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However, some clubs based outside Belfast thought that the IFA largely favoured Ulster-based clubs in such matters as selection for the national team. In 1921, following an incident in which, despite an earlier promise, the IFA moved an Irish Cup semi-final replay from Dublin to Belfast.HP Pavilion dv6-1045ee CPU Fan


Dublin-based clubs broke away to form the Football Association of the Irish Free State. Today the southern association is known as the Football Association of Ireland (FAI). Despite being initially blacklisted by the Home Nations' associations, the FAI was recognised by FIFA in 1923 and organised its first international fixture in 1926 (against Italy). HP Pavilion dv7-4050ev CPU Fan

However, both the IFA and FAI continued to select their teams from the whole of Ireland, with some players earning international caps for matches with both teams. Both also referred to their respective teams as Ireland.

In 1950, FIFA directed the associations only to select players from within their respective territories and, HP Pavilion dv6t-3200 CTO CPU Fan

in 1953, directed that the FAI's team be known only as "Republic of Ireland" and that the IFA's team be known as "Northern Ireland" (with certain exceptions). Northern Ireland qualified for the World Cup finals in 1958 (reaching the quarter-finals), 1982 and 1986. The Republic qualified for the World Cup finals in 1990 (reaching the quarter-finals), Toshiba Satellite L505-144 CPU Fan

1994, 2002 and the European Championships in 1988 and 2012. Across Ireland, there is significant interest in the English and, to a lesser extent, Scottish soccer leagues.

Unlike soccer, Ireland continues to field a single national rugby team and a single association, the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU), governs the sport across the island. Toshiba Satellite A205-S5804 CPU Fan

The Irish rugby team have played in every Rugby World Cup, making the quarter-finals in four of them. Ireland also hosted games during the 1991 and the 1999 Rugby World Cups (including a quarter-final). There are four professional Irish teams; all four play in the Magners League (now called the RaboDirect Pro12) and at least three compete for the Heineken Cup. Toshiba Satellite L500-1XC CPU Fan

Irish rugby has become increasingly competitive at both the international and provincial levels since the sport went professional in 1994. During that time, Ulster (1999), Munster (2006and 2008) and Leinster (2009 and 2011)have won the Heineken Cup. In addition to this, the Irish International side has had increased success in the Six Nations Championship against the other European elite sides. Toshiba Satellite A660-BT2N22 CPU Fan

This success, including Triple Crowns in 2004, 2006 and 2007, culminated with a clean sweep of victories, known as a Grand Slam, in 2009.[164]

The Ireland cricket team was among the associate nations that qualified for the 2007 Cricket World Cup. Toshiba Satellite P305-S8814 CPU Fan

It defeated Pakistan and finished second in its pool, earning a place in the Super 8 stage of the competition. The team also competed in the 2009 ICC WorlToshiba Satellite L550-13U CPU Fan

d Twenty20 after jointly winning the qualifiers, where they also made the Super 8 stage. Ireland also won the 2009 ICC World Cup Qualifier to secure their place in the 2011 Cricket World Cup, as well as official ODI status through 2013. Kevin O'Brien scored the fastest century in Word Cup history (113 runs off 63 balls), as Ireland produced one of the great upsets to defeat England by 3 wickets in the 2011 tournamentLenovo IBM ThinkPad Edge E420 Keyboard


Rugby league in Ireland is governed by Rugby League Ireland, which runs the Irish Elite League, there are currently 20 teams across Ulster, Munster and Leinster.[165] The Irish rugby league team is made up predominantly of players based in Ireland, England and Australia.[166] Ireland reached the quarter-finals of the 2000 Rugby League World Cup as well as reaching the semi finals in the 2008 Rugby League World Cup. HP Pavilion G61-336NR CPU Fan


Horse racing and greyhound racing are both popular in Ireland. There are frequent horse race meetings and greyhound stadiums are well-attended. The island is noted for the breeding and training of race horses and is also a large exporter of racing dogs.[168] The horse racing sector is largely concentrated in the County Kildare.[169] HP Pavilion dv7-6184ca CPU Fan


Irish athletics has seen a heightened success rate since the year 2000, with Sonia O'Sullivan winning two medals at 5,000 metres on the track; gold at the 1995 World Championships and silver at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Gillian O'Sullivan won silver in the 20k walk at the 2003 World Championships, while sprint hurdler Derval O'Rourke won gold at the 2006 World Indoor Championship in Moscow. HP Pavilion dv7-3125eo CPU Fan

Olive Loughnane won a silver medal in the 20k walk in the World Athletics Championships in Berlin in 2009.

