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Ireland Facts



Where is Ireland?
Ireland is an island nation located to the north-west of continental Europe. To the east of Ireland, lies the island of Great Britain, from which it is separated by the Irish Sea. On the west of Ireland is the northern Atlantic Ocean; while the Celtic Sea borders the island on the west. Ireland and Great Britain, along-with the nearby islands, are collectively known as the British Isles.
What is the capital of Ireland?
Dublin is the capital of Ireland. It is located near the mid-point of the east coast of the country, at the mouth of the River Liffey, and at the center of the Dublin Region. With a population of 525,383, Dublin is the most populous city of Ireland. The city serves as the historical, cultural, educational, economic, and the administrative center of the island nation.

How big is Ireland?
Covering a total area of 32,595.1 square miles, Ireland is the twentieth-largest island on the earth and the third-largest in Europe. It has a coastline of 1,738 miles. The island is home to approximately 6,197,100 people.

What are the administrative divisions of Ireland?
Ireland is sub-divided into four provinces: Connacht, Leinster, Munster, and Ulster. During the thirteenth and the seventeenth centuries, Ireland was divided into thirty-two traditional counties. Twenty-six of the counties lie in the Republic of Ireland and six counties are in Northern Ireland.


Who are the political leaders of Ireland?
The Republic of Ireland is an Irish Free State covering five-sixths of the island. It is a parliamentary republic with the president being the head of the state. Currently the head of state is President Michael D. Higgins. The official head of the government is called the Taoiseach; Enda Kenny heads the government, presently. The Irish President has very little executive power, with the main power vested in the Taoiseach.

What is the official currency used in Ireland?
The Euro (€) denoted by the ISO 4217 code EUR is the official currency of the Republic of Ireland. It was adopted in 1999 replacing the Irish pound.

What is the official language of Ireland?
The official de facto language of Ireland is English, spoken by the majority of the population. Irish and Ulster Scots are also given the status of official languages but English remains the dominant lingua franca. There are a significant number of Asian and eastern European languages spoken in the island.


What is the religion of Ireland?
Christianity is the official religion of the Republic of Ireland. The largest denomination is Roman Catholicism practiced by almost seventy-three percent of the population. The remaining population adheres to Protestantism. However, the Anglican Church of Ireland is the largest religious group. Owing to the increase in immigration levels in the island, the number of Muslims in the island are increasing. The island has a small Jewish community as well.

What is the economy of Ireland like?
The economy of Ireland is heavily dependent on services, trade and high-tech industries. In 2010, the nominal gross domestic product of the island was estimated at $208.3 billion, while the GDP per capita was $46,592. Food processing, engineering, computer equipment, textiles, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals are the major industries in the island, constituting thirty percent of the GDP. The island has rich deposits of natural resources like zinc, lead, copper, gypsum, limestone, dolomite, and peat. Agriculture also adds to the economy with cattle, dairy products; barley, hay, and wheat being the major agricultural products. The major trading partners of the island are: Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the United States of America, France, Germany, China, and Japan.

When is the national day of Ireland celebrated?
The national day is celebrated on March 17 every year. This day is known as St. Patrick's Day. The day is observed as a national holiday in the honor of St. Patrick, the patron Saint of Ireland.

Saint Patrick brought Christianity to Ireland. He died on March 17 in 461 AD, and hence this day has been commemorated as St. Patrick's Day.