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This article is about the island in Europe. Ireland_sentence_0

For the sovereign state of the same name, see Republic of Ireland. Ireland_sentence_1

For the part of the United Kingdom, see Northern Ireland. Ireland_sentence_2

For other uses, see Ireland (disambiguation). Ireland_sentence_3


LocationIreland_header_cell_0_2_0 Northwestern EuropeIreland_cell_0_2_1
CoordinatesIreland_header_cell_0_3_0 Ireland_cell_0_3_1
Adjacent bodies of waterIreland_header_cell_0_4_0 Atlantic OceanIreland_cell_0_4_1
AreaIreland_header_cell_0_5_0 84,421 km (32,595 sq mi)Ireland_cell_0_5_1
Area rankIreland_header_cell_0_6_0 20thIreland_cell_0_6_1
CoastlineIreland_header_cell_0_7_0 6,226 km (3868.7 mi)Ireland_cell_0_7_1
Highest elevationIreland_header_cell_0_8_0 1,041 m (3415 ft)Ireland_cell_0_8_1
Highest pointIreland_header_cell_0_9_0 CarrauntoohilIreland_cell_0_9_1
Largest cityIreland_header_cell_0_11_0 Dublin (pop. 553,165)Ireland_cell_0_11_1
CountryIreland_header_cell_0_12_0 Northern IrelandIreland_cell_0_12_1
Largest cityIreland_header_cell_0_13_0 Belfast (pop. 333,000)Ireland_cell_0_13_1
DemonymIreland_header_cell_0_15_0 IrishIreland_cell_0_15_1
PopulationIreland_header_cell_0_16_0 6,572,728 (2016)Ireland_cell_0_16_1
Population rankIreland_header_cell_0_17_0 19thIreland_cell_0_17_1
Pop. densityIreland_header_cell_0_18_0 77.8/km (201.5/sq mi)Ireland_cell_0_18_1
LanguagesIreland_header_cell_0_19_0 English, Irish, Ulster Scots, SheltaIreland_cell_0_19_1
Ethnic groupsIreland_header_cell_0_20_0 Ireland_cell_0_20_1
Additional informationIreland_header_cell_0_21_0
Time zoneIreland_header_cell_0_22_0 Ireland_cell_0_22_1
Summer (DST)Ireland_header_cell_0_23_0 Ireland_cell_0_23_1
Patron saintsIreland_header_cell_0_24_0 Saint Patrick

Saint Brigit Saint ColmcilleIreland_cell_0_24_1

Ireland (/ˈaɪərlənd/ (listen); Irish: Éire [ˈeːɾʲə (listen); Ulster-Scots: Airlann [ˈɑːrlən) is an island in the North Atlantic. Ireland_sentence_4

It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel, the Irish Sea, and St George's Channel. Ireland_sentence_5

Ireland is the second-largest island of the British Isles, the third-largest in Europe, and the twentieth-largest on Earth. Ireland_sentence_6

Geopolitically, Ireland is divided between the Republic of Ireland (officially named Ireland), which covers five-sixths of the island, and Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom. Ireland_sentence_7

In 2011, the population of Ireland was about 6.6 million, ranking it the second-most populous island in Europe after Great Britain. Ireland_sentence_8

As of 2016, 4.8 million live in the Republic of Ireland, and 1.8 million live in Northern Ireland. Ireland_sentence_9

The geography of Ireland comprises relatively low-lying mountains surrounding a central plain, with several navigable rivers extending inland. Ireland_sentence_10

Its lush vegetation is a product of its mild but changeable climate which is free of extremes in temperature. Ireland_sentence_11

Much of Ireland was woodland until the end of the Middle Ages. Ireland_sentence_12

Today, woodland makes up about 10% of the island, compared with a European average of over 33%, and most of it is non-native conifer plantations. Ireland_sentence_13

There are twenty-six extant land mammal species native to Ireland. Ireland_sentence_14

The Irish climate is influenced by the Atlantic Ocean and thus very moderate, and winters are milder than expected for such a northerly area, although summers are cooler than those in continental Europe. Ireland_sentence_15

Rainfall and cloud cover are abundant. Ireland_sentence_16

The earliest evidence of human presence in Ireland is dated at 10,500 BC. Ireland_sentence_17

Gaelic Ireland had emerged by the 1st century AD. Ireland_sentence_18

The island was Christianised from the 5th century onward. Ireland_sentence_19

Following the 12th century Anglo-Norman invasion, England claimed sovereignty. Ireland_sentence_20

However, English rule did not extend over the whole island until the 16th–17th century Tudor conquest, which led to colonisation by settlers from Britain. Ireland_sentence_21

In the 1690s, a system of Protestant English rule was designed to materially disadvantage the Catholic majority and Protestant dissenters, and was extended during the 18th century. Ireland_sentence_22

With the Acts of Union in 1801, Ireland became a part of the United Kingdom. Ireland_sentence_23

A war of independence in the early 20th century was followed by the partition of the island, creating the Irish Free State, which became increasingly sovereign over the following decades, and Northern Ireland, which remained a part of the United Kingdom. Ireland_sentence_24

Northern Ireland saw much civil unrest from the late 1960s until the 1990s. Ireland_sentence_25

This subsided following a political agreement in 1998. Ireland_sentence_26

In 1973 the Republic of Ireland joined the European Economic Community while the United Kingdom, and Northern Ireland, as part of it, did the same. Ireland_sentence_27

Irish culture has had a significant influence on other cultures, especially in the field of literature. Ireland_sentence_28

Alongside mainstream Western culture, a strong indigenous culture exists, as expressed through Gaelic games, Irish music and the Irish language. Ireland_sentence_29

The island's culture shares many features with that of Great Britain, including the English language, and sports such as association football, rugby, horse racing, and golf. Ireland_sentence_30

Etymology Ireland_section_0

The names Ireland and Éire derive from Old Irish Ériu, a goddess in Irish mythology first recorded in the ninth century. Ireland_sentence_31

The etymology of Ériu is disputed but may derive from the Proto-Indo-European root *h2uer, referring to flowing water. Ireland_sentence_32

History Ireland_section_1

Main article: History of Ireland Ireland_sentence_33

Prehistoric Ireland Ireland_section_2

Main article: Prehistoric Ireland Ireland_sentence_34

During the last glacial period, and until about 10,000 BC, most of Ireland was periodically covered in ice. Ireland_sentence_35

Sea levels were lower and Ireland, like Great Britain, formed part of continental Europe. Ireland_sentence_36

By 16,000 BC, rising sea levels caused by ice melting caused Ireland to become separated from Great Britain. Ireland_sentence_37

Later, around 6000 BC, Great Britain became separated from continental Europe. Ireland_sentence_38

The earliest evidence of human presence in Ireland is dated at 10,500 BC, demonstrated by a butchered bear bone found in a cave in County Clare. Ireland_sentence_39

By about 8000 BC, more sustained occupation of the island has been shown, with evidence for Mesolithic communities around the island. Ireland_sentence_40

Some time before 4000 BC, Neolithic settlers introduced cereal cultivars, domesticated animals such as cattle and sheep, large timber buildings, and stone monuments. Ireland_sentence_41

The earliest evidence for farming in Ireland or Great Britain is from Ferriter's Cove, County Kerry, where a flint knife, cattle bones and a sheep's tooth were carbon-dated to c. 4350 BC. Ireland_sentence_42

Field systems were developed in different parts of Ireland, including at the Céide Fields, that has been preserved beneath a blanket of peat in present-day Tyrawley. Ireland_sentence_43

An extensive field system, arguably the oldest in the world, consisted of small divisions separated by dry-stone walls. Ireland_sentence_44

The fields were farmed for several centuries between 3500 BC and 3000 BC. Ireland_sentence_45

Wheat and barley were the principal crops. Ireland_sentence_46

The Bronze Age began around 2500 BC, with technology changing people's everyday lives during this period through innovations such as the wheel; harnessing oxen; weaving textiles; brewing alcohol; and skilful metalworking, which produced new weapons and tools, along with fine gold decoration and jewellery, such as brooches and torcs. Ireland_sentence_47

Emergence of Celtic Ireland Ireland_section_3

How and when the island became Celtic has been debated for close to a century, with the migrations of the Celts being one of the more enduring themes of archaeological and linguistic studies. Ireland_sentence_48

The most recent genetic research strongly associates the spread of Indo-European languages (including Celtic) through Western Europe with a people bringing a composite Beaker culture, with its arrival in Britain and Ireland dated to around the middle of the third millennium BC. Ireland_sentence_49

According to John T. Koch and others, Ireland in the Late Bronze Age was part of a maritime trading-network culture called the Atlantic Bronze Age that also included Britain, western France and Iberia, and that this is where Celtic languages developed. Ireland_sentence_50

This contrasts with the traditional view that their origin lies in mainland Europe with the Hallstatt culture. Ireland_sentence_51

The long-standing traditional view is that the Celtic language, Ogham script and culture were brought to Ireland by waves of invading or migrating Celts from mainland Europe. Ireland_sentence_52

This theory draws on the Lebor Gabála Érenn, a medieval Christian pseudo-history of Ireland, along with the presence of Celtic culture, language and artifacts found in Ireland such as Celtic bronze spears, shields, torcs and other finely crafted Celtic associated possessions. Ireland_sentence_53

The theory holds that there were four separate Celtic invasions of Ireland. Ireland_sentence_54

The Priteni were said to be the first, followed by the Belgae from northern Gaul and Britain. Ireland_sentence_55

Later, Laighin tribes from Armorica (present-day Brittany) were said to have invaded Ireland and Britain more or less simultaneously. Ireland_sentence_56

Lastly, the Milesians (Gaels) were said to have reached Ireland from either northern Iberia or southern Gaul. Ireland_sentence_57

It was claimed that a second wave named the Euerni, belonging to the Belgae people of northern Gaul, began arriving about the sixth century BC. Ireland_sentence_58

They were said to have given their name to the island. Ireland_sentence_59

The theory was advanced in part because of lack of archaeological evidence for large-scale Celtic immigration, though it is accepted that such movements are notoriously difficult to identify. Ireland_sentence_60

Historical linguists are skeptical that this method alone could account for the absorption of Celtic language, with some saying that an assumed processional view of Celtic linguistic formation is 'an especially hazardous exercise'. Ireland_sentence_61

Genetic lineage investigation into the area of Celtic migration to Ireland has led to findings that showed no significant differences in mitochondrial DNA between Ireland and large areas of continental Europe, in contrast to parts of the Y-chromosome pattern. Ireland_sentence_62

When taking both into account, a study concluded that modern Celtic speakers in Ireland could be thought of as European "Atlantic Celts" showing a shared ancestry throughout the Atlantic zone from northern Iberia to western Scandinavia rather than substantially central European. Ireland_sentence_63

In 2012, research showed that occurrence of genetic markers for the earliest farmers was almost eliminated by Beaker-culture immigrants: they carried what was then a new Y-chromosome R1b marker, believed to have originated in Iberia about 2500 BC. Ireland_sentence_64

The prevalence amongst modern Irish men of this mutation is a remarkable 84%, the highest in the world, and closely matched in other populations along the Atlantic fringes down to Spain. Ireland_sentence_65

A similar genetic replacement happened with lineages in mitochondrial DNA. Ireland_sentence_66

This conclusion is supported by recent research carried out by the geneticist David Reich, who says: “British and Irish skeletons from the Bronze Age that followed the Beaker period had at most 10 percent ancestry from the first farmers of these islands, with other 90 percent from people like those associated with the Bell Beaker culture in the Netherlands.” He suggests that it was Beaker users who introduced an Indo-European language, represented here by Celtic (i.e. a new language and culture introduced directly by migration and genetic replacement). Ireland_sentence_67

Late antiquity and early medieval times Ireland_section_4

Main article: History of Ireland (800–1169) Ireland_sentence_68

The earliest written records of Ireland come from classical Greco-Roman geographers. Ireland_sentence_69

Ptolemy in his Almagest refers to Ireland as Mikra Brettania ("Little Britain"), in contrast to the larger island, which he called Megale Brettania ("Great Britain"). Ireland_sentence_70

