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 IRISH POLITICAL
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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, known as the Good Friday Agreement and approved in 1998, is being implemented with some difficulties.
 
 
Common Name: Ireland Local Official Name: Ireland
Abbreviated Name: Ireland Official Name: Ireland
Official Script Name: Ireland Local Common Name: Ireland
Former Name: Ireland Territory of: NA
 
Head of State: President Mary MCALEESE
 
Government Type: republic, parliamentary democracy
 
Independence: 1921 December 6 (from UK by treaty)
 
Constitution: 1937 December 29 (adopted 1937 July 1 by plebiscite)
 
National Holiday: Saint Patrick's Day, 17 March
 
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
 
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
 
Dependent Areas: NA
 
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
 
Executive, Legislative and Judicial Branches: 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)
 
Party Leaders: Fianna Fail [Bertie AHERN]; Fine Gael [Enda KENNY]; Green Party [Trevor SARGENT]; Labor Party [Pat RABITTE]; Progressive Democrats [Mary HARNEY]; Sinn Fein [Gerry ADAMS]; Socialist Party [Joe HIGGINS]; The Workers' Party [Sean GARLAND]
 
International Disputes: 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; 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 
 
 
 IRISH GEOGRAPHY
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Location of Ireland: Western Europe, occupying five-sixths of the island of Ireland in the North Atlantic Ocean, west of Great Britain
 
Continent: Europe Land Area Total: 70,280 sq km 
Region: Western Europe Land Area Land: 68,890 sq km
Capitol City: Dublin Land Area Water: 1,390 sq km
      
Latitude: 053 00 N Border Boundary Land: 360 km
Longitude: 008 00 W Border Boundary Coastline: 1,448 km 
  
Arable Land: 16.82 % Pastures: 0.00 %
Crops: 0.03 % Woodlands and Forests: 0.00
  
Highest Elevation: 1,041 m Location: Carrauntoohil
Lowest Elevation: 0 m Location: Atlantic Ocean
  
Largest City in Ireland: Dublin Dublin Largest City Population: 977,000
  
Threatened Species: 17
 
Environmental Issues: water pollution, especially of lakes, from agricultural runoff
 
Environmental Agreements: party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Marine Life Conservation
 
Irrigated Land: 0
 
Bordering Countries: UK 360 km
 
Natural Resources: natural gas, peat, copper, lead, zinc, silver, barite, gypsum, limestone, dolomite
 
Geographical Terrain: mostly level to rolling interior plain surrounded by rugged hills and low mountains; sea cliffs on west coast
 
Comparative Area of Ireland: slightly larger than West Virginia
 
Ireland's Geography: strategic location on major air and sea routes between North America and northern Europe; over 40% of the population resides within 100 km of Dublin
 

 IRISH CLIMATE
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General Climate: temperate maritime; modified by North Atlantic Current; mild winters, cool summers; consistently humid; overcast about half the time
 
Natural Hazards: NA
 
 
 IRISH ECONOMY
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Economic Overview: Ireland is a small, modern, trade-dependent economy with growth averaging a robust 7% in 1995-2004. Agriculture, once the most important sector, is now dwarfed by industry and services. Industry accounts for 46% of GDP, about 80% of exports, and 29% of the labor force. Although exports remain the primary engine for Ireland's growth, the economy has also benefited from a rise in consumer spending, construction, and business investment. Per capita GDP is 10% above that of the four big European economies and the second highest in the EU behind Luxembourg. Over the past decade, the Irish Government has implemented a series of national economic programs designed to curb price and wage inflation, reduce government spending, increase labor force skills, and promote foreign investment. Ireland joined in circulating the euro on 1 January 2002 along with 11 other EU nations.
 
 
GDP: $165,100,000,000 USD Currency: euro
GDP per Capita: $41,100 USD Currency Code: EUR
GDP Growth Rate: 5.50 %
  
Currency Exchange Rate History: euros per US dollar - 0.8041 (2005), 0.8054 (2004), 0.886 (2003), 1.0626 (2002), 1.1175 (2001)
  
  
GDP of Agriculture: 5.00 % GDP of Industry: 46.00 %
GDP of Services: 49.00 %  
   
Inflation Rate: 2.40 % Population in Poverty: 10.00 %
Unemployment Rate: 4.30 % Tourism: 6,403,000.00 visitors each year
   
Consumption by lowest 10%: 2.00 % Budget Revenue in USD: $70,460,000,000 USD
Consumption by upper 10%: 27.30 % Budget Expenditures in USD: $69,400,000,000 USD
   
Electricity Production: 23,410,000,000 kWh Electricity Exports: 0 kWh
Electricity Consumption: 22,970,000,000 kWh Electricity Imports: 1,200,000,000 kWh

Electricity Production by Source:
 
Fossil Fuel Electricity Production: 94.86% Nuclear Electricity Production: 0.00%
Hydro Electricity Production: 3.77% Other Electricity Production: 1.37%
   
