Ireland or the Republic of Ireland, country located in northwest Europe. It covers about five-sixths of the island of Ireland, west of Great Britain. Its capital and largest city is Dublin, where approximately 40% of the 4.9 million population live in this city and its suburbs. Ireland is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the west, the Irish Sea to the east, the St George’s Channel to the southeast, and the Celtic Sea to the south. The country has a unitary structure and is governed by parliamentary democracy. Legislative power is in the hands of the Oireachtas (Parliament), which consists of the lower house Dáil Éireann (Irish Assembly) and the upper house Seanad Éireann (Irish Senate). The president’s duties are symbolic, but he has some important powers and duties. The Prime Minister (Taoiseach) is elected by the Assembly and appointed by the President.
It was established in 1922 as a dominion of the British Commonwealth as the Irish Free State, pursuant to the Anglo-Irish Treaty. With the new constitution adopted in 1937, the name of the country was changed to “Ireland” and the office of the head of state was established and the republican administration was adopted. The official proclamation of the Republic took place in the 1948 Irish Republic Act. It joined the United Nations in 1955 and the European Communities in 1973, the predecessor of the European Union. Ireland, which did not formally establish relations with Northern Ireland until the 1980s, has cooperated with Northern Ireland to resolve the Northern Ireland Problem since 1985. In accordance with the Good Friday Agreement signed in 1998, the Northern/South Ministerial Council was formed with the participation of the Irish government and Northern Ireland Administration.
Ireland, one of the financial centers of Europe, is 3rd on PPP basis and 3rd on nominal basis in GDP per capita as of 2021, thanks to some international companies that have settled in the country due to tax policy.
It is difficult to say that this data reflects the Irish economy, so the Central Bank of Ireland has switched to a modified gross national income (GNI*) application since 2017. After joining the European Communities, the government followed liberal economic policies, resulting in record growth between 1995 and 2007. This period, which ended with the 2008 economic crisis, caused Ireland to be called the Celtic Tiger.
Ireland is considered a developed country: it ranks high in healthcare, economic freedom, and freedom of the press. It is a founding member of the Council of Europe and the OECD. Country II. It did not join NATO due to its neutrality decision taken just before World War II, but it is a member of the Partnership for Peace and the Permanent Structured Cooperation Defense Treaty (PESCO) to which some of the EU members joined.
During the repression following the Easter Rebellion in April 1916, Irish volunteers organized under the IRA (Irish Republician Army) and engaged in a guerrilla war against the British. British prime minister David Lloyd George tried to maintain control by establishing two parliaments, one for Northern Ireland and the other for Southern Ireland. Indeed, parliament met in protestant Northern Ireland (Ulster). But Catholic Southern Ireland refused to compromise to the British. Thereupon, British Prime Minister Lloyd George made peace with the Irish patriots at the negotiating table.
As a result of the treaty, Southern Ireland practically gained its independence as the Irish Free State (Anglo-Irish Treaty of 6 December 1921). Northern Ireland remained part of the United Kingdom. Ireland, whose status was a dominion of the Commonwealth of Nations during the treaty, gained full independence one year after the effective date of the treaty (6 December 1922), and British forces withdrew from most of Ireland after centuries of occupation.
But the extreme wing of the IRA did not accept the treaty led by Eamon de Valera, which made part of Ireland independent and part back to England. A civil war followed, in which those who supported and those who opposed the treaty fought. Eventually the IRA agreed to the partition of Ireland. Demarcation talks between Independent Ireland and Northern Ireland in 1925 yielded no results.
De Valera’s Fianna Fáil party joined the government of prime minister William Cosgrave in 1927. In 1932, De Valera became prime minister and took a number of anti-UK economic measures. II. Ireland remained neutral in World War II. In 1948, De Valera lost the elections and in 1949 the Republic of Ireland was proclaimed. De Valera became prime minister again in 1951, and president in 1959. In 1972, the influence of the Roman Catholic Church on the state was abolished by a referendum. In 1973 the protestant Erskine Childers became president. It was followed by Cearbhall Ó Dálaigh (1974-1976), Patrick Hillary (1976-1990), Mary Robinson (1990-1997).
The Republic of Ireland is a sovereign, independent and democratic state. The parliament consists of the president and two chambers. These are the House of Representatives and the Senate. The President is elected for 7 years by voters over the age of 18. The Senate has 60 members and 11 members are appointed by the prime minister. The Assembly has 166 members. For local administration, the country is divided into 27 regional councils and 4 district councils.
