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As the term British Isles is controversial in relation to Ireland, the alternate term Britain and Ireland is often used as a neutral term for the islands. A ring of coastal mountains surround low plains at the centre of the island. The highest of these is Carrauntoohil Irish: The island consists of varied geological provinces. In the west, around County Galway and County Donegal , is a medium to high grade metamorphic and igneous complex of Caledonide affinity, similar to the Scottish Highlands.
Across southeast Ulster and extending southwest to Longford and south to Navan is a province of Ordovician and Silurian rocks, with similarities to the Southern Uplands province of Scotland. Further south, along the County Wexford coastline, is an area of granite intrusives into more Ordovician and Silurian rocks, like that found in Wales.
In the southwest, around Bantry Bay and the mountains of Macgillicuddy's Reeks , is an area of substantially deformed, but only lightly metamorphosed , Devonian-aged rocks. The west-coast district of the Burren around Lisdoonvarna has well-developed karst features. Hydrocarbon exploration is ongoing following the first major find at the Kinsale Head gas field off Cork in the mids.
This has increased activity off the west coast in parallel with the " West of Shetland " step-out development from the North Sea hydrocarbon province. Dunluce Castle , County Antrim. Benbulbin , County Sligo. Connemara , County Galway. Glendalough , County Wicklow.
Ardfert Cathedral , County Kerry. Glenbeg Lough , County Cork. The island's lush vegetation, a product of its mild climate and frequent rainfall, earns it the sobriquet the Emerald Isle. Overall, Ireland has a mild but changeable oceanic climate with few extremes. The climate is typically insular and is temperate , avoiding the extremes in temperature of many other areas in the world at similar latitudes.
Precipitation falls throughout the year but is light overall, particularly in the east. The west tends to be wetter on average and prone to Atlantic storms, especially in the late autumn and winter months.
These occasionally bring destructive winds and higher total rainfall to these areas, as well as sometimes snow and hail. The regions of north County Galway and east County Mayo have the highest incidents of recorded lightning annually for the island, with lightning occurring approximately five to ten days per year in these areas.
Inland areas are warmer in summer and colder in winter. Ireland is sometimes affected by heat waves, most recently in , , , and Because Ireland became isolated from mainland Europe by rising sea levels before the last ice age had completely finished, it has fewer land animal and plant species than Great Britain, which separated later, or mainland Europe.
There are 55 mammal species in Ireland and of them only 26 land mammal species are considered native to Ireland. Aquatic wildlife, such as species of sea turtle , shark , seal , whale , and dolphin , are common off the coast. About species of birds have been recorded in Ireland. Many of these are migratory, including the barn swallow.
Several different habitat types are found in Ireland, including farmland, open woodland, temperate broadleaf and mixed forests , conifer plantations, peat bogs and a variety of coastal habitats. However, agriculture drives current land use patterns in Ireland, limiting natural habitat preserves,  particularly for larger wild mammals with greater territorial needs.
With no large apex predators in Ireland other than humans and dogs, such populations of animals as semi-wild deer that cannot be controlled by smaller predators, such as the fox, are controlled by annual culling. There are no snakes in Ireland and only one species of reptile the common lizard is native to the island. Extinct species include the Irish elk , the great auk , brown bear and the wolf.
Some previously extinct birds, such as the golden eagle , been reintroduced in about the year after decades of extirpation. Forests today cover about As of , the Republic is one of the least forested countries in Europe. Gorse Ulex europaeus , a wild furze , is commonly found growing in the uplands and ferns are plentiful in the more moist regions, especially in the western parts.
It is home to hundreds of plant species, some of them unique to the island, and has been "invaded" by some grasses, such as Spartina anglica. The algal and seaweed flora is that of the cold-temperate variety. The total number of species is  and is distributed as follows:. The island has been invaded by some algae, some of which are now well established. Because of its mild climate, many species, including sub-tropical species such as palm trees , are grown in Ireland.
The island itself can be subdivided into two ecoregions: The long history of agricultural production, coupled with modern intensive agricultural methods such as pesticide and fertiliser use and runoff from contaminants into streams, rivers and lakes, impact the natural fresh-water ecosystems and have placed pressure on biodiversity in Ireland.
A land of green fields for crop cultivation and cattle rearing limits the space available for the establishment of native wild species. Hedgerows, however, traditionally used for maintaining and demarcating land boundaries, act as a refuge for native wild flora. This ecosystem stretches across the countryside and acts as a network of connections to preserve remnants of the ecosystem that once covered the island.