In his later work, Geography, Ptolemy refers to Ireland as Iouernia and to Great Britain as Albion. Ireland_sentence_71

These 'new' names were likely to have been the local names for the islands at the time. Ireland_sentence_72

The earlier names, in contrast, were likely to have been coined before direct contact with local peoples was made. Ireland_sentence_73

The Romans referred to Ireland by this name too in its Latinised form, Hibernia, or Scotia. Ireland_sentence_74

Ptolemy records sixteen nations inhabiting every part of Ireland in 100 AD. Ireland_sentence_75

The relationship between the Roman Empire and the kingdoms of ancient Ireland is unclear. Ireland_sentence_76

However, a number of finds of Roman coins have been made, for example at the Iron Age settlement of Freestone Hill near Gowran and Newgrange. Ireland_sentence_77

Ireland continued as a patchwork of rival kingdoms; however, beginning in the 7th century, a concept of national kingship gradually became articulated through the concept of a High King of Ireland. Ireland_sentence_78

Medieval Irish literature portrays an almost unbroken sequence of high kings stretching back thousands of years, but modern historians believe the scheme was constructed in the 8th century to justify the status of powerful political groupings by projecting the origins of their rule into the remote past. Ireland_sentence_79

All of the Irish kingdoms had their own kings but were nominally subject to the high king. Ireland_sentence_80

The high king was drawn from the ranks of the provincial kings and ruled also the royal kingdom of Meath, with a ceremonial capital at the Hill of Tara. Ireland_sentence_81

The concept did not become a political reality until the Viking Age and even then was not a consistent one. Ireland_sentence_82

Ireland did have a culturally unifying rule of law: the early written judicial system, the Brehon Laws, administered by a professional class of jurists known as the brehons. Ireland_sentence_83

The Chronicle of Ireland records that in 431, Bishop Palladius arrived in Ireland on a mission from Pope Celestine I to minister to the Irish "already believing in Christ". Ireland_sentence_84

The same chronicle records that Saint Patrick, Ireland's best known patron saint, arrived the following year. Ireland_sentence_85

There is continued debate over the missions of Palladius and Patrick, but the consensus is that they both took place and that the older druid tradition collapsed in the face of the new religion. Ireland_sentence_86

Irish Christian scholars excelled in the study of Latin and Greek learning and Christian theology. Ireland_sentence_87

In the monastic culture that followed the Christianisation of Ireland, Latin and Greek learning was preserved in Ireland during the Early Middle Ages in contrast to elsewhere in Western Europe, where the Dark Ages followed the Fall of the Western Roman Empire. Ireland_sentence_88

The arts of manuscript illumination, metalworking and sculpture flourished and produced treasures such as the Book of Kells, ornate jewellery and the many carved stone crosses that still dot the island today. Ireland_sentence_89

A mission founded in 563 on Iona by the Irish monk Saint Columba began a tradition of Irish missionary work that spread Celtic Christianity and learning to Scotland, England and the Frankish Empire on continental Europe after the fall of Rome. Ireland_sentence_90

These missions continued until the late Middle Ages, establishing monasteries and centres of learning, producing scholars such as Sedulius Scottus and Johannes Eriugena and exerting much influence in Europe. Ireland_sentence_91

From the 9th century, waves of Viking raiders plundered Irish monasteries and towns. Ireland_sentence_92

These raids added to a pattern of raiding and endemic warfare that was already deep-seated in Ireland. Ireland_sentence_93

The Vikings were involved in establishing most of the major coastal settlements in Ireland: Dublin, Limerick, Cork, Wexford, Waterford, as well as other smaller settlements. Ireland_sentence_94

Norman and English invasions Ireland_section_5

Main articles: Norman invasion of Ireland, History of Ireland (1169–1536), and Tudor conquest of Ireland Ireland_sentence_95

See also: Bruce campaign in Ireland Ireland_sentence_96

On 1 May 1169, an expedition of Cambro-Norman knights, with an army of about 600 men, landed at Bannow Strand in present-day County Wexford. Ireland_sentence_97

It was led by Richard de Clare, known as 'Strongbow' owing to his prowess as an archer. Ireland_sentence_98

The invasion, which coincided with a period of renewed Norman expansion, was at the invitation of Dermot Mac Murrough, King of Leinster. Ireland_sentence_99

In 1166, Mac Murrough had fled to Anjou, France, following a war involving Tighearnán Ua Ruairc, of Breifne, and sought the assistance of the Angevin King Henry II, in recapturing his kingdom. Ireland_sentence_100

In 1171, Henry arrived in Ireland in order to review the general progress of the expedition. Ireland_sentence_101

He wanted to re-exert royal authority over the invasion which was expanding beyond his control. Ireland_sentence_102

Henry successfully re-imposed his authority over Strongbow and the Cambro-Norman warlords and persuaded many of the Irish kings to accept him as their overlord, an arrangement confirmed in the 1175 Treaty of Windsor. Ireland_sentence_103

The invasion was legitimised by the provisions of the Papal Bull Laudabiliter, issued by an Englishman, Adrian IV, in 1155. Ireland_sentence_104

The bull encouraged Henry to take control in Ireland in order to oversee the financial and administrative reorganisation of the Irish Church and its integration into the Roman Church system. Ireland_sentence_105

Some restructuring had already begun at the ecclesiastical level following the Synod of Kells in 1152. Ireland_sentence_106

There has been significant controversy regarding the authenticity of Laudabiliter, and there is no general agreement as to whether the bull was genuine or a forgery. Ireland_sentence_107

In 1172, Pope Alexander III further encouraged Henry to advance the integration of the Irish Church with Rome. Ireland_sentence_108

Henry was authorised to impose a tithe of one penny per hearth as an annual contribution. Ireland_sentence_109

This church levy, called Peter's Pence, is extant in Ireland as a voluntary donation. Ireland_sentence_110

In turn, Henry accepted the title of Lord of Ireland which Henry conferred on his younger son, John Lackland, in 1185. Ireland_sentence_111

This defined the Irish state as the Lordship of Ireland. Ireland_sentence_112

When Henry's successor died unexpectedly in 1199, John inherited the crown of England and retained the Lordship of Ireland. Ireland_sentence_113

Over the century that followed, Norman feudal law gradually replaced the Gaelic Brehon Law so that by the late 13th century the Norman-Irish had established a feudal system throughout much of Ireland. Ireland_sentence_114

Norman settlements were characterised by the establishment of baronies, manors, towns and the seeds of the modern county system. Ireland_sentence_115

A version of the Magna Carta (the Great Charter of Ireland), substituting Dublin for London and the Irish Church for, the English church at the time, the Catholic Church, was published in 1216 and the Parliament of Ireland was founded in 1297. Ireland_sentence_116

From the mid-14th century, after the Black Death, Norman settlements in Ireland went into a period of decline. Ireland_sentence_117

The Norman rulers and the Gaelic Irish elites intermarried and the areas under Norman rule became Gaelicised. Ireland_sentence_118

In some parts, a hybrid Hiberno-Norman culture emerged. Ireland_sentence_119

In response, the Irish parliament passed the Statutes of Kilkenny in 1367. Ireland_sentence_120

These were a set of laws designed to prevent the assimilation of the Normans into Irish society by requiring English subjects in Ireland to speak English, follow English customs and abide by English law. Ireland_sentence_121

By the end of the 15th century, central English authority in Ireland had all but disappeared, and a renewed Irish culture and language, albeit with Norman influences, was dominant again. Ireland_sentence_122

English Crown control remained relatively unshaken in an amorphous foothold around Dublin known as The Pale, and under the provisions of Poynings' Law of 1494, the Irish Parliamentary legislation was subject to the approval of the English Privy Council. Ireland_sentence_123

The Kingdom of Ireland Ireland_section_6

Main article: Kingdom of Ireland Ireland_sentence_124

The title of King of Ireland was re-created in 1542 by Henry VIII, the then King of England, of the Tudor dynasty. Ireland_sentence_125

English rule was reinforced and expanded in Ireland during the latter part of the 16th century, leading to the Tudor conquest of Ireland. Ireland_sentence_126

A near-complete conquest was achieved by the turn of the 17th century, following the Nine Years' War and the Flight of the Earls. Ireland_sentence_127

This control was consolidated during the wars and conflicts of the 17th century, including the English and Scottish colonisation in the Plantations of Ireland, the Wars of the Three Kingdoms and the Williamite War. Ireland_sentence_128

Irish losses during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms (which, in Ireland, included the Irish Confederacy and the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland) are estimated to include 20,000 battlefield casualties. Ireland_sentence_129

200,000 civilians are estimated to have died as a result of a combination of war-related famine, displacement, guerrilla activity and pestilence throughout the war. Ireland_sentence_130

A further 50,000 were sent into indentured servitude in the West Indies. Ireland_sentence_131

Physician-general William Petty estimated that 504,000 Catholic Irish and 112,000 Protestant settlers died, and 100,000 people were transported, as a result of the war. Ireland_sentence_132

If a prewar population of 1.5 million is assumed, this would mean that the population was reduced by almost half. Ireland_sentence_133

The religious struggles of the 17th century left a deep sectarian division in Ireland. Ireland_sentence_134

Religious allegiance now determined the perception in law of loyalty to the Irish King and Parliament. Ireland_sentence_135

After the passing of the Test Act 1672, and the victory of the forces of the dual monarchy of William and Mary over the Jacobites, Roman Catholics and nonconforming Protestant Dissenters were barred from sitting as members in the Irish Parliament. Ireland_sentence_136

Under the emerging Penal Laws, Irish Roman Catholics and Dissenters were increasingly deprived of various and sundry civil rights even to the ownership of hereditary property. Ireland_sentence_137

Additional regressive punitive legislation followed in 1703, 1709 and 1728. Ireland_sentence_138

This completed a comprehensive systemic effort to materially disadvantage Roman Catholics and Protestant Dissenters, while enriching a new ruling class of Anglican conformists. Ireland_sentence_139

The new Anglo-Irish ruling class became known as the Protestant Ascendancy. Ireland_sentence_140

The "Great Frost" struck Ireland and the rest of Europe between December 1739 and September 1741, after a decade of relatively mild winters. Ireland_sentence_141

The winters destroyed stored crops of potatoes and other staples, and the poor summers severely damaged harvests. Ireland_sentence_142

This resulted in the famine of 1740. Ireland_sentence_143

An estimated 250,000 people (about one in eight of the population) died from the ensuing pestilence and disease. Ireland_sentence_144

The Irish government halted export of corn and kept the army in quarters but did little more. Ireland_sentence_145

Local gentry and charitable organisations provided relief but could do little to prevent the ensuing mortality. Ireland_sentence_146

In the aftermath of the famine, an increase in industrial production and a surge in trade brought a succession of construction booms. Ireland_sentence_147

The population soared in the latter part of this century and the architectural legacy of Georgian Ireland was built. Ireland_sentence_148

In 1782, Poynings' Law was repealed, giving Ireland legislative independence from Great Britain for the first time since 1495. Ireland_sentence_149

The British government, however, still retained the right to nominate the government of Ireland without the consent of the Irish parliament. Ireland_sentence_150

Union with Great Britain Ireland_section_7

Main article: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Ireland_sentence_151

In 1798, members of the Protestant Dissenter tradition (mainly Presbyterian) made common cause with Roman Catholics in a republican rebellion inspired and led by the Society of United Irishmen, with the aim of creating an independent Ireland. Ireland_sentence_152

Despite assistance from France the rebellion was put down by British and Irish government and yeomanry forces. Ireland_sentence_153

In 1800, the British and Irish parliaments both passed Acts of Union that, with effect from 1 January 1801, merged the Kingdom of Ireland and the Kingdom of Great Britain to create a United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Ireland_sentence_154

The passage of the Act in the Irish Parliament was ultimately achieved with substantial majorities, having failed on the first attempt in 1799. Ireland_sentence_155

According to contemporary documents and historical analysis, this was achieved through a considerable degree of bribery, with funding provided by the British Secret Service Office, and the awarding of peerages, places and honours to secure votes. Ireland_sentence_156

