Ireland ( Irish: , Éire Ulster Scots: Airlann) is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island in the world. It lies to the north-west of continental Europe and is surrounded by hundreds of islands and islets. The Republic of Ireland covers five-sixths of the island. Northern Ireland, a part of the United Kingdom, covers the remainder and is located in the northeast of the island. The population of Ireland is estimated to be 6.2 million. Slightly less than 4.5 million are estimated to live in the Republic of Ireland and slightly less than 1.8 million live in Northern Ireland.
Relatively low-lying mountains surrounding a central plain to epitomise the Ireland's geography with several navigable rivers extending inland. The island has a lush vegetation, a product of its mild but changeable oceanic climate, which avoids extremes in temperature. Thick woodlands covered the island until the 1600s. Today, it is the most deforested area in Europe. Twenty-six
mammal species are native to Ireland, with some, such as the red fox, hedgehog and badger, being very common. Others, like the Irish hare, red deer and pine marten are less so.
Irish culture has had a significant influence on culture world-wide, particularly in the fields of literature and, to a lesser degree, science and learning. A strong indigenous culture, expressed for example through
native sports and the Irish language, exists alongside a regional culture, such as Rugby football and golf.
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...that was the last of the traditional County Wicklow counties of Ireland to be created in 1606—07?
...that 34 have been established on the European continent since the 16th century?
Irish Colleges ...that , a game similar to pitch and putt golf was invented in Ireland where it is still mainly played?
...that Template:Nrut's is the only one- Thomas Gisborne Gordon handed person ever to play international rugby of either code?
...that the , medieval O'Conors kings of Connacht, are one of the oldest royal families in Europe, tracing their dynasty to 76 AD?
...that as well as , Ireland has two other Saint Patrick patron saints: Brigid of Kildare and Colmcille?
...that the first soviet in Ireland or Britain was established at Monaghan Lunatic Asylum in February 1919?
...that the originate in the Air Corps Anglo-Irish Treaty talks, when a biplane was purchased to allow Irish negotiators to escape should talks failed?
...that Ireland consumes more baked beans per head of population than any other country in the world?
...that the building, now the Irish Houses of Parliament Bank of Ireland at College Green, Dublin, was the first purpose-built parliament in the world?
...that Greek geographer Ptolemy used the term ( Μικρὰ Βρεττανία Mikra Brettania, or Little Britain) to refer to Ireland, although in his later work uses ( Ιουερνία Iwernia), which is thought to be truer to the name used by the inhabitants of the island?
...that permitted a Early Irish law husband to hit his wife to "correct" her, but that if the blow left a mark she was entitled to the equivalent of her bride price in compensation and could divorce him if she wished?
...that mountaineer , the first Ger McDonnell Irish person to summit K2, brought a hurley to the summit of Mount Everest in 2003?
...that the headland of in Drumanagh Co. Dublin may once have hosted a fort acting as bridgehead for Roman military invasion?
…that some 2006 New York productions of , a production of the complete DruidSynge plays of John Millington Synge by the Druid Theatre Company, were performed in day-long cycles?
...that when County Clare was created in 1565 it was from moved Munster to Connacht only to be returned to Munster again in 1602?
…that the , an Irish merchant ship, was attacked by both the MV Kerlogue Allied and Axis sides during World War II and rescued both sides. They rescued the Wild Rose of Liverpool and they rescued 168 Germans, 164 of who spent the rest of The Emergency interned in the Curragh internment camp?
...that the College Historical Society of Trinity College, Dublin is the oldest undergraduate student society in the world?
...that to the Romans, was another name for Scotia , both meaning Hibernia ?
Ireland ...that Gregg shorthand was by invented Co. Monaghan-born, John Robert Gregg?
...that is Ireland's oldest Waterford city, being first settled in 853?
...that according to traditional Irish genealogy, all Irish people are descended from ?
King Milesius ...that until 1953 both the IFA and FAI fielded international teams under the name of ?
Ireland ...that seventh-century Irish saint, , is the Saint Fiacre patron saint of taxi drivers?
...that Cashel, Co. Tipperary was made a by city charter of Charles II in 1667, but lost city status when its city corporation was abolished by the Municipal Corporations (Ireland) Act 1840?
...that had greatest rise in Newry house prices in the United Kingdom over the last decade, with prices increasing by 371% since 1996?
…that in 1903, , from a George Moore Catholic family and then aged 51, announced himself to be a Protestant in a letter to the Irish Times newspaper?
…that , an Irish David Feldman philatelist now based in Geneva, auctioned the world's most expensive postage stamp, the Swedish Treskilling Yellow for 2.5 million Swiss francs in 1996?
...that Jonathan Swift called his predecessor " because he made such bad property that rascal Dean Jones" leases whilst Dean of St. Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin?
...that the in Mount Sandel Mesolithic site Coleraine, County Londonderry is the oldest archaeological site in Ireland?
