The Republic of Ireland (Eire) is often called the Emerald isle because of its green pastures, which thrive in the mild and wet climate.
Ireland is in the North-West of Europe. Ireland or Eire in Gaelic cover 85% of the island of Ireland Plus many smaller islands. One of them is Aran Islands. The Atlantic coastline has many long inlets, bays and sandy beaches.
The centre of Ireland is limestone dotted with loughs (lakes), gentle hills and peat bogs. The coast of Ireland is hillier. In the County Kerry is Macgillycuddy's Reeks and Ireland's highest mountain, Carrantuohill (1078m). The river Shannon flows almost 300km from County Cavan (Ulster) to below Limerick. The climate is extremely wet with 250cm of rain a year. The temperature is mild with 4-7oC in January and 14-16oC in July.
Ireland has 10% peat bogs. They used to cut it, dry it and use as fuel. Rare plants flourish in the western region because of the mild climate.
The western and southern coasts are home to many seabirds and the coastal waters are teeming with fish.
IRELAND ROLLING GREEN PASTURES IN BANTRY, COUNTRY CORK
Most of Ireland (Eire) population is of Celtic origin. They speak mostly English as a first language but they do learn Gaelic in school. Certain job such as banking demands full knowledge of Gaelic. Most of the Irish people are Roman Catholics and it influences very much their lives.
On average there are 50 people per square kilometre and 60% of all the population live in urban areas. Dublin is the capital and has about one million people. The other big cities are Cork, Galway and Limerick.
Cork is Ireland's second largest city and developed into an industrial centre because of the natural harbour. There are many breweries and distilleries. Ford Motors built its fist factory in Cork. The fishing industry was once underdeveloped but not is expanding.
Ireland is world famous for their horse breeding. Horse breeding and trading had been part of the Irish life as long anyone can remember. Every October at Ballinasloe, Co. Galway, is the largest horse fair to be held. Farmers and travellers with their traditional caravan come from far and wide. Ireland is world-wide known for breeding the best race horses.
Eire loves sport and the Irish people enjoy hurling which is similar to hockey and Gaelic Football.
Their love of telling fairy tales and stories for generation and a very good school system have produced many famous writers and poets such as George Bernard Shaw, William Butler Yeats, Edna O'Brien and Roddy Doyle to name but a few.
CARRAUNTOOHIL -- THE HIGHEST PEAK IN IRELAND AT MACGILLYCUDDY'S REEKS
THE REMAINS OF THE 11TH CENTURY TRIM CASTLE IN COUNTRY MEATH -- THE LARGEST NORMAN CASTLE IN IRELAND
|THE REMAINS OF THE 11TH CENTURY TRIM CASTLE IN COUNTRY MEATH - THE LARGEST NORMAN CASTLE IN IRELAND|
The Irish Economy is the fastest growing in Europe and has benefited from the membership since 1973. It is mainly agriculture and 65% of land is farmland yet only 13% of the population work on the land. The cattle farms producing dairy products and meat. The pigs are reared widely but the most around Cork and Limerick. The arable crops are of oats, barley, sugar beet, turnips and potatoes.
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Ireland's main export is machinery and transport equipment. Tourism is the second and also an important industry because many visitors buy souvenirs such as crystal, linen, lace or whiskey. The EU encouraged their manufacturing industry such as food processing, electronics and textiles. Electronics are 25% of Ireland export. It is also one of the top suppliers of zinc and lead to Europe. Oil was discovered off-shore in the south and the first gas field went into production in 1991.
|THE URAGH STONE CIRCLE - A NEOLITHIC STONE CIRCLE IN GLENINCHAQUIN PARK IN COUNTY KERRY - A WORLD HERITAGE SITE|
|SKELLIG MICHAEL - COUNTY KERRY - A WORLD HERITAGE SITE|
From the 6th century Ireland was inhabited by the Celts and Picts. The Celts ruled till the Middle Ages. Viking occupied Ireland's shores from late 8th century till 1014 when they were defeated. The Anglo-Norman conquered the country in 1171 and occupied it for 400 years. From there on England kept interfering and forcing to way into Ireland.
Britain split Ireland in 1920 and 20% of the island is call Northern Ireland which is a province called Ulster. The rest of the island was first called the Irish Free State and now the Republic of Ireland.
Modern Ireland or Eire in Gaelic has the provinces Leinster, Munster, Connaught and part of the Ulster. The Parliament is in the capital Dublin. The Parliament has two houses; one the Seanad in Gaelic and Senate in English and the other house the Dail in Gaelic and the House of Representatives in English.
The head of the state is the president and is elected every seven years. From 1970 the political power changes from Fianna Fail (Republican Party) and Fine Gail (United Ireland party). The leader is the prime minister (taoiseach) and is appointed by nomination from the lower house (Dail).
|BRU NA BOINE - MOUNT - IN COUNTY MEATH - WORLD HERITAGE SITEAdd caption|
The beauty of Ireland and the friendliness of the people are legendary. The food, beer and whiskey are such a high quality you will never forget. Neither will you forget the peace and tranquillity of the country side.
Holiday's activities are endless but here are the most important ones.
Top walks in Ireland with groups are a perfect way to see the beautiful country side everywhere. But from Derry to Donegal is where Ireland takes you.
The country is famous for its golf courses and if you like a course of lessons.
Many spa and wellness places for you to either spoil yourself or improve your health. They are well known for bogs or seaweed bath which certainly does you a world of good.
From Mien head to Malin head you skateboard all the way.
Since they are more than well known for breeding great horses. You can enjoy a horse ride along the shore or through wonderful countryside. Picturesque harbour villages are in County Cork to be found.
Surfing the beach breaks on Bundoran.
For cycling fans there are hundreds of ways and lanes to cycle along the shore or through the country.
For history there is a wealth to be seen and discovered, countless medieval castles, early Christian monasteries and the biggest number of prehistoric monuments in Europe.
Dublin, Cork and Galway are so rich on beautiful buildings, museums and beautiful cities itself. The world famous Irish Pubs where you can enjoy real live Irish music and the friendliness of the people. The restaurants will sent out their mouth-watering aroma and you will find a great variety of fish dishes.
Another great opportunity you will have there is Deep Sea Fishing which give you an experience you will never forget.
Shopping for beautiful Irish linen, laces, crystal, Irish whiskey and Aran sweater.