Ireland is an island in the North Atlantic. The island’s geography comprises of relatively low-lying mountains surrounding a central plain, with several navigable rivers extending inland.
The Norman invasion of the late 12th century marked the beginning of more than 800 years of direct English rule and, later, British involvement in Ireland. The Irish states came into being in 1922 as the Irish Free State, a dominion of the British Commonwealth, having seceded from the UK under the Anglo-Irish Treat. The 1937 constitution renamed the state Ireland.
Ireland is a parliamentary democracy. The National Parliament (Oireachtas) consists of the President and two Houses: Dáil Éireann (House of Representatives) and Seanad Éireann (the Senate) whose functions and powers come from the Constitution of Ireland. The Houses of the Oireachtas are situated at Leinster House, Dublin.
Just under 4.6 million people live in the Republic of Ireland and just over 1.8 million live in Northern Ireland. Ireland’s culture comprises elements of the culture of ancient peoples and later immigrant and broadcast cultural influences. It is a Celtic nation, reflected in the country’s distinctly Celtic traditional music, language and artwork
Ireland is among the world’s top countries for human development, ranked at number eight in the world for human development by the United Nations. Very few people lack access to clean water and sanitation facilities and over 90% of Irish students finish secondary education.
The economy of Ireland is a modern knowledge economy, focusing on services and high-tech industries and dependent on trade, industry and investment. In terms of GDP per capita, Ireland is ranked as one of the wealthiest countries in the OECD and the EU-27. There is often suprise that the top revenue generator, by far, in Ireland is the pharmaceutical industry, due to the large number of multinational pharmaceutical companies who have production facilities here. Agriculture was once Ireland’s main economic driver, but no longer. It now account for just somewhere around 6% of GDP.