Ireland has won more medals in boxing than in any other Olympic sport. Boxing is governed by the Irish Amateur Boxing Association. HP Pavilion dv7-2185dx CPU Fan

Michael Carruth won a gold medal and Wayne McCullough won a silver medal in the Barcelona Olympic Games and in 2008 Kenneth Egan won a silver medal in the Beijing Games.[170] Paddy Barnes secured bronze in those games and gold in the 2010 European Amateur Boxing Championships (where Ireland came 2nd in the overall medal table) and 2010 Commonwealth Games. IBM MCF-C10AM05 CPU Fan

Katie Taylor has won gold in every European and World championship since 2005. In August 2012 at the Olympic Games in London Katie Taylor created history by becoming the first Irish woman to win a gold medal in boxing in the 60 kg lightweight.[171]

Golf is very popular and golf tourism is a major industry attracting more than 240,000 golfing visitors annually.[ SONY Vaio VGN-SZ2XP/C CPU Fan

The 2006 Ryder Cup was held at The K Club in County Kildare.[173] Pádraig Harrington became the first Irishman since Fred Daly in 1947 to win the British Open at Carnoustie in July 2007.[174] He successfully defended his title in July 2008[175] before going on to win the PGA Championship in August.[ DELL Latitude E4300 CPU Fan

Harrington became the first European to win the PGA Championship in 78 years and was the first winner from Ireland. Three golfers from Northern Ireland have been particularly successful. In 2010, Graeme McDowell became the first Irish golfer to win the U.S. Open, and the first European to win that tournament since 1970. HP Pavilion dv7-2025es CPU Fan

Rory McIlroy, at the age of 22, won the 2011 U.S. Open, while Darren Clarke's latest victory was the 2011 Open Championship at Royal St. George's. In August 2012, McIlroy won his 2nd major championship by winning the USPGA Championship by a record margin of 8 shots.

The west coast of Ireland, Lahinch and Donegal Bay in particular, have popular surfing beaches, FUJITSU LifeBook A6030 CPU Fan

being fully exposed to the Atlantic Ocean. Donegal Bay is shaped like a funnel and catches west/south-west Atlantic winds, creating good surf, especially in winter. Since just before the year 2010, Bundoran has hosted European championship surfing. Scuba diving is increasingly popular in Ireland with clear waters and large populations of sea life, particularly along the western seaboard. SONY Vaio VGN-FS115Z CPU Fan

There are also many shipwrecks along the coast of Ireland, with some of the best wreck dives being in Malin Head and off the County Cork coast.

With thousands of lakes, over 14,000 kilometres (8,700 mi) of fish bearing rivers and over 3,700 kilometres (2,300 mi) of coastline, Ireland is a popular angling destination. HP 532617-001 CPU Fan

The temperate Irish climate is suited to sport angling. While salmon and trout fishing remain popular with anglers, salmon fishing in particular received a boost in 2006 with the closing of the salmon driftnet fishery. Coarse fishing continues to increase its profile. Sea angling is developed with many beaches mapped and signposted, and the range of sea angling species is around 80. ACER Aspire 5730Z CPU Fan


Food and cuisine in Ireland takes its influence from the crops grown and animals farmed in the island's temperate climate and from the social and political circumstances of Irish history. For example, whilst from the Middle Ages until the arrival of the potato in the 16th century the dominant feature of the Irish economy was the herding of cattle, the number of cattle a person owned was equated to their social standing.[ HP G56-126NR CPU Fan

Thus herders would avoid slaughtering a milk-producing cow.[180]

For this reason, pork and white meat were more common than beef and thick fatty strips of salted bacon (or rashers) and the eating of salted butter (i.e. a dairy product rather than beef itself) have been a central feature of the diet in Ireland since the Middle Ages.[ HP Pavilion dv7-6166nr CPU Fan

The practice of bleeding cattle and mixing the blood with milk and butter (not unlike the practice of the Maasai) was common[181] and black pudding, made from blood, grain (usually barley) and seasoning, remains a breakfast staple in Ireland. All of these influences can be seen today in the phenomenon of the "breakfast roll".FUJITSU Lifebook A3210 CPU Fan


