Europe: Ireland

About Ireland

A failed 1916 Easter Monday Rebellion touched off several years of guerrilla warfare that in 1921 resulted in independence from the UK for the 26 southern counties; the six northern counties (Ulster) remained part of Great Britain. 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, approved in 1998, was implemented the following year.

Vital Statistics
Capitol City: Dublin
Population: 3,840,838 (July 2001 est.)
Percent below poverty: 10% (1997 est.)
Language: English is the language generally used, Irish (Gaelic) spoken mainly in areas located along the western seaboard
Date of independence: 6 December 1921 (from UK by treaty)
Form of government: republic
Title of Leader: President
Natural Resources: zinc, lead, natural gas, barite, copper, gypsum, limestone, dolomite, peat, silver
Environmental Issues: water pollution, especially of lakes, from agricultural runoff
Agricultural Products: turnips, barley, potatoes, sugar beets, wheat; beef, dairy products
Imports: data processing equipment, other machinery and equipment, chemicals; petroleum and petroleum products, textiles, clothing
Exports: machinery and equipment, computers, chemicals, pharmaceuticals; live animals, animal products
Trading Partners: IMPORTS: EU 54% (UK 29%, Germany 6%, France 5%), US 18%, Japan 5%, Singapore 4% (2000)
EXPORTS: EU 59% (UK 19%, Germany 9%, France 7%), US 20% (2000)


Ireland Headlines


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