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The earliest evidence of settlers in Ireland show that people had lived in the region since 6000 BC. Archaeological evidence also show that during 3500 BC, settlers had already begun using stone tools to prepare land for agriculture.
During the 9th century AD, the Vikings invaded and established settlements, resulting to the building of major cities, such as the establishment of the capital of Dublin. The Vikings were met with opposition from the Celts, leading to a 200-year war between the two people. The clashes ended in 1014, when both groups decided to unite. However, peace was short lived and soon, Ireland was divided into many kingdoms.
In 1170, Norman Vikings that dominated England came to Ireland and invaded the island, making the region an English territory. In the 1600's, Protestantism became England's official religion and the English tried to impose it to the Irish people who were mostly Roman Catholics. This was met with intense clashes and eventually a revolution with the intent of complete independence from Britain.
In 1820, British laws were implemented in Ireland, which were biasd against the Roman Catholics. By 1829, the laws were overturned but the Irish people still wanted their independence. A mass movement resulted in 1830 but the Catholics suffered severe famine from 1841 to 1851, resulting to starvation, disease, and mass emigration mostly to the United States.
After the famine, the Irish Catholics began to rise again, leading to violent uprising, and the revolution eventually resulted to the Irish Free State in 1922.
Ireland is found in northwestern Europe. It is the 2nd biggest island in the continent, coming only next to Great Britain. The country makes up the British Isles with Great Britain and other smaller islands in the region.
Ireland is bordered by the Irish Sea and the North Channel west of the United Kingdom, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, and the Celtic Sea to the south.
Nicknamed the Emerald Isle, Ireland is known for its wide landscape of lush and green fields.
The Republic of Ireland is a parliamentary, representative democracy, with the President as Head of State with mostly ceremonial powers, and the Prime Minister as Head of Government.
Executive power is exercised by the government, which consists of 15 cabinet members, the Prime Minister, and the Deputy Prime Minister.
Legislative power is exercised by the President of Ireland, and the bicameral national parliament that consists of the house of representatives and the senate.
Judiciary power is separate from both the executive and legislative power, and is headed by the Chief Justice, who presides over the Supreme Court of Ireland.
Ireland is one of the top travel destinations in Europe. It is most famous for its well-preserved architectural buildings and castles, as well as its vibrant night life and frequent festivals.
The most visited city in the country is the capital of Dublin. The 4th most visited European capital, it boasts of a large number of pubs, excellent shopping options, and fine architecture. The Trinity College, which is Ireland's most prestigious university, has a campus that houses majestic buildings that are over a hundred years old. The most visited attraction in Dublin is the Guinness Storehouse - home of one of Ireland's greatest exports - the Guinness beer.
Killarney is fast becoming one of the most visited cities in the country, coming only next to Dublin with the number of tourists per year. It is an excellent starting point to the Ring of Kerry - an area filled with ancient monuments, romantic castles, colorful towns and villages, and stunning scenery.
Galway is famous for its never-ending list of festivals. Nicknamed the City of Tribes, its largely young population boasts of a Bohemian vibe that welcomes all forms of art and music. Over 50 festivals take place in the city each year. And a visit to Galway is never complete without heading to the Aran Islands - a group of mystical islands where Ireland's rural existence is very well-preserved.
Education is compulsory for all children ages 6-16. All state-run schools and colleges are free of tuition but university students have to pay an administration fee to cover registration and examinations. Free public education extends to applicants from the European Union.
- In Ireland, there is 1 pub for every 100 persons.
- Halloween is derived from an old Irish Pagan festival.
- St. Patrick's Day is actually a solemn holiday in Ireland and less about drinking as opposed to celebrations found all around the world.
- The most famous vampire story of Count Dracula was written by Bram Stoker in Dublin in 1897.
Last Updated On : November 22, 2014