Ireland Geography

What is the terrain and geography like in Ireland?

Overview:

The island of Ireland ("Éire" in the Irish language) is divided politically into two parts: Ireland and Northern Ireland. Ireland (formally referred to as the "Republic of Ireland") contains 26 of the island's 32 counties. Northern Ireland contains the six counties in the northeast and has been administered as a part of the U.K. since partition in 1922.


The 26 counties cover 27,136 square miles, with the greatest length from north to south being 302 miles and the greatest width 171 miles. Ireland is separated from Britain by the Irish Sea, ranging 60-120 miles across.


The central limestone lowland of the island is ringed by a series of coastal mountains. The central plain is primarily devoted to family farming and is also notable for its bogs and lakes. The highest peak is Carrantuohill in Kerry at 3,414 feet. Newcomers are immediately impressed with the beauty and charm of the countryside, which is dotted with historic landmarks and alternating rolling hills and pastures, mountain lake country, and stark sea cliffs.

Geography - note:

strategic location on major air and sea routes between North America and northern Europe; over 40% of the population resides within 100 km of Dublin

Climate:

temperate maritime; modified by North Atlantic Current; mild winters, cool summers; consistently humid; overcast about half the time

Ireland Use of Natural Resources

Ireland Environment

Climate:

temperate maritime; modified by North Atlantic Current; mild winters, cool summers; consistently humid; overcast about half the time

Terrain:

mostly level to rolling interior plain surrounded by rugged hills and low mountains; sea cliffs on west coast

Natural Resources:

natural gas, peat, copper, lead, zinc, silver, barite, gypsum, limestone, dolomite

Natural Hazards:

NA

Irrigated Land:

4 Square Miles
11 Square Kilometers

Environmental Issues:

water pollution, especially of lakes, from agricultural runoff

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 Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Marine Life Conservation

Ireland Geography

Geographic Location Europe
Total Area 27,132 Square Miles
70,273 Square Kilometers
Land Area 26,596 Square Miles
68,883 Square Kilometers
Water Area 537 Square Miles
1,390 Square Kilometers
Land Boundaries 224 Miles
360 Kilometers
Irrigated Land 4 Square Miles
11 Square Kilometers
Border Countries UK 360 km
Coastline 900 Miles
1,448 Kilometers
Geographic Coordinates 53 00 N, 8 00 W
Terrain mostly level to rolling interior plain surrounded by rugged hills and low mountains; sea cliffs on west coast
Highest Point 1,041 Meters
Highest Point Location Carrauntoohil 1,041 m
Lowest Point Location Atlantic Ocean 0 m
Natural Resources natural gas, peat, copper, lead, zinc, silver, barite, gypsum, limestone, dolomite
Time Zone UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Daylight saving time +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
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