Flag of Ireland

Language: Irish, English

Currency: Euro

Calling code: +353


Ireland is a state in Western Europe that occupies most of the island of Ireland. In the north it borders with Northern Ireland (part of Great Britain). Area - 70.2 thousand km². The name of the country comes from the Irish Éire "state".

The capital is the city of Dublin, which is home to about a quarter of the country's population (1.4 million people).

Member of organizations: Council of Europe (since 1949), UN (since 1955), OECD (since 1960), European Union (since 1973), Euratom (since 1973), European Monetary System (since 1979).




East Coast and Midland

Dublin County

Ardgillan Castle

Ashtown Castle

Clontarf Castle

Drimnagh Castle

Howth Castle

Malahide Castle

Monkstown Castle


Kildare County

Barberstown Castle

Castletown House

Kilkea Castle


Laois County


Longford County


Louth County

Castle Roche


Meath County

Dunsany Castle

Hill of Tara


Trim Castle


Offaly County

Birr Castle

Clonony Castle

Kinnitty Castle

Leap Castle


Westmeath County

Wicklow County


Shannon Region

Clare County

Ballinalacken Castle

Bunratty Castle

Burren National Park

Caherconnell Stone Fort

Carrigaholt Castle

Cliffs of Moher

Craggaunowen Castle

Doonagore Castle

Dromoland Castle

Knappogue Castle

Leamaneh Castle


Limerick County

King John's Castle

Castle Oliver
Springfield Castle


Tipperary County

Athassel Priory

Ardfinnan Castle

Cahir Castle

Holy Cross Abbey

Ormonde Castle

Powerscourt Estate

Rock of Cashel


Southwest Ireland

Cork County

Bantry House
Barryscourt Castle
Belvelly Castle
Blackrock Castle
Blarney Castle
Carriganass Castle

Castle Donovan
Drombeg Stone Circle
Dunasead Castle
Dunboy Castle
Kanturk Castle


Kerry County

Ardfert Cathedral
Ballycarbery Castle
Carrigafoyle Castle
Dunbeg Promontory Fort
Killarney National Park

Lakes of Killarney

Listowel Castle

Mount Brandon

Ross Castle


West Ireland

Galway County

Aran Islands
Aughnanure Castle
Connemara National Park
Dunguaire Castle

Fiddaun Castle
Kylemore Abbey
Oranmore Castle
Portumna Castle
Thoor Ballylee


Mayo County

Ashford Castle
Ballycroy National Park


Rockfleet Castle


Roscommon County

Donamon Castle

Roscommon Castle


Northwest Ireland and Lakelands

Cavan County

Cabra Castle


Donegal County

Doe Castle
Donegal Castle
Glenveagh Castle
Glenveagh National Park


Leitrim County

Monaghan County


Sligo County

Ballymote Castle
Markree Castle

Parke's Castle


Southeast Ireland

Carlow County

Ballymoon Castle
Carlow Castle

Huntington Castle aka Clonegal
Wicklow Mountains


Kilkenny County

Burnchurch Castle

Dunmore Cave

Foulksrath Castle

Jerpoint Abbey

Kilkenny Castle

Shankill Castle


Waterford County

Lismore Castle


Waterford County

Lismore Castle



The name of the state in modern Irish (Eire) comes from the Old Irish Eriu, or Eriu - the name of the goddess in Irish mythology.

The fourth article of the Constitution of Ireland (adopted in 1937) states: "The name of the state is Éire, or, in English, Ireland." In 1947, the name Republic of Ireland was adopted as a Description of the State; its name is still simply Ireland. This is due to the claims to the entire island stated in the constitution: “The territory belonging to the people consists of the entire island of Ireland, the islands adjacent to it and the territorial sea” (Article 2; since 1998, as a result of the Belfast Agreement, the text has been replaced by a more neutral one). Nevertheless, in various spheres - official and unofficial - the name Republic of Ireland is widely used to distinguish the state from British Northern Ireland and the island as a whole.



Geographical position

islands, it is located between 6° 20'-10° 20' W. and 51° 25'—55° 23' N. sh. From the east it is washed by the Irish Sea, as well as the Straits of St. George and the North, from the south by the Celtic Sea, and from the west and north by the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean. The length from west to east is about 300 km, from north to south - about 450 km. The highest point is Mount Carrantuil (1041 m).

The total area of ​​the territory is about 70.2 thousand km². The length of the border with Great Britain is 360 km. Ireland is the third largest country in Europe entirely located in the Western Hemisphere after Iceland and Portugal.



The climate of Ireland is temperate maritime. Near the western coast of the island, there is a warm North Atlantic Current, which, together with southwestern winds from the Atlantic Ocean, brings warm and humid air masses.

Winters are quite mild and summers are cool. The warmest month of the year is July with an average air temperature of 18-20 degrees. The coldest month is January, the temperature of which drops to 7-9 degrees.

On average, up to 1200 mm of precipitation falls per year, but their distribution over the territory is uneven. The highest values ​​are typical for the western part of the island - due to the influence of the sea, their number can reach 1600 mm, while in the east and in the central part of the country about 800-1000 mm are noted.


Relief and geological structure

The coasts of Ireland (especially in the north, south and west) are rocky, heavily dissected by bays, the largest of which are Galway, the estuary of the Shannon River, Dingle and Donegal in the west, Loch Foyle in the north. There are many rocky islands off the coast of Ireland.

The landscapes are mostly flat: the interior is occupied by the vast Central Lowland, which extends to the shores of the island in the west and east. On the outskirts of the island there are low mountains (the highest point is Mount Carantuill, 1041 m) and a plateau (the largest is Antrim in the northeast).


Vegetation and fauna

Ireland is classified by the World Wildlife Fund into two ecoregions: Celtic broadleaf forests and North Atlantic mixed forests, although in fact forest covers no more than 12% of the island. A large proportion of the island's surface is occupied by meadows and heaths. There are both northern, alpine plants and species characteristic of southern Europe (as a rule, they grow in the west of the island).

Soddy-podzolic soils predominate in the Central Lowland, mountain podzolic soils in the mountains, and peat-bog soils on poorly drained plateaus and lowlands. On limestones there are humus-calcareous soils.

Ireland is sometimes called the "Emerald Isle" because of the abundance of vegetation that remains green all year round thanks to the frequent rains.


Ecological state

Historically, there has been a situation in which there has never been a heavy and environmentally harmful industry in Ireland.

