an approximate 45.000-50.0000 Romanian citizens. It is one of the most important foreign communities in this country.
The state is a republic with a parliamentary system of government. President of Ireland, who is head of state is elected for a term of seven years and may be re-elected only once. The president is largely ceremonial, although it has some constitutional powers and functions and is endorsed by the Council of State. Prime Minister of Ireland is known as the Taoiseach and president on the nomination of parliament. In general, the Taoiseach is the head of the political party which wins most seats in national elections. Lately, it is normal for governments to be formed coalitions not being a government consisting of a single party in the period 1987-1989.
Bicameral parliament called the Oireachtas, consists of a Senate (Seanad Éireann) and the Chamber of Deputies (Dáil Éireann). The Senate has 60 members, eleven nominated by the Taoiseach, six elected by two universities, and 43 elected public representatives. The Dáil has 166 members, known as Teachtaí Dala, who are elected to represent the electorate, or polling stations, under a proportional representation system. The Constitution specified that elections must be held at least every seven years. Government of Ireland has more than 15 members, and not more than two of whom may be nominated by the Senate. Prime Minister (Taoiseach), Deputy Prime Minister (Tanaiste) and Minister of Finance must be members of parliament.
The government currently in power is a coalition of two parties: Fianna Fail in the Taoiseach’s Parthalán Ó hEachtairn (Bertie Ahern in English) and the Progressive Democrats under Tánaiste Mary Harney. Opposition in the current parliament is made up of Fine Gael and Labor Party. The other parties with parliamentary representation include: Green Party, Sinn Fein and the Socialist Party. The island of Ireland has an area of 84,421 km ², of which 70,273 km ² are in Ireland. Ireland is completely surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, although the portion of water between Ireland and Great Britain is known as the Irish Sea.
West Coast of Ireland is composed of hills and mountains with small height, the highest point being Carrauntoohil at 1041 m. In the center of the country is mostly flat terrain, favorable for agriculture and crossed by rivers and lakes like Shannon. Center of the country contains major deposits of peat, peat being the most important natural resources of Ireland. Summers are hot and winters are rarely cold. Precipitation is very common, especially in the form of rain. In parts of the country, up to 275 days a year are rainy. Main cities are the capital Dublin on the east coast, Cork in the south, Galway and Limerick and Waterford on the west coast of south-east coast.
The Irish are of Celtic origin, with a minority of Anglo-Saxon descents. Ireland has been inhabited since around 6000 BC. After 4,000 years, tribes from Southern Europe arrived and settled a high Neolithic culture. The representative of Neolithic sites in Ireland is the megalithic tombs at Newgrange and Knowth in County of Meath. Both were built around 3200 BC and are older than Stonehenge in England and the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt. Pagan idols were found belonging to the Iron Age Celts build the Boa Island, County Fermanagh, in the form of the mysterious Janus. Celtic invasion occurred in the Iron Age.
Ireland’s famous patron does not come from Ireland. Patrick was taken prisoner in his homeland and brought to Britain by the Irish in Ireland corsairs. He was put to work as a shepherd. After he escaped and returned to England, Patrick had a vision of God who told him to return to Ireland as a missionary and convert the Irish to Christianity.11