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Ireland Facts
• Introduction
• People
• Government
• Communications
• Transportation
• Military
• Transnational Issues

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Introduction Ireland
Background:
Celtic tribes arrived on the island between 600-150 B.C. Invasions by Norsemen that began in the late 8th century were finally ended when King Brian BORU defeated the Danes in 1014. English invasions began in the 12th century and set off more than seven centuries of Anglo-Irish struggle marked by fierce rebellions and harsh repressions. A failed 1916 Easter Monday Rebellion touched off several years of guerrilla warfare that in 1921 resulted in independence from the UK for 26 southern counties; six northern (Ulster) counties remained part of the UK. In 1948 Ireland withdrew from the British Commonwealth; it joined the European Community in 1973. Irish governments have sought the peaceful unification of Ireland and have cooperated with Britain against terrorist groups. A peace settlement for Northern Ireland is being implemented with some difficulties. In 2006, the Irish and British governments developed and began working to implement the St. Andrew's Agreement, building on the Good Friday Agreement approved in 1998.
People Ireland
Population:
4,109,086 (July 2007 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 20.8% (male 442,664/female 413,556)
15-64 years: 67.5% (male 1,387,803/female 1,385,355)
65 years and over: 11.7% (male 212,782/female 266,926) (2007 est.)
Median age:
total: 34.3 years
male: 33.5 years
female: 35.1 years (2007 est.)
Population growth rate:
1.143% (2007 est.)
Birth rate:
14.4 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Death rate:
7.79 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Net migration rate:
4.82 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.002 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.797 male(s)/female
total population: 0.989 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 5.22 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 5.72 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 4.69 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 77.9 years
male: 75.27 years
female: 80.7 years (2007 est.)
Total fertility rate:
1.86 children born/woman (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.1% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
2,800 (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
less than 100 (2003 est.)
Nationality:
noun: Irishman(men), Irishwoman(women), Irish (collective plural)
adjective: Irish
Ethnic groups:
Celtic, English
Religions:
Roman Catholic 88.4%, Church of Ireland 3%, other Christian 1.6%, other 1.5%, unspecified 2%, none 3.5% (2002 census)
Languages:
English (official) is the language generally used, Irish (Gaelic or Gaeilge) (official) spoken mainly in areas located along the western seaboard
Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99%
male: 99%
female: 99% (2003 est.)
Government Ireland
Country name:
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Ireland
local long form: none
local short form: Eire
Government type:
republic, parliamentary democracy
Capital:
name: Dublin
geographic coordinates: 53 20 N, 6 15 W
time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
Administrative divisions:
26 counties; Carlow, Cavan, Clare, Cork, Donegal, Dublin, Galway, Kerry, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Leitrim, Limerick, Longford, Louth, Mayo, Meath, Monaghan, Offaly, Roscommon, Sligo, Tipperary, Waterford, Westmeath, Wexford, Wicklow
note: Cavan, Donegal, and Monaghan are part of Ulster Province
Independence:
6 December 1921 (from UK by treaty)
National holiday:
Saint Patrick's Day, 17 March
Constitution:
adopted 1 July 1937 by plebiscite; effective 29 December 1937
Legal system:
based on English common law, substantially modified by indigenous concepts; judicial review of legislative acts in Supreme Court; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Mary MCALEESE (since 11 November 1997)
head of government: Prime Minister Bertie AHERN (since 26 June 1997)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president with previous nomination by the prime minister and approval of the House of Representatives
elections: president elected by popular vote for a seven-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held 31 October 1997 (next scheduled for October 2011); note - Mary MCALEESE appointed to a second term when no other candidate qualified for the 2004 presidential election; prime minister (taoiseach) nominated by the House of Representatives and appointed by the president
election results: Mary MCALEESE elected president; percent of vote - Mary MCALEESE 44.8%, Mary BANOTTI 29.6%
note: government coalition - Fianna Fail and the Progressive Democrats
Legislative branch:
bicameral Parliament or Oireachtas consists of the Senate or Seanad Eireann (60 seats - 49 elected by the universities and from candidates put forward by five vocational panels, 11 are nominated by the prime minister; members serve five-year terms) and the House of Representatives or Dail Eireann (166 seats; members are elected by popular vote on the basis of proportional representation to serve five-year terms)