Thus, the parliament in Ireland was abolished and replaced by a united parliament at Westminster in London, though resistance remained, as evidenced by Robert Emmet's failed Irish Rebellion of 1803. Ireland_sentence_157

Aside from the development of the linen industry, Ireland was largely passed over by the industrial revolution, partly because it lacked coal and iron resources and partly because of the impact of the sudden union with the structurally superior economy of England, which saw Ireland as a source of agricultural produce and capital. Ireland_sentence_158

The Great Famine of 1845–1851 devastated Ireland, as in those years Ireland's population fell by one-third. Ireland_sentence_159

More than one million people died from starvation and disease, with an additional million people emigrating during the famine, mostly to the United States and Canada. Ireland_sentence_160

In the century that followed, an economic depression caused by the famine resulted in a further million people emigrating. Ireland_sentence_161

By the end of the decade, half of all immigration to the United States was from Ireland. Ireland_sentence_162

The period of civil unrest that followed until the end of the 19th century is referred to as the Land War. Ireland_sentence_163

Mass emigration became deeply entrenched and the population continued to decline until the mid-20th century. Ireland_sentence_164

Immediately prior to the famine the population was recorded as 8.2 million by the 1841 census. Ireland_sentence_165

The population has never returned to this level since. Ireland_sentence_166

The population continued to fall until 1961; County Leitrim was the final Irish county to record a population increase post-famine, in 2006. Ireland_sentence_167

The 19th and early 20th centuries saw the rise of modern Irish nationalism, primarily among the Roman Catholic population. Ireland_sentence_168

The pre-eminent Irish political figure after the Union was Daniel O'Connell. Ireland_sentence_169

He was elected as Member of Parliament for Ennis in a surprise result and despite being unable to take his seat as a Roman Catholic. Ireland_sentence_170

O'Connell spearheaded a vigorous campaign that was taken up by the Prime Minister, the Irish-born soldier and statesman, the Duke of Wellington. Ireland_sentence_171

Steering the Catholic Relief Bill through Parliament, aided by future prime minister Robert Peel, Wellington prevailed upon a reluctant George IV to sign the Bill and proclaim it into law. Ireland_sentence_172

George's father had opposed the plan of the earlier Prime Minister, Pitt the Younger, to introduce such a bill following the Union of 1801, fearing Catholic Emancipation to be in conflict with the Act of Settlement 1701. Ireland_sentence_173

Daniel O'Connell led a subsequent campaign, for the repeal of the Act of Union, which failed. Ireland_sentence_174

Later in the century, Charles Stewart Parnell and others campaigned for autonomy within the Union, or "Home Rule". Ireland_sentence_175

Unionists, especially those located in Ulster, were strongly opposed to Home Rule, which they thought would be dominated by Catholic interests. Ireland_sentence_176

After several attempts to pass a Home Rule bill through parliament, it looked certain that one would finally pass in 1914. Ireland_sentence_177

To prevent this from happening, the Ulster Volunteers were formed in 1913 under the leadership of Edward Carson. Ireland_sentence_178

Their formation was followed in 1914 by the establishment of the Irish Volunteers, whose aim was to ensure that the Home Rule Bill was passed. Ireland_sentence_179

The Act was passed but with the "temporary" exclusion of the six counties of Ulster that would become Northern Ireland. Ireland_sentence_180

Before it could be implemented, however, the Act was suspended for the duration of the First World War. Ireland_sentence_181

The Irish Volunteers split into two groups. Ireland_sentence_182

The majority, approximately 175,000 in number, under John Redmond, took the name National Volunteers and supported Irish involvement in the war. Ireland_sentence_183

A minority, approximately 13,000, retained the Irish Volunteers' name and opposed Ireland's involvement in the war. Ireland_sentence_184

The Easter Rising of 1916 was carried out by the latter group together with a smaller socialist militia, the Irish Citizen Army. Ireland_sentence_185

The British response, executing fifteen leaders of the Rising over a period of ten days and imprisoning or interning more than a thousand people, turned the mood of the country in favour of the rebels. Ireland_sentence_186

Support for Irish republicanism increased further due to the ongoing war in Europe, as well as the Conscription Crisis of 1918. Ireland_sentence_187

The pro-independence republican party, Sinn Féin, received overwhelming endorsement in the general election of 1918, and in 1919 proclaimed an Irish Republic, setting up its own parliament (Dáil Éireann) and government. Ireland_sentence_188

Simultaneously the Volunteers, which became known as the Irish Republican Army (IRA), launched a three-year guerrilla war, which ended in a truce in July 1921 (although violence continued until June 1922, mostly in Northern Ireland). Ireland_sentence_189

Partition Ireland_section_8

Main article: Partition of Ireland Ireland_sentence_190

In December 1921, the Anglo-Irish Treaty was concluded between the British government and representatives of the Second Dáil. Ireland_sentence_191

It gave Ireland complete independence in its home affairs and practical independence for foreign policy, but an opt-out clause allowed Northern Ireland to remain within the United Kingdom, which (as expected) it immediately exercised. Ireland_sentence_192

Additionally, Members of the Free State Parliament were required to swear an oath of allegiance to the Constitution of the Irish Free State and make a statement of faithfulness to the King. Ireland_sentence_193

Disagreements over these provisions led to a split in the nationalist movement and a subsequent Irish Civil War between the new government of the Irish Free State and those opposed to the treaty, led by Éamon de Valera. Ireland_sentence_194

The civil war officially ended in May 1923 when de Valera issued a cease-fire order. Ireland_sentence_195

Independence Ireland_section_9

Main articles: History of the Republic of Ireland and Economy of the Republic of Ireland Ireland_sentence_196

During its first decade, the newly formed Irish Free State was governed by the victors of the civil war. Ireland_sentence_197

When de Valera achieved power, he took advantage of the Statute of Westminster and political circumstances to build upon inroads to greater sovereignty made by the previous government. Ireland_sentence_198

The oath was abolished and in 1937 a new constitution was adopted. Ireland_sentence_199

This completed a process of gradual separation from the British Empire that governments had pursued since independence. Ireland_sentence_200

However, it was not until 1949 that the state was declared, officially, to be the Republic of Ireland. Ireland_sentence_201

The state was neutral during World War II, but offered clandestine assistance to the Allies, particularly in the potential defence of Northern Ireland. Ireland_sentence_202

Despite their country's neutrality, approximately 50,000 volunteers from independent Ireland joined the British forces during the war, four being awarded Victoria Crosses. Ireland_sentence_203

The German intelligence was also active in Ireland. Ireland_sentence_204

Its operations ended in September 1941 when police made arrests based on surveillance carried out on the key diplomatic legations in Dublin. Ireland_sentence_205

To the authorities, counterintelligence was a fundamental line of defence. Ireland_sentence_206

With a regular army of only slightly over seven thousand men at the start of the war, and with limited supplies of modern weapons, the state would have had great difficulty in defending itself from invasion from either side in the conflict. Ireland_sentence_207

Large-scale emigration marked most of the post-WWII period (particularly during the 1950s and 1980s), but beginning in 1987 the economy improved, and the 1990s saw the beginning of substantial economic growth. Ireland_sentence_208

This period of growth became known as the Celtic Tiger. Ireland_sentence_209

The Republic's real GDP grew by an average of 9.6% per annum between 1995 and 1999, in which year the Republic joined the euro. Ireland_sentence_210

In 2000, it was the sixth-richest country in the world in terms of GDP per capita. Ireland_sentence_211

Historian R. Ireland_sentence_212 F. Foster argues the cause was a combination of a new sense of initiative and the entry of American corporations. Ireland_sentence_213

He concludes the chief factors were low taxation, pro-business regulatory policies, and a young, tech-savvy workforce. Ireland_sentence_214

For many multinationals, the decision to do business in Ireland was made easier still by generous incentives from the Industrial Development Authority. Ireland_sentence_215

In addition European Union membership was helpful, giving the country lucrative access to markets that it had previously reached only through the United Kingdom, and pumping huge subsidies and investment capital into the Irish economy. Ireland_sentence_216

Modernisation brought secularisation in its wake. Ireland_sentence_217

The traditionally high levels of religiosity have sharply declined. Ireland_sentence_218

Foster points to three factors: Irish feminism, largely imported from America with liberal stances on contraception, abortion, and divorce undermined the authority of bishops and priests. Ireland_sentence_219

Second, the mishandling of the pedophile scandals humiliated the Church, whose bishops seemed less concerned with the victims and more concerned with covering up for errant priests. Ireland_sentence_220

Third, prosperity brought hedonism and materialism that undercut the ideals of saintly poverty. Ireland_sentence_221

The financial crisis that began in 2008 dramatically ended this period of boom. Ireland_sentence_222

GDP fell by 3% in 2008 and by 7.1% in 2009, the worst year since records began (although earnings by foreign-owned businesses continued to grow). Ireland_sentence_223

The state has since experienced deep recession, with unemployment, which doubled during 2009, remaining above 14% in 2012. Ireland_sentence_224

Northern Ireland Ireland_section_10

Main articles: History of Northern Ireland and Economy of Northern Ireland Ireland_sentence_225

Northern Ireland resulted from the division of the United Kingdom by the Government of Ireland Act 1920, and until 1972 was a self-governing jurisdiction within the United Kingdom with its own parliament and prime minister. Ireland_sentence_226

Northern Ireland, as part of the United Kingdom, was not neutral during the Second World War, and Belfast suffered four bombing raids in 1941. Ireland_sentence_227

Conscription was not extended to Northern Ireland, and roughly an equal number volunteered from Northern Ireland as volunteered from the south. Ireland_sentence_228

Although Northern Ireland was largely spared the strife of the civil war, in decades that followed partition there were sporadic episodes of inter-communal violence. Ireland_sentence_229

Nationalists, mainly Roman Catholic, wanted to unite Ireland as an independent republic, whereas unionists, mainly Protestant, wanted Northern Ireland to remain in the United Kingdom. Ireland_sentence_230

The Protestant and Catholic communities in Northern Ireland voted largely along sectarian lines, meaning that the government of Northern Ireland (elected by "first-past-the-post" from 1929) was controlled by the Ulster Unionist Party. Ireland_sentence_231

Over time, the minority Catholic community felt increasingly alienated with further disaffection fuelled by practices such as gerrymandering and discrimination in housing and employment. Ireland_sentence_232

In the late 1960s, nationalist grievances were aired publicly in mass civil rights protests, which were often confronted by loyalist counter-protests. Ireland_sentence_233

The government's reaction to confrontations was seen to be one-sided and heavy-handed in favour of unionists. Ireland_sentence_234

Law and order broke down as unrest and inter-communal violence increased. Ireland_sentence_235

The Northern Ireland government requested the British Army to aid the police and protect the Irish Nationalist population. Ireland_sentence_236

In 1969, the paramilitary Provisional IRA, which favoured the creation of a united Ireland, emerged from a split in the Irish Republican Army and began a campaign against what it called the "British occupation of the six counties". Ireland_sentence_237

Other groups, on both the unionist side and the nationalist side, participated in violence and a period known as the Troubles began. Ireland_sentence_238

Over 3,600 deaths resulted over the subsequent three decades of conflict. Ireland_sentence_239

Owing to the civil unrest during the Troubles, the British government suspended home rule in 1972 and imposed direct rule. Ireland_sentence_240

There were several unsuccessful attempts to end the Troubles politically, such as the Sunningdale Agreement of 1973. Ireland_sentence_241

In 1998, following a ceasefire by the Provisional IRA and multi-party talks, the Good Friday Agreement was concluded as a treaty between the British and Irish governments, annexing the text agreed in the multi-party talks. Ireland_sentence_242

The substance of the Agreement (formally referred to as the Belfast Agreement) was later endorsed by referendums in both parts of Ireland. Ireland_sentence_243

The Agreement restored self-government to Northern Ireland on the basis of power-sharing in a regional Executive drawn from the major parties in a new Northern Ireland Assembly, with entrenched protections for the two main communities. Ireland_sentence_244

The Executive is jointly headed by a First Minister and deputy First Minister drawn from the unionist and nationalist parties. Ireland_sentence_245

