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Ireland  -  Western Europe

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Earhlore Explorations Introduction

Earthlore Ireland

Earthlore Ireland Historic Overviews


Native NameÉireBeing a traditional name of great age, there are numerous accounts for the linguistic origin of Éire. In the early Irish manuscripts the variant of Ériu was commonly used. The contemporary name is a later Anglo hybrid, setting the island as the 'land of Éire.' It serves as an appropriate reference, for in ancient mythology, Éire is one of a trinity of goddesses who represent the personification of the island itself.

Musae: Map of Ireland Ireland is the westernmost country of within the European Union. The island nation is separated from Great Britain by the North Channel on the northeast and the Irish Sea on the east. Total coastline measures 1,448 km.

The Republic of Ireland consists of Connaught, Leinster, and Munster provinces, totaling 23 counties, and in the north, 3 counties of Ulster Province. Northern Ireland consists of 26 districts, the remainder of Ulster Province.

National capital: Dublin

Primary cities by population: Dublin; Cork; Limerick; Galway; Waterford.

Ports and harbors: Arklow, Cork, Drogheda, Dublin, Foynes, Galway, Limerick, New Ross, Waterford

Climate: temperate maritime; modified by North Atlantic Current; mild winters, cool summers; consistently humid; overcast about half the time.

Terrain: mostly level to rolling interior plain surrounded by rugged hills and low mountains; sea cliffs on west coast

Population: 3,619,480

Age structure: 0-14 years: 22%
15-64 years: 67% - 65 years and over: 11%
Population growth rate: 0.36%
(Estimates are current to July 1998.)

Ethnic groups: Celtic, English

Religions: Roman Catholic 93%, Anglican 3%, none 1%, unknown 2%, other 1% (1981)

Languages: Irish (Gaelic), spoken mainly in areas located along the western seaboard, English is the language generally used

The flag of Ireland The Irish flag consists of three color fields of equal share in a vertical pattern.

The design dates to the mid nineteenth century, it became widely accepted after its use in the Easter Rising of 1916. The green field represents the majority Catholic population. The orange field represents the Protestant population, bearing the colors of William of Orange. The white field represents the promise of a sustaining peace between the two.

Independence: 6 December 1921

Constitution: 29 December 1937; adopted 1 July 1937 by plebiscite.  A full text of the Irish constitution, Bunreacht Na hÉireann, is provided on-line by the Irish government.

A primary source of information for this page is the Central Statistics Office (CSO) for Ireland. In depth resources are available on-line regarding all essential indicators.

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Regional Index:

Together, Northern Ireland and the Republic are comprised of four provinces, which consist of thirty two counties.

Province of:

Ireland Galway
Ireland Leitrim
Ireland Mayo
Ireland Roscommon
Ireland Sligo

Province of:

Ireland Carlow
Ireland Dublin
Ireland Kildare
Ireland Kilkenny
Ireland Laois
Ireland Longford
Ireland Louth
Ireland Meath
Ireland Offaly
Ireland Wicklow
Ireland Wexford
Ireland Westmeath

Province of:
Ireland Clare
Ireland Cork
Ireland Kerry
Ireland Limerick
Ireland Tipperary
Ireland Waterford

Province of:

Ireland Antrim
Ireland Armagh
Ireland Cavan
Ireland Down
Ireland Derry
Ireland Donegal
Ireland Fermanagh
Ireland Monaghan
Ireland Tyrone

The counties of Cavan, Donegal and Monaghan although part of the Republic of Ireland since 1922, have traditionally belonged to Ulster Province.

Ireland The country is also commonly divided up informally as North, East, South, West, Northwest and the Midlands.

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