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of the 'poor men' of Europe. It has now become one of the most forward looking European countries with a new outlook and an economic system which has undergone a dramatic revolution. The country is also very attractive now to those without family connections to Ireland who fall in love with the beauty and pace of life of the country. In geographical terms, Ireland is a small country of about 69,000 sq km [26,600 sq miles] of land and 1,400 sq km [530 sq miles] of inland water. Ireland's 3,200km [2000 miles] of coastline ensure that no point is more than 115km [70 miles] from the sea. During winter, average temperatures are between 4 and 7oC rising to 14-16oC in July and August [but can reach 25oC. The sunniest period [important for planning holidays in Ireland!] is May to June where the average is 5-7 hours of sunshine per day. And yes, of course, the rain is legendary in Ireland [don't go out without waterproof gear!]. It rains roughly twice as much in the west of the country than it does in the east as rain laden clouds from the Atlantic meet the Irish landmass and unload themselves. It's not so much the quantity of rain as the frequency that has led to poetic effusions over the 'emerald isle' and the softness of the scenery through a fine mist-- thus the Irish phrase 'i'ts a soft day when it drizzles!' Ireland has an estimated population of just over 3.7 million at the end of the 1990s with 57% of those living in urban areas, mostly in Dublin. In contrast to other European countries, Ireland seems remarkably empty, adding to the attractiveness of unspoilt countryside and peace and quiet. However, Government regional development plans are encouraging businesses to move out to the likes of Galway, Cork, Sligo, Donegal and Waterford, so many of these cities are seeing significant urban expansion and development. Ireland has a rocky historical past. Ireland's recorded history starts with an invasion and invasion has become a constant theme in the Irish psyche ever since. The first, mythical invasion was that recounted in the ancient Leabar Gabala or Book of Invasions, the arrival of Heremon, Hiber and Ir, the three sons of Mileadh of Spain at the time of Alexander the Great. Then came the Celts in the fourth century BC from mainland Europe. The Celts ruled Ireland at a time when Christianity arrived with St Patrick in 432 AD and were still there when the Norsemen invaded. They founded such cities as Dublin, Cork and Limerick and were followed closely by the Anglo Normans who first set foot in County Wexford in 1169 AD. This landing heralded seven and a half centuries of successive Norman, English, then British involvement in Ireland which should have ended in 1921 on the creation of an Irish Free State.
Argument The first thing I saw in the picture is that you could see a patchwork quilt of many amazing different greens, yellows and browns and later the white daisy dots of grazing sheep. I think you could see so many wonderful things and visit many lovely places with odd-sounding names - how can I tell you why you should visit Ireland? You can go to other countries with lovely places, equally odd-sounding names.....and yet - there is something here that is hard to describe. The minute one sets foot on the ground there is an unfamiliar quality about everything - the sky is so very blue, the air is so sweet and tranquil. Whether you are travelling north, south, east or west this image remains with you, as does the hustle and bustle of every airport. As you could travel out from Cork you pass gaily coloured houses, the colours seems to vary from place to place, all with a variety of flowering plants creeping down to and over the walls giving all the colours of every flower and some of which are very unusual and quite distinctive. You can see small things, the expression of awe on a child's face on first seeing the blue of the sea, watching the waves coming and going in and out, laughing as his feet made patterns on the wet sand and picking up sea shells. The same child finding he could walk on the grass with no sign in sight to say that he could not do so. You shall never forget these things. You can walk along listening to the sound of the sea, feeling the breeze on our faces, the cries of the sea-birds, the changing colours of both sea and sky as the sun set, spreading out on the rim of the sea in a startling blaze. Each visitor has special places that remain with them, best memories are of Killarney, a bustling, busy town with much night life, or going a little further out to Kate Kearney's Cottage and on to the Gap of Dunloe where you can hire a jarvey, or ride a horse, along a quiet path; the Cliffs of Moher - breathtaking with the great sound of huge waves crashing against the boulders way below; and Glendalough - a magical place, a fairy-tale of woods and plains which no words can describe.
This is a significant increase from a modern historical low in the 1960s. is the island of Great Britain. Its capital is Dublin. Northern Ireland. 3 . The first settlements in Ireland date from 8000 BC. The Anglo-Irish War ended in 1921 with a stalemate and the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty. part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. creating the Irish Free State. In 1973 both parts of Ireland joined the European Community. Politically. Ireland became part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in 1801. covers the remaining sixth. It lies to the north-west of continental Europe and is surrounded by hundreds of islands and islets. The name Ireland derives from the name of the Celtic goddess Ériu (in modern Irish.The island of Ireland is occupied by two political entities: • Ireland (also sometimes 'Republic of Ireland'. covers five-sixths of the island. A famine in the mid1800s caused deaths and emigration. Protestants were in the majority due to the Plantation of Ulster. Most other western European names for Ireland. Relatively small scale settlements of both the Vikings and Normans in the Middle Ages gave way to complete English domination by the 1600s. The Free State left the Commonwealth to become a republic in 1949.2 million in the Republic and an estimated almost 1. The population of the island is slightly under 6 million (2006). with Northern Ireland. covering the remainder in the north-east. derive from the same source. To the east of Ireland. consisting of six of the 32 Irish counties which had been established as a devolved region under the 1920 Government of Ireland Act. but still much lower than the peak population of over 8 million in the early 19th century. a sovereign country. By 200 BC Celtic migration and influence had come to dominate the island. • Northern Ireland. Protestant English rule resulted in the marginalisation of the Catholic majority. with 4. a Dominion within the British Empire. such as French Irlande. not normally used in reference to Ireland). for clarification and national state purposes. Éire) with the addition of the Germanic word land. with effective internal independence but still constitutionally linked with the British Crown. part of the United Kingdom.Ireland Ireland is the third-largest island in Europe. such as seen on this map. the sovereign country of Ireland (described as the Republic of Ireland) covers five-sixths of the island.75 million in Northern Ireland. immediately exercised its option under the treaty to retain its existing status within the United Kingdom. which subsided following a peace deal in 1998. separated by the Irish Sea. Its capital is Belfast. and the twentieth-largest island in the world. although in the north-east. prior to the Great Famine. Conflict in Northern Ireland led to much unrest from the late 1960s until the 1990s.
