Where is Ireland located?

What countries border Ireland?

Ireland Weather

What is the current weather in Ireland?


Ireland Facts and Culture

What is Ireland famous for?

  • Family: Families are close-knit. The Constitution of the Irish State guarantees the preservation of the family and the institution of marriage.... More
  • Fashion: European fashions with an Irish influence is common. Clothes worn in public are conservative. Shorts, flashy colors and styles are... More
  • Visiting: When visiting one may be within a traditional cottage in the countryside which are built of stone and have thatched... More
  • Recreation: TRADITIONAL SPORTS A distinctive Irish sport is hurling or camogie (the female version). The sport, which was invented about 4,000 years... More
  • Cultural Attributes: Friendship is an important part of Irish culture. Loyalty to family and friends is highly valued and many Irish legends... More
  • Diet: Irish cooking is based on meat, potatoes and vegetables, such as onions and cabbage. Potatoes are particularly important in the... More

Ireland Facts

What is the capital of Ireland?

Capital Dublin
Government Type parliamentary republic
Total Area 27,132 Square Miles
70,273 Square Kilometers
Location Western Europe, occupying five-sixths of the island of Ireland in the North Atlantic Ocean, west of Great Britain
Language English (official, the language generally used), Irish (Gaelic or Gaeilge) (official, spoken mainly in areas along the western coast)
GDP - real growth rate 4.8%
GDP - per capita (PPP) $54,300.00 (USD)

Ireland Demographics

What is the population of Ireland?

Ethnic Groups Irish 87.4%, other white 7.5%, Asian 1.3%, black 1.1%, mixed 1.1%, unspecified 1.6%
Nationality Adjective Irish
Nationality Noun Irishman(men), Irishwoman(women), Irish (collective plural)
Population 5,176,569
Population Growth Rate 1.16%
Population in Major Urban Areas DUBLIN (capital) 1.121 million
Predominant Language English (official, the language generally used), Irish (Gaelic or Gaeilge) (official, spoken mainly in areas along the western coast)
Urban Population 62.2%

Ireland Government

What type of government does Ireland have?

  • Executive Branch: chief of state: President Michael D. HIGGINS (since 11 November 2011) head of government: Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Leo VARADKAR (since 14... More
  • Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal More
  • Citizenship: citizenship by birth: yes citizenship by descent: yes dual citizenship recognized: yes residency requirement for naturalization: 4 of the previous 8 years More
  • National Holiday: Saint Patrick's Day, 17 March More
  • Constitution: history: previous 1922; latest drafted 14 June 1937, adopted by plebiscite 1 July 1937, effective 29 December 1937 amendments: proposed as... More
  • Independence: 6 December 1921 (from the UK by treaty) More

Ireland Geography

What environmental issues does Ireland have?

  • Overview: The island of Ireland ("Éire" in the Irish language) is divided politically into two parts: Ireland and Northern Ireland. Ireland... More
  • Climate: temperate maritime; modified by North Atlantic Current; mild winters, cool summers; consistently humid; overcast about half the time More
  • Border Countries: UK 360 km More
  • Environment - Current Issues: water pollution, especially of lakes, from agricultural runoff More
  • 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... More
  • Terrain: mostly level to rolling interior plain surrounded by rugged hills and low mountains; sea cliffs on west coast More

Ireland Economy

How big is the Ireland economy?

  • Economic Overview: Ireland is a small, modern, trade-dependent economy. It was among the initial group of 12 EU nations that began circulating... More
  • Industries: pharmaceuticals, chemicals, computer hardware and software, food products, beverages and brewing; medical devices More
  • Export Partners: US 22.3%, UK 16.1%, Belgium 15.5%, Germany 7%, France 5.7%, Switzerland 4.2% More
  • Import Partners: UK 39.8%, US 13%, Germany 7.8%, Netherlands 5.8% More

Ireland News & Current Events

What current events are happening in Ireland?
Source: Google News

Interesting Ireland Facts

What unique things can you discover about Ireland?