Citizens of Ireland consider their nature (and its ecological state) as their property and take measures to reduce the human impact on the ecological state of the environment: sorting and processing waste; non-use of disposable bags in supermarkets; high taxes on vehicles that are capable of polluting the environment; And so on. For example, for garbage thrown on the street outside of specially provided places, you can get a very substantial fine.

As a result, all this makes Ireland an "ecologically clean island" even against the backdrop of quite prosperous other European countries.


Specially protected natural areas

Ireland's national park system displays typical and unique natural landscapes of the island. The parks, six in number (Ballycroy, Burren, Glenveh, Killarney, Connemara, Wicklow Mountains), are managed by a government agency, The National Parks and Wildlife Service. The purpose of this organization is to create a system of protected areas that represents the diversity of Ireland's nature. The tasks of the agency are to preserve the integrity of ecosystems, biodiversity and provide an opportunity to visit parks and explore the nature of Ireland for everyone.



Ancient time

The first people settled Ireland during the Mesolithic, in the IX millennium BC; The oldest traces of life are Dauth, Nauth and Newgrange (now included in the list of cultural heritage of Ireland). According to genetic research, the Irish are the descendants of farmers from the Mediterranean, who destroyed the ancient population of the Emerald Isle, as well as pastoralists from the Black Sea. Black Sea immigrants are Indo-Europeans who brought their tongue and hemochromatosis genes, as well as genes that allow them to absorb lactose and drink milk. The similarity of the genomes of the people of the Bronze Age and modern Irish, Scots and Welsh suggests that already by 2000 BC the main characteristics of the “island”, different from the Gallic, Celtic genome, the descendants of which the Irish people can be considered, have developed. One of the first mentions of the civilization of Ireland is the mention of Pythaeus (end of the 4th century BC). In the Irish language there are many borrowings from the pre-Celtic population of the territory.

The name of the island in Irish is "Eriu" (Dr. Irl. Ériu, Irl. Éire). The ancient Irish lived as separate tribes - clans under the control of hereditary leaders, jointly owned land and were engaged almost exclusively in cattle breeding. Ireland was not part of the Roman Empire, but Roman historians mention it (Ptolemy, Tacitus, Juvenal). The ancient capital of Ireland (until the XII century) is Tara.


Adoption of christianity

The first Christian burial places of Ireland date back to the end of the 4th century; archaeological finds indicate that the Christianization of Ireland began more likely from the south rather than from the north, where St. Patrick acted, who is usually credited with the Christianization of Ireland; the first bishop of Ireland, according to the "Chronicle" of Prosper of Aquitaine, was the Gallo-Roman St. Palladium, who was ordained by Pope Celestine in 431. According to legend, his mission was unsuccessful - he fell ill and died when he returned to Britain.

In his Confession, Saint Patrick himself mentions thousands of baptisms he performed; he confesses that he presented gifts to kings and judges in the lands where he visited especially often, but says that he himself refused bribes and gifts. He mentions that once with his companions he was in prison for two weeks in shackles. The initial flock of Patrick, judging by the people mentioned in the Confession, consisted mainly of young people, women and slaves, that is, from fairly marginalized sections of society. The annals of the four masters mention that he founded 600 churches (according to other sources - there were 300 churches), and more than 120,000 who received the baptism of the Irish from him. In 1991, S. V. Shkunaev, referring to “The Life of St. Patrick” by Murkhu Mokka Mahteni (moccu Machtheni), suggested that the Christianization of Ireland was supported by St. Patrick by the local landowner aristocrats according to the Indian "Kshatriya Revolt" model, which contradicts the "marginal" theory of Christianization. It is difficult to judge the whole process of the early Christianization of Ireland, since the next literary monument of Irish church law, following the works of Patrick, is “The First Synod of St. Patrick’s, was composed only in the middle of the VII century.

Ireland was not affected by the civil wars and invasions of the Germans that accompanied the collapse of the Roman Empire, which contributed to the development of written culture and education in the early Middle Ages. Soon after the country's baptism, the first works in Latin appear; from the beginning of the 7th century, literature in Old Irish appears. Already in the VI century, Ireland became the center of Western scholarship; preachers of Christianity on the mainland came out of her monastery schools. One of the main cultural centers was the monastery on the island of Iona. Irish monks made a significant contribution to the preservation of Latin culture during the early Middle Ages. Ireland of this period was famous for its arts - illustrations for handwritten books, metalwork and sculpture.

Significant damage to the Irish culture, economic and political stability of the island as a whole, was caused by the Vikings raids. Soon they began to establish settlements on the shores of the island (in particular, Dublin, Limerick, Waterford). Only at the beginning of the XI century, the Irish, led by the Munster king Briand Bohr, defeated the Vikings. Brian Boru died in the decisive battle of Klontarf in 1014.


Lordship of Ireland under the rule of England

At the end of the XII century, part of the territory of Ireland was conquered by the British under King Henry II. The English barons took possession of the lands of the Irish clans and introduced English laws and a system of government. The conquered area was called the outskirts (English the Pale) and both in management and in its further development was very different from the still not conquered, the so-called Wild Ireland, in which the British constantly sought to make new conquests.

When Robert Bruce took possession of the Scottish crown and successfully waged a war with England, the Irish leaders turned to him for help against a common enemy. His brother Edward arrived with the army in 1315 and was proclaimed king by the Irish, but after a three-year war that terribly devastated the island, he died in battle with the British. However, in 1348, the “Black Death” came to Ireland, exterminating almost all the British who lived in cities where mortality was particularly high. After the plague, British power extended no further than Dublin.


Kingdom of Ireland

During the English Reformation, the Irish remained Catholics, which created a surviving split between the two islands. In 1536, Henry VIII crushed the rebellion of Silk Thomas Fitzgerald, an English protege in Ireland, and decided to re-conquer the island. In 1541, Henry declared Ireland a kingdom, and himself king of it. Over the next hundred years, under Elizabeth and Jacob I, the British strengthened control over Ireland, although they could not make the Irish Protestants, but the entire English administration consisted only of Anglican Protestants.

During the civil war in England, English control over the island was greatly weakened, and the Irish Catholics rebelled against the Protestants, temporarily creating Confederate Ireland, but already in 1649 Oliver Cromwell arrived in Ireland with a large and experienced army, taking the city of Droeda by attack near Dublin and Wexford . In Drode, Cromwell ordered the entire garrison and the Catholic priests to be killed, while in Wexford the army massacred without permission. For nine months, Cromwell conquered almost the entire island, and then transferred the command to his son-in-law Ayrton, who continued the work that had begun. Cromwell's goal was to put an end to the unrest on the island by ousting Irish Catholics, who were forced to either leave the country or move west to Connaught, while their lands were distributed to the English colonists, most of them to Cromwell’s soldiers. In 1641, more than 1.5 million people lived in Ireland, and in 1652 only 850 thousand remained (of which 150 thousand were English and Scottish new settlers).