although Ulster and Northern Ireland are neither synonymous nor co-extensive.All-island traditional subdivisions Traditionally. baseball. was created in 2005. "Ulster" is often used as a synonym for Northern Ireland. as three counties of Ulster (Cavan. All major religious bodies are organised on an all-Ireland basis. while others in Northern Ireland are affiliated with the Trades Union Congress (TUC) in the United Kingdom. and some affiliate to both—although such unions may organise in both parts of the island as well as in Great Britain. Strand 2 of the Belfast Agreement provides for all-Ireland co-operation in 4 . according to boundaries established in the early modern period. although their traditional boundaries are still used in sports (such as Gaelic games) and in some other cultural. An all-Ireland club cup competition. however due to contract commitments with sponsors and lack of interest between the two football associations this is unlikely in the near future. Limerick. Waterford and Tipperary have been broken up into smaller administrative areas. under the name NUS-USI. the island of Ireland is subdivided into four provinces: Connacht. cricket. The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) organises jointly in Northern Ireland with the National Union of Students of the United Kingdom (NUS). Munster and Ulster. All-island institutions The island operates as a single entity in a number of areas which transcend constitutional divisions. american football and hockey. Galway. such as Irish government minister Dermot Ahern. ceremonial or tourism contexts. Donegal and Monaghan) are part of the republic. and. Counties Dublin. The creation of an all-island soccer league and a single international team (as is the case for rugby union) has been publicly touted by various prominent figures on the island in recent years. More recently. Twenty-six of the counties are in the republic. the Methodist Church in Ireland. and six counties (six of Ulster's nine counties) are in Northern Ireland. in a system developed between the 13th and 17th centuries. in many economic fields despite using two different currencies. rugby (union and league). thirty-two counties. Gaelic football. the Setanta Cup. but are still considered by Ordnance Survey Ireland to be official counties. Leinster. with a separate Football Association of Ireland being formed for the remainder of the island. the Anglican Church of Ireland and the Presbyterian Church in Ireland. there have been calls for an All-Ireland league. Some trade unions are also organised on an all-island basis and associated with the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) in Dublin. such as the Roman Catholic Church. golf. and in sports such as hurling. Cork. An exception to this is soccer: following partition. the (previously all-island) Irish Football Association retained control of soccer only in Northern Ireland. The counties in Northern Ireland are no longer used for local government. With a few notable exceptions. the island operates as a single unit in all major religious denominations.
041 m (3. which is 1. County Sligo on 16 January 1881. and there are plans for the creation of an allisland gas market. Sinn Féin and the Irish Green Party.various guises.1 in) in the Ballaghbeena Gap in 1960. County Kilkenny on 26 June 1887. Physical geography A ring of coastal mountains surrounds low central plains. contest elections and hold legislative seats in both jurisdictions. by Tourism Ireland. The driest year on record was 1887. Six of these policy areas have been provided with implementation bodies. Two political parties. perhaps via a merger with another political party. This is a stated aim of the Irish government and nationalist political parties in the Northern Ireland Assembly. with only 356. Ireland has a mild but changeable Oceanic climate with few extremes.3 °C (91.94 °F) at Kilkenny Castle.6 mm (14. and has considered extending its organisation into Northern Ireland. An increasingly large amount of commercial activity operates on an all-Ireland basis. For example. Fianna Fáil. registered with the Electoral Commission in Northern Ireland. at 386 km (240 miles) is the longest river in Ireland. such as agriculture.414 ft). Other statistics show that the greatest recorded annual rainfall was 3. earns it the sobriquet "Emerald Isle".1 °C (−2.412 km² (32. the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP). Climate Overall. The island's area is 84.964. a North-South Ministerial Council was established as a forum in which ministers from the Irish government and the Northern Ireland Executive can discuss matters of mutual concern and formulate all-Ireland policies in twelve "areas of co-operation". the environment and transport. The warmest recorded air temperature was 33. an example of which is the Food Safety Promotion Board.0 in) of rain 5 . The highest peak is Carrauntoohil (Irish: Corrán Tuathail) in County Kerry. Tourism marketing is also managed on an allIreland basis. so as to benefit from economies of scale and boost competitiveness in both jurisdictions. a product of its mild climate and frequent rainfall. Ireland's least arable land lies in the south-western and western counties. One commercial area in which the island already operates largely as a single entity is the electricity market. whereas the lowest recorded temperature was −19. There have been calls for the creation of an "all-island economy" from members of the business community and policy-makers on both sides of the border. a development that is in part facilitated by the two jurisdictions' shared membership of the European Union.38 °F) at Markree Castle. with green panoramic vistas.591 square miles). The River Shannon. The island's lush vegetation. These areas are largely mountainous and rocky.9 mm (156. The largest party in the Republic of Ireland.
