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Ireland, Irish Republic, Éire

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Republic of Ireland

The Republic of Ireland (Irish: Poblacht na hÉireann) is the official description of the sovereign state which covers approximately five-sixths of the island of Ireland, off the coast of north-west Europe. The state's official name is Ireland (Irish: Éire), and this is how international organisations and citizens refer to the country. It is a member of the European Union, has a developed economy and a population of slightly more than four million. The remaining sixth of the island of Ireland is known as Northern Ireland and is part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.


The constitution provides that the name of the state is "Éire, or, in the English language, Ireland." However the state is commonly referred to as the "Republic of Ireland" in order to distinguish it from the island of Ireland as a whole. The name Republic of Ireland came into use after the Republic of Ireland Act defined it as the official "description" of the state in 1949 (the purpose of the act being to declare that the state was a republic rather than a form of constitutional monarchy), it is also the accepted legal name in the United Kingdom of the state as per the Ireland Act 1949. Today while Republic of Ireland is an accepted term for the state, Ireland is used for official purposes such as treaties, government and legal documents and membership of international organisations.

The state is also referred to, in English, by many other names such as Éire and the Twenty-six Counties. The use of Éire, in the English language, in Ireland has become increasingly rare, not least due to past condescending connotations. Historically the state has had more than one official title. The revolutionary state established by nationalists in 1919 was known as the "Irish Republic", while when the state achieved de jure independence in 1922 it became known as the "Irish Free State" (in the Irish language Saorstát Éireann), a name that was retained until 1937.

The National Anthem of the Republic of Ireland - Amhrán na bhFiann

Amhrán na bhFiann is the national anthem of the Republic of Ireland. Although usually sung in the Irish language, a translation of the original, it is also known by the English-language title, A Soldier's Song, as well as The National Anthem of Ireland (Amhrán Náisiúnta na hÉireann). The lyrics of the song are by Peadar Kearney and the music by both Kearney and Patrick Heeney. It was composed in 1907 and was first published in Irish Freedom in 1912. The Irish language version of the original was the work of Bulmer Hobson.

The song is regarded by many nationalists as the national anthem of the whole of Ireland, and it is therefore sung, for example, at Gaelic Athletic Association matches held anywhere on the island. Unionists, however, reject this use of Amhrán na bhFiann, and at international games played by the all-Ireland Irish Rugby Football Union team the song Ireland's Call is sung instead of, or (in the Republic of Ireland) as well as, Amhrán na bhFiann.

The Irish national anthem consists of the chorus only of Amhrán na bhFiann, and is almost always sung in Irish. The first two lines of the anthem and the last two, played together, form the Irish Presidential Salute, which is played when the President of Ireland attends official events. The chorus of Amhrán na bhFiann, as used for the anthem, is given below.

Amhrán na bhFiann - National Anthem of Ireland (Listen)

Irish version
Sinne Fianna Fáil
Atá fé gheall ag Éirinn,
Buíon dár slua
Thar toinn do ráinig chugainn,
Fé mhóid bheith saor.
Seantír ár sinsear feasta
Ní fhágfar fén tiorán ná fén tráill
Anocht a théam sa bhearna bhaoil,
Le gean ar Ghaeil chun báis nó saoil
Le gunna scréach fé lámhach na bpiléar
Seo libh canaidh Amhrán na bhFiann.

English version
Soldiers are we
whose lives are pledged to Ireland;
Some have come
from a land beyond the wave.
Sworn to be free,
No more our ancient sireland
Shall shelter the despot or the slave.
Tonight we man the bhearna bhaoil
In Erin's cause, come woe or weal;
'Mid cannons' roar and rifles' peal,
We'll chant a soldier's song.


The partition of Ireland came about because of complex constitutional developments in the early twentieth century.

From 1 January 1801 until 6 December 1922, Ireland was part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. The erroneous egoistical policy of large landowners has caused famine in 1845-1847 in which 1,5 million Irish died, followed by the enormous emigration. From 1874, but particularly from 1880 under Charles Stewart Parnell, the Irish Parliamentary Party moved to prominence with its attempts to achieve Home Rule, which would have given Ireland some autonomy without requiring it to leave the United Kingdom. It finally seemed possible in 1911 when the House of Lords lost their veto, and John Redmond secured the Third Home Rule Act 1914. The unionist movement, however, had been growing since 1886 among Irish Protestants, fearing that they would face discrimination, and lose economic and social privileges if Irish Catholics were to achieve real political power. Though Irish unionism existed throughout the whole of Ireland, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century unionism was particularly strong in parts of Ulster, where industrialisation was more common in contrast to the more agrarian rest of the island. (Any tariff barriers would, it was feared, most heavily hit that region.) In addition, the Protestant population was more strongly located in Ulster, with unionist majorities existing in about four counties. Under the leadership of the Dublin-born Sir Edward Carson and the northerner Sir James Craig they became more militant. In 1914, to avoid rebellion in Ulster, the British Prime Minister Herbert Asquith, with agreement of the leadership of the Irish Parliamentary Party leadership, inserted a clause into the bill providing for home rule for 26 of the 32 counties, with an as of yet undecided new set of measures to be introduced for the area temporarily excluded. Though it received the Royal Assent, the Third Home Rule Act 1914's implementation was suspended until after the Great War. (The war at that stage was expected to be ended by 1915, not the four years it did ultimately last.) For the prior reasons Redmond and his Irish National Volunteers supported the Allied cause, and tens of thousands joined the British Army.

