Ireland

Ireland
Dublin (Baile Átha Cliath)
Irish, English
Euro (€) (EUR)
+353

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Ireland is a state in Europe occupying approximately five-sixths of the island of Ireland, which was partitioned in 1921. It shares its only land border with Northern Ireland, a part of the United Kingdom on the north-east of the island. The state is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the Celtic Sea to the south, St George's Channel to the south east, the Irish Sea to the east.

In 1801, the kingdoms of Ireland and Great Britain merged to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. The majority of the island seceded the United Kingdom in 1922 following a guerrilla war. The Anglo-Irish Treaty concluded this war and established the Irish Free State as a self-governing dominion within the British Commonwealth. Northern Ireland chose to remain as part of the United Kingdom. The independent state increased in sovereignty through the 1931 Statute of Westminster and the abdication crisis of 1936. A new constitution introduced in 1937 declared it a sovereign state named Ireland (Éire). The Republic of Ireland Act proclaimed Ireland a republic in 1949 by removing the remaining duties of the monarch. Ireland consequently withdrew from the British Commonwealth.

While it ranks among the wealthiest countries in the world today in terms of GDP, Ireland was one of the most impoverished countries in Europe while it was a part of the United Kingdom and for decades following independence. Economic protectionism was dismantled in the late 1950s and Ireland joined the European Economic Community in 1973. Economic liberalism from the late 1980s onwards resulted in rapid economic expansion, particularly from 1995 to 2007, which became known as the Celtic Tiger period. An unprecedented financial crisis beginning in 2008 ended this era of rapid economic growth.

Today, Ireland is a constitutional republic governed as a parliamentary democracy with an elected president serving as head of state. It is a highly developed country with the fifth highest Human Development Index. The country is highly ranked for press freedom, economic freedom and democracy and political freedom. Ireland is a member of the European Union, the Council of Europe, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organisation and the United Nations.