Some areas along the south and southwest coasts have not had any lying snow since February 1991. is an area of substantially deformed but only lightly metamorphosed Devonianaged rocks.recorded at Glasnevin. while the longest period of absolute drought was in Limerick where there was no recorded rainfall over 38 days during April and May 1938. tends to be wetter on average and prone to the full force of Atlantic storms. it is temperate. The west. more especially in the late autumn and winter months. around Bantry Bay and the mountains of Macgillicuddy's Reeks. avoiding the extremes in temperature of many other areas in the world at similar latitudes. significant stratiform lead-zinc mineralisation is found in the limestones (around Silvermines and Tynagh). Precipitation falls throughout the year. The first major find was the Kinsale Head gas field off 6 . but only 10 days at coastal stations. The west coast district of The Burren around Lisdoonvarna has well developed karst features. Munster in the south records the least snow with Ulster in the north more prone to snow. Across southeast Ulster and extending southwest to Longford and south to Navan is a province of Ordovician and Silurian rocks with more affinities with the Southern Uplands province of Scotland. The climate is typically insular. giving rise to the comparatively fertile and famously "lush" landscape of the country. Geology Geologically the island consists of a number of provinces – in the far west around Galway and Donegal is a medium to high grade metamorphic and igneous complex of Caledonide (Scottish Highland) affinity. and as a result of the moderating moist winds which ordinarily prevail from the South-Western Atlantic. Inland areas are warmer in summer and colder in winter – there are usually around 40 days of below freezing temperatures (0 °C/32 °F) at inland weather stations. The regions of North Galway and East Mayo have the highest incidents of recorded lightning annually (5 to 10 days per year). 2003. however. This partial ring of "hard rock" geology is covered by a blanket of Carboniferous limestone over the centre of the country. Hydrocarbon exploration is ongoing. In the southwest. 2006. as well as snow and hail. but is light overall. which occasionally bring destructive winds and high rainfall totals to these areas. most recently in 1995. Elsewhere. Further south. Ireland is sometimes affected by heat waves. there is an area along the Wexford coast of granite intrusives into more Ordovician and Silurian rocks with a more Welsh affinity. particularly in the east.
and others. With no top predator in Ireland. hedgehog. Ireland belongs to the Atlantic European province of the Circumboreal Region within the Boreal Kingdom. such as species of turtle. Some previously extinct birds. Only 26 land mammal species are native to Ireland.Cork/Cobh by Marathon Oil in the mid-1970s. peat bogs. More recently. Many different habitat types are found in Ireland. and dolphin. limiting natural habitat preserves. whereas others. in 1999.000 years ago. the territory of Ireland can be subdivided into two ecoregions: the Celtic broadleaf forests and North Atlantic moist mixed forests.500. is another recent discovery. Greenland. Extinct species include the great Irish elk. Aquatic wild-life. Agriculture drives current land use patterns in Ireland. such as the red fox. Wildlife Ireland has fewer animal and plant species than either Great Britain or mainland Europe because it became an island shortly after the end of the last ice age. Until mediæval times Ireland was heavily forested with oak. pine. conifer plantations. and various coastal habitats. Most of Ireland's bird species come from Iceland.450 km² or one million acres) of the land. estimated to contain over 28 million barrels (4. Africa among other territories. Flora Phytogeographically. Some species. about 10. the wolf. About 400 species of birds have been recorded in Ireland. Many of these are migratory. The Helvick oil field. have recently been reintroduced after decades of extirpation. Forests now cover about 9% (4. There are no snakes in Ireland and only one reptile (the common lizard) is native to the country. shark. beech and birch. red deer and pine marten are less so. populations of animals (such as semi-wild deer) that cannot be controlled by smaller predators (such as the fox) are controlled by annual culling.000 m3) of oil. Because of its mild climate. are common off the coast. This has increased activity off the west coast in parallel with the "West of Shetland" step-out development from the North Sea hydrocarbon province. 7 . According to the WWF. open woodland. and badger are very common. including farmland. like the Irish hare. the great auk. because it was isolated from Europe by rising sea levels after the Ice Age. particularly for larger wild mammals with greater territorial needs. temperate broadleaf and mixed forests. such as the Golden Eagle. Enterprise Oil announced the discovery of the Corrib Gas Field. including the Barn Swallow. whale. Fauna The red deer (Cervus elaphus) is Ireland's largest wild mammal and could be considered Ireland's national animal.
