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Ireland Geography

Geography

Ireland's central lowlands of flat rolling plains are dissected by bogs, loughs (lakes) and rivers, and surrounded by hills and low mountains.

The major mountain ranges include the Blackstairs, Bluestack, Comeragh, Derryveagh, Macgillycuddy's Reeks, Nephinbeg, Ox, Silvermines, Slieve Mish, Twelve Pins, and Wicklow.

The country's highest point, Carrauntuohill, in the far southwest, stands at 1041 m (3414 ft.) high.

The western coastline includes numerous sea cliffs. The most famous, and some say the most beautiful in all of Europe, are the Cliff of Moher. They reach a maximum height of just over 213 m (700 ft.)

Ireland has dozens of coastal islands, including Beara and Dingle.

The Conn, Corrib and Mask.

Besides the Shannon, additional rivers of size are the Barrow, Blackwater, Boyne, Finn, Lee, Liffey, Nore, Slaney and Suir.


Geography Ireland
Location: Western Europe, occupying five-sixths of the island of Ireland in the North Atlantic Ocean, west of Great Britain

Geographic coordinates:

53 00 N, 8 00 W

Map references:

Europe

Area:

total: 70,280 sq km
land: 68,890 sq km
water: 1,390 sq km

Area - comparative:

slightly larger than West Virginia

Land boundaries:

total: 360 km
border countries: UK 360 km

Coastline:

1,448 km

Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm

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

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Carrauntoohil 1,041 m

Natural resources:

natural gas, peat, copper, lead, zinc, silver, barite, gypsum, limestone, dolomite

Land use:

arable land: 15.2%
permanent crops: 0.03%
other: 84.77% (2001)

Irrigated land:

NA sq km

Natural hazards:

NA

Environment - current issues:

water pollution, especially of lakes, from agricultural runoff

Environment - international agreements:

party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Marine Life Conservation

Geography - note:

strategic location on major air and sea routes between North America and northern Europe; over 40% of the population resides within 100 km of Dublin

Note: The information tabled directly above was researched by and provided by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.

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This page was last updated on August 12, 2015.