The Republic of Ireland is a sovereign nation in the north western region of Europe. Its capital city is Dublin, which is also the largest city in the country. The country is located on the island of Ireland, along with Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom. Besides Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland is bordered by the Irish Sea, Saint George’s Channel, Celtic Sea, and Atlantic Ocean. Ireland covers an area of 70,273 square kilometers and has a population of about 4.76 million inhabitants.
The Republic of Ireland is made up of 26 counties which are a part of the island of Ireland. It became a self-governing state in 1922, following its secession from the United Kingdom. In 1922, the country’s name was the Irish Free State. In 1937, it became constitutionally known as the State of Ireland. The country became a republic in 1949, and in 1973 Ireland became a member of the European Community, which was integrated into the European Union in 1993. During World War II, Ireland had a neutral stance and did not support the Allies. As a consequence of this decision, the United Nations denied Ireland membership until 1955.
The legal tender of Ireland is the euro, which is used by all member states of the European Union. Its economy has grown steadily since the 1980s, when the country’s economy heavily relied on agriculture. Today, the technology and service sectors are the main revenue generating industries in Ireland. High technology companies like Intel, Google, and Microsoft have made investments in the country. The workforce in Ireland is highly educated and the low tax rates that are levied on corporations by the country attract a lot of foreign investors. The economy of the country is the 9th most free in the world.
Ireland is a wealthy country and in 2016, the country’s nominal GDP was $324 billion. The rate of unemployment in Ireland is about 8.6%. Globally, it is among the leading exporters of medical devices, pharmaceutical agents, services, and software. It also exports mineral resources such as lead and zinc concentrates. Tourism contributes almost 4% of the country’s GDP and the industry employs a large population. The major imports of Ireland are equipment for data processing, petroleum, clothing, textiles and chemicals. The main trading partners of Ireland are the member states of the EU.
Ireland is one of the six territories in the western parts of Europe classified as Celtic Nations. In literature, the country has produced renowned authors such as Jonathan Swift, author of Gulliver’s Travel, and Bram Stoker, who is known for the novel Dracula. The country is known for its traditional music and dance. Irish music has greatly influenced other genres of music from across the world, such as roots and country music of America.
The country’s traditional cuisine is based on dairy products and meat with seafood and vegetable supplements. The popular full Irish breakfast originated in the country. Coffee and tea are the main beverages of the Irish people. Poitin and Guiness are popular alcoholic drinks that are exported globally. Irish whiskey is also widely consumed in the country.