Subsidies under the Common Agricultural Policy , which supported agricultural practices that preserved hedgerow environments, are undergoing reforms. The Common Agricultural Policy had in the past subsidised potentially destructive agricultural practices, for example by emphasising production without placing limits on indiscriminate use of fertilisers and pesticides; but reforms have gradually decoupled subsidies from production levels and introduced environmental and other requirements.
Forest covers about Remnants of native forest can be found scattered around the island, in particular in the Killarney National Park. Natural areas require fencing to prevent over-grazing by deer and sheep that roam over uncultivated areas.
Grazing in this manner is one of the main factors preventing the natural regeneration of forests across many regions of the country. People have lived in Ireland for over 9, years. The different eras are termed mesolithic , neolithic , Bronze Age , and Iron Age. Many survived into late medieval times, others vanished as they became politically unimportant.
Over the past years, Vikings , Normans , Welsh , Flemings , Scots , English , Africans , Eastern Europeans and South Americans have all added to the population and have had significant influences on Irish culture.
Ireland's largest religious group is Christianity. The population of Ireland rose rapidly from the 16th century until the midth century, interrupted briefly by the Famine of , which killed roughly two fifths of the island's population.
The population rebounded and multiplied over the next century, but another devastating famine in the s caused one million deaths and forced over one million more to emigrate in its immediate wake.
Over the following century the population was reduced by over half, at a time when the general trend in European countries was for populations to rise by an average of three-fold.
Traditionally, Ireland is subdivided into four provinces: Connacht west , Leinster east , Munster south , and Ulster north. In a system that developed between the 13th and 17th centuries,  Ireland has 32 traditional counties. Twenty-six of these counties are in the Republic of Ireland and six are in Northern Ireland. The six counties that constitute Northern Ireland are all in the province of Ulster which has nine counties in total.
As such, Ulster is often used as a synonym for Northern Ireland, although the two are not coterminous. In the Republic of Ireland, counties form the basis of the system of local government. Counties Dublin , Cork , Limerick , Galway , Waterford and Tipperary have been broken up into smaller administrative areas. However, they are still treated as counties for cultural and some official purposes, for example postal addresses and by the Ordnance Survey Ireland. Counties in Northern Ireland are no longer used for local governmental purposes,  but, as in the Republic, their traditional boundaries are still used for informal purposes such as sports leagues and in cultural or tourism contexts.
City status in Ireland is decided by legislative or royal charter. Dublin , with over 1 million residents in the Greater Dublin Area , is the largest city on the island. Belfast, with , residents, is the largest city in Northern Ireland. City status does not directly equate with population size. For example, Armagh , with 14, is the seat of the Church of Ireland and the Roman Catholic Primate of All Ireland and was re-granted city status by Queen Elizabeth II in having lost that status in local government reforms of In the Republic of Ireland, Kilkenny , seat of the Butler dynasty , while no longer a city for administrative purposes since the Local Government Act , is entitled by law to continue to use the description.
The population of Ireland collapsed dramatically during the second half of the 19th century. A population of over 8 million in was reduced to slightly more than 4 million by In part, the fall in population was due to death from the Great Famine of to , which took about 1 million lives.
However, by far the greater cause of population decline was the dire economic state of the country which led to an entrenched culture of emigration lasting until the 21st century. Emigration from Ireland in the 19th century contributed to the populations of England, the United States, Canada and Australia, where a large Irish diaspora lives.
As of [update] , 4. The Protestants' ancestors arrived primarily in the colonial era, while Catholics are primarily descended from immigrants of the 19th century. Irish leaders have been prominent in the Catholic Church in the United States for over years. The Irish have been leaders in the Presbyterian and Methodist traditions, as well. With growing prosperity since the last decade of the 20th century, Ireland became a destination for immigrants.
Since the European Union expanded to include Poland in , Polish people have made up the largest number of immigrants over ,  from Central Europe. There has also been significant immigration from Lithuania , the Czech Republic and Latvia.
Up to 50, eastern and central European migrant workers left Ireland in response to the Irish financial crisis. The two official languages of the Republic of Ireland are Irish and English. Each language has produced a noteworthy literature. Irish, though now only the language of a minority, was the vernacular of the Irish people for over two thousand years and was possibly introduced during the Iron Age.
It began to be written down after Christianisation in the 5th century and spread to Scotland and the Isle of Man where it evolved into the Scottish Gaelic and Manx languages respectively. The Irish language has a vast treasury of written texts from many centuries, and is divided by linguists into Old Irish from the 6th to 10th century, Middle Irish from the 10th to 13th century, Early Modern Irish until the 17th century, and the Modern Irish spoken today.