The introduction of the potato in the second half of the 16th century heavily influenced cuisine thereafter. Great poverty encouraged a subsistence approach to food and by the mid-19th century the vast majority of the population sufficed with a diet of potatoes and milk.[182] A typical family, consisting of a man, a woman and four children, would eat 18 stone (110 kg) of potatoes a week.[ DELL Precision M6400 CPU Fan

Consequently, dishes that are considered as national dishes represent a fundamental unsophistication to cooking, such as the Irish stew, bacon and cabbage, boxty, a type of potato pancake, or colcannon, a dish of mashed potatoes and kale or cabbage.[180] Compaq Presario CQ60-615DX CPU Fan


Since the last quarter of the 20th century, with a re-emergence of wealth in Ireland, a "New Irish Cuisine" based on traditional ingredients incorporating international influences[183] has emerged.[184] This cuisine is based on fresh vegetables, fish (especially salmon, trout, oysters, mussels and other shellfish), HP Pavilion dv2660se CPU Fan

as well as traditional soda breads and the wide range of hand-made cheeses that are now being produced across the country. The potato remains however a fundamental feature of this cuisine and the Irish remain the highest per capita[180] consumers of potatoes in Europe. An example of this new cuisine is "Dublin Lawyer": lobster cooked in whiskey and cream.[ Toshiba Satellite L500-1XC CPU Fan

Traditional regional foods can be found throughout the country, for example coddle in Dublin or drisheen in Cork, both a type of sausage, or blaa, a doughy white bread particular to Waterford.

Ireland once dominated the world's market for whiskey, producing 90% of the world's whiskey at the start of the 20th century. DELL GM0503PEB1-8 (L2.M) CPU Fan

However, as a consequence of bootleggers during the prohibition in the United States (who sold poor-quality whiskey bearing Irish-sounding names thus eroding the pre-prohibition popularity for Irish brands)[186] and tariffs on Irish whiskey across the British Empire during the Anglo-Irish Trade War of the 1930s,[187] HP Pavilion dv7-1098eo CPU Fan

sales of Irish whiskey worldwide fell to a mere 2% by the mid-20th century.[188] In 1953, an Irish government survey, found that 50 per cent of whiskey drinkers in the United States had never heard of Irish whiskey.[189]

Irish whiskey, as researched in 2009 by the CNBC American broadcaster, remains popular domestically and has grown in international sales steadily over a few decades.[ Toshiba Satellite A205-S5804 CPU Fan

Typically CNBC states Irish whiskey is not as smoky as a Scotch whisky, but not as sweet as American or Canadian whiskies.[190] Whiskey forms the basis of traditional cream liqueurs, such as Baileys, and the "Irish coffee" (a cocktail of coffee and whiskey reputedly invented at Foynes flying-boat station) is probably the best-known Irish cocktail. HP Pavilion dv7-1240us CPU Fan


Stout, a kind of porter beer, particularly Guinness, is typically associated with Ireland, although historically it was more closely associated with London. Porter remains very popular, although it has lost sales since the mid-20th century to lager. Cider, particularly Magners (marketed in the Republic of Ireland as Bulmers), is also a popular drink.  DELL yy529 CPU Fan

Red lemonade, a soft-drink, is consumed on its own and as a mixer, particularly with whiskey.

Ireland is an island in northwest Europe in the north Atlantic Ocean whose main geographical features include low central plains surrounded by a ring of coastal mountains. The highest peak is Carrauntoohil (Irish: Corrán Tuathail), which is 1,041 metres (3,415 ft) above sea level. Toshiba Qosmio G40-10E CPU Fan

The western coastline is rugged, with many islands, peninsulas, headlands and bays. The island is bisected by the River Shannon, which at 386 km (240 mi) with a 113 km (70 mi) estuary is the longest river in Ireland and flows south from County Cavan in Ulster to meet the Atlantic just south of Limerick. SONY Vaio VGN-CR407E CPU Fan

There are a number of sizeable lakes along Ireland's rivers, of which Lough Neagh is the largest.

