Neighbouring the United Kingdom, the Ireland is an island marked by traditions. Whether you are in the north or in the south, it is full of landscapes and special places still preserved. Imbued with its tradition of welcoming land, it often offers nice surprises. Get familiar with the country with our facts and figures about Ireland.
Covering an area of 84,412 km2, the island of Ireland shares a common history with the island of Great Britain, its neighbour. Since 1922 and the signature of the Government of Ireland Act 1920, the island is in fact divided into two parts.
Northeast, the Northern Ireland, which capital is the city of Belfast, is one of the four countries of the UK. It covers 14,139 km2 for 1.8 million inhabitants. It includes six of the nine counties of the Irish province of Ulster.
In the south, the Republic of Ireland is an independent country. It is divided into four provinces (Leinster, Munster, Connaught and a part of Ulster) which themselves are divided into 26 historic counties. However, although little used in everyday life, be aware that some counties have been redivided over time. This is the case for example of the County Dublin which was officially split into four entities in 1994: South Dublin, Fingal and Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown and Dublin City.
County Dublin doesn’t exist any longer, it was officially split into four entities in 1994
The country’s population is 4.5 million inhabitants for 70,273 km2. A quarter of the population lives in the capital, Dublin.
In the Republic of Ireland, the inhabitants live under a two-room parliamentary democracy. The Head of State is Michael D. Higgins and the Head of Government, Enda Kenny.
Ireland is a democratic country
Gaelic and English are both official languages. The Republic of Ireland adopted the European currency, the euro, on 1 January 1999.
The Irish are very religious in general. Mostly Christians, they are composed of Protestants and Catholics.
The official flag of Ireland is made up of three colors: green, white, orange. Green symbolizes the Catholic national liberation movement, white is the symbol of peace between the two communities. Finally, orange for Protestants commemorated the decisive victory of King William III of England on Catholic supporters of Jacques II.
The flag of the presidency is somewhat different and takes one of the leading symbols of Ireland, the harp.
It is not for nothing that Ireland is called the Emerald Island and proudly displays its four-leaf clover symbol. Green is omnipresent, with pastures out of sight to the delight sheep. And for all this to remain green, there is nothing better than rain.
But contrary to what one might imagine, it does not rain all the time! The climate is indeed very fickle and changing, influenced by the Atlantic Ocean and a warm ocean current called the “North Atlantic Drift”. The reliefs of the island are also involved in protecting it against high winds. A tip: never go out without your umbrella… and your sunglasses!
Temperatures remain mild throughout the year overall. The hottest months are July and August; the coldest, January and February. But do not expect to reach 30°C in summer. If the thermometer exceeds 25°C, consider yourself lucky. The hottest day ever recorded was 33°C … in 1887! Conversely, in winter, temperatures rarely fall below 0°C and snowfalls are rare but always an opportunity to marvel.
In Ireland, it’s not always raining!
In order to call you and discuss the weather or your settlement in the country, one will have to dial the prefix +353 from his country.