In 1689, during the Glorious Revolution, the Irish supported the English king Jacob II, deposed by William of Orange, for which they paid again.

As a result of English colonization, the native Irish almost completely lost their land holdings; a new ruling stratum was formed, consisting of Protestants, immigrants from England and Scotland.


As part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland

In 1798, with the support of France, an Irish uprising unfolded: despite the initial success, it ended in the defeat of the rebels.

In 1801, Ireland became part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Irish began to be superseded by English.

At the beginning of the XIX century, about 86% of the population of Ireland was engaged in agriculture, in which dominated by bonded forms of exploitation. Ireland served as one of the sources of the accumulation of English capital and the development of industry in England.


The Great Hunger

In the mid-1840s, an agrarian coup began. The fall in bread prices (after the repeal of the "grain laws" in England in 1846) prompted landowners to begin an intensive transition from a small peasant lease system to a large pasture farm. The process of driving small tenants off the ground has intensified (the so-called cleaning of estates).

The abolition of the "bread laws" and the disease of potato, which was the main crop among the small-land Irish peasants, led to a terrible famine of 1845-1849. As a result of hunger, about 1 million people died.

Emigration increased significantly (from 1846 to 1851 1.5 million people left), which became a constant feature of the historical development of Ireland.

As a result, in 1841-1851, the population of Ireland decreased by 30%.

And in the future, Ireland was rapidly losing population: if in 1841 the population was 8 million 178 thousand people, then in 1901 - only 4 million 459 thousand


Irish Independence

In 1919, the Irish Republican Army (IRA) launched active hostilities against the British troops and police. April 15-27, 1919 on the territory of the county of the same name there is the Republic of Limerick Council. In December 1921, a peace treaty was signed between Great Britain and Ireland. Ireland gained dominion status (the so-called Irish Free State), with the exception of the six most industrially developed northeastern counties (Northern Ireland) with a predominance of Protestants who remained part of the United Kingdom. However, Britain retained military bases on the territory of Ireland, the right to receive “redemption” payments for the former possessions of English landlords. In 1937, the country adopted the official name Éire.

In 1949, Ireland was proclaimed an independent republic. The republic was announced to withdraw from the British Commonwealth. Only in the 1960s did emigration from Ireland cease and population growth was noted. In 1973, Ireland became a member of the European Economic Community.

In the 1990s, Ireland entered a period of rapid economic growth, which continued until 2007. With the onset of the global financial crisis of 2008, the Irish economy is experiencing a sharp recession associated with declining exports, problems in the construction industry and the banking sector. According to the IMF, in 2008 the country's economy experienced a decline of 3.5%, in 2009 - by 7.6%, which was the largest decline in the history of the country.

As a result of a referendum held on May 22, 2015, Ireland became the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage by popular vote.


State-political structure

Legal system

The current constitution was adopted as a result of a plebiscite on July 1, 1937, and entered into force on December 29, 1937. However, despite the fact that she confirmed the country's independence from Great Britain, the last constitutional ties between the states were broken only in 1948, after the adoption of the Irish Republic Act. Later, 23 amendments were adopted to it, the last of which relate to 2009. The official text of the Constitution contains 16 sections, consisting of 50 articles.


State symbols

The coat of arms of Ireland is a golden harp with silver strings on a blue shield. The harp has long been the heraldic symbol of Ireland. In its modern form, the coat of arms was approved on November 9, 1945.

The flag of Ireland is the national symbol of Ireland. The flag has a 1:2 ratio and consists of three stripes - green, white and orange - in sequence from left to right. Green symbolizes Catholics, orange - Protestants, white - peace between the two communities.

The national anthem of Ireland is the Song of the Soldier (Irl. Amhrán na bhFiann), which is also known by its English name. The Soldier's Song. The text was originally written in 1907 by Peadar Kearney in English. The music was then written with Patrick Heeney and Liam Ó Rinn translated the lyrics into Irish. The song's lyrics were first published in English by Bulmer Hobson in the Irish Freedom newspaper in 1912. The song became popular among Irish Republicans and was sung by rebels during the 1916 Easter Rising and later in British prison camps. The Irish text first appeared in print on 3 November 1923 in the Irish Defense Forces magazine An tÓglach.

In 1934, the Irish government bought the song's copyright for £1,200.


State structure

Ireland is a parliamentary republic.



The highest legislative body is the parliament (irl. Tihe-an-Irakhtash - Tithe An Oireachtais "council"), which includes the president and 2 chambers: the House of Representatives (Doyle Eren) and the Senate (Senad Eren).

Doyle Ehren (Irl. Dáil Éireann - "The Assembly of Ireland") from 160 to 170 members elected by the population on the basis of universal, direct and secret suffrage under the proportional representation system. Doyle's meetings are chaired by the Head of the Council (Irl. Ceann Comhairle), elected by Doyle.

The Senate of Ireland (Irl. Seanad Éireann) consists of 60 members, of which 11 are appointed by the Prime Minister, 6 are elected by the National and Dublin Universities, 43 are elected through indirect elections on special lists (candidates for these lists are put forward by various organizations and associations). The electoral college for elections to the Senate consists of approximately 900 members, including members of the House of Representatives, members of county and municipal councils. The term of office of both chambers is up to 7 years. The meetings of the Senate of Ireland are chaired by the chairman (irl. Cathaoirleach "chairman"), who has a deputy (irl. Leas-Chathaoirleach).

Fine Gael, the Labor Party, Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin and the United Left Alliance (a coalition of small left parties) are represented in Doyle Ehren and the Ehren Senate. Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin are represented in the European Parliament.


Executive branch

The President of Ireland (officially called "uakhtaran" in Irish - Irl. Uachtarán; mostly a ceremonial post) is elected by the population for 7 years. The president has the right to convene and dissolve the lower house of parliament at the initiative of the government, he promulgates laws, appoints judges and other senior officials, and leads the armed forces.