Politically, the island consists of the state, Ireland, with jurisdiction over about five-sixths of the island; and Northern Ireland, a constituent country of the United Kingdom, with jurisdiction over the remaining sixth. HP Pavilion dv6-3131tx Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

Located west of the island of Great Britain, it is located at approximately 53°N 8°WCoordinates: 53°N 8°W. It has a total area of 84,421 km2 (32,595 sq mi).[1] It is separated from Great Britain by the Irish Sea and from mainland Europe by the Celtic Sea. Ireland and Great Britain, together with nearby islands, are known collectively as the British Isles; HP 622029-001 Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

as the term British Isles is controversial in relation to Ireland, the alternative term Britain and Ireland is increasingly preferred.

The oldest known Irish rock is about 1.7 billion years old and is found on Inishtrahull Island off the coast of County Donegal.[3][4] and also at Annagh Head in north west County Mayo.[5] Toshiba Satellite L675D-S7047 Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

In other parts of Donegal, scientists have discovered rocks that began life as glacial deposits, demonstrating that at this early period, part of what was to become Ireland was in the grip of an ice age. However, because of the effects of later upheavals, it is almost impossible to sequence these early rock layers correctly. HP Pavilion dv7-4170ez Laptop CPU Cooling Fan


About 600 million years ago, at the end of the Precambrian super-eon, the Irish landmass was divided in two, with one half on the western side of the Iapetus Ocean in Laurentia and the other on the eastern side in the micro-continent Avalonia, both at a latitude of around 80° South, close to what is now northwest Africa.[6] HP Pavilion dv4-1506tx Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

From the evidence of fossils found at Bray Head in County Wicklow, Ireland was below sea level at this time.

Over the next 50 million years, these two parts drifted towards each other, eventually uniting about 440 million years ago. Compaq Presario CQ61-411WM Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

Fossils discovered near Clogherhead, County Louth, show the coming together of shoreline fauna from both sides of the original dividing ocean. The mountains of northwest Ireland were formed during the collision, as was the granite that is found in locations in Donegal and Wicklow. IBM FRU 46L4753 Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

The Irish landmass was now above sea level and lying near the equator, and fossil traces of land-based life forms survive from this period. These include fossilised trees from Kiltorcan, County Kilkenny, widespread bony fish and freshwater mussel fossils and the footprints of a four-footed amphibian preserved in slate on Valentia Island, County Kerry. Old Red Sandstone also formed at this time. HP Pavilion dv6-3190sf Laptop CPU Cooling Fan


Between 400 million and 300 million years ago, northwest Europe – including Ireland – sank beneath a warm, calcium-rich sea. Great coral reefs formed in these waters, eventually creating the limestone that still makes up about 65 per cent of the rock mantle of the island. As the waters receded, tropical forests and swamps flourished. SONY Vaio VGN-FZ21E Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

The resulting vegetable debris eventually formed coal, most of which was later eroded. This period, known as the Carboniferous period, ended with further tectonic movement which saw Ireland drift further northward. The resulting pressure created those Irish mountain and hill ranges that run in a northeast to southwest direction. HP G42-415DX Laptop CPU Cooling Fan


By 250 million years ago, Ireland was at the latitude of present-day Egypt and had a desert climate. It was at this time that most of the coal and sandstone were eroded. The thinner layers of limestone in the south of the country were also partially affected by this erosion. HP 646578-001 Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

The limestone that was exposed by the disappearance of its sandstone mantle was affected by carbon dioxide and other factors resulting in a karstic landscape that can still be seen in the Burren in County Clare. HP KSB06105HA CPU Fan

Shortly after this period, organic debris in the seas around Ireland began to form the natural gas and petroleum deposits that now play an important role in the economy of Ireland. Then, about 150 million years ago, Ireland was again submerged, this time in a chalky sea that resulted in the formation of chalk over large parts of the surface.  Dell Latitude E6500 Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

Traces of this survive under the basalt lava that is found in parts of the north.

About 66 million years ago, the volcanic activity that formed this lava began. The Mourne Mountains and other mountains in the northern part of the island formed as a result of this activity.[8] Climatic conditions at this time were warm and vegetation thrived. SONY Vaio VGN-NR120Q Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

Vegetable debris in the Antrim depression formed deposits of brown coal or lignite which remain untouched down to the present time. The warm conditions produced high rainfall that accelerated processes of erosion and the formation of karstic landscape forms.

By 25 million years ago, Ireland was close to assuming its present position. Toshiba Satellite A205-S5879 Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

The long period of erosion had resulted in considerable soil formation and most of the rock mantle was covered. In areas with good drainage, the covering consisted of brown or grey soil, while in poorly drained areas the black clay tended to dominate. As the climate cooled, soil formation slowed down, HP KSB06105HA Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

and a flora and fauna that would, millions of years later, be familiar to the first human inhabitants began to emerge. By about three million years ago, the present landscape of Ireland had more or less formed.

