This article has as a subject the island of Ireland, whose territory is divided between the Irish Republic and the Northern Ireland (the United Kingdom). For the other significances of the name Ireland, to see Ireland (homonymy).
The Ireland ( Eire in Irish, Ireland in English), is the second larger island of the British Isles and the third larger island of Europe. It is located at the west of the Great Britain, between the Atlantic Ocean and the Irish Sea.
The island is politically divided into two: the greatest part is occupied by the Ireland, an independent State, and north by the Northern Ireland, also called (wrongly) Ulster, which remains still today part of the the United Kingdom.
Several versions are opposed as for the origin of its name: for certain its name comes from the goddess Ériu ( Eire in Irish) and from the Germanic word Land (“ground”). Erin is one of the poetic names of Ireland. For other its name comes from the old Greek word “ιρις”, in French this word means iris, since the loan with the old Greek during the Middle Ages.
The island is populated by a little less than six million people (census of 2006): 4,2 million for the Irish Republic (including 1,6 million for the Large Dublin) and a little more than 1,7 million for Northern Ireland (including 600.000 for the Large Belfast). The most spoken language is the English (the national language being the Irish) in Irish Republic, and English, Irish and the Scots of Ulster in Northern Ireland. Because of its strong economic position, the country reception more and more from abroad and Polish became the second language most spoken in republic Irish.
See also: Geography of Ireland
Located at the west of Great Britain, the emerald island covers an total surface area of 84 431 km ² for approximately 5,7 million inhabitants - including 1,7 million for the 14.139 km ² of Northern Ireland.
The maximum distance from north in the south east of 483 km, and the width of west in is, of 275 km.
One meets soft landscapes on the east coast and of the coasts tormented on the west coast, of the mountainous solid masses covered with dense forests dug of valleys and circuses.
The interior of the island and most of the west coast is the field of the Tourbière S exploited for the Tourbe, fuel of enough good quality which provides currently approximately 14% of the electrical energy of Ireland.
Many lakes recover 1.450 km ² territory.
Ireland profits from a oceanic climate moderate by the Gulf Stream which irrigates all its west coast; in all the island the extremely varied flora and fauna benefit from the favorable climate.
The country is located in a zone of soft winds coming from south-west and its water is heated by the Gulf Stream. Its climate is marked by soft winters and fresh summers. The most cold months are January and February. The temperature oscillates between 4°C and 7°C. Snow and freezing are extremely rare. However, the country being close to the North-Atlantic zone of low pressures, it is prone to hail and the storms. During the hottest months, July and August, the temperatures are in general of 14°C with 16°C but can rise until 25°C.
Each area has a specific climate: in south-east, the climate is continental, in the North-West, it is maritime. As a whole, precipitations are equitably distributed.
The sunniest months are May and June, with a six hours average of sunning per day on all the territory. Abundant rains (on average 1.000 mm per annum) feed a very important hydrographic network (26 000 km of rivers and rivers).
During the winter, the country is per hour of the meridian line of Greenwich, but by April at October, it precedes it one hour.
Fauna and floraIreland was detached from the continent at the period refrigerator. One thus notices there a variety of fauna and flora more limited than in other countries of the continent.
Still a few years ago, most of the territory was covered with virgin forest: oaks, houx, birches, hazel trees and yews. Deforested, the country currently follows a programme of afforestation of coniferous tree: spruce Sitka, spruce of Norway, the Scottish pine, the Larch and the Fir tree. These forests shelter then stag S and Daim S which were introduced there is little. One meets also the Bécasse, the Hibou, the Grive or of the songbirds, the squirrel, the blue Lièvre, the Musaraigne Pygmy,…
The flora of the peat bogs is made up various varieties of foams, of Bruyère,… the most prolific areas on the matter are Glengariff and Killarney. The peat bogs accommodate the cuckoo, the swivel, the small falcon. As for the Burren, it is known for its particular floral species. Field of the tundra, the flowers are prolific there: the flower of hawthorn, the sorb, the Violet, the Orchis….