Forested areas typically consist of monoculture plantations of non-native species which may result in habitats that are not suitable for supporting a broad range of native species of invertebrates. the recent reforms have gradually decoupled subsidies from production levels and introduced environmental and other requirements.Crouan ex Kützing. especially in the western parts of Ireland. atlanticum has recently been established to be native. although for many years it was regarded as an alien species. Colpomenia peregrina Sauvageau – now locally abundant and first recorded in the 1930s.Ag. Remnants of native forest can be found scattered around the country. Natural areas require 8 . is commonly found growing in the uplands. Gorse (Ulex europaeus). Hedgerows however. however. Gelidiella calcicola Maggs & Guiry. and north-east coasts. such as Spartina anglica. are grown in Ireland. The country has been "invaded" by some grasses. Codium fragile ssp. and 31 Cyanophyta.) Masuda & Guiry). rivers and lakes impact the natural fresh-water ecosystems. 114 Chloropyta. a wild furze. traditionally used for maintaining and demarcating land boundaries. act as a refuge for native wild flora. De Valera in 1939. tomentosum) – now well established. fragile (formerly reported as ssp. Gelidium maggsiae Rico & Guiry and Halymenia latifolia P. The CAP still subsidises some potentially destructive agricultural practices. Forest covers about 10% of the country. including sub-tropical species such as palm trees. Rarer species include: Itonoa marginifera (J. Sargassum muticum (Yendo) Fensholt – now well established in a number of localities on the south. Their ecosystems stretch across the countryside and act as a network of connections to preserve remnants of the ecosystem that once covered the island. "Runoff" of contaminants into streams.Crouan & H. Codium fragile ssp. The impact of agriculture The long history of agricultural production coupled with modern intensive agricultural methods (such as pesticide and fertiliser use) has placed pressure on biodiversity in Ireland. with most designated for commercial production. Much of the land is now covered with pasture. in particular in the Killarney National Park. The country has been invaded by some algae. It is home to hundreds of plant species. and there are many species of wild-flower. A land of green fields for crop cultivation and cattle rearing limits the space available for the establishment of native wild species. The total number of species is: 264 Rhodophyta. giving a total of 574. Schmitzia hiscockiana Maggs and Guiry. The algal and seaweed flora is that of the cold-temperate. Subsidies under the Common Agricultural Policy which supported these agricultural practices are undergoing reforms. west. some of which are now well established: Asparagopsis armara Harvey – which originated in Australia and was first recorded by M. and ferns are plentiful in the more moist regions. some of them unique to the island.many species. 152 Heterokontophyta.
000 years ago.The Romans referred to Ireland as Hibernia and/or Scotia. The Iron Age in Ireland was supposedly associated with people known as Celts. the last wave of Celts. who were at least nominally subject to the monarch. and archaeology. and most of Ireland was covered with ice. Sea-levels were lower then. Consisting of small fields separated from one another by dry-stone walls. as with its neighbour Britain. Ptolemy in AD 100 recorded Ireland's geography and tribes. At the Céide Fields in County Mayo. and it was administered by professional learned jurists who were 9 . The written judicial system was the Brehon Law. weapons and tools. the Céide Fields were farmed for several centuries between 3500 and 3000 BC. saw the production of elaborate gold as well as bronze ornaments. This is one of the main factors preventing the natural regeneration of forests across many regions of the country. rather than being islands. cattle and cereals were imported from southwest continental Europe. Agriculture arrived with the Neolithic circa 4500 to 4000 BC. the only references are a few Roman writings. and Ireland.fencing to prevent over-grazing by deer and sheep that roam over uncultivated areas. These provinces too had their own kings. an extensive Neolithic field system – arguably the oldest in the world – has been preserved beneath a blanket of peat. They are traditionally thought to have colonised Ireland in a series of waves between the 8th and 1st centuries BC. Mesolithic stone age inhabitants arrived some time after 8000 BC. The Bronze Age. Wheat and barley were the principal crops. with the Gaels. were part of a greater continental Europe. which began around 2500 BC. when sheep. goats.In early medieval times. a monarch (also known as the High King) presided over the (then five: the fifth being Meath) provinces of Ireland. Many scientists and academic scholars now favour a view that emphasises cultural diffusion from overseas over significant colonisation such as what Clonycavan Man was reported to be. History A long cold climatic spell prevailed until the end of the last glacial period about 9. myth. who resided at Tara. conquering the island and dividing it into five or more kingdoms. Native accounts are confined to Irish poetry. The exact relationship between Rome and the tribes of Hibernia is unclear.
In 1171. Dundalk." The same chronicles record that Saint Patrick. The druid tradition collapsed in the face of the spread of the new religion. Buttevant. Athenry.In the 14th century the English settlement went into a period of decline and large areas. using the 1155 Bull Laudabiliter issued to him by then Pope Adrian IV. Drogheda. Sligo. metalworking. Carrick-on-Suir. Ireland was entered by Cambro-Norman warlords. Kildare. were re-occupied by Gaelic septs. Their settlement was characterised by the establishment of baronies. and the many carved stone crosses that dot the island. Eventually Vikings settled in Ireland. but the general consensus is that they both existed. The medieval English presence in Ireland (The Pale) was deeply shaken by the Black Death.known as the Brehons. Bishop Palladius arrived in Ireland on a mission from Pope Celestine I to minister to the Irish "already believing in Christ. Cork. including the modern day cities of Dublin. New Ross. preserving Latin and Greek learning during the Early Middle Ages. 2nd Earl of Pembroke (Strongbow). and sculpture flourished and produced such treasures as the Book of Kells. Kinsale. This resulted in the complete conquest of Ireland by 1603 and the final collapse of the Gaelic social and political superstructure at the end of the 17th century. arrived in 432. Kilkenny. and established many towns. King Henry II of England came to Ireland. From the 13th century. From 1169. manors. From the late 15th century English rule was once again expanded. Trim and Youghal were all under Norman-Irish control. which arrived in Ireland in 1348. in 431. From the 9th century. Naas. towns and large land-owning monastic communities. According to early medieval chronicles. Limerick and Waterford. and forced the Cambro-Norman warlords and some of the Gaelic Irish kings to accept him as their overlord. Ireland's patron saint. Carlow. Carlingford. Thurles. on an invitation from the then King of Leinster. ornate jewellery. Cork. Enniscorthy. By the late 13th century the Norman-Irish had established the feudal system throughout most of lowland Ireland. for example Sligo. English law began to be introduced. Clonmel. Wexford. There is continued debate over the missions of Palladius and Patrick. as a result of English 10 . Cashel. led by Richard de Clare. Mullingar. Arklow. Navan. Limerick. Irish Christian scholars excelled in the study of Latin and Greek learning and Christian theology in the monasteries that flourished. Nenagh. and the county system. The towns of Dublin. adding to a pattern of endemic raiding and warfare. first through the efforts of the Earls of Kildare and Ormond then through the activities of the Tudor State under Henry VIII and Mary and Elizabeth. waves of Viking raiders plundered monasteries and towns. Wicklow. Galway. Waterford. to claim sovereignty over the island. The arts of manuscript illumination.
