Travels in Ireland:

The Kerry Way (8 days)
Guided walking tour in Southwest Ireland

Celtic Kerry Cultural Tour (8 days)
Discover Ireland's heritage

The Burren, Aran Islands and Conemara (8 days)
Walking trip through the west of Ireland

Donegal Delights (8 days)
Guided walking tour

Multi Activity Adventure (8 days)
Ireland's best hiking, biking, horse-riding, sea-kayaking and canoeing

Quick Facts:


Official Name:

Republic of Ireland




70,273 km²; 27,133 sq mi


Irish, English


Euro (EUR)

Population figure:

2006 estimate: 4,239,848


The total number of non-national (foreign citizen) residents in Ireland is 419,733, or around 10%. The single largest group of immigrants comes from the United Kingdom (112,548) followed by Poland (63,267), Lithuania (24,628), Nigeria (16,300), Latvia (13,319), USA (12,475), China (11,161), and Germany (10,289).


86.8% nominally Roman Catholic

Government type:

Republic and Parliamentary Democracy


The state known today as the Republic of Ireland came into being when 26 of the counties of Ireland seceded from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (UK) in 1922. The remaining six counties remained within the UK as Northern Ireland. This action, known as the Partition of Ireland, came about because of complex constitutional developments in the early twentieth century.
From 1 January 1801 until 6 December 1922, Ireland was part of the United Kingdom. During the Great Famine from 1845 to 1849 the island's population of over 8 million fell by 30 percent. One million Irish died of starvation and another 1.5 million emigrated, which set the pattern of emigration for the century to come and would result in a constant decline up to the 1960s. In January 1919, after the December 1918 general elections, 73 of Ireland's 106 MPs elected were Sinn F?in members who refused to take their seats in the British House of Commons. Instead, they set up an extra-legal Irish parliament called D?il ?ireann. This D?il in January 1919 issued a Unilateral Declaration of Independence and proclaimed an Irish Republic. After the bitterly fought War of Independence, representatives of the British government and the Irish treaty delegates negotiated the Anglo-Irish Treaty in London from October 11th -6th December 1921. Under the Treaty the British agreed to the establishment of an independent Irish State whereby the Irish Free State (in the Irish language Saorst?t ?ireann) with dominion status was created. The D?il ?ireann narrowly ratified the treaty. The Irish Civil War was the direct consequence of the creation of the Irish Free State.


The island of Ireland extends over 84,421 km? or 32,556 mi?, of which 83% (approx. five-sixths) belong to the Republic (70,280 km?; 27,103 mi?) and the remainder constituting Northern Ireland. It is bound to the west by the Atlantic Ocean, to the northeast by the North Channel. To the east is found the Irish Sea which reconnects to the ocean via the southwest with St George's Channel and the Celtic Sea. The west-coast of Ireland mostly consists of cliffs, hills and low mountains (the highest point being Carrauntoohil at 1,041 m or 3,414 ft). The interior of the country is relatively flat land, traversed by rivers such as the River Shannon and several large lakes or loughs. The centre of the country is part of the River Shannon watershed, containing large areas of bogland, used for peat extraction and production.


The local temperate climate is modified by the North Atlantic Current and is relatively mild. Summers are rarely very hot (temperatures only exceed 30?C (86?F) usually once every decade, though commonly reach 29?C (84?F) most summers, but it freezes only occasionally in winter (temperatures below -6?C (21?F) are uncommon). Precipitation is very common, with up to 275 days with rain in some parts of the country.

This article is partly based on a free article of the encyclopaedia Wikipedia and is subject to GNU-licence for free documentation. A list of authors is available on Wikipedia


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