  • The birthday child is lifted upside down and “bumped” on the floor for good luck. The number of bumps given is the age of the child plus one for extra good luck.
  • According to legend, St. Brendan was an Irish monk who crossed the Atlantic in a boat made of wood and leather in the 6th century. Modern sailors have repeated his voyage to Labrador in a similar boat and believe that such a feat was possible.
  • During the Potato Famine of 1845 to 1851, Ireland's population dropped by half. A million Irish starved to death and millions more left Ireland and emigrated to countries around the world.
  • Famous Irish-Canadians include Guy Carleton, governor of Quebec in the 18th century, Thomas D'Arcy McGee, one of the fathers of Confederation, and Timothy Eaton, founder of the T. Eaton Company..
  • February 1 is St. Brigid's Day, a church festival and a school holiday. St. Brigid is considered Ireland's second patron saint. On this day, children make crosses from rushes and hang them in their homes for good luck.
  • In 1845, before the Potato Famine, more than a third of the population relied almost exclusively on potatoes for food. The average worker ate up to 6 kilograms of potatoes a day. Even today, the Irish eat more potatoes per capita than the people of any other European country.
  • In 1998, Parks Canada unveiled a monument to Irish immigrants on Grosse Ile in the St. Lawrence River. Irish immigrants were quarantined on the island before they entered Canada. In the 1830s, thousands of Irish people died of cholera there and in the 1840s, thousands more died of typhus and were buried on the island.
  • In the 17th century, Irish Catholics were forbidden to own land. Many lived in wagons and travelled from place to place to find work. Today, several thousand “travellers” still live in caravans and camp along the roadside.
  • In the 18th century, when the British banned Catholic schools, many Irish children attended secret classes held outdoors, known as “hedge schools.” There were no textbooks and the teachers taught from memory.
  • Ireland per capita drinks the most milk in the world with the average per person each year consuming 164.46 quarts (that's approx. 1.8 cups per person each day or 656 cups per year).
  • Irish stone crosses dating back to the 9th and 10th century can be found throughout the country. Many are decorated with carvings depicting scenes from the Gospels. The circle surrounding the centre of the cross represents eternity.
  • Irish words that have entered the English language include banshee, galore, bother, smithereen, hooligan, tantrum and donnybrook.
  • Many of Ireland's glassworks, such as Waterford, were founded in the 18th century. The industry declined in the 19th century because of heavy taxes, restrictions on exports and the Potato Famine. In the 1940s, a group of Irish businessmen re-established several glass factories. By the 1980s, Waterford had become the world's largest producer of crystal.
  • Peat, or “young coal,” is a type of fuel composed of plants that have decayed in marshes and swamps. Peat bogs cover more than 15% of Ireland. The peat is cut into bricks and dried. Peat can be burned for heat in homes or used to generate electricity in power plants.
  • Potatoes have been a staple of the Irish diet for hundreds of years. In the mid-1800’s, a plant disease wiped out the potato crop. About one million people died from starvation and another one million left the country.
  • Rather than saying “goodbye,” an Irish person may say “safe home.” Another expression is “God bless the work,” a greeting used when entering the company of a person who is working. When the Irish say “great craic” (pronounced “crack), they mean they are having fun.
  • The Irish Catholic Church sends missionaries to every continent. Currently there are more than 4,500 Irish missionaries working in 85 countries in Africa, Asia, Central and South America and the Pacific Islands.
  • The Irish have made many contributions to medicine. In 1847, Robert MacDonnell became the first doctor to anaesthetize a patient before surgery. Francis Rynd (1801-61) invented the hypodermic syringe, which allowed doctors to give morphine by injection rather than by mouth.
  • The Irish invented steeplechasing-a cross-country event in which horseback riders race across country towards a distant landmark like a steeple, jumping over hedges, ditches, banks and walls on the way. The first race, held in 1752 in Cork County, started at Buttevant and ended at Doneraile Church steeple.

Watch video on Ireland

What can you learn about Ireland in this video?

Ireland Guide YouTube, Expoza Travel

Ireland Travel Information

What makes Ireland a unique country to travel to?

Country Description

Ireland is a highly developed democracy with a modern economy. Tourist facilities are widely available.

Crime

A Garda Síochána (Garda), translated as "Guardians of the Peace of Ireland,” is the national police force providing all state security, policing and immigration enforcement duties countrywide. Ireland has a relatively low rate of violent crime. Petty crime and residential crime is much more common, especially in urban and tourist areas. Rates for residential break-ins, theft, burglary, and purse-snatching have all risen in recent years, and thieves often target rental cars and tourists, particularly in the vicinity of tourist attractions. In rare cases, these crimes have involved physical assault or violence, more commonly in Dublin. Avoid parks after dark and avoid showing signs of affluence in addition to guarding your valuables, passport and wallet. We recommend you leave your passport in a secure location separate from your purse or luggage. Do not leave your drinks unattended at bars or restaurants, as there have been reported incidents of drinks being spiked with illegal substances, leading to robbery and sexual assaults. Please practice sound personal security practices and maintain an awareness of your surroundings during your stay in Ireland.

ATM Fraud: Crimes involving ATMs are a concern. Protect your PIN at all times and look closely at ATMs for evidence of tampering before use. Criminals have used “skimmers” on ATMs, especially in tourist areas. Skimmers are usually small electronic devices attached to the outside of an ATM to steal the ATM or credit card data. Most ATMs in Ireland now have signs or electronic warnings that advise customers to look closely at the ATM for evidence of tampering before using. Be aware that in busy areas, thieves use distraction techniques such as waiting until the PIN has been entered and then pointing to money on the ground or asking for loose change. While the ATM user is distracted, another person will quickly withdraw the cash and leave. If you are distracted in any way, cancel the transaction immediately. If the machine does not return your card, report the incident to the issuing bank right away.