The de facto head of the executive branch is tyshah (Taoiseach "leader") - the prime minister, nominated by the House of Representatives and approved by the president. The government also includes a vice-premier (irl. Tánaiste) from among the members of the government. The structure of government is governed by the constitution of Ireland. According to the constitution, the government must consist of 7-15 members of the cabinet, each member of the government must be a member of the Irish Parliament, while the deputies of the Senate, the upper house of the national parliament, can be no more than two members of the cabinet. It is specifically stipulated that the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance must be members of the House of Representatives - Doyle Ehren.

The Prime Minister is appointed by the President on the nomination of Doyle Ehren. The Prime Minister submits for approval by Doyle Ehren cabinet members who are approved by the President. Members of the government are usually referred to as "cabinet ministers", as opposed to the so-called "ministers of state", or "junior ministers", who are not part of the government. Sometimes the government includes a minister without portfolio who is a member of the government but not a government minister.


Judicial branch

The highest judicial body is the Supreme Court (Cúirt Uachtarach); courts of appeal - superior courts (Ard-Chúirt); courts of first instance - district courts (Chúirt Chuarda); the lowest level of the judicial system is the district courts (Chúirt Dúiche).


Political parties

Data on the number of seats in the House of Representatives of Ireland following the 2011 parliamentary elections, as a result of which the government, led by Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny, was formed by a coalition of Fine Gael and Labor.

Fine Gael is a conservative party (76 deputies).
Fianna Fail is a liberal populist party (20 deputies).
Labor Party - Social Democratic (37 deputies);
Green Party of Ireland.
Sinn Fein - left-wing nationalist party (14 deputies);
Socialist Party - Trotskyist Socialist Party (3 deputies);
"People are more important than profit" - the front of the Trotskyist Socialist Labor Party (3 deputies);
The Workers' Party of Ireland ("Official Sinn Féin") is a Marxist-Leninist party;
Communist Party of Ireland;
Irish Republican Socialist Party.

The largest trade union center is the Irish Congress of Trade Unions.


Local Government

The current system of local government is established by the Local Government Act 1898 and enshrined in 1999 by the Twentieth Amendment to the Irish Constitution. There are 26 traditional counties. The Local Government Reform Act 2014 provides for a system of 31 local governments - 26 county councils, two county and city councils (Limerick, Waterford), three city councils (Galway, Dublin and Cork). Second-level administrative divisions (with the exception of the Dublin District and three city councils) are provided - municipal districts, which replace the existing system of city councils.


Armed forces and police

The Supreme Commander of the Irish Army is the President, and the direct command of the armed forces is carried out by the Minister of Defense, under which there is an advisory council.

The ground forces number about 8,500 people. The territory of the country is divided administratively and operationally into three regions, each of which is deployed one infantry brigade. 1st Southern Brigade is located in Cork; 2nd Eastern Brigade - in Dublin; 4th Western Brigade - in Athlone. In service are: small arms - Steyr AUG A1, FN MAG, AI96, M2HB Browning and M203; anti-tank weapons - Carl Gustaf, AT4 and FGM-148 Javelin; artillery systems - Hotchkiss Brandt, Denel Vector M1, L118 and QF 25 pounder; air defense systems - Bofors L70 and RBS-70; armored vehicles - AML-20, AML-90, MOWAG Piranha and FV101 Scorpion.

The number of the Irish Navy is 1144 people, the ship structure is 8 patrol ships. The main base is on Holbowling Island in Cork Bay. The ships bear traditional Irish female names taken from history and Celtic mythology; the name is preceded by the prefix LÉ (Irl. Long Éireannach "Irish ship"): LÉ Emer (P21), LÉ Aoife (P22), LÉ Aisling (P23), LÉ Eithne (P31), LÉ Orla (P41), LÉ Ciara (P42) , LÉ Róisín (P51), LÉ Niamh (P52). All of them were built between 1978 and 2001.

About 920 people serve in the Air Corps of Ireland, 24 air units are in service: aircraft - CASA CN-235, Pilatus PC-9M, Cessna FR172H, BeechCraft SuperKing Air 200, Gulfstream Aerospace Gulfstream IV and Bombardier Learjet 45; helicopters - AgustaWestland AW139 and Eurocopter EC135. The main air force base is located in Dublin.

The police in Ireland is called Garda Shihana (Irl. Garda Síochána na hÉireann). The number of staff is about 14.5 thousand people. The country is divided into regions: Dublin, East, North, West, South and Southeast; which in turn consist of departments and subdivisions where police stations are located. Among the functions of the Garda are the protection of public order, immigration policy, the prevention and detection of crimes, the control of traffic safety, and the provision of national security.

International position and foreign policy
The modern foreign policy of the Republic of Ireland is largely determined by its membership in the European Union, although bilateral relations with the United States and the United Kingdom are also important for the country. Ireland strives for independence in foreign policy, therefore it is not a member of NATO and has long pursued a policy of military neutrality.

In 1955, Ireland became a member of the UN, and since 1958, its troops have been participating in peacekeeping operations.



general information
The population of Ireland is mostly of Celtic origin. According to the 2006 general census, it is 4.24 million people. National minorities make up 420 thousand, i.e. 10%. 275.8 thousand are immigrants from the EU countries (Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania), the rest are from Russia, China, Ukraine, Belarus, Pakistan, Philippines, Nigeria. As of 2019, the United Nations estimated that 833,564 immigrants lived in Ireland, or 17.1% of the country's population.

From the 1840s, when the population of the regions that are now part of the Republic of Ireland, was about 6.5 million, and until the 1970s, there was a constant decline in population - mainly due to high levels of emigration. The annual population growth in the 1980s was only 0.5%, and by 2000 the increase had slowed to 0.41%.

According to the 2016 census, 3,330,141 inhabitants (69.93%) lived in cities of all levels, while in 2011, according to the census, the number of citizens was 3,178,820 inhabitants (69.28%), for the intercensal period the number city ​​dwellers grew by 4.76%, and the share of city dwellers increased by 0.65%.

Cities with a population of more than 40,000 inhabitants according to censuses.

According to the 24 April 2016 census, the population was 4,757,976 inhabitants.


Ethnic composition

According to the 2016 census, the indigenous population is about 83%, including 0.7% of "Irish Travelers" (another 2.6% did not indicate nationality). People from Europe make up 9.5% of the population (relatively large diasporas of the British, Poles and Balts stand apart), from Asia - 2.1%, blacks - 1.3%, "the rest" - 1.5%.



The official languages ​​of the Republic of Ireland are Irish and English (Irish dialect).