The central part of Ireland is a plain stretching from Dublin in the east to Galway in the west. This plain consists of grasslands and forests, and the Great Allen marsh is also on this plain. There are mountains that do not exceed 900 meters around the plain. Major mountain ranges include the Wicklow Mountains. Lugnaquilla, at 926 m high, is the highest point of these mountains. In the Kerry Mountains to the southwest, Mount Macgillycudys Reeks (1040) forms the summit at Carrantuohill. This is Ireland’s highest mountain. The Connemare Mountains, the Mayo Mountains and the Donegal Mountains in the northwest are its main mountain ranges.
Swamps occupy 1/6 of the country. These are generally located west of the Shannon River. The longest river in the British Isles, the Shannon, is 385 km long. The other important river of the country is the Liffey. Notable lakes include Logh Neagh, which is also the largest lake in the British Isles. In addition, Ree, Derg and Killarney are among the important lakes in the lakes region.
Ireland has a temperate maritime climate. Temperatures in July range from 16° in the south to 14° in the north. Winters are relatively warm, with temperatures varying between 4° and 7° in January. Humid winds from the Atlantic Ocean, which dominate the country, cause the country to receive precipitation throughout the year. About eighty percent of the country receives an average of 762 to 1270 mm of precipitation per year. The country is quite wet due to the rains. Most days are covered with a layer of fog.
Vegetation and animals: About two-thirds of Ireland’s land consists of meadows and pastures. There is hardly any forest. The most common trees are oak, ash and maple. Ireland is a purely country country.
The Irish economy is equally dependent on agriculture and industry. It has a high level of welfare and is among the top ten states of the world. In addition, the country is used as a European base by technology companies such as Google, Facebook, Apple and Twitter due to its low tax rates.
The lands in the plains are generally fertile. In agriculture, oat and potato cultivation is the leading one. One third of the working population is engaged in agriculture. Other crops grown are wheat, barley and sugar beet.
Since approximately two thirds of its land consists of meadows and pastures, livestock farming is very developed. Ten months of the year animals can graze on the pastures. Cattle breeding comes first in animal husbandry. Sheep are bred in mountainous regions and on poor pastures. Horses are bred as harness animals. Although it is surrounded by sea on all four sides, fishing is not very developed in Ireland. It became an industry with the establishment of the Ministry of Fisheries in 1977.
About one third of the workers in the country are employed in the manufacturing, mining and construction sectors. Heavy industry is underdeveloped. Most of the manufacturing industry is concentrated in Dublin. The main industries are food, building materials, textiles, clothing, chemistry, metallurgy, electrical materials and tobacco. Ireland is trying to fill the energy gap arising from coal and oil in the industry with hydraulic power plants. It also encourages the development of foreign capital industry. Although petroleum and underground gas are not extracted at present, researches in this direction continue.
Food products account for more than half of exports. Beef meat constitutes one quarter of the total export. The sale of livestock also plays an important role in exports. Other exports are chemicals, machinery, dairy products, eggs and textiles. Nine-tenths of its exports are made with England. Ireland purchases heavy machinery, shipping materials, oil and petroleum products, grain and raw materials from abroad. It provides half of the import from England. Ireland joined the EEC in 1973.
Ireland’s mineral resources are limited. There are small deposits of copper, silver, lead, zinc, gold and iron scattered throughout the island. There is a small amount of hard coal. The island’s traditional fuel is a semi-carbonized vegetable soil cover called peat.
The total road length of Ireland is 9722 km. The length of the railways is 1988 km. Air transportation is provided by Irish Airways. Since it is an island, it has many ports. Ireland has 80 large ships of 100 gross tons.
The population of Ireland is 4,757,976. There are 53 people per square kilometer. Population density is high in the east and north, and low in the west. Population growth is 0.5%. Immigration causes population shortage. Especially women participate in migrations.
The state has two official languages, Irish (Gaeilge) and English. While 99% of the society speaks English, 36% of the people stated that they can speak Irish. Despite this, Irish as a colloquial language is concentrated in some areas on the west coast of the country called the Gaeltacht, and only 1.8% of the general population use Irish on a daily basis. Because of immigrants, the most used spoken language after English is Polish, and Irish remains in the 3rd place. The Irish language is compulsory in all schools.
95% of the population is Catholic and 5% is Protestant.
Between the ages of 6-14, education is compulsory and free of charge. There are 3415 primary schools in the country. Secondary education institutions are private and mostly run by religious institutions. It is aided by the state. Higher education is provided by the National University of Ireland, founded in 1908, and the University of Dublin.