After hundreds of years of British supremacy,
Ireland became an independent state only in 1949. Mass
violence during the 1840s, when potato harvests failed,
drove large crowds of Irish to emigrate and poverty
characterized Ireland well into modern times. Following
the accession of the EC (EU) in 1973, dependence on
Britain declined. Extensive EC support and economic
liberalization have steadily transformed Ireland from a
poor farmer to a welfare state based on high-tech
industry. However, Ireland was one of the countries most
affected by the 2008 financial crisis. After several
hard savings packages, the worst crisis had blown in the
middle of the 2010s, but Britain's decision to leave the
EU is expected to have major consequences for Ireland.
Brief profiles of Ireland, including geography, history, politics, economics as well as common acronyms about this country.
Geography and climate
The island of Ireland, in Irish Éire, is
divided into two political units: the Republic of
Ireland, which became an independent state in 1949, and
Northern Ireland, a British national part sometimes
called something incorrectly Ulster (Ulster also
includes part of the Republic).
The Irish Sea separates the island from the UK. The
entire island covers 84421 square miles, of which almost
85 percent belongs to Ireland.
The middle parts of the island consist of a limestone
plain framed by mountainous areas. There are plenty of
lakes and rivers. The west coast is mountainous and the
cracks of fjords and coves, where the Donegal Bay and
the Galway Bay are the largest.
New planting has increased the forest land to about a
tenth of the area. About 15 percent of the surface area
is made up of peat bogs (see Natural Resources and
Energy). The proportion has shrunk in recent years,
largely due to drought. This is a problem as the peat
bogs play an important role in binding carbon dioxide.
The climate is affected by the warm Gulf Stream in
the Atlantic. Winters are mild and summers relatively
cool. The rainfall is abundant and fairly evenly
distributed throughout the year.
Completely cloudless days belong to the unusual. On
the other hand, the rainy weather often passes quickly.
The mild and humid climate is one of the causes of
the intense greenery. A plant like rhododendron thrives
so well that it grows wild in tall shrubbery in the
southern part of the island.
FACTS - GEOGRAPHY AND CLIMATE
70 283 km2 (2018)
Swedish - 1 hour
Adjacent country (s)
Capital with number of inhabitants
Dublin 1,400,000 (including suburbs, estimate 2019)
Other major cities
Cork 126,000, Galway 80,000, Limerick 58,000,
Waterford 48,000 (Census 2016)
Carrantuohill (1040 m asl)
Average Precipitation / month
Dublin 79 mm (dec), 47 mm (april)
Average / day
Dublin 4.5 °C (Jan), 15 °C (July)
Free medical care for children under twelve
The budget for the coming year includes both some tax cuts and some
investments in, among other things, healthcare (everyone under the age of twelve
should receive free medical care), the child allowance is increased from EUR
104.5 to EUR 140, the pensions by EUR 3 a week and 3 EUR million will be spent
on recreational activities after school.
Ireland will receive 4,000 refugees
In connection with the refugee disaster around the Mediterranean, Ireland
agrees to accept 4,000 asylum seekers. Ireland should concentrate primarily on
helping women and children.
Former bank executives are sentenced to prison
Three previously high-ranking executives for Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Life
and Permanent are sentenced to between 2 and 3.5 years in prison for fraud in
connection with the banking crisis of 2008. The two who worked for Anglo Irish
Bank are convicted of having executed transactions for the equivalent of over 7
billion in order to hide the major problems the bank had.
Ireland votes yes for same-sex marriage
62 percent of voters in a referendum vote yes to make same-sex marriage a
constitutionally protected right. The previously so influential Catholic church
maintains a relatively low profile during the election campaign, while smaller,
conservative Catholic groups run an intensive no-campaign. Many young Irish
people are actively participating in the Yes campaign. The newspapers write that
many Irish working abroad go home to vote. Labor that has made same-sex marriage
a profile issue plays an active role on the yes side. It is supported by all the
major political parties, although Fianna Fáil seems less enthusiastic than the
others. The Yes side wins in all 26 counties except Roscommon-South Leitrim
where just over 52 percent vote no for same-sex marriage. The turnout is 60.5
percent. The percentage of young voters is also higher than usual. Almost all of
the 100,000 new voters who registered have voted. Pietro Parolin, the Vatican's
secretary of state, calls the result a "defeat for humanity". Ireland
decriminalized homosexuality in 1993. In 2010, it became possible for same-sex
couples to register partnerships.
Minister comes out as gay
Health Minister Leo Varadkar tells TV that he is gay and that he supports the
yes-side in the upcoming referendum on same-sex marriage.