It remained the dominant language of Ireland for most of those periods, having influences from Latin , Old Norse , French and English. It declined under British rule but remained the majority tongue until the early 19th century, and since then has been a minority language. The Gaelic Revival of the early twentieth century has had a long-term influence.
They represent an expanding demographic, with their own schools called Gaelscoileanna and their own social media. It has been argued that they tend to be more highly educated than monolingual English speakers, with better employment prospects and higher social status.
Traditional rural Irish-speaking areas, known collectively as the Gaeltacht , are in linguistic decline. The main Gaeltacht areas are in the west, south-west and north-west. English in Ireland was first introduced during the Norman invasion.
It was spoken by a few peasants and merchants brought over from England, and was largely replaced by Irish before the Tudor conquest of Ireland. It was introduced as the official language with the Tudor and Cromwellian conquests. The Ulster plantations gave it a permanent foothold in Ulster, and it remained the official and upper-class language elsewhere, the Irish-speaking chieftains and nobility having been deposed. Language shift during the 19th century replaced Irish with English as the first language for a vast majority of the population.
Shelta , the language of the nomadic Irish Travellers is native to Ireland. Ireland's culture comprises elements of the culture of ancient peoples, later immigrant and broadcast cultural influences chiefly Gaelic culture , Anglicisation , Americanisation and aspects of broader European culture. This combination of cultural influences is visible in the intricate designs termed Irish interlace or Celtic knotwork. These can be seen in the ornamentation of medieval religious and secular works.
The style is still popular today in jewellery and graphic art,  as is the distinctive style of traditional Irish music and dance, and has become indicative of modern "Celtic" culture in general.
Religion has played a significant role in the cultural life of the island since ancient times and since the 17th century plantations , has been the focus of political identity and divisions on the island. Ireland's pre-Christian heritage fused with the Celtic Church following the missions of Saint Patrick in the 5th century. These missions brought written language to an illiterate population of Europe during the Dark Ages that followed the fall of Rome , earning Ireland the sobriquet, "the island of saints and scholars".
Since the 20th century the Irish pubs worldwide have become, especially those with a full range of cultural and gastronomic offerings, outposts of Irish culture. The Republic of Ireland's national theatre is the Abbey Theatre , which was founded in , and the national Irish-language theatre is An Taibhdhearc , which was established in in Galway.
Ireland has made a large contribution to world literature in all its branches, both in Irish and English. Poetry in Irish is among the oldest vernacular poetry in Europe, with the earliest examples dating from the 6th century.
Irish remained the dominant literary language down to the nineteenth century, despite the spread of English from the seventeenth century on.
The latter part of the nineteenth century saw a rapid replacement of Irish by English. By , however, cultural nationalists had begun the Gaelic revival , which saw the beginnings of a modern literature in Irish.
Other notable eighteenth century writers of Irish origin included Oliver Goldsmith and Richard Brinsley Sheridan , though they spent most of their lives in England. The playwright and poet Oscar Wilde , noted for his epigrams, was born in Ireland. In the 20th century, Ireland produced four winners of the Nobel Prize for Literature: Although not a Nobel Prize winner, James Joyce is widely considered to be one of the most significant writers of the 20th century.
Joyce's novel Ulysses is considered one of the most important works of Modernist literature and his life is celebrated annually on 16 June in Dublin as " Bloomsday ". Music has been in evidence in Ireland since prehistoric times. Outside religious establishments, musical genres in early Gaelic Ireland are referred to as a triad of weeping music goltraige , laughing music geantraige and sleeping music suantraige.
Classical music following European models first developed in urban areas, in establishments of Anglo-Irish rule such as Dublin Castle , St Patrick's Cathedral and Christ Church as well as the country houses of the Anglo-Irish ascendancy, with the first performance of Handel 's Messiah being among the highlights of the baroque era.
In the 19th century, public concerts provided access to classical music to all classes of society. Yet, for political and financial reasons Ireland has been too small to provide a living to many musicians, so the names of the better-known Irish composers of this time belong to emigrants. Irish traditional music and dance has seen a surge in popularity and global coverage since the s.
In the middle years of the 20th century, as Irish society was modernising, traditional music had fallen out of favour, especially in urban areas. Groups and musicians including Horslips , Van Morrison and Thin Lizzy incorporated elements of Irish traditional music into contemporary rock music and, during the s and s, the distinction between traditional and rock musicians became blurred, with many individuals regularly crossing over between these styles of playing.