Since about 1.7 million years ago, the earth has been in the grip of a cycle of warm and cold stages and these have, inevitably, affected Ireland. Toshiba Satellite L645D-S4056 Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

The earliest evidence we have for this effect comes from the period known as the Ballylinian Warm Stage, some half a million years ago. At this time, most of what are now considered to be native Irish trees were already established on the island. The action of the ice during the cold stages was the major factor in bringing the Irish landscape to its current form. HP Pavilion dv6-2016ax Laptop CPU Cooling Fan


Obvious impacts of the ice on the landscape include the formation of glacial valleys such as Glendalough in Wicklow and of corries, or glacial lakes. The depositing of mounds of debris under the melting ice created drumlins, a common feature of the landscape across the north midlands.[ SONY Vaio VGN-CR11S/P Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

Streams also formed under the ice and the material deposited by these formed eskers (Irish eiscir). The greatest of these, the Esker Riada, divides the northern and southern halves of the island and its ridge once served as the main highway connecting the east and west coasts.[11] About one half of the coastline consists of a low lying dune pasture land known as Machair. HP Pavilion dv7-6b55dx Laptop CPU Cooling Fan


The large central lowland is of limestone covered with glacial deposits of clay and sand, with widespread bogs and lakes. The Bog of Allen is one of the largest bogs.[12] The coastal mountains vary greatly in geological structure. In the south, the mountains are composed of old red sandstone with limestone river valleys. APPLE MacBook Pro 15 inch MA610LL Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

In Galway, Mayo, Donegal, Down and Wicklow, the mountains are mainly granite, while much of the northeast of the country is a basalt plateau. An area of particular note is the Giant's Causeway, in Antrim, a mainly basalt formation caused by volcanic activity between 50–60 million years ago.[13] HP G71-340US Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

The basalts were originally part of the great Thulean Plateau formed during the Paleogene period.[14]

The soils of the north and west tend to be poorly drained peats and gleys, including peaty podzols. HP Pavilion dv7-6166nr Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

In contrast, in the south and east the soils are free-draining brown earths and brown and grey-brown podzols. This is reflected in the rainfall distribution on the island, with the poorly drained regions being those with the highest rainfalls.

An unusual environment is present in north County Clare, in an area known as the Burren. HP Pavilion dv6-3050et Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

This karst-like landscape consists of limestone bedrock, with little or no soil in the inner-most areas. There are numerous sinkholes, where surface water disappears through the porous rock surface, and extensive cave systems have been formed in some areas. The Pol an Ionain cave, near Doolin, is the site of one of the world's longest known free-hanging stalactites. Dell Vostro 3500 Laptop CPU Cooling Fan


Ireland consists of a mostly flat low-lying area in the midlands, ringed by mountain ranges such as (beginning in County Kerry and working counter-clockwise) the Macgillycuddy's Reeks, Comeragh Mountains, Blackstairs Mountains, Wicklow Mountains, the Mournes, Glens of Antrim, Sperrin Mountains, FUJITSU Lifebook S7110 Laptop Keyboard

Bluestack Mountains, Derryveagh Mountains, Ox Mountains, Nephinbeg Mountains and the Twelve Bens/Maumturks group. Some mountain ranges are further inland in the south of Ireland, such as the Galtee Mountains, the highest inland range,[16] Silvermine and Slieve Bloom Mountains. HP AELX6U00210 Laptop Keyboard

The highest peak is Carrauntoohil, 1,038 m (3,405 ft) high,[17] is in the Macgillycuddy's Reeks, a range of glacier-carved sandstone mountains in County Kerry, in the southwest of the island. The mountains are not high – only three peaks are over 1,000 m (3,281 ft)[17] and another 457 exceed 500 m (1,640 ft).  SONY VGN-FE31M Laptop Keyboard


The main river in Ireland is the River Shannon, 386 km (240 mi), the longest river in either Ireland or Great Britain, which separates the boggy midlands of Ireland from the West of Ireland. The river develops into three lakes along its course, Lough Allen, Lough Ree, and Lough Derg. Of these, Lough Derg is the largest.[17] HP G42-415DX Laptop Keyboard

The River Shannon enters the Atlantic Ocean after Limerick city at the Shannon Estuary. Other major rivers include the River Liffey, River Lee, River Blackwater, River Nore, River Suir, River Barrow, River Bann, River Foyle, River Erne, and River Boyne. (See the list of rivers in Ireland.)

