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Republic of Ireland

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Éire (Irish)
Flag of Ireland
Location of the  Republic of Ireland  (dark green)– on the European continent  (green & dark grey)– in the European Union  (green)  —  [Legend]
Location of the  Republic of Ireland  (dark green)

– on the European continent  (green & dark grey)
– in the European Union  (green)  —  [Legend]

and largest city
Official languages Irish
Ethnic groups
87% Irish,
13% others and unspecified[1][2]
Demonym(s) Irish
Government Constitutional
Parliamentary republic
• President
Michael D. Higgins
• Taoiseach
Enda Kenny
• Tánaiste
Eamon Gilmore
Legislature Oireachtas
Seanad Éireann
Dáil Éireann
• Declared
24 April 1916
• Ratified
21 January 1919
6 December 1922
29 December 1937
18 April 1949
• Total
70,273 km2 (27,133 sq mi) (120th)
• Water (%)
• 2011 census
4,581,269 (119th)
• Density
65.2/km2 (168.9/sq mi) (142nd)

Ireland is a European country on the island of Ireland. It is a member of the European Union. The country is sometimes called the Republic of Ireland, but Ireland is its official name. It covers about five-sixths of the island of Ireland. The other sixth is called Northern Ireland, which is still part of the United Kingdom. The republic's capital is Dublin. Cork is the second largest city in the country and the third largest on the island of Ireland. The population of Ireland is 4.6 million. English is the main language spoken. The Irish language is widely taught in all schools, and it is still spoken as a first language in some areas of the country, known as the Gaeltacht. Irish is the first official language, followed by English.


Several hundred years ago, the English took over the country and made it part of the United Kingdom in 1801. Ireland left the United Kingdom in 1922 and has been an independent country since then.


The head of State, the President, is elected for seven years by the adult citizens. The same president can only be elected twice (14 years). Most of the president's tasks are representing and ceremonial ones. The president has little power over the government.

Ireland is a democracy and people vote for their representatives. The Taoiseach (equivalent to a prime minister) is selected by the parliament. The Taoiseach is usually the head of the biggest party.

The Oireachtas (equivalent to the parliament) consists of the Dáil Éireann (the lower House) and the Seanad (the 'upper House'). The system is similar to that of France or the United States, except that the President is not an executive.

The main political parties in Ireland are Fine Gael 25%, Sinn Féin 22%, Fianna Fail 18%, the Labour Party 7% and others, ref RED C poll 29 th June 2014.

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