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Ireland

Touristic attractions of Ireland
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Your vacations in Ireland

Ireland is an independent state in north-western Europe. The modern sovereign state occupies about five-sixths of the island of Ireland, which was partitioned on 3 May 1921.

It’s a parliamentary democracy and a republic. It’s bordered by Northern Ireland to the north east, the Irish Sea to the east, St George's Channel to the south-east, the Celtic Sea to the south and by the Atlantic Ocean to the west and north. The name of the state is Ireland, while the Republic of Ireland is sometimes used when there is a need to differentiate “the State” from the island.

The state was established in 1922 as the Irish Free State, a dominion within the British Commonwealth, and gained increasing sovereignty though the Statute of Westminster and the abdication crisis of 1936. A new constitution in 1937 renamed the state simply as Ireland and in 1949. The last formal link with the U.K. was severed when Ireland became a republic and left the British Commonwealth, having already ceased to participate in that organisation for several years.

During British rule and initial independence, Ireland was one of the poorest countries in Western Europe and had high emigration. But, in contrast to many other states in the period, the country remained financially solvent as a result of low government expenditure. The protectionist economy was opened in the late 1950s and Ireland joined the European Economic Community (now the European Union) in 1973. An economic crisis led Ireland to start large-scale economic reforms in the late 1980s. Ireland reduced taxation and regulation dramatically compared to other EU countries.

Ranked today as the 31st economic power in the world, Ireland has the sixth highest gross domestic product per capita and the eighth highest per capita considering purchasing power parity, and has the fifth highest Human Development Index rank in the world. The country also boasts the highest quality of life in the world, ranking first in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Quality-of-life index. Ireland was ranked sixth on the Global Peace Index. Ireland also has high rankings for its education system, political freedom and civil rights, press freedom and economic freedom; it’s also ranked fifth from bottom on the Failed States Index, being one of the most "sustainable" states in the world. Ireland is also member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation (OECD), and the UN (United Nations).

Official language

English & Irish Gaelic

Currency

Euro

Electricity

230 volts, 50 cycles

Shopping

What would a trip to this country be without sampling the proud heritage of its whiskey and scoring a couple bottles of the best single malts in the duty-free shop? You should also look for crystal and china, perfumes, quality arts and crafts, hand-knit woolen sweaters, tweeds, and sheepskin rugs.

Useful information

The three most famous symbols of Ireland are the green Shamrock, the harp, and the Celtic cross.