We wander for distraction, but we travel for fulfillment.
— Hilaire Belloc, 1870 - 1953




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


IrelandThe Dunloe 

Dunloe Upper

Price (US$): $195 - $305 / night

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Location. Located in Beaufort, The Dunloe is near the airport and close to Dunloe Golf Course, Gap of Dunloe, and Kate Kearney's Cottage. Additional points of interest include Beaufort Golf Course and Killarney Golf Club. Hotel Features. Dining options at The Dunloe include 2 restaurants. 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 indoor pool, a health club, a sauna, a steam room,… more »

IrelandThe g Hotel 


Price (US$): $172 - $271 / night

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Location. The g Hotel is located in central Galway, close to Galway Greyhound Stadium, St. Nicholas' Collegiate Church, and Galway Cathedral. Nearby points of interest also include Spanish Arch and Galway City Museum. Hotel Features. The g Hotel's restaurant serves breakfast and dinner. A poolside bar and a bar/lounge are open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. Recreational amenities include a health club, a spa tub, a sauna, and a steam room. The property's full service… more »

IrelandThe Westin Dublin 

35 - 39 Westmoreland Street
At College Green
Dublin 2

Price (US$): $228 - $289 / night

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Location. Located in central Dublin, The Westin Dublin is a business friendly hotel steps from Bank of Ireland, The Book of Kells, and O'Connell Bridge. Additional points of interest include Dame Street and Dublin Tourism Centre. Hotel Features. The Westin Dublin'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 breakfast in the restaurant (surcharges apply). Recreational amenities include a fitness… more »


Co Clare

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

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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 »

IrelandCastlemartyr Resort 


Price (US$): $185 - $308 / night

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Location. Castlemartyr Resort is a business friendly Castlemartyr hotel in a rural location and local attractions include Jameson Experience and Water Rock Golf Course. Regional points of interest also include Fota Island and Redbarn Beach. Hotel Features. Dining options at Castlemartyr Resort include 2 restaurants. Room service is available. Recreational amenities include a golf course. Also located on site are an indoor pool and a health club. The property's full service health spa has… 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