Ireland is the smaller and most western of the major two islands of
the British Isles.
The island is not a wealthy land or a powerful one, but it was once
the home of one of the most advanced civilizations in the entire
Western Worlds. The island's reputation as a center of progress was
eclipsed by centuries of intermittent warfare against foreign
domination and by internal strife. The sons and daughters of Erin, or
the Emerald Isle, as Ireland is popularly called, have settled all
over the globe and their songs and stories of the homeland have given
it a unique appeal.
The many names of Ireland
1. Island of Woods
2. Land at the Limit of the World
3. Noble Island
5. Inis Fail
6. Isle of Mists
| Gaelic is the Celtic branch of the Indo-European
family of languages. About one person in five in Ireland can speak
Irish today, but only one in 20 use it daily. In Scotland
approximately 80,000 people speak Gaelic. |
Saint Patrick (about 389-461) is the patron saint of
Ireland. Patrick was born in Britain.|
Ireland, together with Britain, joined
the European Economic Community in 1973.|
population of the island as a whole is just under 6 million(2006),
4.20 million live in the Irish Republic and 1.7 million
live in Northern Ireland. |
a parliamentary democracy. The National Parliament
(Oireachtas) consists of the President and two Houses:
Dáil Éireann (the House of Representatives) and Seanad
Éireann (the Senate) Northern Ireland
has a parliamentary monarchy and an electoral democracy.
The voting age is 18 in both parts of Ireland.