Violence had decreased greatly after the Provisional IRA and loyalist ceasefires in 1994 and in 2005 the Provisional IRA announced the end of its armed campaign and an independent commission supervised its disarmament and that of other nationalist and unionist paramilitary organisations. Ireland_sentence_246

The Assembly and power-sharing Executive were suspended several times but were restored again in 2007. Ireland_sentence_247

In that year the British government officially ended its military support of the police in Northern Ireland (Operation Banner) and began withdrawing troops. Ireland_sentence_248

On 27 June 2012, Northern Ireland's deputy first minister and former IRA commander, Martin McGuinness, shook hands with Queen Elizabeth II in Belfast, symbolising reconciliation between the two sides. Ireland_sentence_249

Politics Ireland_section_11

Main article: Politics of Ireland Ireland_sentence_250

The island is divided between the Republic of Ireland, an independent state, and Northern Ireland (a constituent country of the United Kingdom). Ireland_sentence_251

They share an open border and both are part of the Common Travel Area. Ireland_sentence_252

The Republic of Ireland is a member of the European Union while the United Kingdom is a former member, having both acceded to its precursor entity, the European Economic Community [EEC], in 1973, and as a consequence there is free movement of people, goods, services and capital across the border. Ireland_sentence_253

Republic of Ireland Ireland_section_12

The Republic of Ireland is a parliamentary democracy based on the British model, with a written constitution and a popularly elected president who has mostly ceremonial powers. Ireland_sentence_254

The government is headed by a prime minister, the Taoiseach, who is appointed by the President on the nomination of the lower house of parliament, the Dáil. Ireland_sentence_255

Members of the government are chosen from both the Dáil and the upper house of parliament, the Seanad. Ireland_sentence_256

Its capital is Dublin. Ireland_sentence_257

The republic today ranks amongst the wealthiest countries in the world in terms of GDP per capita and in 2015 was ranked the sixth most developed nation in the world by the United Nations' Human Development Index. Ireland_sentence_258

A period of rapid economic expansion from 1995 onwards became known as the Celtic Tiger period, was brought to an end in 2008 with an unprecedented financial crisis and an economic depression in 2009. Ireland_sentence_259

Northern Ireland Ireland_section_13

Northern Ireland is a part of the United Kingdom with a local executive and assembly which exercise devolved powers. Ireland_sentence_260

The executive is jointly headed by the first and deputy first minister, with the ministries being allocated in proportion with each party's representation in the assembly. Ireland_sentence_261

Its capital is Belfast. Ireland_sentence_262

Ultimately political power is held by the UK government, from which Northern Ireland has gone through intermittent periods of direct rule during which devolved powers have been suspended. Ireland_sentence_263

Northern Ireland elects 18 of the UK House of Commons' 650 MPs. Ireland_sentence_264

The Northern Ireland Secretary is a cabinet-level post in the British government. Ireland_sentence_265

Along with England and Wales and with Scotland, Northern Ireland forms one of the three separate legal jurisdictions of the UK, all of which share the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom as their court of final appeal. Ireland_sentence_266

All-island institutions Ireland_section_14

As part of the Good Friday Agreement, the British and Irish governments agreed on the creation of all-island institutions and areas of cooperation. Ireland_sentence_267

The North/South Ministerial Council is an institution through which ministers from the Government of Ireland and the Northern Ireland Executive agree all-island policies. Ireland_sentence_268

At least six of these policy areas must have an associated all-island "implementation bodies," and at least six others must be implemented separately in each jurisdiction. Ireland_sentence_269

The implementation bodies are: Waterways Ireland, the Food Safety Promotion Board, InterTradeIreland, the Special European Union Programmes Body, the North/South Language Body and the Foyle, Carlingford and Irish Lights Commission. Ireland_sentence_270

The British–Irish Intergovernmental Conference provides for co-operation between the Government of Ireland and the Government of the United Kingdom on all matters of mutual interest, especially Northern Ireland. Ireland_sentence_271

In light of the Republic's particular interest in the governance of Northern Ireland, "regular and frequent" meetings co-chaired by the ROI Minister for Foreign Affairs and the UK Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, dealing with non-devolved matters to do with Northern Ireland and non-devolved all-Ireland issues, are required to take place under the establishing treaty. Ireland_sentence_272

The North/South Inter-Parliamentary Association is a joint parliamentary forum for the island of Ireland. Ireland_sentence_273

It has no formal powers but operates as a forum for discussing matters of common concern between the respective legislatures. Ireland_sentence_274

Economy Ireland_section_15

Main articles: Economy of the Republic of Ireland and Economy of Northern Ireland Ireland_sentence_275

See also: International Financial Services Centre Ireland_sentence_276

Despite the two jurisdictions using two distinct currencies (the euro and pound sterling), a growing amount of commercial activity is carried out on an all-Ireland basis. Ireland_sentence_277

This has been facilitated by the two jurisdictions' shared membership of the European Union, and there have been calls from members of the business community and policymakers for the creation of an "all-Ireland economy" to take advantage of economies of scale and boost competitiveness. Ireland_sentence_278

There are two multi-city regions on the island of Ireland: Ireland_sentence_279


  1. Dublin-Belfast corridor – 3.3 mIreland_item_0_0
  2. Cork-Limerick-Galway corridor – 1 mIreland_item_0_1

Below is a comparison of the regional GDP on the island of Ireland. Ireland_sentence_280


Republic of Ireland: Border Midlands & WestIreland_cell_1_0_0 Republic of Ireland: Southern & EasternIreland_cell_1_0_1 United Kingdom: Northern IrelandIreland_cell_1_0_2
€30 bnIreland_cell_1_1_0 €142 bn (Dublin €72.4bn)Ireland_cell_1_1_1 €43.4 bn (Belfast €20.9 bn)Ireland_cell_1_1_2
€23,700 per personIreland_cell_1_2_0 €39,900 per personIreland_cell_1_2_1 €21,000 per personIreland_cell_1_2_2


AreaIreland_header_cell_2_0_0 PopulationIreland_header_cell_2_0_1 CountryIreland_header_cell_2_0_2 CityIreland_header_cell_2_0_3 2012 GDP €Ireland_header_cell_2_0_4 GDP per person €Ireland_header_cell_2_0_5 2014 GDP €Ireland_header_cell_2_0_6 GDP per person €Ireland_header_cell_2_0_7
Dublin RegionIreland_cell_2_1_0 1,350,000Ireland_cell_2_1_1 ROIIreland_cell_2_1_2 DublinIreland_cell_2_1_3 €72.4 bnIreland_cell_2_1_4 €57,200Ireland_cell_2_1_5 €87.238 bnIreland_cell_2_1_6 €68,208Ireland_cell_2_1_7
South-West RegionIreland_cell_2_2_0 670,000Ireland_cell_2_2_1 ROIIreland_cell_2_2_2 CorkIreland_cell_2_2_3 €32.3 bnIreland_cell_2_2_4 €48,500Ireland_cell_2_2_5 €33.745 bnIreland_cell_2_2_6 €50,544Ireland_cell_2_2_7
Greater BelfastIreland_cell_2_3_0 720,000Ireland_cell_2_3_1 NIIreland_cell_2_3_2 BelfastIreland_cell_2_3_3 €20.9 bnIreland_cell_2_3_4 €33,550Ireland_cell_2_3_5 €22.153 bnIreland_cell_2_3_6 €34,850Ireland_cell_2_3_7
West RegionIreland_cell_2_4_0 454,000Ireland_cell_2_4_1 ROIIreland_cell_2_4_2 GalwayIreland_cell_2_4_3 €13.8 bnIreland_cell_2_4_4 €31,500Ireland_cell_2_4_5 €13.37 bnIreland_cell_2_4_6 €29,881Ireland_cell_2_4_7
Mid-West RegionIreland_cell_2_5_0 383,000Ireland_cell_2_5_1 ROIIreland_cell_2_5_2 LimerickIreland_cell_2_5_3 €11.4 bnIreland_cell_2_5_4 €30,300Ireland_cell_2_5_5 €12.116 bnIreland_cell_2_5_6 €31,792Ireland_cell_2_5_7
South-East RegionIreland_cell_2_6_0 510,000Ireland_cell_2_6_1 ROIIreland_cell_2_6_2 WaterfordIreland_cell_2_6_3 €12.8 bnIreland_cell_2_6_4 €25,600Ireland_cell_2_6_5 €14.044 bnIreland_cell_2_6_6 €28,094Ireland_cell_2_6_7
Mid-East RegionIreland_cell_2_7_0 558,000Ireland_cell_2_7_1 ROIIreland_cell_2_7_2 BrayIreland_cell_2_7_3 €13.3 bnIreland_cell_2_7_4 €24,700Ireland_cell_2_7_5 €16.024 bnIreland_cell_2_7_6 €30,033Ireland_cell_2_7_7
Border RegionIreland_cell_2_8_0 519,000Ireland_cell_2_8_1 ROIIreland_cell_2_8_2 DroghedaIreland_cell_2_8_3 €10.7 bnIreland_cell_2_8_4 €21,100Ireland_cell_2_8_5 €10.452 bnIreland_cell_2_8_6 €20,205Ireland_cell_2_8_7
East of Northern IrelandIreland_cell_2_9_0 430,000Ireland_cell_2_9_1 NIIreland_cell_2_9_2 BallymenaIreland_cell_2_9_3 €9.5 bnIreland_cell_2_9_4 €20,300Ireland_cell_2_9_5 €10.793 bnIreland_cell_2_9_6 €24,100Ireland_cell_2_9_7
Midlands RegionIreland_cell_2_10_0 290,000Ireland_cell_2_10_1 ROIIreland_cell_2_10_2 AthloneIreland_cell_2_10_3 €5.7 bnIreland_cell_2_10_4 €20,100Ireland_cell_2_10_5 €6.172 bnIreland_cell_2_10_6 €21,753Ireland_cell_2_10_7
West and South of Northern IrelandIreland_cell_2_11_0 400,000Ireland_cell_2_11_1 NIIreland_cell_2_11_2 NewryIreland_cell_2_11_3 €8.4 bnIreland_cell_2_11_4 €19,300Ireland_cell_2_11_5 €5.849 bnIreland_cell_2_11_6 €20,100Ireland_cell_2_11_7
North of Northern IrelandIreland_cell_2_12_0 280,000Ireland_cell_2_12_1 NIIreland_cell_2_12_2 DerryIreland_cell_2_12_3 €5.5 bnIreland_cell_2_12_4 €18,400Ireland_cell_2_12_5 €9.283 bnIreland_cell_2_12_6 €22,000Ireland_cell_2_12_7
TotalIreland_header_cell_2_13_0 6.6 mIreland_header_cell_2_13_1 Ireland_header_cell_2_13_2 Ireland_header_cell_2_13_3 €216.7 bnIreland_header_cell_2_13_4 Ireland_header_cell_2_13_5 €241 bnIreland_header_cell_2_13_6 Ireland_header_cell_2_13_7

The GDP of the Republic of Ireland as of 2018 was $382.754 billion (nominal), and in Northern Ireland as of 2016 it was €43 billion (nominal). Ireland_sentence_281

The GDP per capita in the Republic of Ireland was $78,335 (nominal) as of 2018, and in Northern Ireland (as of 2016) was €23,700. Ireland_sentence_282

Tourism Ireland_section_16

Main article: Tourist destinations in Ireland Ireland_sentence_283

There are three World Heritage Sites on the island: the Brú na Bóinne, Skellig Michael and the Giant's Causeway. Ireland_sentence_284

Several other places are on the tentative list, for example the Burren, the Ceide Fields and Mount Stewart. Ireland_sentence_285

Some of the most visited sites in Ireland include Bunratty Castle, the Rock of Cashel, the Cliffs of Moher, Holy Cross Abbey and Blarney Castle. Ireland_sentence_286

Historically important monastic sites include Glendalough and Clonmacnoise, which are maintained as national monuments in the Republic of Ireland. Ireland_sentence_287

Dublin is the most heavily touristed region and home to several of the most popular attractions such as the Guinness Storehouse and Book of Kells. Ireland_sentence_288

The west and south west, which includes the Lakes of Killarney and the Dingle peninsula in County Kerry and Connemara and the Aran Islands in County Galway, are also popular tourist destinations. Ireland_sentence_289