The earliest known Irish graphic art and sculpture are Neolithic carvings found at sites such as Newgrange  and is traced through Bronze age artefacts and the religious carvings and illuminated manuscripts of the medieval period. During the course of the 19th and 20th centuries, a strong tradition of painting emerged, including such figures as John Butler Yeats , William Orpen , Jack Yeats and Louis le Brocquy.
The Irish philosopher and theologian Johannes Scotus Eriugena was considered one of the leading intellectuals of the early Middle Ages. Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton , an Irish explorer, was one of the principal figures of Antarctic exploration. He, along with his expedition, made the first ascent of Mount Erebus and the discovery of the approximate location of the South Magnetic Pole. Robert Boyle was a 17th-century natural philosopher, chemist, physicist, inventor and early gentleman scientist.
He is largely regarded one of the founders of modern chemistry and is best known for the formulation of Boyle's law. Father Nicholas Joseph Callan , Professor of Natural Philosophy in Maynooth College , is best known for his invention of the induction coil , transformer and he discovered an early method of galvanisation in the 19th century.
With Sir John Douglas Cockcroft , he was the first to split the nucleus of the atom by artificial means and made contributions to the development of a new theory of wave equation. Sir Joseph Larmor , a physicist and mathematician, made innovations in the understanding of electricity, dynamics, thermodynamics and the electron theory of matter. His most influential work was Aether and Matter, a book on theoretical physics published in George Johnstone Stoney introduced the term electron in John Stewart Bell was the originator of Bell's Theorem and a paper concerning the discovery of the Bell-Jackiw-Adler anomaly and was nominated for a Nobel prize.
Notable mathematicians include Sir William Rowan Hamilton , famous for work in classical mechanics and the invention of quaternions. Francis Ysidro Edgeworth 's contribution of the Edgeworth Box remains influential in neo-classical microeconomic theory to this day; while Richard Cantillon inspired Adam Smith , among others.
Cosgrave was a specialist in number theory and discovered a digit prime number in and a record composite Fermat number in John Lighton Synge made progress in different fields of science, including mechanics and geometrical methods in general relativity.
He had mathematician John Nash as one of his students. Kathleen Lonsdale , born in Ireland and most known for her work with crystallography , became the first female president of the British Association for the Advancement of Science.
Ireland has nine universities, seven in the Republic of Ireland and two in Northern Ireland, including Trinity College, Dublin and the University College Dublin , as well as numerous third-level colleges and institutes and a branch of the Open University, the Open University in Ireland.
Gaelic football is the most popular sport in Ireland in terms of match attendance and community involvement, with about 2, clubs on the island. The island fields a single international team in most sports. One notable exception to this is association football, although both associations continued to field international teams under the name "Ireland" until the s. The sport is also the most notable exception where the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland field separate international teams.
Northern Ireland has produced two World Snooker Champions. Gaelic football , hurling and handball are the best-known of the Irish traditional sports, collectively known as Gaelic games. Gaelic games are governed by the Gaelic Athletic Association GAA , with the exception of ladies' Gaelic football and camogie women's variant of hurling , which are governed by separate organisations. During the redevelopment of the Lansdowne Road stadium in —10, international rugby and soccer were played there.
The game has been played in an organised fashion in Ireland since the s, with Cliftonville F. It was most popular, especially in its first decades, around Belfast and in Ulster. However, some clubs based outside Belfast thought that the IFA largely favoured Ulster-based clubs in such matters as selection for the national team.
However, both the IFA and FAI continued to select their teams from the whole of Ireland, with some players earning international caps for matches with both teams. Both also referred to their respective teams as Ireland. In , FIFA directed the associations only to select players from within their respective territories and, in , directed that the FAI's team be known only as " Republic of Ireland " and that the IFA's team be known as " Northern Ireland " with certain exceptions.
Northern Ireland qualified for the World Cup finals in reaching the quarter-finals , and and the European Championship in The Republic qualified for the World Cup finals in reaching the quarter-finals , , and the European Championships in , and Across Ireland, there is significant interest in the English and, to a lesser extent, Scottish soccer leagues.
Unlike soccer, Ireland continues to field a single national rugby team and a single association, the Irish Rugby Football Union IRFU , governs the sport across the island. The Irish rugby team have played in every Rugby World Cup , making the quarter-finals in six of them. Ireland also hosted games during the and the Rugby World Cups including a quarter-final. There are four professional Irish teams; all four play in the Pro14 and at least three compete for the Heineken Cup.
