Life expectancy at birth: total population: 80.1 years (Portugal 78,3; France 81,1; UK 79,4)) male: 77.86 years female: 82.41 years (2010 est.) Total fertility rate: 2.03 children born/woman (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)
Urbanisation: Urban population: 61% of total population (2008) (over 80% in England, 77% in France) Rate of urbanization: 2.2% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
Main cities Dublin 270 000 inhabitants in the city itself Cork 190 000 Limerick 91 000 Galway 73 000 Lisburn 71 000
Religions: Roman Catholic 87.4%, Church of Ireland 2.9%, other Christian 1.9%, other 2.1%, unspecified 1.5%, none 4.2% (2006 census) The Church of Ireland (Irish: Eaglais na hÉireann) is an autonomous section of the Anglican religion, existing everywhere in the island of Ireland.
Languages: English is the language generally used, Irish (Gaelic or Gaeilge) is also an official language spoken mainly in areas along the western coast
Around 70 000 Irlandais (under 2 % of the population ) use Irish on a daily basis, 260 000 have a good knowledge of Irish and 1 600 000 have some knowledge. Irish is studied in all schools in the Republic.
Ireland is a republic with a parliamentary system of government. The President of Ireland serves as head of state, is elected for a seven-year term and can be re-elected only once. The president is largely a figurehead, but has a constitutional role. From 1990 to 2011 the president was a woman – Mary Robinson (1990-97) then Mary McAleese (1997 to 2011).
Michael Higgins, president of Ireland since 2011
The president appoints the Taoiseach, which is the equivalent of the prime minister in most countries. They always appoint the leader of the party with the most seats in the parliament, This Irish word is pronounced /ti:ʃəx/
The current Taoiseach is Enda Kenny, from the Fine Gael party Most Taoisigh have been the leader of the political party that wins the most seats in the national elections. It has become normal for coalitions to form a government, as there has not been a single-party government since 1989.
The current government consists of a coalition of two parties; Fine Gael : Labour.
There exist all-Ireland institutions in Transport Telecommunications Energy Water The North-South Ministerial Council, set up in 1998, formulate all-Ireland policies on questions such as Food safety Tourism Agriculture
The end of the Celtic tiger? One of the lowest corporate tax rates in the developed world, coupled with low paid but educated labour force, led to an annual growth rate of 6.5 per cent from 1989 until 2006. Ireland got the nickname of the Celtic tiger
For the first time in over a hundred years, perhaps for the first time in its history, Ireland after 1995 was no longer a country people left in order to emigrate, but a country that immigrants were attracted to. In 1987 there were 3.5 million inhabitants in the Irish Republic. By 2005 there were 4.1 million
Major investments were made in technical Higher education. More than 300 high technology companies came to operate in Ireland, This sector soon made up 25% of Irish exports,
In addition, around a hundred pharmaceutical companies established themselves in Ireland.
The companies were attracted by -A well-educated workforce -Low levels of corporation tax -Staff who spoke fluent English, the International language. The republics economy became much less dependent on that of Britain.
In 1973 55% of the Republics exports went to Britain, In 2004 only 18% went to Britain 20% went to the United States 44% went to countries in the European Union other than Britain
Many people had a better standard of living in this period in Ireland, However, important pockets of poverty remained. And rapidly increasing house prices cause many problems for ordinary irish people.
In 2010 the financial crisis hit Irelands economy very hard. In October 2008 the Irish government bailed out the big Irish banks, going further than most other developed economies by guaranteeing the transactions of the banks. The Fianna-Fail/Greens coalition government predicted that it would spend $US60 billion to bail out the banks in a country with an economy that has an annual GDP of $US228 billion.
The result was strict austerity budgets, and some of the biggest protests seen for many years, Between 60 000 and 100 000 people marched in Dublin.
1949 Ireland leaves the commonwealth and declares itself a republic. 1949
After the war ireland was not allowed to join the United Nations until 1955. 1955
In 1969 British troops were sent into Northern Ireland. They quickly became seen as enemies of Catholics in the North. Even some government ministers in the South were trying to raise money for the armed struggle in the North against Britain. They were removed from the government by the Taoiseach.