After the Irish Rebellion of 1641. merged the Kingdom of Ireland and the Kingdom of Great Britain to create the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Approximately 600. Protestant dissenters.000 people. who considered themselves to be British as well 11 . Mass emigration became entrenched as a result of the famine and the population continued to decline until late in the 20th century. even though some 90% of Ireland's population was native Irish Catholic. many members of the Protestant dissenter tradition made common cause with Catholics in a rebellion inspired and led by the Society of United Irishmen. This ban was followed by others in 1703 and 1709 as part of a comprehensive system disadvantaging the Catholic community. Under the penal laws (introduced from 1691) no Irish Catholic could sit in the Parliament of Ireland. caused the deaths of one million Irish people. By the late 1840s. namely the awarding of peerages and honours to critics to get their votes. half of all immigrants to the United States originated from Ireland. The Great Famine. In 1798. Later in the century Charles Stewart Parnell and others campaigned for self-government within the Union or "Home Rule". Despite assistance from France the Irish Rebellion of 1798 was put down by British forces. Irish Catholics and nonconforming Protestants were barred from voting or attending the Irish Parliament. died during the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland. Thus. Ireland became part of an extended United Kingdom. The new English Protestant ruling class was known as the Protestant Ascendancy. Daniel O'Connell led a successful campaign for Catholic Emancipation. and to a lesser extent. as a result of the famine. the British and subsequently the Irish Parliament passed the Act of Union which. in 1801. The passage of the Act in the Irish Parliament was achieved with substantial majorities. A subsequent campaign for repeal of the Act of Union failed. The 19th and early 20th century saw the rise of Irish nationalism among the Roman Catholic population. especially those located in the Northern part of the island. and the Wars of the Three Kingdoms and the Williamite War in Ireland.and Scottish Protestant colonisation in the Plantations of Ireland. A total of 35 million Americans (12% of total population) reported Irish ancestry in the 2005 American Community Survey. and caused over a million to emigrate. which began in the 1840s. Towards the end of the 18th century the (entirely Protestant) Irish Parliament attained a greater degree of independence from the British Parliament than it had previously held. The population has never returned to this level. In 1800. in part (according to contemporary documents) through bribery. The pre-famine peak was over 8 million recorded in the 1841 census. nearly half the Irish population. It was staged with the aim of creating a fully independent Ireland as a state with a republican constitution. which was passed by the United Kingdom parliament. Unionists. ruled directly by the UK Parliament in London.
which lasted until 1923. During its early years the new state was governed by the victors of the Civil War. In 1949. Éire. however. occurred in this period. A Boundary Commission was set up to decide on the boundaries between the two Irish states.57. The minority refused to accept the result and this resulted in the Irish Civil War. The Anglo-Irish Treaty recognised the two-state solution created in the Government of Ireland Act 1920. Northern Ireland had a majority Protestant population and opted out as expected. in the 1930s Fianna Fáil. within its border a significant Catholic and nationalist minority. Ireland experienced large-scale emigration in the 1950s and again in the 1980s. Disagreements over some provisions of the treaty led to a split in the nationalist movement and subsequently to the Irish Civil War. The state was neutral during World War II. To prevent Home Rule the Ulster Volunteers were formed in 1913 under the leadership of Lord Carson. Ireland" (article 4 of the Constitution). Armed rebellions. a new constitution which renamed the state "Éire or in the English language. It offered some assistance to the Allies. which was known internally as The Emergency. History since partition Irish Independence: The Irish Free State. in a phenomenon known as 12 . However. In 1921. were strongly opposed to Home Rule. Ireland declared itself to be a republic. especially in Northern Ireland.as Irish. Northern Ireland was presumed to form a home rule state within the new Irish Free State unless it opted out. though it was subsequently abandoned after it recommended only minor adjustments to the border. This was followed by the Irish Volunteers. the Irish Free State came into being. formed in 1914 to support the enactment of the Home Rule Act. choosing to rejoin the United Kingdom. was elected into government. in the middle of the Civil War.000 volunteers from Éire/Ireland joined the British armed forces during the Second World War. From 1987 the economy improved and the 1990s saw the beginning of unprecedented economic success. a treaty was concluded between the British Government and the leaders of the Irish Republic. such as the Easter Rising of 1916 and the Irish War of Independence of 1919. Under John Redmond the National Volunteers broke away from the Irish Volunteers to serve with the Irish regiments of the New British Army. On 6 December 1922. and the electorate accepted in a referendum in 1937. which was suspended on the outbreak of World War I. It is estimated that around 50. The Civil War ended in 1923 with the defeat of the anti-treaty forces. under which they felt they would be dominated by Catholic and Southern Irish interests. incorporating. The party proposed. Ireland The Anglo-Irish Treaty was ratified by the Dáil in January 1922 by a vote of 64 . the party of the opponents of the treaty.