Achill Island lies off the coast of County Mayo and is Ireland's largest island. Ireland_sentence_290

It is a popular tourist destination for surfing and contains 5 Blue Flag beaches and Croaghaun one of the worlds highest sea cliffs. Ireland_sentence_291

Stately homes, built during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries in Palladian, Neoclassical and neo-Gothic styles, such as Castle Ward, Castletown House, Bantry House, and Glenveagh Castle are also of interest to tourists. Ireland_sentence_292

Some have been converted into hotels, such as Ashford Castle, Castle Leslie and Dromoland Castle. Ireland_sentence_293


  • World Heritage SitesIreland_item_1_2
  • Ireland_item_1_3
  • Ireland_item_1_4
  • Ireland_item_1_5

Energy Ireland_section_17

Ireland has an ancient industry based on peat (known locally as "turf") as a source of energy for home fires. Ireland_sentence_294

A form of biomass energy, this source of heat is still widely used in rural areas. Ireland_sentence_295

However, because of the ecological importance of peatlands in storing carbon and their rarity, the EU is attempting to protect this habitat by fining Ireland for digging up peat. Ireland_sentence_296

In cities, heat is generally supplied by natural gas or heating oil, although some urban suppliers distribute sods of turf as "smokeless fuel" for domestic use. Ireland_sentence_297

The island operates as a single market for electricity. Ireland_sentence_298

For much of their existence, electricity networks in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland were entirely separate. Ireland_sentence_299

Both networks were designed and constructed independently post-partition. Ireland_sentence_300

However, they are now connected with three interlinks and also connected through Great Britain to mainland Europe. Ireland_sentence_301

The situation in Northern Ireland is complicated by the issue of private companies not supplying Northern Ireland Electricity with enough power. Ireland_sentence_302

In the Republic of Ireland, the ESB has failed to modernise its power stations, and the availability of power plants has recently averaged only 66%, one of the worst such rates in Western Europe. Ireland_sentence_303

EirGrid has started building a HVDC transmission line between Ireland and Great Britain with a capacity of 500 MW, about 10% of Ireland's peak demand. Ireland_sentence_304

As with electricity, the natural gas distribution network is also now all-island, with a pipeline linking Gormanston, County Meath, and Ballyclare, County Antrim. Ireland_sentence_305

Most of Ireland's gas comes through interconnectors between Twynholm in Scotland and Ballylumford, County Antrim and Loughshinny, County Dublin. Ireland_sentence_306

Supplies come from the Corrib Gas Field, off the coast of County Mayo, with a decreasing supply coming from the Kinsale gas field off the County Cork coast. Ireland_sentence_307

The County Mayo field faces some localised opposition over a controversial decision to refine the gas onshore. Ireland_sentence_308

The Republic has a strong commitment to renewable energy and ranks as one of the top 10 markets for clean-technology investment in the 2014 Global Green Economy Index. Ireland_sentence_309

Research and development in renewable energy (such as wind power) has increased since 2004. Ireland_sentence_310

Large wind farms have been constructed in Cork, Donegal, Mayo and Antrim. Ireland_sentence_311

The construction of wind farms has in some cases been delayed by opposition from local communities, some of whom regard the wind turbines as unsightly. Ireland_sentence_312

The Republic is hindered by an ageing network that was not designed to handle the varying availability of power that comes from wind farms. Ireland_sentence_313

The ESB's Turlough Hill facility is the only power-storage facility in the state. Ireland_sentence_314

Economic history Ireland_section_18

Main article: Economic history of Ireland Ireland_sentence_315

Prior to partition in 1921, Ireland had a long history as an economic colony - first of the Norse (9th to 10th centuries CE), and later of England. Ireland_sentence_316

Though the climate and soil favoured certain forms of agriculture, trade barriers frequently hobbled its development. Ireland_sentence_317

Repeated invasions and "plantations" disrupted land-ownership, and multiple failed uprisings also contributed to repeated phases of deportation and of emigration. Ireland_sentence_318

Salient events in the economic history of Ireland include: Ireland_sentence_319


  • 16th and 17th centuries: confiscation and redistribution of land in the Plantations of IrelandIreland_item_2_6
  • 1845-1849: The Great Famine occasioned depopulation and mass emigration.Ireland_item_2_7
  • 1846: Westminster's repeal of the Corn Laws disrupted Irish agriculture.Ireland_item_2_8

Geography Ireland_section_19

Main article: Geography of Ireland Ireland_sentence_320

Ireland is located in the north-west of Europe, between latitudes 51° and 56° N, and longitudes 11° and 5° W. Ireland_sentence_321

It is separated from Great Britain by the Irish Sea and the North Channel, which has a width of 23 kilometres (14 mi) at its narrowest point. Ireland_sentence_322

To the west is the northern Atlantic Ocean and to the south is the Celtic Sea, which lies between Ireland and Brittany, in France. Ireland_sentence_323

Ireland has a total area of 84,421 km (32,595 sq mi), of which the Republic of Ireland occupies 83 percent. Ireland_sentence_324

Ireland and Great Britain, together with many nearby smaller islands, are known collectively as the British Isles. Ireland_sentence_325

As the term British Isles is controversial in relation to Ireland, the alternate term Britain and Ireland is often used as a neutral term for the islands. Ireland_sentence_326

A ring of coastal mountains surround low plains at the centre of the island. Ireland_sentence_327

The highest of these is Carrauntoohil (Irish: Corrán Tuathail) in County Kerry, which rises to 1,038 m (3,406 ft) above sea level. Ireland_sentence_328

The most arable land lies in the province of Leinster. Ireland_sentence_329

Western areas can be mountainous and rocky with green panoramic vistas. Ireland_sentence_330

River Shannon, the island's longest river at 386 km (240 mi) long, rises in County Cavan in the north west and flows through Limerick in the mid west. Ireland_sentence_331

Geology Ireland_section_20

The island consists of varied geological provinces. Ireland_sentence_332

In the west, around County Galway and County Donegal, is a medium to high grade metamorphic and igneous complex of Caledonide affinity, similar to the Scottish Highlands. Ireland_sentence_333

Across southeast Ulster and extending southwest to Longford and south to Navan is a province of Ordovician and Silurian rocks, with similarities to the Southern Uplands province of Scotland. Ireland_sentence_334

Further south, along the County Wexford coastline, is an area of granite intrusives into more Ordovician and Silurian rocks, like that found in Wales. Ireland_sentence_335

In the southwest, around Bantry Bay and the mountains of MacGillycuddy's Reeks, is an area of substantially deformed, lightly metamorphosed Devonian-aged rocks. Ireland_sentence_336

This partial ring of "hard rock" geology is covered by a blanket of Carboniferous limestone over the centre of the country, giving rise to a comparatively fertile and lush landscape. Ireland_sentence_337

The west-coast district of the Burren around Lisdoonvarna has well-developed karst features. Ireland_sentence_338

Significant stratiform lead-zinc mineralisation is found in the limestones around Silvermines and Tynagh. Ireland_sentence_339

Hydrocarbon exploration is ongoing following the first major find at the Kinsale Head gas field off Cork in the mid-1970s. Ireland_sentence_340

In 1999, economically significant finds of natural gas were made in the Corrib Gas Field off the County Mayo coast. Ireland_sentence_341

This has increased activity off the west coast in parallel with the "West of Shetland" step-out development from the North Sea hydrocarbon province. Ireland_sentence_342

In 2000, the Helvick oil field was discovered, which was estimated to contain over 28 million barrels (4,500,000 m) of oil. Ireland_sentence_343


  • LandscapesIreland_item_3_9
  • Ireland_item_3_10
  • Ireland_item_3_11
  • Ireland_item_3_12
  • Ireland_item_3_13
  • Ireland_item_3_14
  • Ireland_item_3_15

Climate Ireland_section_21

Main article: Climate of Ireland Ireland_sentence_344

The island's lush vegetation, a product of its mild climate and frequent rainfall, earns it the sobriquet the Emerald Isle. Ireland_sentence_345

Overall, Ireland has a mild but changeable oceanic climate with few extremes. Ireland_sentence_346

The climate is typically insular and is temperate, avoiding the extremes in temperature of many other areas in the world at similar latitudes. Ireland_sentence_347

This is a result of the moderating moist winds which ordinarily prevail from the southwestern Atlantic. Ireland_sentence_348

Precipitation falls throughout the year but is light overall, particularly in the east. Ireland_sentence_349

The west tends to be wetter on average and prone to Atlantic storms, especially in the late autumn and winter months. Ireland_sentence_350

These occasionally bring destructive winds and higher total rainfall to these areas, as well as sometimes snow and hail. Ireland_sentence_351

The regions of north County Galway and east County Mayo have the highest incidents of recorded lightning annually for the island, with lightning occurring approximately five to ten days per year in these areas. Ireland_sentence_352

Munster, in the south, records the least snow whereas Ulster, in the north, records the most. Ireland_sentence_353

Inland areas are warmer in summer and colder in winter. Ireland_sentence_354

Usually around 40 days of the year are below freezing 0 °C (32 °F) at inland weather stations, compared to 10 days at coastal stations. Ireland_sentence_355

Ireland is sometimes affected by heatwaves, most recently in 1995, 2003, 2006, 2013 and 2018. Ireland_sentence_356

In common with the rest of Europe, Ireland experienced unusually cold weather during the winter of 2010-11. Ireland_sentence_357

Temperatures fell as low as −17.2 °C (1 °F) in County Mayo on 20 December and up to a metre (3 ft) of snow fell in mountainous areas. Ireland_sentence_358

Flora and fauna Ireland_section_22

Main articles: Fauna of Ireland, Flora of Ireland, and Trees of Britain and Ireland Ireland_sentence_359

Because Ireland became isolated from mainland Europe by rising sea levels before the last ice age had completely finished, it has fewer land animal and plant species than Great Britain or mainland Europe. Ireland_sentence_360

There are 55 mammal species in Ireland, and of them only 26 land mammal species are considered native to Ireland. Ireland_sentence_361

Some species, such as, the red fox, hedgehog and badger, are very common, whereas others, like the Irish hare, red deer and pine marten are less so. Ireland_sentence_362

Aquatic wildlife, such as species of sea turtle, shark, seal, whale, and dolphin, are common off the coast. Ireland_sentence_363

About 400 species of birds have been recorded in Ireland. Ireland_sentence_364

Many of these are migratory, including the barn swallow. Ireland_sentence_365

Several different habitat types are found in Ireland, including farmland, open woodland, temperate broadleaf and mixed forests, conifer plantations, peat bogs and a variety of coastal habitats. Ireland_sentence_366

However, agriculture drives current land use patterns in Ireland, limiting natural habitat preserves, particularly for larger wild mammals with greater territorial needs. Ireland_sentence_367

With no large apex predators in Ireland other than humans and dogs, such populations of animals as semi-wild deer that cannot be controlled by smaller predators, such as the fox, are controlled by annual culling. Ireland_sentence_368

There are no snakes in Ireland, and only one species of reptile (the common lizard) is native to the island. Ireland_sentence_369

Extinct species include the Irish elk, the great auk, brown bear and the wolf. Ireland_sentence_370

Some previously extinct birds, such as the golden eagle, have been reintroduced after decades of extirpation. Ireland_sentence_371

Ireland is now one of the least forested countries in Europe. Ireland_sentence_372

Until the end of the Middle Ages, Ireland was heavily forested with native trees such as oak, ash, hazel, birch, alder, willow, aspen, rowan, yew and Scots pine. Ireland_sentence_373

Only about 10% of Ireland today is woodland; most of this is non-native conifer plantations, and only 2% is native woodland. Ireland_sentence_374

In Europe, the average woodland cover is over 33%. Ireland_sentence_375

In the Republic, about 389,356 hectares (3,893.56 km) is owned by the state, mainly by the forestry service Coillte. Ireland_sentence_376

Remnants of native forest can be found scattered around the island, in particular in the Killarney National Park. Ireland_sentence_377

Much of the land is now covered with pasture and there are many species of wild-flower. Ireland_sentence_378