In 1972 after Bloody Sunday, Britain was hated in the South, The British embassy in Dublin was burned down by a demonstration of 20 000 people, 1972
In 1972 a referendum was held on whether or not to join the European Economic Community, ancestor of the European Union
211 891 voters said « No » 1 041 890 voters said « Yes »
In 1973 the Irish republic joined the European Economic Community at the same time as Britain did. This was a period of high unemployment. In 1973 unemployment was officially counted as 7.9%, In 1985 unemployment was at 18.2%
Entry in the European Economic Community meant that funds were available -From the common Agricultural Policy, to aid Irelands bigger farmers (44 billion of EU funds went to agriculture over 30 years). -For the renovation and rebuilding of rapidly ageing or non-existant infrastructure
Water treatment plants, sewage works, rail lines, and bus services throughout the country have benefited from EU financial support.
This aid increased at the end of the 1980s During the period of 1989-1999 Irelands receipts from EU structural funds averaged around 2.6% of Gross National Product (GNP). 1980s
After the death of Bobbys Sands and nine others in the 1981 hunger strike, there was a huge wave of anger in the Republic against Britain. Sinn Fein became much stronger in the South of Ireland. It was much easier for the IRA to raise money in the United States.
In 1998, a referendum was held in both parts of Ireland to decide whether to implement the Good Friday agreement, which hoped to reduce conflict in Northern ireland, while putting the question of unification off until sometime in the future.
1998 In the Republic of Ireland 94.4% of voters said « Yes. » In Northern Ireland 71.1% said « Yes ». So the Good Friday institutions were established, though they were suspended four times between 2000 and 2007, such was the tension between nationalists and unionists in the North.
In 2005 an international commission was invited to witness the decommissioning of all IRA weapons. The IRA now believed that a political way forward was possible Small breakaway groups like « Real IRA » and « Continuity IRA » continued to believe that continuing the armed struggle for a united Ireland was justified. 2005
A few argued that the armed struggle should continue, like the painters of this mural who remind passers by of the events of 1969 and the burning of dozens of catholic houses by loyalists.
In 1998 at Omagh, 28 people were killed by a bomb planted by the small breakaway group « real IRA », A warning was given, but was not clear enough to evacuate the right area,
In 2005 the Irish language was recognized as a working language by the European Union. Euro MPs and administrators who want to work in Irish may do so. 2005
Ireland has been a country of emigration for a long time. In 1840 the population was more than 8 million In 1851 it was 6.5 million In 1941 it was down to 4.3 million. Today the population of the whole island of Ireland is only 6.2 million
Irish emigrants around the world have often kept their identity and some of their culture.
Irish traditional dancing has become famous aorund the world Riverdance
Over the last forty years, Irish traditional music has become famous all over the world The Chieftains
The Oireachtas [ɛrʲaxt̪ˠasˠ] is a bicameral parliament consisting of the President of Ireland, the upper house Seanad Éireann, and the lower house Dáil Éireann. The Seanad is composed of sixty members, Eleven are nominated by the Taoiseach, Six are elected by two universities 43 are elected by public representatives
The Dáil has 166 members (Teachtaí Dála) elected under a system of proportional representation. Parliamentary elections must be held at least every five years. Áras an Uachtaráin is the official residence of the President of Ireland, while both houses of the Oireachtas meet at Leinster House in Dublin.
Growth in the economy since the 1960s has driven much of the change in the education system. Education in Ireland is free at all levels, including college (university), but only for students applying from the EU. There are no tuition fees like there are in England. However, there are Student Services Fees (up to 1,500 in 2009/10) which students are required to pay on registration at university, to cover examinations, insurance and registration costs. Education in the Republic of Ireland
English is the primary medium of instruction at all levels, except in Gaelscoileanna: schools in which Irish is the working language.
For example, in Dublin there are 31 Irish-medium primary schools and 8 secondary schools, while in Cork there are 22 primary schools and 8 secondary schools. The Gaelscoil initiative has also inspired other similar language immersion projects in Europe such as the Scottish Gaelic and Manx schools. There are currently around 50,000 pupils/students (total both inside and outside the Gaeltacht) attending gaelscoileanna, with 298 gaelscoileanna at primary level and 72 schools at post-primary level (gaelcholáistí), in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
In 1973 the requirement to pass the Irish language in order to receive a second-level certificate was dropped although a student attending a school which receives public money must be taught the language. Certain students may get an exemption from learning Irish; these include students who have spent a significant period of time abroad or students with a learning difficulty. Between 700,000-800,000 students are taught Irish on a daily basis within the education system.
Around the world, people of Irish origin work at keeping the language alive. This poster is from Vancouver.
Type of schoolNumber Roman Catholic2988 Church of Ireland (Anglican)190 Presbyterian18 Methodist1 Jewish1 Muslim1 Multi-denominational10 Primary schools in the Irish Republic
The press in the Irish Republic The Irish Times is an Irish daily broadsheet newspaper launched on 29 March 1859. The Irish Times has full-time correspondents in Washington, Paris, Berlin, Beijing, Brussels and London. It had a daily circulation of 106,926 during the second six months of 2009. Note that it is *not* owned by The Times in London.
