Tourists don't know where they've been, travelers don't know where they're going.
— Paul Theroux, 1941 -




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 1949, 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 gradually being implemented despite some difficulties. In 2006, the Irish and British governments developed and began to implement the St. Andrews Agreement, building on the Good Friday Agreement approved in 1998.


For other places with the same name, see Ireland (disambiguation).

Ulster directs to here. For other places with this name, see Ulster (disambiguation)

Ireland (Irish: Éire), known popularly as the Emerald Isle, is an island in north-western Europe which has been divided politically since 1920. Most of the island is made up of Ireland (Irish: Éire) (a.k.a. Republic of Ireland (Irish: Poblacht na hÉireann)) . The remainder is Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom.

Read more about Ireland in our Ireland travel guide »

Featured journals from



by jhofsink

Adventures in a Country Where my Name is for Boys

Feb 2011 - Apr 2011  »  Ireland


by srh8911

May 2011  »  Ireland | United Kingdom | Germany

Summer 2017

by madjeanne

Headed North to cool down a bit.

Jul 2017 - Sep 2017  »  United States | United Kingdom | Norway | Svalbard and Jan Mayen | Sweden | Estonia | Russia | Finland | Germany | Netherlands | Belgium | Ireland | Iceland | Greenland | Canada

Belfast City Trip DAY 1

by briancorbett

Belfast City Center Tour & The Titanic Museum

Jul 2017  »  United Kingdom | Ireland

Dublin City Trip DAY 2

by briancorbett

Dundalk, Carlingford & Kilmainham Jail, Dublin

Jul 2017  »  Ireland

Featured hotels in



Co Clare

Price (US$): $208 - $1830 / night

Check rates »

Set in a beautiful Irish country house, The Lodge at Doonbeg is a coastal haven with a magnificent 18 hole golf course designed by Greg Norman, unique accommodation in delightful suites and cottages, exquisite dining and a soothing spa. The stunning sea views, whether from the golf course or your suite, are both invigorating and relaxing, reflecting the atmosphere of this hotel where you feel free to play as much golf as possible or simply unwind and enjoy the pampering. Be sure to… more »

IrelandThe Westbury Hotel 

Grafton Street
Dublin 2

Price (US$): $294 - $429 / night

Check rates »

Location. Located in central Dublin, The Westbury Hotel is steps from Powerscourt Townhouse, Gaiety Theatre, and Brown Thomas Flagship Store. Nearby points of interest also include St. Stephen's Green and Dublin Castle. Hotel Features. Dining options at The Westbury Hotel include a restaurant and a coffee shop/café. A bar/lounge is open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. Recreational amenities include a fitness facility. This 5 star property has a business center and… more »

IrelandThe Europe Hotel & Resort 


Price (US$): $270 - $294 / night

Check rates »

Location. Near the airport, The Europe Hotel & Resort is located in Killarney's Fossa neighborhood and close to Killarney Golf Club, Aghadoe, and Castlerosse Golf. Additional points of interest include Killarney Riding Stables and Innisfallen Island. Hotel Features. The Europe Hotel & Resort's restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A bar/lounge is open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves a complimentary breakfast. Recreational amenities include an… more »

IrelandMuckross Park Hotel & Cloisters Spa 

Killarney National Park
Lakes of Killarney

Price (US$): $176 - $177 / night

Check rates »

Location. Located in Killarney, Muckross Park Hotel & Cloisters Spa is in the historical district and close to Muckross Abbey, Muckross Traditional Farm, and Muckross House. Nearby points of interest also include INEC Killarney and Torc Waterfall. Hotel Features. Recreational amenities include an indoor pool, a health club, a spa tub, a sauna, and a steam room. The property's full service health spa has body treatments, massage/treatment rooms, facials, and beauty services. This 5 star… more »

IrelandRadisson Blu St. Helen's Hotel 

Stillorgan Road
Dublin 4

Price (US$): $127 - $222 / night

Check rates »

Location. Radisson Blu St. Helen's Hotel is a business friendly hotel located in Dublin's Booterstown neighborhood, close to Blackrock College, Aviva Stadium, and The Grand Canal Theatre. Additional points of interest include Royal Dublin Society and University College Dublin. Hotel Features. Dining options at Radisson Blu St. Helen's Hotel include 2 restaurants. A bar/lounge is open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves buffet breakfasts each morning… more »

Browse more hotels in Ireland »


Full name

Western Europe, occupying five-sixths of the island of Ireland in the North Atlantic Ocean, west of Great Britain

Geographic coordinates

53 00 N, 8 00 W

Area comparative

slightly larger than West Virginia

Border countries

UK 360 km


1,448 km


temperate maritime; modified by North Atlantic Current; mild winters, cool summers; consistently humid; overcast about half the time


mostly level to rolling interior plain surrounded by rugged hills and low mountains; sea cliffs on west coast

Lowest point

Atlantic Ocean 0 m

Highest point

Carrauntoohil 1,041 m

Natural resources

natural gas, peat, copper, lead, zinc, silver, barite, gypsum, limestone, dolomite


4,622,917 (July 2010 est.)

Ethnic groups

Irish 87.4%, other white 7.5%, Asian 1.3%, black 1.1%, mixed 1.1%, unspecified 1.6% (2006 census)


Roman Catholic 87.4%, Church of Ireland 2.9%, other Christian 1.9%, other 2.1%, unspecified 1.5%, none 4.2% (2006 census)


English (official) is the language generally used, Irish (Gaelic or Gaeilge) (official) spoken mainly in areas along the western coast

Government type

republic, parliamentary democracy


6 December 1921 (from the UK by treaty)

National holiday

Saint Patrick's Day, 17 March

Chief of state

President Mary MCALEESE (since 11 November 1997)

Head of government

Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Brian COWEN (since 7 May 2008)

Internet country code


Internet users

3.042 million (2009)


39 (2010)

Ports and terminals

Cork, Dublin, Shannon Foynes, Waterford

Other countries in the region