The country is extremely known for its fish species, alive in the rivers and the lakes: the Salmon, the trout, the omble, the Eel, or the Pike, the gardon, the rainbow trout. Close to the rivers, it is not rare to cross the Loutre, water hen, the cinclus, the héron, the trip hammer, and close to the lakes, the swan, the Canard the Wild goose.
The seaside, as for him, shelters anemones, algae, shells, shellfish and various fish.
It is for these reasons that the country is famous for its national parks: the park of Killarney, the park of Glenveagh, the national park of the Connemara, the Burren or the first forest park of the British Isles in Tollymore.
In this country, the horse is a crowned animal. It is the emblem besides on the old parts of 20 pence. An organization of State was created besides Bord Na gCapall (Office of the Irish horse) in order to take care of the maintenance of the equine race. Proof of its importance, few 30 racecourses, and 500 horse shows each year.
The pony is as for him as famous as the horse. It is robust, intelligent, and has a mane and a black tail. These ponies can live in freedom but are not wild. Of international reputation, they are the subject of a fair in the Connemara, with Clifden, each year in August.
See also: History of Ireland
The first populations had to arrive to Ireland with. Prehistory is rather known little about, our knowledge are specified with the installation of the Celtes. After the Celts, the Vikings attacked and colonized this ground. Toponymy (names of cities), for example Wexford and Wicklow comes from the Viking S. After that, the Anglo-Normands colonized the island with much success in its half Is, but ended up becoming Irish than the Irishmen themselves and Henri VIII of England. England consequently colonized the country completely; the Irishmen tried to fight against the English then the British and there were many revolutions. In 1800, the British government seeks by all the means the way of integration until the Prime Minister William Pitt makes proclaim the union of Ireland and Great Britain, giving rise to the the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
In 1829, the Irish deputy Daniel O' Connell (Dónall Ó Cónaill), follower of the passive resistance, obtained the emancipation of the catholic . Of 1846 with 1848, the mildew, a disease of the potato (basic food in Ireland) causes an appalling famine: approximately a third of the Irishmen dies of hunger. It is the Grande Famine ( An Gorta Mór ), which will cause the most formidable emigration of the time: half of the survivors embarks for the New World, particularly with the Canada and the United States.
In 1921, following a rising missed in 1916, negotiations with Eamon de Valera and Michael Collins lead to a partition of the island: Ireland of the South gained its autonomy then its independence in 1937 and Northern Ireland remained in the United Kingdom. The Irish Republic remained very poor until in the years 1990. Since its adhesion with the European Community in 1973, its extremely dynamic economic development the place at the head of the European countries. In Northern Ireland, the Republicans (catholic) wish, in majority, that their area leave the United Kingdom to integrate the Irish Republic. The Unionistic ones (Protestants), for their part, wish to remain British.
See also: Political of Ireland
Ireland is separate in two parts:
Ireland called also in an unsuitable way Irish Republic is a formed State independent of twenty-six counties; its capital is Dublin.
Northern Ireland is made of six counties (with Protestant majority) in the North-East of the island and its capital is Belfast. It, sometimes, is called “North” (especially by the Nationalists), “the six counties” or “Ulster”, because it is formed of two thirds of the Irish province of Ulster which includes/understands actually nine counties including three, Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan are left with the Republic by the British after the Anglo-Irish treaty of 1921.
Northern Ireland is still part of the the United Kingdom, but its position is disputed. The nationalists want to leave the the United Kingdom, to be integrated in the Irish Republic. The unionistic ones, for their part, have a position which goes on the other hand. This conflict is at the base of turbid in the area and extended from 1969 to the Accord of Stormont in April 1998. Consequently, there was a decentralized Parliament with Belfast but because of the persistent conflicts between the nationalists and the unionistic ones, he was suspended and it is currently the government of the the United Kingdom which controls it directly. The conflict became increasingly political, but less violent one. The government of Tony Blair had given until the month of November 2006 to find an area of agreement in order to restore the institutions in Northern Ireland. Failing this, London would take again the hand definitively. The British soldiers thus left Northern Ireland in 2007, at the same time as the retirement of Tony Blair, to encourage the continuation of the peace process.