The Irish government is taking steps to replace English with a resurgent Irish language. It is taught in schools as a compulsory subject, it is used on national television and radio (channels RTÉ, TG4 (mainly for children), Lá). In April 2005, a law was passed under which all English-language signs on the country's west coast were replaced with Irish ones. In accordance with the new law, toponymic designations in the Gaeltachts, the territories where the position of the Irish language is strongest, must be translated into Irish and cannot be duplicated by English names.

According to the results of the 2016 census, 1.76 million people in the country could speak Irish (Gaelic) to one degree or another. This is more than at the 1996 census (1.43 million), but slightly less than at the time of the 2011 census (1.77 million). Irish is used in everyday communication, however, only 73,803 people (approximately 1.5% of the total population). A significant part of them live compactly in rural areas, along the western coast of the country (see Geltakht).

In Ireland, among the religions, Christianity prevails, among the churches - the Catholic Church. The Irish constitution states that the state cannot support any religion and guarantees freedom of worship. In 2006, 86.8% of the population identified themselves as Roman Catholic, down 1.4% from 4 years ago, although the number of Catholics increased by 218,800.



general information
Ireland's gross domestic product in 2009 was $172.5 billion, down 7.1% from 2008 levels. GDP per capita amounted to about 38.7 thousand dollars (2009). The drop in indicators was the result of the economic crisis of 2008-2009, which severely affected the banking and financial system of Ireland. In 2010, thanks to EU support, it was possible to reduce the rate of decline in economic indicators: GDP fell to 172.5 billion, and in terms of per capita to 39 thousand dollars.

Unemployment in the country as of November 2010 is 13.5%.

In pre-crisis times, from the early 1990s until 2008, the term "Celtic Tiger" was used to describe the economy of Ireland. From 1996 to 2007, the country's GDP increased by an average of 7.1% per year, which exceeded not only the world indicators (3.2%), but also the indicators of fast-growing Asian countries (4.3%). Among the factors that provided the “Celtic economic miracle” are such as: accession to the European Union and the euro area, investment in information technology, telecommunications, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, international and financial services, software products, e-commerce; investment in education, reform of the labor market and the tax system (by 2002, the tax rate for all companies reached 12.5%, which meant a drastic reduction for local companies), investments from the USA (including from Irish Americans), low entry barriers including language.

In the fall of 2010, the banking sector, the real estate market and the country's budget were hit hard by the consequences of the global financial crisis. The government was forced to cut several thousand jobs, cut wages, introduce new taxes, and seek help from the European Union and the IMF for a loan of about 85 billion euros.

As of 2018, the average salary in Ireland is €3,300 (gross) and €2,564 (net) per month. From January 1, 2019, the minimum wage is €1563.25 (gross) and €1509 (net) per month and €9.80 (gross) per hour.



Previously, the country used the Irish pound or punt as its national currency, and in 1999 Ireland became one of the eleven EU states that introduced the single European currency, the euro, on their territory. Banknotes in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 share the same design as the rest of the countries on the continent, however, the coins have their own design: they depict the Celtic harp - the traditional symbol of Ireland, as well as the year of issue and the word Éire.


Industry, energy and IT

By the beginning of the 21st century, the key sectors of the Irish economy are: pharmaceuticals, the production of medical equipment, information and multimedia technologies, mechanical engineering, and the food industry.

Ireland's electronics industry consists of the following sectors - components, computers, semiconductors, software development and production, telecommunications and information communications. In terms of total production in these sectors, Ireland ranks 19th in the world. The country has an advantage over its European neighbors due to heavy US investment, low manufacturing and trading costs, great workforce flexibility, high productivity levels, and close links between schools and industries. Ireland has subsidiaries of six of the world's largest IT manufacturers - IBM, Intel, Hewlett Packard, Dell, Oracle, Microsoft, as well as about 300 other large local companies, which together account for about a third of the country's total exports.

Also located in Ireland are many large pharmaceutical manufacturers - Liptor, Zocor, Weyth, Schering-Plough, Merck & Co., Pfizer, Novartis, Allergan, GlaxoSmithKline, etc., as well as several medical device companies - Boston Scientific, Becton Dickinson, Bausch & Lomb, Abbott, Johnson & Johnson and Striker. Most of the pharmaceutical factories are located in the southern part of Ireland. About a third of the 150 pharmaceutical companies are small local firms. They mainly produce generics, vitamins and dietary supplements, and also fulfill orders from foreign manufacturers.

In the field of mechanical engineering, the industry for the production of agricultural equipment is the most developed. Several Irish companies are world leaders in this field; their products are used in animal husbandry, the dairy industry, and crop production.


The light industry in Ireland is represented mainly by small and medium-sized businesses, and the annual export of the industry as a whole is 1 billion euros per year. Traditionally, products from wool, linen, silk are made here - tablecloths, napkins, carpets, scarves, scarves, shawls, etc. Some companies unite under common brands, such as Fabric Ireland, to enter new world markets.

Among the manufacturing industries, the food industry occupies a large share. The country traditionally produces beer, whiskey, dairy and meat products, flour, sugar, tobacco products and other goods of great export importance.

Energy in Ireland is based on the consumption of natural gas, coal, peat and oil and is represented mainly by thermal power plants, which generate up to 95% of electricity. The country has the world's largest power plants (Edenderry - 128 MW; Lanesborough - 150 MW; West Offlay - 150 MW.), working on peat (produce more than 15% of electricity). Hydroelectric power plants account for only 4% of total electricity generation. In total, the country produces about 1.574 million tons of oil equivalent. e., while even up to 13.353 million toe. e. imported (according to 2002 data). The Irish energy market is currently dominated by Bord Gais, as well as smaller players such as Viridian's Energia, Vayu, Flogas and Gazprom Marketing and Trading Ltd (a subsidiary of Gazprom).

Significant efforts are being made in Ireland to increase the use of renewable and sustainable forms of energy, in particular wind power, with a large number of Airtricity wind farms along coastal areas.



The contribution of the extractive industry to Ireland's GDP is about 3%.

Ireland is rich in minerals such as zinc (9 million tons), lead (1.7 million tons), silver (1 million tons), barite (1 million tons), there are also proven reserves of gold (5 thousand tons), copper ( 110 thousand tons), coal (29 million tons) and natural gas (20 billion m³). Coal deposits and mines for its extraction are concentrated in the counties of Kilkenny and Carlow; in the central part of Ireland, the post-magmatic lead-zinc deposit of Shelley-Silvermines; in the Avoki area there is a copper-pyrite deposit. Sand, gravel and stone are being mined for the needs of the construction industry. In the absence of diversity and sufficient mineral resources, the main mineral resource in the country is peat, which is mined at the level of 5 million tons per year. At the same time, it is processed for energy needs by two peat briquette plants.