Lough Neagh, in Ulster,[17] is the largest lake in Ireland and the UK. FUJITSU Lifebook S7110 Laptop Keyboard

Legend has it that a giant, Fionn mac Cumhail, was fighting with another in Scotland, and enraged, scooped out a lump of earth, which he threw. It fell into the Irish Sea, creating the Isle of Man, while the hole filled up with water to become Lough Neagh. Other large lakes include Lough Erne and Lough Corrib. HP AESP7U00110 Laptop Keyboard


Beginning with County Donegal, Lough Swilly separates one side of the Inishowen peninsula. Lough Foyle on the other side, is one of Ireland's larger inlets, situated between County Donegal and County Londonderry.[19] Further round the coast is Belfast Lough, between County Antrim and County Down.[20] HP COMPAQ NX6310 Laptop Keyboard

Also in County Down is Strangford Lough, actually an inlet partially separating the Ards peninsula from the mainland. Further down the coast, Carlingford Lough is situated between Down and County Louth.[20]

Dublin Bay is the next sizeable inlet, while the eastern coast of Ireland is mostly uniform until Wexford Harbour at the mouth of the River Slaney.[21ACER Aspire 5710 Laptop Keyboard

] On the southern coast, Waterford Harbour is situated at the mouth of the River Suir[22] (into which the other two of the Three Sisters (River Nore and River Barrow) flow). The next major inlet is Cork Harbour, at the mouth of the River Lee, in which Great Island is situated.

Dunmanus Bay, Bantry Bay, Kenmare estuary and Dingle Bay are all inlets between the peninsulas of County Kerry. HP Pavilion dv6-2112sa Laptop Keyboard

North of these is the Shannon Estuary. Between north County Clare and County Galway is Galway Bay. Clew Bay is located on the coast of County Mayo, south of Achill Island, while Broadhaven Bay, Blacksod Bay and Sruth Fada Conn bays are situated on the north west part of Connaught in North Mayo. SAMSUNG N150 Laptop Keyboard

Killala Bay is on the north east coast of Mayo. Donegal Bay is a major inlet between County Donegal and County Sligo.

Malin Head is the most northerly point in Ireland,[23] while Mizen Head is one of the most southern points, hence the term "Malin head to Mizen head" (or the reverse) is used for anything applying to the island of Ireland as a whole. HP G42-365LA Laptop Keyboard

Carnsore Point is another extreme point of Ireland, being the southeastern most point of Ireland. Further along the coast is Hook Head while the Old Head of Kinsale in is one of many headlands along the south coast of Ireland.

Loop Head is the headland at which County Clare comes to a point on the west coast of Ireland, TOSHIBA NSK-TAJ01 Laptop Keyboard

with the Atlantic on the north, and further inland on the south, the Shannon estuary. Hag's Head is another headland further up Clare's north/western coastline, with the Cliffs of Moher along the coastline north of the point.Erris Head is the northwesternmost point of Connacht.

Achill Island, in the northwest, is the largest island off Ireland's coast. HP G72-227WM Laptop Keyboard

The island is inhabited, and is connected to the mainland by a bridge.[24] Some of the next largest islands are the Aran Islands, off the coast of southern Connacht, host to an Irish-speaking community, or Gaeltacht. Valentia Island off the Iveragh peninsula is also one of Ireland's larger islands, HP Pavilion G7-1081NR Laptop Keyboard

and is relatively settled, as well as being connected by a bridge at its southeastern end. Omey Island, off the coast of Connemara is a tidal island.

