Ireland facts and figures

Ireland

Celtic tribes settled on the island in the 4th century B.C. Invasions by Norsemen that began in the late 8th century were finally ended
when King Brian BORU defeated the Danes in 1014. English invasions began in the 12th century and set off more than seven centuries of Anglo-Irish struggle marked by fierce rebellions and harsh repressions. A failed 1916 Easter Monday Rebellion touched off several years of guerrilla warfare that in 1921 resulted in independence from the UK for 26 southern counties; six northern (Ulster) counties remained part of the United Kingdom. In 1948 Ireland withdrew from the British Commonwealth; it joined the European Community in 1973. Irish governments have sought the peaceful unification of Ireland and have cooperated with Britain against terrorist groups. A peace settlement
for Northern Ireland, known as the Good Friday Agreement and approved in 1998, is currently being implemented.

Location:

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

Area:

total: 70,280 sq km

water: 1,390 sq km

land: 68,890 sq km

Land boundaries:

total: 360 km

border countries: UK 360 km

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

Land use:

arable land: 19.49%

permanent crops: 0.04%

other: 80.47% (1998 est.)

Population:

3,924,140 (July 2003 est.)

Nationality:

noun: Irishman(men), Irishwoman(women), Irish (collective plural)

adjective: Irish

Languages:

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