In January 1919, after the December 1918 general elections, 73 of Ireland's 106 MPs elected were Sinn Fein members who refused to take their seats in the British House of Commons. Instead they set up an extra-legal Irish parliament called Dáil Éireann. This Dáil in January 1919 issued a Unilateral Declaration of Independence and proclaimed an Irish Republic. This Declaration of Independence was mainly a restatement of the 1916 Proclamation with the additional provision that Ireland was no longer a part of the United Kingdom. Despite this, the new Irish Republic remained unrecognised internationally except by Lenin's Russian Republic. Nevertheless the Republic's Áireacht (ministry) sent a delegation under Ceann Comhairle Sean T. O'Kelly to the Paris Peace Conference, 1919. However it was not admitted. After the bitterly fought War of Independence, representatives of the British government and the Irish rebels negotiated the Anglo-Irish Treaty in 1921 under which the British agreed to the establishment of an independent Irish State whereby the Irish Free State (in the Irish language Saorstát Éireann) with dominion status was created. The Dáil narrowly ratified the treaty.

The Treaty however was not entirely satisfactory to either side. It gave more concessions to the Irish than the British had intended to give but did not go far enough to satisfy Republican concerns. The new Irish Free State was in theory to cover the entire island, subject to the proviso that Northern Ireland (which had been created as a separate entity under the Government of Ireland Act 1920) could opt out and choose to remain part of the United Kingdom, which it duly did, to no-one's surprise. The remaining 26 counties of the island became the Irish Free State, a constitutional monarchy over which the British monarch reigned (from 1927 with the title King of Ireland). It had a Governor-General, a bicameral parliament, a cabinet called the "Executive Council" and a prime minister called the President of the Executive Council.

The Irish Civil War was the direct consequence of the creation the Irish Free State. Anti-Treaty forces, led by Eamon de Valera, objected to the fact that acceptance of the Treaty abolished the Irish Republic of 1919 to which they had sworn loyalty, arguing in the face of public support for the settlement that the "people have no right to do wrong". They objected most to the fact that the state would remain part of the British Commonwealth and that TDs would have to swear an oath of fidelity to King George V and his successors. Pro-Treaty forces, led by Michael Collins, argued that the Treaty gave "not the ultimate freedom that all nations aspire to and develop, but the freedom to achieve it".

At the start of the war, the Irish Republican Army (IRA) split into two opposing camps: a pro-treaty IRA and an anti-treaty IRA. However, through the lack of an effective command structure in the anti-treaty IRA, and the pro-treaty IRA's defensive tactics throughout the war, Collins and his pro-treaty commanders were able to build up an army capable of overwhelming the anti-treaty forces on the battlefield. British supplies of artillery, aircraft, machine-guns and ammunition boosted pro-treaty forces, and the threat of a return of Crown forces to the Free State removed any doubts about the necessity of enforcing the treaty. The lack of public support for the anti-treaty Irregulars, and the determination of the government to overcome them, contributed significantly to their defeat.

The National Army suffered 800 fatalities and perhaps as many as 4000 people were killed altogether. As their forces retreated, the Irregulars showed a major talent for destruction and the economy of the Free State suffered a hard blow in the earliest days of its existence as a result.

On the 29 December 1937 a new constitution, the Constitution of Ireland, came into force. It replaced the Irish Free State by a new state called simply "Ireland". Though this state's constitutional structures provided for a President of Ireland instead of a king, it was not technically a republic. The principal key role possessed by a head of state, that of representing the state symbolically internationally remained vested in statute law in the King as an organ. On 1 April 1949 the Republic of Ireland Act declared a republic, with the functions previously given to the King given instead to the President of Ireland.

The Irish state had remained a member of the then British Commonwealth after independence until the declaration of a republic in April 1949. Under Commonwealth rules declaration of a republic automatically terminated membership of the association, consequently Ireland ceased to be a member.

The Republic of Ireland joined the United Nations in 1955 and the European Community (now the European Union) in 1973. Irish governments have sought the peaceful reunification of Ireland and have usually cooperated with the British government in the violent conflict with the Provisional IRA in Northern Ireland known as the "Troubles". A peace settlement for Northern Ireland, the Belfast Agreement, was approved in 1998 in referenda north and south of the border, and is currently being implemented, albeit more slowly than many would like.


The island of Ireland extends over 84,421 km² of which five-sixths belong to the Republic, with the remainder constituting Northern Ireland. It is bound to the west by the Atlantic Ocean, to the northeast by the North Channel. To the east is found the Irish Sea which reconnects to the ocean via the southwest with St. George's Channel and the Celtic Sea. The west-coast of Ireland mostly consists of cliffs, hills and low mountains (the highest point being Carrauntoohil at 1,041 m). In from the perimeter of the country is mostly relatively flat farmland, traversed by rivers such as the River Shannon and several large lakes or loughs. The center of the country is part of the River Shannon watershed, containing large areas of bogland, used for peat production.

The local temperate climate is modified by the North Atlantic Current and is relatively mild. Summers are rarely very hot, but it freezes only occasionally in winter. Precipitation is very common, with up to 275 days with rain in some parts of the country. Chief cities are the capital Dublin on the east coast, Cork in the south, Galway and Limerick on the west coast, and Waterford on the south east coast (see Cities in Ireland).

The information placed above is from "Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia"
We thank them for the data!

The Irish flag
Republic of Ireland,
Ireland, Éire

See also: Foreign Embassies in Ireland

See also: Irish Embassies

See also: National Anthem of Ireland (Listen)

See also: The Irish National Anthem (Read about)


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