...that in the Wellington Testimonial Phoenix Park, Dublin, is the largest obelisk in Europe?
...that is an internationally shamrock registered trademark of the Government of Ireland?
...that Ireland consumes more tea per head of population than any other country in the world?
...that has the longest Letterkenny main street in Ireland?
...that the remains of Saint Nicholas are said to be buried close to , Jerpoint Abbey Co. Kilkenny, having been brought back from the Crusades by a 12th century knight?
...that , a variant of cycle polo polo played on bicycles instead of horses, originated in Ireland in 1891?
...that the is the fastest flowing River Foyle river in Europe and is crossed by Europe's only double-decker bridge?
...that , growing up in Paul McGrath orphanages, was known as Paul Nwobilo until eventually tracked down by his mother, Betty McGrath?
...that is one of several Cork Harbour harbours that lay claim to the title of "second largest natural harbour in the world by navigational area".
...that , the 14th century Robert the Bruce king of Scotland, popularised a "pan- Gaelic Greater Scotia" and his brother Edward Bruce was the last High King of Ireland?
...that City Hall in was paid for by the Cork British government as a gesture of reconciliation during the 1930s to replace the one burnt down by British forces during the War of Independence?
...that the English phrase "By Hook or by Crook" is said to be derived from attempts to take Waterford in 1649 by Hook, meaning on the east side of Hook Head Waterford Harbour, or by Crook, a village on the west side of the harbour?
...that Private James Daly, who led the mutiny in The Connaught Rangers India during the War of Independence, was the last member of the British armed forced to be executed for mutiny?
...that , Dublin University Football Club Trinity's rugby union club, established in 1854, has a strong claim to be the world's oldest football club?
...that Newfoundland, in eastern Canada, has a unique dialect of Irish, closely resembling the Irish spoken during the 16th to 17th centuries and called ?
Newfoundland Irish ...that the Dell manufacturing plant in Raheen, produces 30,000—60,000 Limerick personal computers per day and contributes 5.8% of Irish GDP?
...that in 1631 the entire population of the village of Baltimore, County Cork was kidnapped by Algerian pirates in what became known as the ?
Sack of Baltimore ...that the modern game of was invented in Ireland in the 1830s?
croquet ...that the Guinness company once produced a Marmite-like yeast extract spread called ?
Guinness Yeast Extract ...the Choctaw tribe in America donated $170 towards relief in Ireland in 1847?
famine ...that Sir , creator of the famed Francis Beaufort Beaufort Scale, was born in Navan in County Meath? Or that his restored Georgian home in Navan was controversially demolished in the 1990s to build a road?
...that is a 5000 year old passage tomb pre-dating the pyramids and Newgrange Stonehenge? The builders had astronomical knowledge to precisely illumininate the internal passages of the tomb during the winter solstice?
...that the brothers were Irish Language teachers and writers from Ó Siochfhradha Dingle?
...that Fran Dempsey, who acted as Fortycoats in the 1980s RTÉ children's program, is father?
Ian Dempsey's ...that the 4m people living in the Republic represent only half ?
citizens of the State ...that , Ireland's largest chain of video rental stores, was valued at Xtravision IR£27m ( €34m) when it went spectacularly bankrupt in 1991?
...that is a Griffith College Dublin private university located on South Circular Road in Dublin?
...that the RTE puppet has mockingly run for Dustin the Turkey President of Ireland several times?
...that people from , Westport County Mayo, are traditionally known as Coveys, and used to speak a dialect unintelligible to outsiders?
...that Dubliners have humorous , including nicknames for the city's monuments The Stiletto in the Ghetto and the Floozie in the Jacuzzi?
...that the various incarnations of the were/are run by a IRA chief of staff and that over 30 people have held this position since 1917?
...that, with a top rate of 12.5%, Ireland has the third lowest in the world?
corporate tax rate ...that, with 10,000 dead, the was one of the bloodiest battles ever fought in Ireland?
1316 Battle of Athenry ...that the of Treaty Ports Cobh, Lough Swilly and Berehaven were UK sovereign bases from 1921 until 1938?
...that the are a trio of Bogside Artists mural painters in Derry?
...that was Limerick city besieged three times in the 17th century?
... Irish Times journalist has interviewed every US president since Arthur Quinlan Harry Truman?
...that gas bubbles travel downwards in a pint glass of ale?
Guinness ... , published in 1889, was The Wanderings of Oisin Yeats’ first publication outside of magazines, immediately winning his reputation as a significant poet?
...that Irish songwriter Christy Moore wrote a comic song about the building of the , which transports hundreds of pilgrims to and from the Knock Airport Roman Catholic shrine at Knock, declaring, "I've never seen a miracle like the airport up in Knock"?
...that, unlike oft-violent hurling, its female variant, , forbids any unnecessary physical contact?
Cathedral of Saints Patrick and Felim,
Selected series: Irish cities
Template:Irish Featured Articles
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