the "Celtic Tiger". In elections to the 1921–1972 regional government. the paramilitary Provisional IRA. which favoured the creation of a united Ireland. moving from being a net recipient of the budget to becoming a net contributor during the next budget round (2007–13). with further disaffection fuelled by practices such as gerrymandering of the local council in Derry. There were several (ultimately unsuccessful) political attempts to end "The Troubles". Northern Ireland was largely spared the strife of the Civil War. In October 2006. In the first half of the 20th century. Northern Ireland Northern Ireland was created as an division of the United Kingdom by the Government of Ireland Act 1920. meaning that the Government of Northern Ireland (elected by "first past the post" from 1929) was controlled by the Ulster Unionist Party. the British government suspended home rule in 1972 and imposed "direct rule" from Westminster. Belfast suffered a bombing raid from the German Luftwaffe in 1941. Over time.600 deaths over the subsequent three decades. Although the Irish Free State was neutral during World War II. was formed and began a campaign against what it called the "British occupation of the six counties". to negotiate a new immigration policy between the two countries. and became involved in the British war effort (albeit without military conscription as it was introduced in Great Britain). and the second richest in the European Union. Other groups. In August 1969. the minority Catholic community felt increasingly alienated by the regional government. Northern Ireland as part of the United Kingdom was not. resulting in over 3. The Government's reaction to confrontations was seen to be one-sided and heavy-handed. who were exhausted after several nights of serious rioting. participated in the violence and the period known as "The Troubles" began. which were often confronted by loyalist counter-protests. on both the unionist side and the nationalist side. and discrimination against Catholics in housing and employment. in response to the growth of the Irish economy and desire of many U. From 1921 until 1972. citizens who sought to move to Ireland for work. there were talks between Ireland and the U. Owing to the civil unrest during "The Troubles".S. In the late 1960s nationalist grievances were aired publicly in mass civil rights protests. such as 13 . but there were sporadic episodes of inter-communal violence between nationalists and unionists during the decades that followed partition. By 2007 it had become the fifth richest country (in terms of GDP per capita) in the world.S. Northern Ireland enjoyed limited self-government within the United Kingdom. with its own parliament and prime minister. and law and order broke down as unrest and inter-communal violence increased. the regional government requested that the British Army be deployed to aid the police. and from a country of net emigration to one of net immigration. In 1970. the Protestant and Catholic communities in Northern Ireland each voted largely along sectarian lines.
It is traced through Bronze age artifacts. and on 28 July 2005. Sebastian Barry. a strong indigenous tradition of painting emerged. particularly ornamental gold objects. Galway has An Taibhdhearc. Jack Yeats and Louis le Brocquy. a garrison of approximately 1. performing international as well as Irish plays. More recently. The power-sharing assembly was suspended several times but restored from 8 May 2007. Although not a Nobel Prize winner. James Joyce is widely considered one of the most significant writers of the 20th century. William Orpen. Conor McPherson and Billy Roche have placed Ireland on the world stage. and he remains so in modern times. Violence decreased greatly after the signing of the accord. Brian Friel. Ireland has made a large contribution to world literature in all its branches. British troops numbered more than 25. Poetry in Irish represents the oldest vernacular poetry in Europe with the earliest examples dating from the 6th century. and began withdrawing troops (in 1972. playwrights such as Seán O'Casey. the Belfast Agreement was concluded and ratified by referendum. was wildly popular in his day for works such as Gulliver's Travels and A Modest Proposal. In the performing arts. Culture For an island with a relatively small population. Samuel Beckett and Seamus Heaney. Joyce's 1922 novel Ulysses is considered one of the most important works of Modernist literature. The story of art in Ireland begins with Stone Age carvings found at sites such as Newgrange. in protest of Joyce not having received the award. In 1998. following a Provisional IRA ceasefire and multi-party talks. William Butler Yeats. still often called the foremost satirist in the English language. Modern Irish literature is still often connected with its rural heritage. Ireland has produced four winners of the Nobel Prize for Literature: George Bernard Shaw. Jonathan Swift. 14 . the British government officially ended its military support of the police in Northern Ireland. There is a thriving performing arts culture all over the country. This agreement attempted to restore self-government to Northern Ireland on the basis of powersharing between the two communities. Samuel Beckett himself refused to attend his own Nobel award ceremony.500 remain on garrison duty). the Irish Language Theatre established in 1928. and his life is celebrated annually on 16 June in Dublin as the Bloomsday celebrations.000 in Northern Ireland. In addition. mainly in English. the Provisional IRA announced the end of its armed campaign and international weapons inspectors supervised what they currently regard as the full decommissioning of the Provisional IRA's weapons. including such figures as John Butler Yeats. after the withdrawal. From 2 August 2007.the Sunningdale Agreement of 1973 and the Anglo-Irish Agreement of 1985. through writers like John McGahern and poets like Seamus Heaney. During the course of the 19th and 20th centuries. and the religious carvings and illuminated manuscripts of the mediæval period.
