Ireland

Ireland (i/ˈaɪərlənd/, ; Irish: Éire ; Ulster-Scots: Airlann or Airlan) is an island to the north-west of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth. To its east is the larger island of Great Britain, from which it is separated by the Irish Sea.

Politically, Ireland is divided between the Republic of Ireland, which covers just under five-sixths of the island, and Northern Ireland, a part of the United Kingdom, which covers the remainder and is located in the north-east of the island. The population of Ireland is approximately 6.4 million. Just under 4.6 million live in the Republic of Ireland and just under 1.8 million live in Northern Ireland.

Relatively low-lying mountains surrounding a central plain epitomise Ireland's geography with several navigable rivers extending inland. The island has lush vegetation, a product of its mild but changeable oceanic climate, which avoids extremes in temperature. Thick woodlands covered the island until the 17th century. Today, it is one of the most deforested areas in Europe. There are twenty-six extant mammal species native to Ireland.

A Norman invasion in the Middle Ages gave way to a Gaelic resurgence in the 13th century. Over sixty years of intermittent warfare in the 1500s led to English dominance after 1603. 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. In 1801, Ireland became a part of the United Kingdom. A war of independence in the early 20th century led to the partition of the island, creating the Irish Free State, which became increasingly sovereign over the following decades. Northern Ireland remained a part of the United Kingdom and saw much civil unrest from the late 1960s until the 1990s. This subsided following a political agreement in 1998. In 1973, both parts of Ireland joined the European Economic Community.

Irish culture has had a significant influence on other cultures, particularly in the fields of literature and, to a lesser degree, science and education. A strong indigenous culture exists, as expressed for example through Gaelic games, Irish music and the Irish language, alongside mainstream Western culture, such as contemporary music and drama, and a culture with much in common with Great Britain, as expressed through sports such as soccer, rugby, horse racing, and golf, as well as the English language.

Read more about Ireland:  History, All-island Institutions, Geography, Flora and Fauna, Demography, Culture

Other articles related to "ireland":

Nemed - Death and Legacy
... Nine years after arriving in Ireland, Nemed died of plague along with three thousand of his people ... warriors, escaped, and the last of Nemed's followers left Ireland ... Preceded by Partholón Mythical invasions of Ireland AFM 2350 BC FFE 1731 BC Succeeded by Fir Bolg ...
United Kingdom Prison Population - Prison Population - Size - Prison Population in Northern Ireland
... There are 3 prisons in Northern Ireland ... The "average" prison population of Northern Ireland in 2009 was 1,465 ...
Private (rank) - Europe and Latin America - Ireland
... In corps units the rank designation changes ... In the artillery the rank is known as gunner (Gnr), but usually only after the completion of a gunners' course, and in the cavalry it is known as trooper (Tpr) ...
Freedom Of Speech By Country - Europe - European Union - Ireland
... See also Censorship in the Republic of Ireland Freedom of speech is protected by Article 40.6.1 of the Irish constitution ... form an integral part of the Republic of Ireland's laws ...
Riding (country Subdivision) - Ireland
... County Tipperary in Ireland was divided in 1838 into two ridings, Tipperary North Riding and Tipperary South Riding — the divisions remain as local government counties, but were ...

Famous quotes containing the word ireland:

    In Ireland they try to make a cat cleanly by rubbing its nose in its own filth. Mr. Joyce has tried the same treatment on the human subject. I hope it may prove successful.
    George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950)

    No people can more exactly interpret the inmost meaning of the present situation in Ireland than the American Negro. The scheme is simple. You knock a man down and then have him arrested for assault. You kill a man and then hang the corpse.
    —W.E.B. (William Edward Burghardt)

    They call them the haunted shores, these stretches of Devonshire and Cornwall and Ireland which rear up against the westward ocean. Mists gather here, and sea fog, and eerie stories. That’s not because there are more ghosts here than in other places, mind you. It’s just that people who live hereabouts are strangely aware of them.
    Dodie Smith, and Lewis Allen. Roderick Fitzgerald (Ray Milland)