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Map of Ireland

Population: 3.8 Million
Area in sq mile: 27.100
Capital: Dublin
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About Ireland

Ireland is the westernmost of the two larger British Isles. The island has an area of 68,894 square km and a population of 3.5 million. Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom. The remaining bigger portion of the island is the Republic of Ireland. The country is divided into four provinces: Ulster, Leinster, Munster ? Connaught. For their part, these are divided into 32 counties. Approximately 1.4 million people live in and around the capital city of Dublin.

Ireland's climate is primarily influenced by the seas that surround it. Temperatures vary between 5° C in January and about 15° C in the summer. Low atmospheric pressure systems often pass over Ireland; these usually cause strong winds and storms along the Western coast. The average annual rainfall for the whole island is high, especially in its western parts, which is the reason why Ireland is also known as "The Green Island." Rainfall is at its lowest in spring while snowfall is unusual.

A number of Celtic tribes ruled Ireland beginning in the 5th century B.C. and plenty of historical monuments remain today to remind us of the Celts.

Between 1845 and 1847 Ireland experienced a national disaster: the Potato Famine. Disease destroyed almost the whole potato crop and caused nation-wide famine. Over one million people died of starvation and hundreds of thousands more emigrated to the United States. It is for this reason that until very recently Ireland was still a country of emigrants.

Many Irish dreamt of independence from British rule and in 1916 the famous Easter Rising broke out in Dublin. Later, a group of Irish volunteers formed the Irish Republican Army (IRA) to carry out guerilla tactics. The strife for independence resulted in the formation of two parliaments: one for the Catholic South, and another for the Protestant North, both under the same Central Council. The Parliament of the South never convened, and the Parliament of the North had its opening session on June 22, 1921. On December 6, 1921 an independent Irish State was created while Northern Ireland remained part of the United Kingdom. These were the beginnings of the religious conflict between the Protestants of the North and the Catholics of the South, which has lasted for many years now.

In the popular imagination, whisky is usually connected with Scotland. However, it is a well-known fact that it was the Irish monks who first made this famous spirits. Irish whisky does not only taste differently from Scotch; even the very word ‘whisky’ is spelled differently: "whiskey" in Ireland and "whisky" in Scotland.

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