Gorse (Ulex europaeus), a wild furze, is commonly found growing in the uplands and ferns are plentiful in the more moist regions, especially in the western parts. Ireland_sentence_379

It is home to hundreds of plant species, some of them unique to the island, and has been "invaded" by some grasses, such as Spartina anglica. Ireland_sentence_380

The algal and seaweed flora is that of the cold-temperate variety. Ireland_sentence_381

The total number of species is 574 The island has been invaded by some algae, some of which are now well established. Ireland_sentence_382

Because of its mild climate, many species, including sub-tropical species such as palm trees, are grown in Ireland. Ireland_sentence_383

Phytogeographically, Ireland belongs to the Atlantic European province of the Circumboreal Region within the Boreal Kingdom. Ireland_sentence_384

The island can be subdivided into two ecoregions: the Celtic broadleaf forests and North Atlantic moist mixed forests. Ireland_sentence_385

Impact of agriculture Ireland_section_23

The long history of agricultural production, coupled with modern intensive agricultural methods such as pesticide and fertiliser use and runoff from contaminants into streams, rivers and lakes, has placed pressure on biodiversity in Ireland. Ireland_sentence_386

A land of green fields for crop cultivation and cattle rearing limits the space available for the establishment of native wild species. Ireland_sentence_387

Hedgerows, however, traditionally used for maintaining and demarcating land boundaries, act as a refuge for native wild flora. Ireland_sentence_388

This ecosystem stretches across the countryside and acts as a network of connections to preserve remnants of the ecosystem that once covered the island. Ireland_sentence_389

Subsidies under the Common Agricultural Policy, which supported agricultural practices that preserved hedgerow environments, are undergoing reforms. Ireland_sentence_390

The Common Agricultural Policy had in the past subsidised potentially destructive agricultural practices, for example by emphasising production without placing limits on indiscriminate use of fertilisers and pesticides; but reforms have gradually decoupled subsidies from production levels and introduced environmental and other requirements. Ireland_sentence_391

32% of Ireland's greenhouse gas emissions are correlated to agriculture. Ireland_sentence_392

Forested areas typically consist of monoculture plantations of non-native species, which may result in habitats that are not suitable for supporting native species of invertebrates. Ireland_sentence_393

Natural areas require fencing to prevent over-grazing by deer and sheep that roam over uncultivated areas. Ireland_sentence_394

Grazing in this manner is one of the main factors preventing the natural regeneration of forests across many regions of the country. Ireland_sentence_395

Demographics Ireland_section_24

Main articles: Irish people, Demographics of the Republic of Ireland, and Demography of Northern Ireland Ireland_sentence_396

People have lived in Ireland for over 9,000 years. Ireland_sentence_397

Early historical and genealogical records note the existence of major groups such as the Cruthin, Corcu Loígde, Dál Riata, Dáirine, Deirgtine, Delbhna, Érainn, Laigin, Ulaid. Ireland_sentence_398

Later major groups included the Connachta, Ciannachta, Eóganachta. Ireland_sentence_399

Smaller groups included the aithechthúatha (see Attacotti), Cálraighe, Cíarraige, Conmaicne, Dartraighe, Déisi, Éile, Fir Bolg, Fortuatha, Gailenga, Gamanraige, Mairtine, Múscraige, Partraige, Soghain, Uaithni, Uí Maine, Uí Liatháin. Ireland_sentence_400

Many survived into late medieval times, others vanished as they became politically unimportant. Ireland_sentence_401

Over the past 1,200 years, Vikings, Normans, Welsh, Flemings, Scots, English, Africans, Eastern Europeans and South Americans have all added to the population and have had significant influences on Irish culture. Ireland_sentence_402

The population of Ireland rose rapidly from the 16th century until the mid-19th century, interrupted briefly by the Famine of 1740–41, which killed roughly two fifths of the island's population. Ireland_sentence_403

The population rebounded and multiplied over the next century, but the Great Famine of the 1840s caused one million deaths and forced over one million more to emigrate in its immediate wake. Ireland_sentence_404

Over the following century, the population was reduced by over half, at a time when the general trend in European countries was for populations to rise by an average of three-fold. Ireland_sentence_405

Ireland's largest religious group is Christianity. Ireland_sentence_406

The largest denomination is Roman Catholicism, representing over 73% for the island (and about 87% of the Republic of Ireland). Ireland_sentence_407

Most of the rest of the population adhere to one of the various Protestant denominations (about 48% of Northern Ireland). Ireland_sentence_408

The largest is the Anglican Church of Ireland. Ireland_sentence_409

The Muslim community is growing in Ireland, mostly through increased immigration, with a 50% increase in the republic between the 2006 and 2011 census. Ireland_sentence_410

The island has a small Jewish community. Ireland_sentence_411

About 4% of the Republic's population and about 14% of the Northern Ireland population describe themselves as of no religion. Ireland_sentence_412

In a 2010 survey conducted on behalf of the Irish Times, 32% of respondents said they went to a religious service more than once per week. Ireland_sentence_413

Divisions and settlements Ireland_section_25

Further information: Provinces of Ireland, Counties of Ireland, and City status in Ireland Ireland_sentence_414

Traditionally, Ireland is subdivided into four provinces: Connacht (west), Leinster (east), Munster (south), and Ulster (north). Ireland_sentence_415

In a system that developed between the 13th and 17th centuries, Ireland has 32 traditional counties. Ireland_sentence_416

Twenty-six of these counties are in the Republic of Ireland, and six are in Northern Ireland. Ireland_sentence_417

The six counties that constitute Northern Ireland are all in the province of Ulster (which has nine counties in total). Ireland_sentence_418

As such, Ulster is often used as a synonym for Northern Ireland, although the two are not coterminous. Ireland_sentence_419

In the Republic of Ireland, counties form the basis of the system of local government. Ireland_sentence_420

Counties Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway, Waterford and Tipperary have been broken up into smaller administrative areas. Ireland_sentence_421

However, they are still treated as counties for cultural and some official purposes, for example, postal addresses and by the Ordnance Survey Ireland. Ireland_sentence_422

Counties in Northern Ireland are no longer used for local governmental purposes, but, as in the Republic, their traditional boundaries are still used for informal purposes such as sports leagues and in cultural or tourism contexts. Ireland_sentence_423

City status in Ireland is decided by legislative or royal charter. Ireland_sentence_424

Dublin, with over 1 million residents in the Greater Dublin Area, is the largest city on the island. Ireland_sentence_425

Belfast, with 579,726 residents, is the largest city in Northern Ireland. Ireland_sentence_426

City status does not directly equate with population size. Ireland_sentence_427

For example, Armagh, with 14,590 is the seat of the Church of Ireland and the Roman Catholic Primate of All Ireland and was re-granted city status by Queen Elizabeth II in 1994 (having lost that status in local government reforms of 1840). Ireland_sentence_428

In the Republic of Ireland, Kilkenny, seat of the Butler dynasty, while no longer a city for administrative purposes (since the 2001 Local Government Act), is entitled by law to continue to use the description. Ireland_sentence_429

Migration Ireland_section_26

The population of Ireland collapsed dramatically during the second half of the 19th century. Ireland_sentence_430

A population of over 8 million in 1841 was reduced to slightly more than 4 million by 1921. Ireland_sentence_431

In part, the fall in population was caused by death from the Great Famine of 1845 to 1852, which took about 1 million lives. Ireland_sentence_432

However, by far the greater cause of population decline was the dire economic state of the country which led to an entrenched culture of emigration lasting until the 21st century. Ireland_sentence_433

Emigration from Ireland in the 19th century contributed to the populations of England, the United States, Canada and Australia, in all of which a large Irish diaspora lives. Ireland_sentence_434

As of 2006, 4.3 million Canadians, or 14% of the population, were of Irish descent, while around one-third of the Australian population had an element of Irish descent. Ireland_sentence_435

As of 2013, there were 40 million Irish-Americans and 33 million Americans who claimed Irish ancestry. Ireland_sentence_436

With growing prosperity since the last decade of the 20th century, Ireland became a destination for immigrants. Ireland_sentence_437

Since the European Union expanded to include Poland in 2004, Polish people have made up the largest number of immigrants (over 150,000) from Central Europe. Ireland_sentence_438

There has also been significant immigration from Lithuania, Czech Republic and Latvia. Ireland_sentence_439

The Republic of Ireland in particular has seen large-scale immigration, with 420,000 foreign nationals as of 2006, about 10% of the population. Ireland_sentence_440

A quarter of births (24 percent) in 2009 were to mothers born outside Ireland. Ireland_sentence_441

Up to 50,000 eastern and central European migrant workers left Ireland in response to the Irish financial crisis. Ireland_sentence_442

Languages Ireland_section_27

Main article: Languages of Ireland Ireland_sentence_443

The two official languages of the Republic of Ireland are Irish and English. Ireland_sentence_444

Each language has produced noteworthy literature. Ireland_sentence_445

Irish, though now only the language of a minority, was the vernacular of the Irish people for thousands of years and was possibly introduced during the Iron Age. Ireland_sentence_446

It began to be written down after Christianisation in the 5th century and spread to Scotland and the Isle of Man, where it evolved into the Scottish Gaelic and Manx languages respectively. Ireland_sentence_447

The Irish language has a vast treasury of written texts from many centuries and is divided by linguists into Old Irish from the 6th to 10th century, Middle Irish from the 10th to 13th century, Early Modern Irish until the 17th century, and the Modern Irish spoken today. Ireland_sentence_448

It remained the dominant language of Ireland for most of those periods, having influences from Latin, Old Norse, French and English. Ireland_sentence_449

It declined under British rule but remained the majority tongue until the early 19th century, and since then has been a minority language. Ireland_sentence_450

The Gaelic Revival of the early 20th century has had a long-term influence. Ireland_sentence_451

Irish is taught in mainstream Irish schools as a compulsory subject, but teaching methods have been criticised for their ineffectiveness, with the lack of level of ability after, typically, fourteen years of instruction cited. Ireland_sentence_452

There is now a network of urban Irish speakers in both the Republic and Northern Ireland, especially in Dublin and Belfast, with the children of such Irish speakers sometimes attending Irish-medium schools (Gaelscoil). Ireland_sentence_453

It has been argued that they tend to be more highly educated than monolingual English speakers. Ireland_sentence_454

Recent research suggests that urban Irish is developing in a direction of its own, both in pronunciation and grammar. Ireland_sentence_455

Traditional rural Irish-speaking areas, known collectively as the Gaeltacht, are in linguistic decline. Ireland_sentence_456

The main Gaeltacht areas are in the west, south-west and north-west. Ireland_sentence_457

They are to be found in Donegal, Mayo, Galway, western Cork and Kerry with smaller Gaeltacht areas near Dungarvan in Waterford, Navan in Meath. Ireland_sentence_458

English in Ireland was first introduced during the Norman invasion. Ireland_sentence_459

It was spoken by a few peasants and merchants brought over from England, and was largely replaced by Irish before the Tudor conquest of Ireland. Ireland_sentence_460

It was introduced as the official language with the Tudor and Cromwellian conquests. Ireland_sentence_461

The Ulster plantations gave it a permanent foothold in Ulster, and it remained the official and upper-class language elsewhere, the Irish-speaking chieftains and nobility having been deposed. Ireland_sentence_462

Language shift during the 19th century replaced Irish with English as the first language for a vast majority of the population. Ireland_sentence_463

Less than 10% of the population of the Republic of Ireland today speak Irish regularly outside of the education system and 38% of those over 15 years are classified as "Irish speakers". Ireland_sentence_464

In Northern Ireland, English is the de facto official language, but official recognition is afforded to Irish, including specific protective measures under Part III of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. Ireland_sentence_465

A lesser status (including recognition under Part II of the Charter) is given to Ulster Scots dialects, which are spoken by roughly 2% of Northern Ireland residents, and also spoken by some in the Republic of Ireland. Ireland_sentence_466

Since the 1960s with the increase in immigration, many more languages have been introduced, particularly deriving from Asia and Eastern Europe. Ireland_sentence_467

Shelta, the language of the nomadic Irish Travellers is native to Ireland. Ireland_sentence_468