In spite of political separation, much of organizations work on an all-Ireland basis, for example the Irish Rugby Football Union, IRFU or the GAA (Gaelic Athletics Association) which gather the traditional sports of the “Hurling” and of the “Football Gaelic” (sports whose played finales the first and third Sundays from September with Croke Park with Dublin gather 82.500 spectators invariably, without counting all the Irish televiewers, that they are north or south).
The current president is Mary McAleese.
Ireland is inhabited since the Âge of the stone. The historians date the installation from the first Celtes between. At the 8th century, the peace of the territory is disturbed by the arrival of the Vikings, then by the Normands and the English. The fertility of the ground, in this island with the soft climate (compared to Great Britain), allowed an increase in population. Thus, in 1841, one counted more than eight million inhabitants, that is to say almost half of the population of Great Britain of the time, almost 10 times more populated today than the island of Ireland. The great famine of 1846 divides the population by two, as well the massive deaths as by the emigration. This famine is not easily separable socio-economic causes related to the English domination which maintains the majority Irish in an economic and social exclusion hard. The majority of the grounds belonged then to British owners whose Irishmen were the farmers. The access to several civil and military stations, in the United Kingdom of the S, was excluded to the catholics. The emigration following this disaster will be at the origin of the important Irish diaspora, in particular with the the United States, where the Irishman descendants represent today nearly 39 million people.
In 1961, the decreasing population falls to 2,6 million. After this date, the increase becomes again a reality. It is in particular due to the inversion of the migratory flux: a radical reduction in the emigration and the beginning of a migration towards the country, sometimes of emigrants or descendants of emigrants. In 1981, one counts 5 million Irishman. But of 1985 with 1989, vis-a-vis the increase in unemployment, the population, in particular young emigrates again with the the United States and in England, but in a way less massive than formerly. With the vigorous economic development of the years 1990, the emigration ceases and gradually, immigration becomes an Irish reality, especially in Irish Republic. Thus, in the years 2000 in particular, one notices a many immigrant Polish community. The population of the great urban centres counts (figures of 1992):
- Dublin: 915.000
- Belfast: 327.000
- Cork: 150.000
- Londonderry : 93.000
- Limerick : 76.000
- Galway: 50.000
- Waterford : 40.000
- Drogheda : 24.000
Today the population is of 5.700.000 inhabitants (Republic in 2005 and Northern Ireland in 2001). The urban population is of 59%. The density is of 56,4 hab. /km ². The life expectancy of the men is of 73 years (in 2002) and that of the women, 78,5 years (in 2002). The natural rate of increase (by 1000 inhabitants) is of 31,1. As for fertility rate, it is of 2,0 (Ireland is the country of Europe having strongest fertility rate, ex æquo with France). And the Migratory balance (by 1000 inhabitants) is of 7,0.
More than 3000 families, that is to say approximately 20000 people constitute a community without fixed residence. Their name, the tinkers goes back to time when the men and the women went from village in village, their services proposed to repair the pans and other containers. They speak a specific dialect where Gaelic occupies a big part. The majority live in caravans, with the accesses of the cities. Marginalized, they are victims of prejudices of their fellow-citizens. A perfect example is given by it in film of Mike Newell: Into the West ( the horse come from the sea ).
In spite of the independence and the use of a bilingual road signs, the Irish Republic could not start again the Irish language. It should be noted that the extreme poverty of the country, which was not solved in the first decades following independence, made emigration an economic activity of first importance, and the Irishmen continued to emigrate in anglophone countries, as at the 19th century. Nevertheless, part of the west of Ireland, known as gaeltacht, is dissociated as zone where Irish remains native tongue and living language first. In Dublin, the place of Irish is less, however, since independence, the schoolboys of the Republic learn also the Irish language, in addition to English.