Agriculture and fishing

Livestock plays a leading role in Irish agriculture: it accounts for about 80% of GDP in this sector of the economy. Up to 2 million hectares are used for pastures, while the livestock consists of 11 million poultry, 7 million cattle and 4 million sheep. The main products of this industry: milk and dairy products (about 5 million tons per year), beef, wool. The cattle breeding areas are concentrated in the south and east of the country, as well as around Dublin; pig-breeding gravitates towards the western counties. The largest beef producers are united in BQAS (The Beef Quality Assurance Scheme), pork in PQAS (Pigmeat Quality Assurance Scheme), chicken eggs in EQAS (Egg Quality Assurance Scheme), etc., which are control systems quality of products both at the farmer level and at processing enterprises.

The main agricultural crops are wheat, oats, potatoes, barley and sugar beets; they occupy almost 240 thousand hectares of land. There are about 140,000 family farms in Ireland, with an average size of 29 hectares. The main agricultural lands are located in the southern, central and eastern regions of the country. Some counties specialize in certain varieties for planting: Cork and Wicklow favor winter wheat and barley; in Carlow they cultivate oats with rapeseed, etc.

In the coastal waters of Ireland, intensive fishing is carried out. As of 2001, about 1.4 thousand vessels participated in the fishery, which caught up to 300 thousand tons of fish. Main commercial species: herring, anchovy, haddock, cod, mackerel. Major fishing ports: Dun Laare, Skerries, Dublin and its environs. Aquaculture is also actively developing in the country. The Irish successfully breed trout, mussels, salmon, lobsters. Since the early 2000s, the country's authorities have been strictly monitoring this sector of the economy. In total, Ireland has 7 regional fisheries committees that monitor the implementation of laws on environmental protection and fishing regulations. Government licenses are required to fish, especially salmon and sea trout, in any part of Ireland. In addition, it is necessary to mark and account for each individual caught. The adopted unified program for the management of fish farms in the country is designed to protect and reduce the death of fish as a result of pollution of water resources or the actions of poachers, increase the number of livestock, and improve the culture of fishing.

In general, Ireland's agriculture is subsidized: since the early 1990s, state subsidies have almost doubled - from 400 million to 800 million euros, while 2/3 of them were for cattle breeding, and 15% for growing cereals. The share of fisheries by 2009 accounted for about 120 million euros of subsidies.


Banking and financial sector

The main body that regulates financial services in the country is the Central Bank of Ireland. Its goal is to maintain stability in the euro area, as well as the development and implementation of a single monetary policy, foreign exchange operations, management of official foreign exchange reserves, etc. All major European banking institutions are represented in Ireland, divided into three main categories : settlement banks, trade and commercial banks, industrial banks. The largest of them: National Irish Banks, Ulster Bank, Bank of Ireland, Allied Irish Banks, Anglo Irish Bank, EBS Bank, ICS Building Society, ACCBank, etc.

The Irish Stock Exchange was founded in 1793 and is one of the oldest stock exchanges in Europe. The key stock index is ISEQ 20, which includes 20 companies with the largest trading volume and the largest capitalization. The index calculation base includes the following companies: Aer Lingus Group, Aryzta, Bank of Ireland, CRH, C&C Group, Fyffes, Dragon Oil, Green REIT, FBD Holdings, Glanbia, Irish Continental Group, Kenmare Resources, Origin Enterprises, Providence Resources, Kerry Group, Kingspan Group, Paddy Power, Ryanair, Smurfit Kappa Group, Total Produce.

As a result of the financial crisis of 2008-2011, banks were hit hard by the collapse of the domestic real estate market; as real estate developers occupied a significant place in the loan portfolio of Irish financial institutions. Developers invested several billion euros in overvalued land and speculated on arable land. At the same time, loans grew to 28% of the country's total bank loans, that is, they became approximately equal to the sum of all public deposits in retail banks. In 2008, the government announced measures to save the country's banking system: state guarantees were given that covered all deposits, bonds and debts. However, the situation only worsened, and the market capitalization collapsed. Then the state decided to nationalize Anglo Irish Bank, which had a market capitalization of less than 2% of its peak in 2007. After that, two more large banks collapsed, which at the beginning of 2009 had a drop in shares of up to 50% per day. In 2010, after long refusals of EU assistance, Ireland nevertheless decided to take a loan to help banks from a special European fund in the amount of 80-90 billion euros at 5% per annum.


Foreign economic relations

Historically, neighboring Great Britain, which is one of the main trade partners of the country, plays an important role in the structure of Ireland's foreign trade turnover. However, over the past 20 years there has been a decline in the volume of economic ties: in 1983, Ireland's exports to the United Kingdom were 38%, and imports from there - 49%; then by 2005, these figures fell to 18% and 31%, respectively. At the same time, the role of trade relations with the United States has steadily increased over the past 15 years due to the active investment of capital by American companies in the Irish economy. This was reflected in the growth of Irish exports to North America, which rose from 10% in 1983-1990 to 20% in 2004. Imports from the US during this time also rose steadily to almost 16% in 2005.


A significant strengthening of trade relations with Europe began after the country's transition to the euro currency. The volume of exports to the EU increased in the period 1970-2000 from 21% to 45%; however, Ireland is the only EU member state that has two non-eurozone countries as main trading partners. Trade with Asian countries has also grown significantly over the past 20 years, as evidenced by the volume of imports. It has tripled to 18% of the total, while Ireland's exports to Asia have tripled to 10%. In particular, China has become the fourth supplier of imported goods to Ireland after the USA, Great Britain and Germany.

Main markets for food products: Great Britain (39%), continental Europe (35%), other countries (26%). In the total share of exports of food industry products, milk (32%), beef (22%), semi-finished products (19%) and drinks (12%) take first place, the rest have lower figures - pork and poultry (6%), seafood (4%), lamb (3%), vegetables (2%).

Ireland imports a large amount of energy for its needs: up to 90% of the natural gas it needs.

As of 2017, the volume of exports amounted to 159 billion dollars, and imports - 84 billion dollars, the positive balance of foreign trade - 75.2 billion dollars.