Clannad. Aslan. traditional music tended to fall out of favour. The pioneers of this subgenre were Cruachan. 815–877) was considered one of the leading intellectuals of his era. (15 February 1874 – 5 January 1922) was an Anglo-Irish explorer who was one of the principal figures of 15 . especially in urban areas. Ash. and inspired by the American folk music movement. Sweeney's Men. Danú.Irish music has shown an immense increase in popularity with many attempting to return to their roots. and Solas. Science Ireland has a rich history in science and is known for its excellence in scientific research conducted at its many universities and institutions. Black 47. A House. not least through the phenomenon of Riverdance. Gilbert O'Sullivan. The Thrills. and individuals like Seán Ó Riada and Christy Moore. This revival was led by such groups as The Dubliners. there was a revival of interest in the Irish tradition. The Wolfe Tones. BoyZone. with many individuals regularly crossing over between these styles of playing as a matter of course. such as Afro Celt Sound System and Kíla. Van Morrison. 1992 with Linda Martin. Enya. The Frames and The Pogues. Others incorporate multiple cultures in a fusion of styles. The Cranberries. Stars of Heaven. 1993 with Niamh Kavanagh. During the 1970s and 1980s. This trend can be seen more recently in the work of artists like U2. Dervish. groups and musicians including Horslips. Damien Dempsey. Declan O' Rourke. 1980 and 1987 with Johnny Logan. Before too long. being the most successful country in the competition. Some contemporary music groups stick closer to a "traditional" sound. During the 1990s. The Corrs. Moya Brennan. Damien Rice. the Clancy Brothers. the distinction between traditional and rock musicians became blurred. Flogging Molly. Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton CVO OBE. Sharon Shannon. The Irish philosopher and theologian Johannes Scotus Eriugena (c. VNV Nation. Something Happens. Lúnasa. Westlife. Primordial and Waylander. During the 1960s. Sinéad O'Connor. The Saw Doctors. Ireland has done well in the Eurovision Song Contest. Rory Gallagher. Téada. 1994 with Paul Harrington and Charlie McGettigan and in 1996 with Eimear Quinn. Noted particularly are Ireland's contributions to fiber optics technology and related technologies.Music and dance The Irish tradition of folk music and dance is known worldwide. including Altan. Bell X1. The Chieftains. with seven wins in 1970 with Dana. Rob Smith. In the middle years of the 20th century. and Thin Lizzy were incorporating elements of traditional music into a rock idiom to form a unique new sound. Emmet Spiceland. B*witched. a subgenre of folk metal emerged in Ireland that fused heavy metal music with Irish and Celtic music. as Irish society was attempting to modernise.
and the discovery of the approximate location of the South Magnetic Pole. Other notable Irish physicists include Ernest Walton (winner of the 1951 Nobel Prize in Physics with Sir John Douglas Cockcroft for splitting the nucleus of the atom by artificial means and contributions in the development of a new theory of wave equation). John Stewart Bell (the originator of Bell's Theorem and a paper concerning the discovery of the Bell-JackiwAdler anomaly). thermodynamics. He along with his expedition made the first ascent of Mount Erebus. Sport The most popular sports in Ireland are Gaelic Football and Association Football. who was nominated for a Nobel prize. The Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS) was established in 1940 by the Taoiseach Éamon de Valera. Francis Ysidro Edgeworth (influential in the development of neo-classical economics. Sir Joseph Larmor a physicist and mathematician who made innovations in the understanding of electricity. Robert Boyle (1627–1691) was an Irish natural philosopher. Notable mathematicians include Sir William Rowan Hamilton (mathematician. He became the Director of the School for Theoretical Physics and remained there for 17 years. and Alistair MacKay. chemist. they make up the four biggest team sports in Ireland. William Thomson. astronomer and discoverer of quaternions). mathematical physicist George Francis FitzGerald. physicist. reached on 16 January 1909 by Edgeworth David. and the All-Ireland Football Final is the 16 . In 1940. physicist.the period known as the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration. John B. 1st Baron Kelvin (or Lord Kelvin) which the absolute temperature unit Kelvin is named after. Irish physicist John Tyndall (1820-1893) discovered the Tyndall effect. including mechanics and geometrical methods in general relativity and who had mathematician John Nash as one of his students). explaining why the sky is blue. a theoretical physics book published in 1900. Patrick's College and discoverer of a new 2000-digit prime number in 1999 and a record composite Fermat number in 2003) and John Lighton Synge (who made progress in different fields of science. Cosgrave (specialist in number theory. dynamics. Douglas Mawson. physicist Erwin Schrödinger received an invitation to help establish the Institute.  George Johnstone Stoney (who introduced the term electron in 1891). including the Edgeworth box). during which time he became a naturalized Irish citizen. largely regarded one of the founders of modern chemistry. Sir George Gabriel Stokes and many others. Together with Hurling and Rugby. inventor and early gentleman scientist. former head of the mathematics department of St. His most influential work was Aether and Matter. Gaelic Football is the most popular in terms of match attendance and community involvement. stating that the pressure and volume of an ideal gas are inversely proportional. He is best known for the formulation of Boyle's law. and the electron theory of matter.
However. The Irish rugby team have played in every Rugby World Cup. basketball. handball and rounders. along with camogie. Ulster (1999) and Munster (2006 and 2008) have both won the Heineken Cup. During that time. The headquarters of the GAA (and the main stadium) is located at the 82. Following an incident in which. There are four professional provincial sides that contest the Magners League and Heineken Cup. Greyhound racing and horse racing are both popular in Ireland: 17 . tennis.now known as the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) . handball. The GAA is organised on an all-Ireland basis with all 32 counties competing. with the exception of ladies' Gaelic football and camogie. making the quarter-finals at four of them.500 capacity Croke Park in north Dublin. with others drawn from the local competition and Australia. As with rugby and Gaelic games. fishing. collectively known as Gaelic games. earning a place in the Super 8 stage of the competition. there is significant Irish interest in the English and (to a lesser extent) Scottish soccer leagues. ladies' Gaelic football. The Ireland cricket team was among the associate nations which qualified for the 2007 Cricket World Cup. motorsport. Hurling and Gaelic football. meanwhile. of Belfast being Ireland's oldest club) but remained a minority sport outside of Ulster until the 1880s. The game has been played in Ireland since the 1860s (Cliftonville F. Ireland also hosted games during the 1991 and the 1999 Rugby World Cups (including a quarter-final). greyhound racing. swimming. boxing. Association football.in 1921. All Gaelic games are governed by the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA). golf. the IFA. Furthermore. Protestant clubs in such matters as selection for the national team. make up the national sports of Ireland. cricket. for security reasons. cricket. some clubs based outside Belfast felt that the IFA largely favoured Ulster-based.biggest day in Ireland's sporting calendar. The Irish rugby league team is also organised on an all-Ireland basis. hockey and most other sports are organised on an all-island basis. Many other sports are also played and followed. Irish rugby has become increasingly competitive at both the international and provincial levels since the sport went professional in 1994. the clubs based in what would soon become the Free State set up a new Football Association of the Irish Free State (FAIFS) . The Irish Football Association (IFA) was originally the governing body for Association football throughout the island. where it defeated Pakistan and finished second in its pool. despite an earlier promise. is the most commonly played team sport in Ireland and the most popular sport in which Ireland fields international teams. which are governed by separate organisations. particularly golf and horse racing but also show jumping. Ireland reached the quarter-finals of the 2000 Rugby League World Cup. tennis and hockey. moved an Irish Cup final replay from Dublin to Belfast. rowing. The team is made up predominantly of players based in England with Irish family connections.C.