elections: Senate - last held 16 and 17 July 2002 (next to be held by July 2007); House of Representatives - last held 17 May 2002 (next to be held by May 2007)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Fianna Fail 30, Fine Gael 15, Labor Party 5, Progressive Democrats 4, independents and other 6; House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - Fianna Fail 41.5%, Fine Gael 22.5%, Labor Party 10.8%, Sinn Fein 6.5%, Progressive Democrats 4.0%, Green Party 3.8%, other 10.9%; seats by party - Fianna Fail 81, Fine Gael 31, Labor Party 21, Sinn Fein 5, Progressive Democrats 8, Green Party 6, other 14
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court (judges appointed by the president on the advice of the prime minister and cabinet)
Political parties and leaders:
Fianna Fail [Bertie AHERN]; Fine Gael [Enda KENNY]; Green Party [Trevor SARGENT]; Labor Party [Pat RABBITTE]; Progressive Democrats [Michael McDOWELL]; Sinn Fein [Gerry ADAMS]; Socialist Party [Joe HIGGINS]; The Workers' Party [Sean GARLAND]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
NA
International organization participation:
AsDB, Australia Group, BIS, CE, EAPC, EBRD, EIB, EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITU, MIGA, MINURSO, MONUC, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNMIL, UNOCI, UNTSO, UPU, WCO, WEU (observer), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Noel FAHEY
chancery: 2234 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 462-3939
FAX: [1] (202) 232-5993
consulate(s) general: Boston, Chicago, New York, San Francisco
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Thomas C. FOLEY
embassy: 42 Elgin Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4
mailing address: use embassy street address
telephone: [353] (1) 668-8777
FAX: [353] (1) 668-9946
Flag description:
three equal vertical bands of green (hoist side), white, and orange; similar to the flag of Cote d'Ivoire, which is shorter and has the colors reversed - orange (hoist side), white, and green; also similar to the flag of Italy, which is shorter and has colors of green (hoist side), white, and red
Communications Ireland
Telephones - main lines in use:
2.033 million (2005)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
4.21 million (2005)
Telephone system:
general assessment: modern digital system using cable and microwave radio relay
domestic: microwave radio relay
international: country code - 353; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 9, FM 106, shortwave 0 (1998)
Radios:
2.55 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
4 (many repeaters) (2001)
Televisions:
1.82 million (2001)
Internet country code:
.ie
Internet hosts:
238,191 (2006)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
22 (2000)
Internet users:
2.06 million (2005)
Transportation Ireland
Airports:
36 (2006)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 15
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 6 (2006)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 21
914 to 1,523 m: 4
under 914 m: 17 (2006)
Pipelines:
gas 1,728 km (2006)
Railways:
total: 3,312 km
broad gauge: 1,947 km 1.600-m gauge (46 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 1,365 km 0.914-m gauge (operated by the Irish Peat Board to transport peat to power stations and briquetting plants) (2005)
Roadways:
total: 96,602 km
paved: 96,602 km (includes 200 km of expressways) (2003)
Waterways:
753 km (pleasure craft only) (2005)
Merchant marine:
total: 23 ships (1000 GRT or over) 103,589 GRT/145,044 DWT
by type: cargo 19, chemical tanker 2, container 1, roll on/roll off 1
foreign-owned: 4 (Germany 2, US 2)
registered in other countries: 21 (Bahamas 2, Bermuda 1, Cyprus 3, Gibraltar 1, Netherlands 10, Panama 2, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 1, UK 1) (2006)
Ports and terminals:
Cork, Dublin, New Ross, Shannon Foynes, Waterford
Military Ireland
Military branches:
Irish Defense Forces (Oglaigh na h-Eireann): Army (includes Naval Service and Air Corps) (2006)
Military service age and obligation:
17 years of age for voluntary military service; enlistees under the age of 17 can be recruited for specialist positions (2001)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 17-49: 977,092
females age 17-49: 978,465 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 17-49: 814,768
females age 17-49: 813,981 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually:
males age 18-49: 29,327
females age 17-49: 28,139 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$700 million (FY00/01)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
0.9% (2005 est.)
Transnational Issues Ireland
Disputes - international:
Ireland, Iceland, and the UK dispute Denmark's claim that the Faroe Islands' continental shelf extends beyond 200 nm
Illicit drugs:
transshipment point for and consumer of hashish from North Africa to the UK and Netherlands and of European-produced synthetic drugs; increasing consumption of South American cocaine; minor transshipment point for heroin and cocaine destined for Western Europe; despite recent legislation, narcotics-related money laundering - using bureaux de change, trusts, and shell companies involving the offshore financial community - remains a concern

This page was last updated on 17 April, 2007


 

Source: CIA World Factbook










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