The Irish Independent was formed in 1905. It is the biggest selling Irish daily newspaper. It was originally a Catholic, nationalist paper. Since November 2009, the Irish Independent has published Foinse, an Irish-language supplement free of charge every Wednesday with a circulation of 195,000 (2012 figures).
The Irish Daily Star (formerly known simply as The Star) is a tabloid newspaper published in Ireland. It was first published on 29 February 1988. it is the Irish version of the UK tabloid Daily Star. It does however contain more Irish content than any similar Irish editions of the UK national newspapers. Its slogan is "Better... because we're Irish."
An Phoblacht (Irish pronunciation: [ən ˠ ˈ f ˠɔ b ˠ l ˠ əxt ̪ˠ ], The Republic) is the official newspaper of Sinn Féin in Ireland. It is published once a week, and according to its website sells an average of up to 15,000 copies every week.
RTÉ One (Irish: RTÉ a hAon) is the flagship television channel of Radío Teilifís Éireann(RTÉ), and it is the most popular and most watched television channel in Ireland. It was launched as Telefís Éireann on 31 December 1961, it was renamed RTÉ Television in 1966, and it was renamed as RTÉ ONE upon the launch of RTÉ TWO in 1978. RTÉ is funded partly by the licence fee, the remainder of the funding is provided by commercial advertising, because RTÉ is funded partly by the licence fee it shows considerably less advertisments than most other channels available in Ireland.
Rank & ProgrammeAV TVRAV 000'sAV Share 1. Eurovision Song Contest20.93718.952.98% 2. The Late Late Show19.91683.951.95% 3. RTÉ News: Nine O' Clock18.64640.148.16% 4. Prime Time Investigates: Tyres - A Dirty Business 16.63571.142.92% 5. Gerry Ryan Confidential15.94547.541.52% 6. Aftershock: Ghost Land15.85544.540.36% 7. Fair City15.26524.143.55% 8. RTÉ News: Late14.84509.849.92% 9. Room to Improve14.80508.439.34% 10. RTÉ News: Six One14.72505.853.57% 11. Coronation Street (TV3)14.56500.335.94% 12. Eastenders14.41494.944.82% 13. My Showhouse14.06482.936.48% 14. Head Shops13.00446.534.95% 15. Prime Time Investigates: Crimes Against Children 12.74437.830.86% 16. Prime Time12.69435.831.84% 17. Aftershock: Where to Now?12.60432.832.16% 18. Prime Time Investigates: Forgotten Lives12.49429.031.78% 19. Desperate Housewives12.38425.431.62% 20. The Frontline12.32423.140.14% Source: Nielsen Television Audience Measurement Based on ROI Commercial Channels, 1 st -31 st May 2010 Averaging: Any day, Any Time, Best Episode Top 20 Programmes, May 2010, Adults 15+
Fair City is an award-winning Irish television soap opera on RTÉ One. Produced by Radio Telefís Éireann, it was first broadcast on Monday, September 18, 1989. Plots centre on the domestic and professional lives of the residents of Carrigstown, a fictional suburb on the north side of Dublin. Originally aired as one half-hour episode per week for a limited run, it is now broadcast year round in four episodes per week. It is the most popular Irish soap opera, and the longest running. The programme has viewing figures of between 500,000 and 600,000 making it the most watched drama in Ireland.
The irish congress of trade unions is the central confederation of trade unionists
There are currently 55 trade unions with membership of Congress, representing about 600,000 members in the Republic of Ireland. Trade union members represent 35.1% of the Republic's workforce. This is a significant decline since the 55.3% recorded in 1980 and the 38.5% reported in 2003. In the Republic, over 60% of union members are in the public sector.
Jack O Connor, president of the ICTU, on a Coca Cola picket line in 2009
The Irish Municipal, Public and Civil Trade Union (IMPACT) is a trade union in the Republic of Ireland. It primarily organises workers in education, health, local government and the civil service. It also has members who work for voluntary and community organisations, telecommunications and aviation. The union was founded in 1991 by the merger of the Local Government and Public Services Union, the Union of Professional and Technical Civil Servants and the Irish Municipal Employees Trade Union. It has 63 000 members,
2009 campaign against levy on public service pensions
The Irish Bank Officials Association (IBOA) represents staff in the finance sector in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, and those employed by Irish financial organisations in Great Britain and overseas.