Irish rugby has become increasingly competitive at both the international and provincial levels since the sport went professional in During that time, Ulster ,  Munster  and  and Leinster , and  have won the Heineken Cup. In addition to this, the Irish International side has had increased success in the Six Nations Championship against the other European elite sides.
This success, including Triple Crowns in , and , culminated with a clean sweep of victories, known as a Grand Slam , in and Horse racing and greyhound racing are both popular in Ireland. There are frequent horse race meetings and greyhound stadiums are well-attended. The island is noted for the breeding and training of race horses and is also a large exporter of racing dogs. Irish athletics has seen a heightened success rate since the year , with Sonia O'Sullivan winning two medals at 5, metres on the track; gold at the World Championships and silver at the Sydney Olympics.
Olive Loughnane won a silver medal in the 20k walk in the World Athletics Championships in Berlin in Ireland has won more medals in boxing than in any other Olympic sport. Boxing is governed by the Irish Athletic Boxing Association. In Kenneth Egan won a silver medal in the Beijing Games. Katie Taylor has won gold in every European and World championship since Golf is very popular, and golf tourism is a major industry attracting more than , golfing visitors annually.
Three golfers from Northern Ireland have been particularly successful. Open , and the first European to win that tournament since Rory McIlroy , at the age of 22, won the U. The west coast of Ireland, Lahinch and Donegal Bay in particular, have popular surfing beaches, being fully exposed to the Atlantic Ocean. Since just before the year , Bundoran has hosted European championship surfing. Scuba diving is increasingly popular in Ireland with clear waters and large populations of sea life, particularly along the western seaboard.
There are also many shipwrecks along the coast of Ireland, with some of the best wreck dives being in Malin Head and off the County Cork coast. The temperate Irish climate is suited to sport angling.
While salmon and trout fishing remain popular with anglers, salmon fishing in particular received a boost in with the closing of the salmon driftnet fishery. Coarse fishing continues to increase its profile.
Sea angling is developed with many beaches mapped and signposted,  and the range of sea angling species is around Food and cuisine in Ireland takes its influence from the crops grown and animals farmed in the island's temperate climate and from the social and political circumstances of Irish history.
For example, whilst from the Middle Ages until the arrival of the potato in the 16th century the dominant feature of the Irish economy was the herding of cattle, the number of cattle a person owned was equated to their social standing.
For this reason, pork and white meat were more common than beef and thick fatty strips of salted bacon known as rashers and the eating of salted butter i. All of these influences can be seen today in the phenomenon of the " breakfast roll ". The introduction of the potato in the second half of the 16th century heavily influenced cuisine thereafter.
Great poverty encouraged a subsistence approach to food and by the midth century the vast majority of the population sufficed with a diet of potatoes and milk.
Since the last quarter of the 20th century, with a re-emergence of wealth in Ireland, a "New Irish Cuisine" based on traditional ingredients incorporating international influences  has emerged. An example of this new cuisine is "Dublin Lawyer": Traditional regional foods can be found throughout the country, for example coddle in Dublin or drisheen in Cork, both a type of sausage, or blaa , a doughy white bread particular to Waterford.
Irish whiskey, as researched in by the CNBC American broadcaster, remains popular domestically and has grown in international sales steadily over a few decades.
Stout , a kind of porter beer , particularly Guinness , is typically associated with Ireland, although historically it was more closely associated with London. Porter remains very popular, although it has lost sales since the midth century to lager. Cider , particularly Magners marketed in the Republic of Ireland as Bulmers , is also a popular drink. Red lemonade , a soft-drink, is consumed on its own and as a mixer, particularly with whiskey.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the island in Europe. For the sovereign state of the same name, see Republic of Ireland. For the part of the United Kingdom, see Northern Ireland.
For other uses, see Ireland disambiguation. Part of a series on the. Prehistory Protohistory — — — — — — Timeline of Irish history. History of Ireland — Bruce campaign in Ireland.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Economy of the Republic of Ireland. International Financial Services Centre. Tourist destinations in Ireland. Culture of Ireland and Culture of Northern Ireland. List of Irish sports people. Islands portal Europe portal Ireland portal. Diese Tech-Unternehmen wollen an die Börse. Samsung erwartet deutlichen Rückgang beim operativen Gewinn - Aktie tiefer.
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Because of its mild climate, many species, including sub-tropical species such as palm trees , are grown in Ireland.
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