Almost 56% of exports (in 2017) accounted for chemical products, including packaged medicines (17%), followed by industrial and household machinery, equipment and electronics (15.7%), including integrated circuits (4, 6%). The rest of the exports were devices and tools (9.1%), including medical and orthopedic (6.9%), food products and semi-finished products, including malt extract (1.4%), beef (1.1%) , various dairy products.

Top buyers: US (25%), UK (12%), Belgium and Luxembourg (9.7%)

Imports were dominated by chemical goods, semi-finished products (21.7%), vehicles (18.3%), mainly aircraft (16%) and cars (3.2%), as well as other manufactured goods (including computers and office machines). ) - up to 17.5%.

Top Suppliers: UK (25%), US (21%), Germany (10%)


Tax system

The main tax in Ireland is a tax on individuals, that is, income tax. There are also taxes on capital gains, capital gains (including inheritance tax), utility taxes (real estate income tax) and stamp duty on real estate transactions. In Ireland, taxation of individuals is based on the principle of residence or the principle of registration. All residents pay according to the Pay-As-You-Earn system, that is, every week or every month the tax is withheld from the employer. People running their own businesses are responsible for paying their own taxes, according to the Self Assessment system. Standard tax - from 20% to the minimum acceptable level of income. All income above this level is already taxed at 42%.

In 1990-2000, Ireland became one of the world's largest corporate offshore zones ("Double Irish with a Dutch sandwich"), which had a positive impact on the success of attracting international financial institutions. If an offshore company is located in Ireland, its worldwide income is subject to Irish corporate taxation. However, the benefits that the firm can reap in this case are the ability to reduce tax rates to the level of 10% and use the tax agreements concluded by Ireland with other countries to mitigate Irish and foreign taxes. Under the production subject to this low tax is understood several areas of economic activity, among which: work in the chemical, electrical, mechanical industries and civil engineering, which are carried out outside the countries that are members of the Economic Community; industrial breeding of fish and cultivation of mushrooms; repair and maintenance of aircraft or ships; certain types of computer processing of databases and services; export of goods through the Special Trading House; cultivation of plants grown by micropropagation or vegetative propagation; production of photographic, film and tape recordings, etc.

The preferential regime attracted banks and foreign capital to the country. For example, the Dublin International Financial Services Center (IFSC) specializes in processing banking information for Citibank, Merrill Lynch, Daiwa, ABN Amro and another four hundred foreign banks. however, it may actually be even lower, as high asset depreciation rates are allowed. Ireland has a very wide network of double tax treaties, which consists of 15 treaties. Tax treaties of different degrees and nature of benefits have been concluded with different countries. In accordance with these agreements, interest on loans, royalty payments, rental payments from the ownership of aircraft and real estate are almost completely exempted from taxes "at source". As far as dividends are concerned, the tax regime here depends on the tax treaties and domestic tax laws of each country. Significant tax savings in dividend transfer transactions are provided by tax agreements with Belgium, Denmark, Scotland, Germany, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and Russia.



Much of Ireland's transport system is in the public domain. Ireland's road networks developed independently in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, while the rail network was largely formed before the division of Ireland.

Public road and rail networks, public transport, airports and some other matters in Ireland are handled by the Minister for Transport through the Department for Transport. Although some sections of the highways were built with private or public-private funds and have the status of toll roads, they are owned by the Government of Ireland. The rail network is also owned and operated by the state, while only the main airports are owned by the government. Public transport is primarily in the hands of a statutory company, Córas Iompair Éireann (CIÉ), and its subsidiaries Bus Átha Cliath (Dublin Bus), Bus Éireann (Bus Service) and Iarnród Éireann (Rail Service).

On November 1, 2005, the government released the Transport 21 plan, which included spending 18 million euros for road development and 16 million for railways, including the Western Railway Corridor and the Dublin Underground.



Tourism in Ireland is one of the important sectors of the economy, with more than 6.2 million people visiting the country every year, which is about 1.4 times the size of Ireland's own population. Ireland's tourism industry employs over 200,000 people and generates around €5 billion in annual tourism revenue. and Ireland's, was named the best travel site in the world. Most of the tourists visiting Ireland come from the UK, USA, Germany and France.


Social sphere

In 2016, the average life expectancy in Ireland was 81 years and eight months.

Science and education
Education in the Republic of Ireland is three-stage: primary, secondary and higher. The academic year starts in September and ends in May. Education is compulsory for all children between the ages of 6 and 16, or who have completed three years of the second level of education and passed the Junior Certificate examination. Pre-school education is available for children from 4 years old.


Culture and art


The main surviving monuments of the Paleolithic era are graves and monuments that previously marked burial sites. One of the most famous in Ireland - dolmens, massive three-core structures, were erected 4-5 thousand years ago. Another special form of burial is gallery graves, such as Newgrange. The very first Irish fortresses date back to the Bronze Age and are round forts on an earthen and stone rampart with a palisade and a moat around. One of these was reconstructed in County Cork near Clonakilty. Some fortifications were already at that time built entirely of stone, for example, in Inishmore in the Aran Islands.

In the 5th century, Christianity came to Ireland, and the construction of churches began throughout the island. Initially, they were quite simple - roofed with wood or solid stone. With the appearance of monasteries and the growth of their influence, the size of structures also increased (for example, the monastery in the Glendalough valley or the cathedrals of Clonmacnoise). Also, one of the architectural symbols of that time was round towers with conical roofs. During the Viking raids at the end of the 9th - beginning of the 10th centuries, they were built throughout the country, and were both shelters and observation posts. In 1169, along with the Normans, the Gothic style came to Ireland: high vaulted windows and V-shaped arches. Notable examples are Christ Church in Dublin and St Canice's Cathedral in County Kilkenny.

During the reign of the four Georges (1714-1837), the architectural appearance of the country's largest cities changed significantly. So, Dublin began to be built up in the corresponding Georgian style with elegant houses with red brick terraces, with small windows and carved doorways. However, in the middle of the 20th century, many buildings of that time were badly damaged. Some examples have been preserved in the Marrion Square area. During the years of English rule in Ireland, many classical Palladian manors were built, such as Castletown (1722) near Celbridge and Russborough House (1741) near Blessington. The German architect Richard Cassels, who arrived in Ireland in 1728, became the author of many landmark buildings for Irish architecture: Leinster House in Dublin and Powerscourt in County Wicklow.