Culture Ireland_section_28

Main articles: Culture of Ireland and Culture of Northern Ireland Ireland_sentence_469

Ireland's culture comprises elements of the culture of ancient peoples, later immigrant and broadcast cultural influences (chiefly Gaelic culture, Anglicisation, Americanisation and aspects of broader European culture). Ireland_sentence_470

In broad terms, Ireland is regarded as one of the Celtic nations of Europe, alongside Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, Isle of Man and Brittany. Ireland_sentence_471

This combination of cultural influences is visible in the intricate designs termed Irish interlace or Celtic knotwork. Ireland_sentence_472

These can be seen in the ornamentation of medieval religious and secular works. Ireland_sentence_473

The style is still popular today in jewellery and graphic art, as is the distinctive style of traditional Irish music and dance, and has become indicative of modern "Celtic" culture in general. Ireland_sentence_474

Religion has played a significant role in the cultural life of the island since ancient times (and since the 17th century plantations, has been the focus of political identity and divisions on the island). Ireland_sentence_475

Ireland's pre-Christian heritage fused with the Celtic Church following the missions of Saint Patrick in the 5th century. Ireland_sentence_476

The Hiberno-Scottish missions, begun by the Irish monk Saint Columba, spread the Irish vision of Christianity to pagan England and the Frankish Empire. Ireland_sentence_477

These missions brought written language to an illiterate population of Europe during the Dark Ages that followed the fall of Rome, earning Ireland the sobriquet, "the island of saints and scholars". Ireland_sentence_478

Since the 20th century Irish pubs worldwide have become outposts of Irish culture, especially those with a full range of cultural and gastronomic offerings. Ireland_sentence_479

The Republic of Ireland's national theatre is the Abbey Theatre, which was founded in 1904, and the national Irish-language theatre is An Taibhdhearc, which was established in 1928 in Galway. Ireland_sentence_480

Playwrights such as Seán O'Casey, Brian Friel, Sebastian Barry, Conor McPherson and Billy Roche are internationally renowned. Ireland_sentence_481

Arts Ireland_section_29

Main articles: Music of Ireland, Irish dance, Irish literature, Irish art, and Irish theatre Ireland_sentence_482

Literature Ireland_section_30

Ireland has made a large contribution to world literature in all its branches, both in Irish and English. Ireland_sentence_483

Poetry in Irish is among the oldest vernacular poetry in Europe, with the earliest examples dating from the 6th century. Ireland_sentence_484

Irish remained the dominant literary language down to the nineteenth century, despite the spread of English from the seventeenth century on. Ireland_sentence_485

Prominent names from the medieval period and later include Gofraidh Fionn Ó Dálaigh (fourteenth century), Dáibhí Ó Bruadair (seventeenth century) and Aogán Ó Rathaille (eighteenth century). Ireland_sentence_486

Eibhlín Dubh Ní Chonaill (c. 1743 – c. 1800) was an outstanding poet in the oral tradition. Ireland_sentence_487

The latter part of the nineteenth century saw a rapid replacement of Irish by English. Ireland_sentence_488

By 1900, however, cultural nationalists had begun the Gaelic revival, which saw the beginnings of modern literature in Irish. Ireland_sentence_489

This was to produce a number of notable writers, including Máirtín Ó Cadhain, Máire Mhac an tSaoi and others. Ireland_sentence_490

Irish-language publishers such as Coiscéim and Cló Iar-Chonnacht continue to produce scores of titles every year. Ireland_sentence_491

In English, Jonathan Swift, often called the foremost satirist in the English language, gained fame for works such as Gulliver's Travels and A Modest Proposal. Ireland_sentence_492

Other notable 18th-century writers of Irish origin included Oliver Goldsmith and Richard Brinsley Sheridan, though they spent most of their lives in England. Ireland_sentence_493

The Anglo-Irish novel came to the fore in the nineteenth century, featuring such writers as Charles Kickham, William Carleton, and (in collaboration) Edith Somerville and Violet Florence Martin. Ireland_sentence_494

The playwright and poet Oscar Wilde, noted for his epigrams, was born in Ireland. Ireland_sentence_495

In the 20th century, Ireland produced four winners of the Nobel Prize for Literature: George Bernard Shaw, William Butler Yeats, Samuel Beckett and Seamus Heaney. Ireland_sentence_496

Although not a Nobel Prize winner, James Joyce is widely considered to be one of the most significant writers of the 20th century. Ireland_sentence_497

Joyce's 1922 novel Ulysses is considered one of the most important works of Modernist literature and his life is celebrated annually on 16 June in Dublin as "Bloomsday". Ireland_sentence_498

A comparable writer in Irish is Máirtín Ó Cadhain, whose novel Cré na Cille is regarded as a modernist masterpiece and has been translated into several languages. Ireland_sentence_499

Modern Irish literature is often connected with its rural heritage through English-language writers such as John McGahern and Seamus Heaney and Irish-language writers such as Máirtín Ó Direáin and others from the Gaeltacht. Ireland_sentence_500

Music Ireland_section_31

Music has been in evidence in Ireland since prehistoric times. Ireland_sentence_501

Although in the early Middle Ages the church was "quite unlike its counterpart in continental Europe", there was considerable interchange between monastic settlements in Ireland and the rest of Europe that contributed to what is known as Gregorian chant. Ireland_sentence_502

Outside religious establishments, musical genres in early Gaelic Ireland are referred to as a triad of weeping music (goltraige), laughing music (geantraige) and sleeping music (suantraige). Ireland_sentence_503

Vocal and instrumental music (e.g. for the harp, pipes, and various string instruments) was transmitted orally, but the Irish harp, in particular, was of such significance that it became Ireland's national symbol. Ireland_sentence_504

Classical music following European models first developed in urban areas, in establishments of Anglo-Irish rule such as Dublin Castle, St Patrick's Cathedral and Christ Church as well as the country houses of the Anglo-Irish ascendancy, with the first performance of Handel's Messiah (1742) being among the highlights of the baroque era. Ireland_sentence_505

In the 19th century, public concerts provided access to classical music to all classes of society. Ireland_sentence_506

Yet, for political and financial reasons Ireland has been too small to provide a living to many musicians, so the names of the better-known Irish composers of this time belong to emigrants. Ireland_sentence_507

Irish traditional music and dance has seen a surge in popularity and global coverage since the 1960s. Ireland_sentence_508

In the middle years of the 20th century, as Irish society was modernising, traditional music had fallen out of favour, especially in urban areas. Ireland_sentence_509

However during the 1960s, there was a revival of interest in Irish traditional music led by groups such as The Dubliners, The Chieftains, The Wolfe Tones, the Clancy Brothers, Sweeney's Men and individuals like Seán Ó Riada and Christy Moore. Ireland_sentence_510

Groups and musicians including Horslips, Van Morrison and Thin Lizzy incorporated elements of Irish traditional music into contemporary rock music and, during the 1970s and 1980s, the distinction between traditional and rock musicians became blurred, with many individuals regularly crossing over between these styles of playing. Ireland_sentence_511

This trend can be seen more recently in the work of artists like Enya, The Saw Doctors, The Corrs, Sinéad O'Connor, Clannad, The Cranberries and The Pogues among others. Ireland_sentence_512

Art Ireland_section_32

The earliest known Irish graphic art and sculpture are Neolithic carvings found at sites such as Newgrange and is traced through Bronze Age artefacts and the religious carvings and illuminated manuscripts of the medieval period. Ireland_sentence_513

During the course of the 19th and 20th centuries, a strong tradition of painting emerged, including such figures as John Butler Yeats, William Orpen, Jack Yeats and Louis le Brocquy. Ireland_sentence_514

Contemporary Irish visual artists of note include Sean Scully, Kevin Abosch, and Alice Maher. Ireland_sentence_515

Science Ireland_section_33

The Irish philosopher and theologian Johannes Scotus Eriugena was considered one of the leading intellectuals of the early Middle Ages. Ireland_sentence_516

Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton, an Irish explorer, was one of the principal figures of Antarctic exploration. Ireland_sentence_517

He, along with his expedition, made the first ascent of Mount Erebus and the discovery of the approximate location of the South Magnetic Pole. Ireland_sentence_518

Robert Boyle was a 17th-century natural philosopher, chemist, physicist, inventor and early gentleman scientist. Ireland_sentence_519

He is largely regarded as one of the founders of modern chemistry and is best known for the formulation of Boyle's law. Ireland_sentence_520

19th-century physicist, John Tyndall, discovered the Tyndall effect. Ireland_sentence_521

Father Nicholas Joseph Callan, Professor of Natural Philosophy in Maynooth College, is best known for his invention of the induction coil, transformer and he discovered an early method of galvanisation in the 19th century. Ireland_sentence_522

Other notable Irish physicists include Ernest Walton, winner of the 1951 Nobel Prize in Physics. Ireland_sentence_523

With Sir John Douglas Cockcroft, he was the first to split the nucleus of the atom by artificial means and made contributions to the development of a new theory of wave equation. Ireland_sentence_524

William Thomson, or Lord Kelvin, is the person whom the absolute temperature unit, the kelvin, is named after. Ireland_sentence_525

Sir Joseph Larmor, a physicist and mathematician, made innovations in the understanding of electricity, dynamics, thermodynamics and the electron theory of matter. Ireland_sentence_526

His most influential work was Aether and Matter, a book on theoretical physics published in 1900. Ireland_sentence_527

George Johnstone Stoney introduced the term electron in 1891. Ireland_sentence_528

John Stewart Bell was the originator of Bell's Theorem and a paper concerning the discovery of the Bell-Jackiw-Adler anomaly and was nominated for a Nobel prize. Ireland_sentence_529

The astronomer Jocelyn Bell Burnell, from Lurgan, County Armagh, discovered pulsars in 1967. Notable mathematicians include Sir William Rowan Hamilton, famous for work in classical mechanics and the invention of quaternions. Ireland_sentence_530

Francis Ysidro Edgeworth's contribution of the Edgeworth Box remains influential in neo-classical microeconomic theory to this day; while Richard Cantillon inspired Adam Smith, among others. Ireland_sentence_531

John B. Cosgrave was a specialist in number theory and discovered a 2000-digit prime number in 1999 and a record composite Fermat number in 2003. Ireland_sentence_532

John Lighton Synge made progress in different fields of science, including mechanics and geometrical methods in general relativity. Ireland_sentence_533

He had mathematician John Nash as one of his students. Ireland_sentence_534

Kathleen Lonsdale, born in Ireland and most known for her work with crystallography, became the first female president of the British Association for the Advancement of Science. Ireland_sentence_535

Ireland has nine universities, seven in the Republic of Ireland and two in Northern Ireland, including Trinity College, Dublin and the University College Dublin, as well as numerous third-level colleges and institutes and a branch of the Open University, the Open University in Ireland. Ireland_sentence_536

Sports Ireland_section_34

Main article: Sport in Ireland Ireland_sentence_537

See also: List of Irish sports people Ireland_sentence_538

Gaelic football is the most popular sport in Ireland in terms of match attendance and community involvement, with about 2,600 clubs on the island. Ireland_sentence_539

In 2003 it represented 34% of total sports attendances at events in Ireland and abroad, followed by hurling at 23%, soccer at 16% and rugby at 8%. Ireland_sentence_540

The All-Ireland Football Final is the most watched event in the sporting calendar. Ireland_sentence_541

Soccer is the most widely played team game on the island and the most popular in Northern Ireland. Ireland_sentence_542

Other sporting activities with the highest levels of playing participation include swimming, golf, aerobics, cycling, and billiards/snooker. Ireland_sentence_543

Many other sports are also played and followed, including boxing, cricket, fishing, greyhound racing, handball, hockey, horse racing, motor sport, show jumping and tennis. Ireland_sentence_544

The island fields a single international team in most sports. Ireland_sentence_545

One notable exception to this is association football, although both associations continued to field international teams under the name "Ireland" until the 1950s. Ireland_sentence_546

The sport is also the most notable exception where the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland field separate international teams. Ireland_sentence_547

Northern Ireland has produced two World Snooker Champions. Ireland_sentence_548

Field sports Ireland_section_35

Gaelic football, hurling and handball are the best-known of the Irish traditional sports, collectively known as Gaelic games. Ireland_sentence_549