Oil Production: 0 barrels per day Natural Gas Production: 675,000,000 cu m
Oil Consumption: 175,600 barrels per day Natural Gas Consumption: 4,298,000,000 cu m
Oil Exports: 27,450 barrels per day Natural Gas Exports: 0 cu m
Oil Imports: 178,600 barrels per day Natural Gas Imports: 3,384,000,000 cu m
Proven Oil Reserves: 0 barrels Proven Natural Gas Reserves: 19,820,000,000 cu m
   
External Debt: $1,049,000,000,000 USD Received in economic aid: $0 USD
  Donated in economic aid: $607,000,000 USD
   
Agricultural Products: turnips, barley, potatoes, sugar beets, wheat; beef, dairy products
 
Primary Industries: steel, lead, zinc, silver, aluminum, barite, and gypsum mining processing; food products, brewing, textiles, clothing; chemicals, pharmaceuticals; machinery, rail transportation equipment, passenger and commercial vehicles, ship construction and refurbish
 
Industrial Growth Rate: 3.00 %
  
  
Import Amount in USD: $65,470,000,000 USD - data processing equipment, other machinery and equipment, chemicals, petroleum and petroleum products, textiles, clothing
 
Import Partners: UK 37%, US 13.8%, Germany 9.2%, Netherlands 4.5%
 
Export Amount in USD: $102,000,000,000 USD - machinery and equipment, computers, chemicals, pharmaceuticals; live animals, animal products
 
Export Partners: US 18.7%, UK 17.4%, Belgium 15.2%, Germany 7.4%, France 6.4%, Netherlands 4.8%
 
    
GINI Index: 35.90%
 
Labor Force Number of People: 2,030,000
 
Labor Force by Occupations: services 64%, industry 28%, agriculture 8%
 
  
 IRISH COMMUNICATIONS
  Ireland Facts |  Ireland Information | Ireland Statistics  
 
Radio Broadcast Stations: 115 Number of People with Radios: 2,550,000
Television Broadcast Stations: 4 Number of People with Televisions: 1,820,000
Number of People with Mainline Telephones: 2,033,000,000 Number of People with Mobile Phones: 4,210,000
 
Internet Service Providers: 238,706 Internet Users: 2,060,000
 
Internet Country Code: .ie Newspapers: 150
Two Letter Country Code: EI Weights and Measures:
Phone Country Code: 353 Electricity Voltage: 230 Volts
  
Telephone Systems: 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)
 
  
 IRISH TRANSPORTATION
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Highways: 95,736 km Railways: 3,312 km
Gas And Oil Pipelines: 1,795 km Waterways: 753 km
Airports: 15 Heliports: 0
 
Motor Vehicles: 399 per 1,000 people CO2 Emissions: 40,019,000 Metric Tons of CO2 per year
  Per capita CO2 emissions: 10.00 Metric Tons of CO2 per year
  
Merchant Marines: 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)
 
Ports and Harbors: Cork, Dublin, New Ross, Shannon Foynes, Waterford
 
  
 IRISH PEOPLE
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Population: 4,062,235 people type - nationality Birth Rate: 14.45 births per 1,000 people
Population Density: 56.00 people per sq km Death Rate: 7.82 deaths per 1,000 people
Population Growth: 1.15% per year Fertility Rate per Women: 1.86 babies born per woman
 
Population Male 0-14: 437,903 Population Female 0-14: 409,774
Population Male 15-64: 1,373,771 Population Female 15-64: 1,370,452
Population Male 65+: 207,859 Population Female 65+: 262,476
 
Population 0-14: 20.90% Literacy Rate: 99.00%
Population 15-64: 67.60% Literacy rate of Males: 99.00%
Population 65+: 11.60% Literacy rate of Females: 99.00%
 
Population that is Male: 49.50 % Population that is Female: 50.50%
Life expectancy at birth in years: 77.73 years Infant mortality rate - baby deaths per 1000 births: 5.31 Babies die per 1,000 births
Life expectancy at birth for Males: 75.11 years Life expectancy at birth for Females: 80.52 years
 
Rate of AIDS/HIV infection: 0.10% Number of people living with AIDS or HIV: 2,800
Number of people who died of AIDS: 0
   
Disease Risk:
 
Diseases:
 
Net Migration Rate per 1,000 people: 4.87
 
Nationality: IRISH
 
Ethnic Groups: Celtic, English 
 
  
Primary Language: English
 
Other Languages: English (official) is the language generally used, Irish (official) (Gaelic or Gaeilge) spoken mainly in areas located along the western seaboard
 
 
Primary Religion: Roman Catholic
 
Other Religions: Roman Catholic 88.4%, Church of Ireland 3%, other Christian 1.6%, other 1.5%, unspecified 2%, none 3.5%
 
  
 IRISH MILITARY
  Ireland Facts |  Ireland Information | Ireland Statistics  
  
Branches: Irish Defense Forces (Oglaigh na h-Eireann): Army (includes Naval Service and Air Corps)
 
Manpower Fit to Serve: 17 years
 
Manpower Available: 1,955,560 People
 
Manpower Fit to Serve: 1,628,749 People
 
Amount of Manpower Available each Year: 57,466 People per year
 
Expenditures: $700,000,000 USD per year
 
Expenditures as a Percentage of GDP: 0.90
 
 
Note: Phrasebase uses a variety of sources when compiling the facts and information presented above. This information is continually updated throughout the year.
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