Modern architectural trends did not penetrate Ireland for quite some time. The first building in the Art Nouveau style, Dublin Central Bus Station, was built here only in 1950 according to the design of Michael Scott. His work has inspired many Irish architects, and in 1967 the Berkeley Library at Trinity College Metropolitan (by Paul Koralik) was hailed as the finest example of contemporary Irish architecture. Since the beginning of the 1980s, the architectural heritage in the form of historical buildings, monuments, castles and temples has been given quite a lot of attention by the authorities and society. So, in Dublin, the previously abandoned ancient district of Temple Bar was restored. In addition, the building boom has led to the emergence of a large number of modern eclectic buildings in and around the capital (for example, the Financial Services Center and Custom House Square).



Irish literature is the third oldest literature in Europe (after Greek and Roman). Its ancestor is considered to be St. Patrick (5th century, as the author of the "Confession", written in Latin).

Three representatives of Ireland received the Nobel Prize in Literature: William Butler Yeats (1923), Samuel Beckett (1969), Seamus Heaney (1995). Among the largest British writers there are many Irish by birth or closely associated with Ireland (J. Swift, O. Goldsmith, R. B. Sheridan, Maria Edgeworth, T. Mine Reed, O. Wilde, A. Conan Doyle, Bernard Shaw, etc. ).


Painting and sculpture

Irish art during the period of English domination was usually considered within the framework of the English school of painting. After the 17th century, many Irish painters and sculptors achieved prominence, with the result that we can talk about the formation of the Irish school of painting. The Irish painters George Barrett and Nathaniel Hone Sr., along with Sir Joshua Reynolds, were co-founders of the Royal Academy in 1768. James Arthur O'Connor was a prominent landscape painter of the period, and Daniel Maclise created world-famous frescoes in the Royal Gallery of the House of Lords.

Among the Irish painters of the 19th century, Nathaniel Hawn Jr. and Walter F. Osborne, as well as the post-impressionist Roderick O'Conor, gained European fame. One of the leading masters of expressionism is now recognized as Jack Butler Yeats, son of the artist John Butler Yeats and brother of the poet William Butler Yeats. Recently, the work of cubist artist Maini Jellet and church stained glass master Evie Hone has received recognition.



Irish musicians were known throughout Europe by the 12th century. The most famous of these was the blind harpist Turlaf O'Carolan, who composed some 200 compositions, mostly for his patrons.

Irish folk music is very diverse: from lullabies to drinking songs, from slow instrumental melodies to fast fiery dances, and in them the use of variations and nuances of rhythm and melody plays a huge role. Traditional Irish dance music includes reels (4/4 time signature), jigs (6/8 time signature is the most common), and hornpipes. Since the beginning of the 19th century, polka has been popular in Ireland, brought by dance teachers and soldiers returning from Europe. Set dances supposedly have existed since the 18th century. Later, the mazurka appeared in Ireland as a variant of the Scottish strassey.

In the 20th century, a revival of the Irish tradition began; the accordion and concertina became popular, and Irish tap and keley competitions began to be held, widely supported by the educational system and patriotic organizations. Shan-nos (Irl. sean-nós, "old style") became popular, a style of performing songs and dances in the old manner.

Thanks to the widespread emigration of the Irish to the USA, Irish music became widely known in America, and from there - all over the world; the musicians who had been on tour, in turn, made pro-American changes in their style of performance.

Ireland has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest (Irl. Comórtas Amhránaíochta na hEoraifíse) every year since 1965, except for 1983 and 2002. The country took first place 7 times, second place 4 times, third place once.



The first national theater in Ireland, the Abbey Theatre, opened in Dublin on 27 December 1904.

The history of the development of the Irish theater is closely connected with the war for the independence of the country that took place in the years of its formation. Members of the troupe of the Abbey Theater themselves participated in it.



Irish dances include:
Irish solo dances (English Irish Stepdance). Their distinguishing feature is fast and clear leg movements while remaining motionless body and arms. Irish solo dances were created by Irish dance masters in the 18th-19th centuries and quite rigidly standardized by the Irish Dance Commission at the beginning of the 20th century in Ireland as a result of the activities of the Gaelic League, which eventually made it possible to create a numerous school of masters capable of performing quite complex dance techniques. It is on this technique that the spectacle of Riverdance and similar shows is based.
Irish keili (Irl. céilí) are pair and group dances based on the standard steps of Irish solo dances. Keili schemes are also formalized by the Irish Dance Commission.
Choreographed Figure Dances are based on standard Irish solo dances and ceili figures, but are focused on the mass performance of many dancers at once within the framework of staged shows, and therefore allow various deviations from the standards in order to increase entertainment. As a result of the development of this particular direction, Riverdance and other equally famous Irish dance shows were created.
Set dancing is a paired Irish social dance. Unlike keili, they are based on the relatively simple steps of French quadrilles.
Shan-nose (Irl. sean-nós) is a special style of performance of traditional Irish songs and dances, not affected by the activities of dance masters and the Gaelic League, and preserved in the Irish region of Connemara.
During the period of the English colonization of Ireland, the mother country continuously pursued all manifestations of Irish culture. The "punitive laws" that were introduced by the British in the middle of the 17th century forbade the teaching of anything to the Irish, including music and dance. The rise of interest in Irish dancing came after the performance of Riverdance at the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest.



In the past, many films in Ireland were censored or even banned by it, mainly due to the influence of the Catholic Church. The Irish Film Classification Office is committed to the view that the viewer can make a choice and aims to study and classify films. In general, the Irish film industry has recently been growing, and the number of people employed in it has grown from 1000 to 6000 in the period 2003-2009.



A number of public holidays are celebrated in Ireland; such holidays include Christmas, St. Patrick's Day, Easter and others. There is a system of transferring the dates of the celebration depending on the day of the week on which they fall.



In everyday life, butter, milk, cheeses, fish are used; the "Irish breakfast" includes toast, scrambled eggs, sausages, bacon, white pudding and black pudding, tomatoes, fish and chips are popular from fast food. Traditional dishes include Irish stew; The potato has been a staple in the diet of the Irish, especially the poor, since the 18th century.



Sport in Ireland is popular and widespread. Participation levels in sports tournaments are high, but in the western regions participation is declining due to the increasing popularity of other things such as television and computer games. The country has a wide variety of sports, the most popular of which are Gaelic football and boxing; 34% of athletes are involved in football, 23% in boxing. Gaelic football and boxing are considered the national sport of Ireland. Traditional Irish competitive sports are governed by the Gaelic Athletic Association, which has 800,000 amateur athletes.


Mass media

There are more than 85 Internet providers operating in the country.