The Republic of Ireland is located in Western Europe; it occupies five-sixths of the island of Ireland which lies in the North Atlantic Ocean to the west of the UK.
Six counties in Northern Ireland make up the final sixth of the island and remain part of the United Kingdom.
Historical guide to Ireland
The first settlers on the island were Celtic tribes-people; they began arriving and settling around 600 B.C. Their history is relatively untroubled; the history of an unsettled Ireland began in the 8th century.
Norsemen began invading the island in the 8th Century, and this period of disquiet continued until around 1014 with the defeat of the Danes by King Boru.
In the 12th century English invaders arrived in Ireland, and so began seven centuries of bitter Anglo-Irish conflict.
The conflict resulted in the continuous repression of the Irish people and their fierce rebellion in the face of this repression.
The centuries of hindrance, frustration, restrictions, pain and violence came to a head in 1916 with the Easter Rising when the Irish fought bitterly
In 1948 Ireland withdrew completely from the British Commonwealth.
In 1973 the Republic of Ireland joined the European Community.
The Irish governments continue to work towards the peaceful unification of Ireland and have cooperated with Britain against terrorist groups.
Finally in 1998 a peace settlement for Northern Ireland - known as the Good Friday Agreement - was approved. The Good Friday Agreement is now being implemented albeit with some difficulties.
Guide to Ireland - socially, economically & climatically
The primary language in Ireland is English, the Irish population is primarily young and well-educated. The legal system in Ireland is very similar to the English common-law system, although the more continental influence of EU law is starting to develop.
Ireland may have had a troubled history, but the Irish are beautifully natured people. They are famous for knowing how to have a good time (or craic), and for their musical and lyrical talents.
Ireland is the birthplace of so many famous, and talented people - e.g., writers like Yeats, Joyce, Beckett, Wilde or Shaw - e.g., bands and singers like Clannad, U2, Enya - e.g., actors and actresses like Pierce Brosnan, Gabriel Byrne, Liam Neeson...the list is endless.
The climate in Ireland is referred to as temperate maritime - it is affected by the North Atlantic current and has mild winters and cool summers.
It does rain a lot in Ireland - which is why it is so green and referred to as the Emerald Isle! But this makes for beautiful lush green countryside. This coupled with the incredible history and culture of Ireland makes the country a fascinating place to visit or live.
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More Irish Facts and Resources: www.irishpast.com/