See also: Education system Irish
See also: Economy of the Irish Republic, List of Irish companies
The economic situation of Ireland is not also any more precarious. In 1992, the Irishmen massively approved the ratification of the treaty of Maastricht, on the European Union. Ireland has one of the lowest unemployment rates of Europe with approximately 4,4% of unemployment.
Agriculture and fishingAgriculture occupies a very important place in the Irish economy. It represents 10% of the GDP and employment a fifth of the active population. In fact family farms produce cattle and dairy products (70% of the agricultural production). More half is exported. Sylviculture has developed little by little, grace in particular to the program of afforestation recommended for a few years. In the same way, fishing is exploited more and more. Certain cities as Illibegs in Donegal rests on the exploitation of the products of the sea.
Industry concentrated in the east of the country, close to the great urban centres, in particular Dublin. Gradually, it developed in the west. The government created an authority of industrial development besides to come to assistance of local industries.
Richness of the basement
Ireland has a great mineral richness: the zinc, which made it possible besides the country to rise in the European forefront of the production of bronze and zinc products concentrated. The energy resources multiple and are varied: baryta, phosphate, natural gas, coal…
Tourism is one of oldest Irish resources the. Already at the 19th century, of the road services traversed more than 6.000 km per day. The majority of the visitors came from England, or from the the United States. In term of exploitation tourism is at the third rank of the national production and employs several thousands of people.
Since the beginning of the Nineties, there is habit to call Ireland the Celtic Tigre from his growth rates record because of a policy of reception of the foreign investments, in particular in the sector of the New technologies.
The pub S hold them also their place with beer (the Guinness) and especially, the whiskey (and Irish coffee) and the Irish music. Prohibition to smoke in any public place (in the Republic) did not deteriorate of it the frequentation (nor consumption) in these places.
Ireland remains a place where the Religion (Catholique in Ireland of the South, Protestante and catholic in Northern Ireland) is very present. The divorce is legal in the Republic only since 1995 and a real debate starts on the abortion. But today the Homosexuality and the Contraception are generally accepted.
Irish national Festival: March 17th (Saint-Patrick) the Irishmen are very attached to this festival
- national Symboles Irish: Clover with three sheets ( shamrock , used by Holy Patrick to explain the Holy Trinity with the Celtic people), the sheep, the horse, the salmon, and grips it.
- Irish Kitchen
- Irish Literature
- Irish traditional Music
See also: Sport in Ireland
Ireland is the ground of the sports gaelic, Hurling and Football Gaelic. They are the sports most practiced on all the island. The Hurling belongs to the national identity. A match is described besides before the battle of Moytura into 1272 before JC. According to the legend, the Cù-Chulainn hero only beat with him 150 opponents in part of hurling.
Then the sports coming from Great Britain, football and Rugby come where the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland do not know any more borders. One counts four teams major in all the island: Leinster, Munster, Connaught, and Ulster.
The Golf is also a true national passion. There exists more than 250 golf courses. The principal tournament being Carroll' S Open Irish .
In parallel with the passing of years, the Cyclisme seems to develop.
ReligionsIn Ireland (Eire), 93% of the population are catholic, against 5% of Protestant. The 2% remainders are Jewish (0,6%) or atheists. In Ulster, 53% are Protestant.
Let us note that Ireland has a commemorative plaque, located in the town of Quebec, in Canada, to underline the important contribution of the Irish immigrants in the history of the Quebec and the city. Let us stress that more than 30% of the Inhabitants of Quebec have Irish origins.
- History of Ireland
- Chronology of Ireland
- Irish patriots
- Conflict north-Irish
- Economy of the Irish Republic
- Provinces of Ireland
- Counties of Ireland
- List of the Irish universities
- Holy Patrick
- Celtic Music
- Towns of Celtic Ireland
- Sport in Ireland
- the west coast of Ireland with bicycle
- Edge Na gCapall
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