under the rule of Henry VIII. salmon fishing in particular received a boost in 2006 with the closing of the salmon driftnet fishery. The symbols of Ireland The tricolor flag of Ireland was introduced by Thomas Francis Meagher in 1848. official documents and uniforms. Perhaps the legends of it's magical powers comes from the time when the bards would sing and tell stories of famous events to the Irish kings and chiefs. Sea angling is developed with many beaches mapped and signposted. That tradition is carried on today and the harp is also used for other official duties such as the Irish state seal. gold at the 1995 World Championships and silver at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.000 metres. Michael Carruth won a gold medal for boxing in the Barcelona Olympic Games. 18 . In 1992. Coarse fishing continues to increase its profile.greyhound stadiums are well attended and there are frequent horse race meetings. There are also many shipwrecks along the coast of Ireland. Ireland is a popular angling destination.000 kilometres (8. and over 3.700 kilometres (2. Golf is a popular sport in Ireland and golf tourism is a major industry.300 mi) of coastline. the orange represents the English supporters of "William of Orange" and the white color represents peace. with Sonia O'Sullivan winning two notable medals at 5. While salmon and trout fishing remain popular with anglers. and I trust that beneath its folds the hands of the Irish Protestant and the Irish Catholic may be clasped in heroic brotherhood. The color of the green represents the Irish people. With thousands of lakes. Irish athletics has seen some development in recent times. while sprint hurdler Derval O'Rourke won gold at the 2006 World Indoor Championship in Moscow.700 mi) of fish bearing rivers. The Republic is noted for the breeding and training of race horses and is also a large exporter of racing dogs. Boxing is also an all-island sport governed by the Irish Amateur Boxing Association. During the early 1500s. The temperate Irish climate is suited to sport angling. The horse racing sector is largely concentrated in the central east of the Republic. with some of the best wreck dives being in Malin Head and off the County Cork coast. "The white in the center signifies a lasting truce between the Orange and the Green. over 14." The Symbol of the Irish Harp The harp has long been a symbol of Ireland. Gillian O'Sullivan won silver in the 20k walk at the 2003 World Championships. and in recent times the range of sea angling species has increased. Thomas Meagher on the meaning of the Irish flag said. the harp was first depicted on Irish coins.
The heart is there for love." Later in the 17th century the symbol was made into a ring which became a popular gift throughout Galway. Tradition says that the heart is worn outward to show that the wearer is "heart whole and fancy free. 19 . The crown is raised above. When St. For loyalty throughout the year. The symbol of the Celtic Cross The meaning of the Celtic Cross is told in legend of Ireland's St." The symbol of the Claddagh Ring The hands are there for friendship.The Symbol of the Shamrock In ancient Ireland the Shamrock was thought to have magical powers and the number 3 was considered a powerful number. whose motto was "in love and friendship let us reign. He marked a cross through the circle and blessed the stone. Patrick took this opportunity to show the union of old and new ways. Patrick came to Ireland he used the Shamrock to symbolize the meaning of the church's teaching on the Trinity. It represents the fishing Kings of Claddagh. Legends say the leaves will stand upright when a storm approaches and that no snake will be found among them. Patrick." Many Claddagh Rings have become family heirlooms and are a gift to be passed down from the mother and worn by a daughter on her wedding day. He was shown a sacred standing stone that was marked with a circle. The word Shamrock comes from the old Irish word "seamrog" which means "summer plant. The symbol of the Claddagh Ring dates back to a fishing village in Galway known as Claddagh village. St.
especially at night.Conclusion Wherever you go. whatever your final destination. try to get off the beaten track and find off-the-beat walks. you won't want to leave . perhaps along a road that is tree-high with rhododendrons. as it will in the peace and quiet that is Ireland. In another pub it would seem that a group of musicians will suddenly and surprisingly get together and play. Where will you travel . this will vary from the traditional Irish to up-to-date well known songs.and you will come back. you will have enjoyed it immensely and find that time had passed very quickly indeed. many things in this small island of ours. Again. just to think and let your mind do the wandering. and in both instances the people will be asked to join in. or sit beside a quiet lake. If there is room a dance or 'set' will start. 20 .what will you see? So many. but one thing for sure. one of the most entertaining places to visit. is a pub that plays music. all growing wild in different shades of mauve. or a wood to wander in where bluebells grow in great profusion. and you will sleep beautifully tired and happy. and before you know it the evening has ended.
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