Gaelic games are governed by the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA), with the exception of ladies' Gaelic football and camogie (women's variant of hurling), which are governed by separate organisations. Ireland_sentence_550

The headquarters of the GAA (and the main stadium) is located at the 82,500 capacity Croke Park in north Dublin. Ireland_sentence_551

Many major GAA games are played there, including the semi-finals and finals of the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship and All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship. Ireland_sentence_552

During the redevelopment of the Lansdowne Road stadium in 2007–2010, international rugby and soccer were played there. Ireland_sentence_553

All GAA players, even at the highest level, are amateurs, receiving no wages, although they are permitted to receive a limited amount of sport-related income from commercial sponsorship. Ireland_sentence_554

The Irish Football Association (IFA) was originally the governing body for soccer across the island. Ireland_sentence_555

The game has been played in an organised fashion in Ireland since the 1870s, with Cliftonville F.C. in Belfast being Ireland's oldest club. Ireland_sentence_556

It was most popular, especially in its first decades, around Belfast and in Ulster. Ireland_sentence_557

However, some clubs based outside Belfast thought that the IFA largely favoured Ulster-based clubs in such matters as selection for the national team. Ireland_sentence_558

In 1921, following an incident in which, despite an earlier promise, the IFA moved an Irish Cup semi-final replay from Dublin to Belfast, Dublin-based clubs broke away to form the Football Association of the Irish Free State. Ireland_sentence_559

Today the southern association is known as the Football Association of Ireland (FAI). Ireland_sentence_560

Despite being initially blacklisted by the Home Nations' associations, the FAI was recognised by FIFA in 1923 and organised its first international fixture in 1926 (against Italy). Ireland_sentence_561

However, both the IFA and FAI continued to select their teams from the whole of Ireland, with some players earning international caps for matches with both teams. Ireland_sentence_562

Both also referred to their respective teams as Ireland. Ireland_sentence_563

In 1950, FIFA directed the associations only to select players from within their respective territories and, in 1953, directed that the FAI's team be known only as "Republic of Ireland" and that the IFA's team be known as "Northern Ireland" (with certain exceptions). Ireland_sentence_564

Northern Ireland qualified for the World Cup finals in 1958 (reaching the quarter-finals), 1982 and 1986 and the European Championship in 2016. Ireland_sentence_565

The Republic qualified for the World Cup finals in 1990 (reaching the quarter-finals), 1994, 2002 and the European Championship in 1988, 2012 and 2016. Ireland_sentence_566

Across Ireland, there is significant interest in the English and, to a lesser extent, Scottish soccer leagues. Ireland_sentence_567

Ireland fields a single national rugby team and a single association, the Irish Rugby Football Union, governs the sport across the island. Ireland_sentence_568

The Irish rugby team have played in every Rugby World Cup, making the quarter-finals in six of them. Ireland_sentence_569

Ireland also hosted games during the 1991 and the 1999 Rugby World Cups (including a quarter-final). Ireland_sentence_570

There are four professional Irish teams; all four play in the Pro14 and at least three compete for the Heineken Cup. Ireland_sentence_571

Irish rugby has become increasingly competitive at both the international and provincial levels since the sport went professional in 1994. Ireland_sentence_572

During that time, Ulster (1999), Munster (2006 and 2008) and Leinster (2009, 2011 and 2012) have won the Heineken Cup. Ireland_sentence_573

In addition to this, the Irish International side has had increased success in the Six Nations Championship against the other European elite sides. Ireland_sentence_574

This success, including Triple Crowns in 2004, 2006 and 2007, culminated with a clean sweep of victories, known as a Grand Slam, in 2009 and 2018. Ireland_sentence_575

Other sports Ireland_section_36

Horse racing and greyhound racing are both popular in Ireland. Ireland_sentence_576

There are frequent horse race meetings and greyhound stadiums are well-attended. Ireland_sentence_577

The island is noted for the breeding and training of race horses and is also a large exporter of racing dogs. Ireland_sentence_578

The horse racing sector is largely concentrated in the County Kildare. Ireland_sentence_579

Irish athletics has seen a heightened success rate since the year 2000, with Sonia O'Sullivan winning two medals at 5,000 metres on the track; gold at the 1995 World Championships and silver at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Ireland_sentence_580

Gillian O'Sullivan won silver in the 20k walk at the 2003 World Championships, while sprint hurdler Derval O'Rourke won gold at the 2006 World Indoor Championship in Moscow. Ireland_sentence_581

Olive Loughnane won a silver medal in the 20k walk in the World Athletics Championships in Berlin in 2009. Ireland_sentence_582

Ireland has won more medals in boxing than in any other Olympic sport. Ireland_sentence_583

Boxing is governed by the Irish Athletic Boxing Association. Ireland_sentence_584

Michael Carruth won a gold medal and Wayne McCullough won a silver medal in the Barcelona Olympic Games. Ireland_sentence_585

In 2008 Kenneth Egan won a silver medal in the Beijing Games. Ireland_sentence_586

Paddy Barnes secured bronze in those games and gold in the 2010 European Amateur Boxing Championships (where Ireland came 2nd in the overall medal table) and 2010 Commonwealth Games. Ireland_sentence_587

Katie Taylor has won gold in every European and World championship since 2005. Ireland_sentence_588

In August 2012 at the Olympic Games in London, Taylor created history by becoming the first Irish woman to win a gold medal in boxing in the 60 kg lightweight. Ireland_sentence_589

Golf is very popular, and golf tourism is a major industry attracting more than 240,000 golfing visitors annually. Ireland_sentence_590

The 2006 Ryder Cup was held at The K Club in County Kildare. Ireland_sentence_591

Pádraig Harrington became the first Irishman since Fred Daly in 1947 to win the British Open at Carnoustie in July 2007. Ireland_sentence_592

He successfully defended his title in July 2008 before going on to win the PGA Championship in August. Ireland_sentence_593

Harrington became the first European to win the PGA Championship in 78 years and was the first winner from Ireland. Ireland_sentence_594

Three golfers from Northern Ireland have been particularly successful. Ireland_sentence_595

In 2010, Graeme McDowell became the first Irish golfer to win the U.S. Open, and the first European to win that tournament since 1970. Ireland_sentence_596

Rory McIlroy, at the age of 22, won the 2011 U.S. Open, while Darren Clarke's latest victory was the 2011 Open Championship at Royal St. George's. Ireland_sentence_597

In August 2012, McIlroy won his 2nd major championship by winning the USPGA Championship by a record margin of 8 shots. Ireland_sentence_598

Recreation Ireland_section_37

The west coast of Ireland, Lahinch and Donegal Bay in particular, have popular surfing beaches, being fully exposed to the Atlantic Ocean. Ireland_sentence_599

Donegal Bay is shaped like a funnel and catches west/south-west Atlantic winds, creating good surf, especially in winter. Ireland_sentence_600

Since just before the year 2010, Bundoran has hosted European championship surfing. Ireland_sentence_601

Scuba diving is increasingly popular in Ireland with clear waters and large populations of sea life, particularly along the western seaboard. Ireland_sentence_602

There are also many shipwrecks along the coast of Ireland, with some of the best wreck dives being in Malin Head and off the County Cork coast. Ireland_sentence_603

With thousands of lakes, over 14,000 kilometres (8,700 mi) of fish-bearing rivers and over 3,700 kilometres (2,300 mi) of coastline, Ireland is a popular angling destination. Ireland_sentence_604

The temperate Irish climate is suited to sport angling. Ireland_sentence_605

While salmon and trout fishing remain popular with anglers, salmon fishing in particular received a boost in 2006 with the closing of the salmon driftnet fishery. Ireland_sentence_606

Coarse fishing continues to increase its profile. Ireland_sentence_607

Sea angling is developed with many beaches mapped and signposted, and the range of sea angling species is around 80. Ireland_sentence_608

Food and drink Ireland_section_38

Main article: Irish cuisine Ireland_sentence_609

Food and cuisine in Ireland takes its influence from the crops grown and animals farmed in the island's temperate climate and from the social and political circumstances of Irish history. Ireland_sentence_610

For example, whilst from the Middle Ages until the arrival of the potato in the 16th century the dominant feature of the Irish economy was the herding of cattle, the number of cattle a person owned was equated to their social standing. Ireland_sentence_611

Thus herders would avoid slaughtering a milk-producing cow. Ireland_sentence_612

For this reason, pork and white meat were more common than beef, and thick fatty strips of salted bacon (known as rashers) and the eating of salted butter (i.e. a dairy product rather than beef itself) have been a central feature of the diet in Ireland since the Middle Ages. Ireland_sentence_613

The practice of bleeding cattle and mixing the blood with milk and butter (not unlike the practice of the Maasai) was common and black pudding, made from blood, grain (usually barley) and seasoning, remains a breakfast staple in Ireland. Ireland_sentence_614

All of these influences can be seen today in the phenomenon of the "breakfast roll". Ireland_sentence_615

The introduction of the potato in the second half of the 16th century heavily influenced cuisine thereafter. Ireland_sentence_616

Great poverty encouraged a subsistence approach to food, and by the mid-19th century the vast majority of the population sufficed with a diet of potatoes and milk. Ireland_sentence_617

A typical family, consisting of a man, a woman and four children, would eat 18 stone (110 kg) of potatoes per week. Ireland_sentence_618

Consequently, dishes that are considered as national dishes represent a fundamental simplicity to cooking, such as the Irish stew, bacon and cabbage, boxty, a type of potato pancake, or colcannon, a dish of mashed potatoes and kale or cabbage. Ireland_sentence_619

Since the last quarter of the 20th century, with a re-emergence of wealth in Ireland, a "New Irish Cuisine" based on traditional ingredients incorporating international influences has emerged. Ireland_sentence_620

This cuisine is based on fresh vegetables, fish (especially salmon, trout, oysters, mussels and other shellfish), as well as traditional soda breads and the wide range of hand-made cheeses that are now being produced across the country. Ireland_sentence_621

An example of this new cuisine is "Dublin Lawyer": lobster cooked in whiskey and cream. Ireland_sentence_622

The potato remains however a fundamental feature of this cuisine and the Irish remain the highest per capita consumers of potatoes in Europe. Ireland_sentence_623

Traditional regional foods can be found throughout the country, for example coddle in Dublin or drisheen in Cork, both a type of sausage, or blaa, a doughy white bread particular to Waterford. Ireland_sentence_624

Ireland once dominated the world's market for whiskey, producing 90% of the world's whiskey at the start of the 20th century. Ireland_sentence_625

However, as a consequence of bootleggers during the prohibition in the United States (who sold poor-quality whiskey bearing Irish-sounding names thus eroding the pre-prohibition popularity for Irish brands) and tariffs on Irish whiskey across the British Empire during the Anglo-Irish Trade War of the 1930s, sales of Irish whiskey worldwide fell to a mere 2% by the mid-20th century. Ireland_sentence_626

In 1953, an Irish government survey, found that 50% of whiskey drinkers in the United States had never heard of Irish whiskey. Ireland_sentence_627

Irish whiskey, as researched in 2009 by the CNBC American broadcaster, remains popular domestically and has grown in international sales steadily over a few decades. Ireland_sentence_628

Typically CNBC states Irish whiskey is not as smoky as a Scotch whisky, but not as sweet as American or Canadian whiskies. Ireland_sentence_629

Whiskey forms the basis of traditional cream liqueurs, such as Baileys, and the "Irish coffee" (a cocktail of coffee and whiskey reputedly invented at Foynes flying-boat station) is probably the best-known Irish cocktail. Ireland_sentence_630

Stout, a kind of porter beer, particularly Guinness, is typically associated with Ireland, although historically it was more closely associated with London. Ireland_sentence_631

Porter remains very popular, although it has lost sales since the mid-20th century to lager. Ireland_sentence_632

Cider, particularly Magners (marketed in the Republic of Ireland as Bulmers), is also a popular drink. Ireland_sentence_633

Red lemonade, a soft-drink, is consumed on its own and as a mixer, particularly with whiskey. Ireland_sentence_634

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