Internet scams: Online fraud scams have been reported in recent years, and travelers should verify through local authorities, family, or friends, the authenticity of any solicited or unsolicited requests for assistance. If you receive an email from family or friends requesting assistance, we advise you to try first to contact the loved one at the last known phone number and/or to verify the story/circumstances with a neutral third party you know and trust before sending any funds.You should view with skepticism any unsolicited invitations to travel to Ireland to collect winnings or an inheritance. There are no licenses or fees required when transiting Irish airports, emergency medical treatment is never withheld pending payment of fees, and hotels in Ireland will not detain guests for lack of funds without involving the police. A claim that a hospital or hotel will not let someone depart until the bill is settled is usually a sign of a scam. Visit the U.S. Department of State's website for more information on International Internet Financial Scams and how to protect yourself.

Do not buy counterfeit and pirated goods, even if they are widely available. Not only are the bootlegs illegal to bring back into the United States, you may be breaking local law, too.

Criminal Penalties

While you are traveling in Ireland, you are subject to local laws even if you are a U.S. citizen. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different from our own. If you break local laws in Ireland, your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution. It is very important to know what’s legal and what’s not where you are going. In some circumstances, driving under the influence could land you immediately in jail. These criminal penalties will vary from country to country. There are also some things that might be legal in the country you visit, but still illegal in the United States. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime in Ireland and also prosecutable in the United States.

Persons violating Ireland’s laws, including its tough drunk-driving rules, even unknowingly, may be arrested, imprisoned and/or deported. Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking illegal drugs in Ireland are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines.

Arrest notifications in host country: Based on the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, bilateral agreements with certain countries, and customary international law, if you are arrested in Ireland you have the option to request that the police, prison officials, or other authorities alert the U.S. Embassy of your arrest.

Medical Facilities and Health Information

Modern medical facilities and highly skilled medical practitioners are available in Ireland, but due to high demand, access to medical specialists and admissions to hospitals for certain non-life-threatening medical conditions may result in extensive waiting lists. It is not unusual for emergency room (ER) services to be very busy or for post-treatment admissions to include a long wait (sometimes overnight) on a gurney in a hallway rather than in a shared or private room.

Over-the-counter medications of most types are available, but many U.S. brands are not. (Ask the pharmacist about substitutes.) Some medications available over the counter in the United States may require a prescription in Ireland. Irish pharmacists may not be able to dispense medication prescribed by U.S. physicians and may direct you to obtain a prescription from an Irish doctor before providing your required medication.

If you are traveling to Ireland and may require medical treatment while in the country, consult your personal physician prior to traveling. A list of Irish general practitioners in each area of Ireland may be obtained from the website of the Irish College of General Practitioners. Emergency services usually respond quickly.

Safety and Security

Travelers should exercise sound personal safety practices to minimize their chance of becoming a victim of petty street crime. Travelers should be aware of their surroundings and avoid unlighted, non-tourist areas

We remind you that even demonstrations and protests intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly escalate into violence. You should avoid the areas of such gatherings if possible, and be careful within the vicinity of any demonstrations. You should stay current with media coverage of local events and be aware of your surroundings at all times.

Travelers to Northern Ireland from the Republic of Ireland should consult the Country Specific Information for the United Kingdom and Gibraltar for more detailed information. Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom but shares a mostly unpatrolled land border with the Republic of Ireland.

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions

Motorists drive on the left side of the road in Ireland, and road conditions can differ significantly from those in the United States. If you do not have experience driving on the left, you should be especially cautious as tourists driving on the incorrect side of the road are the cause of several serious accidents each year. Most intersections in Ireland use circular “roundabouts” instead of signals, and it is important that motorists pay close attention to signs and yield the right of way to those already in the roundabout. At signals, turning on a red light is illegal; you must wait for either a full green (any direction turn permitted) or directional green light (which could be straight, left, or right) before proceeding with caution. Most rental cars in Ireland have manual transmission; it can be difficult to find automatic transmission rental cars.

Road conditions are generally good, but once you exit the main highways, country roads are likely to be narrow, uneven, and winding. Roads are more dangerous during the summer and on holiday weekends due to increased traffic. Police periodically set up road blocks to check for drunk drivers. Penalties for driving under the influence can be severe.

You may use your existing U.S. driving license in Ireland for a temporary stay; this can be for any period of time up to a maximum of one year. Some insurance and car rental companies may request an International Driving Permit in addition to your existing driving license. If you wish to apply for an International Driving Permit, please contact the American Automobile Association. You are required to apply for an Irish driving license if you become a resident of Ireland.

More information on driving in Ireland can be found on U.S. Embassy Dublin’s website. For specific information concerning Irish driving permits, vehicle inspection, road tax and mandatory insurance, please visit the official tourism guide for Ireland.

Taxi rates vary with time of day and location. Ask your hotel or innkeeper for the number of a call-dispatched taxi service if you plan to be out during less busy times. Bus service in the cities is generally adequate, although many buses are crowded and they frequently run late. Pay close attention to where bus stops are in both directions, as the drop-off and pick-up locations could be several blocks away from each other. Intercity bus and train services are generally good.

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