Some of the best-known peninsulas in Ireland are in County Kerry; the Dingle peninsula, the aforementioned Iveragh peninsula and the Beara peninsula.  HP Mini 110-3135dx Laptop Keyboard

The Ards peninsula is one of the larger peninsulas outside Kerry. The Inishowen peninsula in County Donegal includes Ireland's most northerly point, Malin Head and several important towns including Buncrana on Lough Swilly, Carndonagh and Moville on Lough Foyle.  GATEWAY V021646BS1 Laptop Keyboard

Ireland's most northerly land feature is Inishtrahull island, off Malin Head. Rockall Island may deserve this honour but its status is disputed, being claimed by the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Denmark (for the Faroe Islands) and Iceland. The most southerly point is the Fastnet Rock. TOSHIBA 9J.N9082.001 Laptop Keyboard


Ireland's climate is temperate,[25] though significantly warmer than almost all other locations at similar latitude, such as Poland (on mainland Europe) or Newfoundland (on the opposite edge of the Atlantic), due to the warming influence of the North Atlantic drift. The prevailing wind blows from the southwest, breaking on the high mountains of the west coast.  FUJITSU Amilo Mini Ui 3520 Laptop Keyboard

Rainfall is therefore a particularly prominent part of western Irish life, with Valentia Island, off the west coast of County Kerry, getting almost twice as much annual rainfall as Dublin on the east (1,400 mm or 55.1 in vs. 762 mm or 30.0 in). Across the country, about 60% of the annual rainfall occurs between August and January. COMPAQ Presario CQ40 laptop keyboard


January and February are the coldest months of the year, and mean daily air temperatures fall between 4 and 7 °C (39.2 and 44.6 °F) during these months. July and August are the warmest, with mean daily temperatures of 14 to 16 °C (57.2 to 60.8 °F), whilst mean daily maximums in July and August vary from 17 to 18 °C (62.6 to 64.4 °F) near the coast, to 19 to 20 °C (66.2 to 68.0 °F) inland. Packard Bell Easynote LM82 laptop keyboard

The sunniest months are May and June, with an average of five to seven hours sunshine per day.[26] Though extreme weather events in Ireland are comparatively rare when compared with other countries in the European Continent, they do occur. Explosive Atlantic depressions, occurring mainly in the months of December, January and FebruaryTOSHIBA Satellite L355-S7905 laptop keyboard

, can occasionally bring winds of up to 160 km/h or 99 mph to Western coastal counties; while the summer months, and particularly around late July/early August, sudden and violent thunderstorms can develop, more especially, but not exclusively, across midland and western areas of the country. SONY VAIO VGN-NW50JB laptop keyboard


The table shows mean climate figures for the Dublin Airport weather station over a thirty-year period. Climate statistics based on the counties of Northern Ireland vary slightly but are not significantly different.

From an administrative viewpoint, 20 of the counties in the republic are units of local government. ASUS F9E laptop keyboard

The other six have more than one local council area, producing a total of 34 county-level authorities. Tipperary has two ridings, North Tipperary and South Tipperary, originally established in 1838 and renamed in 2001.The cities of Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford have city councils and are administered separately from the counties bearing those names. COMPAQ Presario CQ61 laptop keyboard

The remaining part of County Dublin is split into Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown, Fingal, and South Dublin.Electoral areas in Ireland (the state), called constituencies in accordance with Irish law, mostly follow county boundaries. Maintaining links to the county system is a mandatory consideration in the re-organisation of constituency boundaries by a Constituency Commission. TOSHIBA NB100 laptop keyboard


In Northern Ireland, a major re-organisation of local government in 1973 replaced the six traditional counties and two county boroughs (Belfast and Derry) by 26 single-tier districts,[33] which, apart from Fermanagh cross the traditional county boundaries. The six counties and two county-boroughs remain in use for purposes such as Lieutenancy. HP Pavilion DV7-3173nr laptop keyboard

In November 2005, proposals were announced which would see the number of local authorities reduced to seven.[34] The island's total population of approximately 6 million people is concentrated on the east coast, particularly in Dublin and Belfast and their surrounding areas.

Ireland has 12,000 km² (4,633 miles²) of bogland, Packard Bell Easynote TK85 laptop keyboard

consisting of two distinct types, blanket bogs and raised bogs. Blanket bogs are the more widespread of the two types. They are essentially a product of human activity aided by the moist Irish climate. Blanket bogs formed on sites where Neolithic farmers cleared trees for farming.  ACER Aspire One A150-BGc laptop keyboard

As the land so cleared fell into disuse, the soil began to leach and become more acidic, producing a suitable environment for the growth of heather and rushes. The debris from these plants accumulated and a layer of peat formed. One of the largest expanses of Atlantic blanket bog in Ireland is to be found in County Mayo.  SONY VAIO VGN-NW11S/S laptop keyboard


Raised bogs are most common in the Shannon basin. They formed when depressions left behind after the ice age filled with water to form lakes. Debris from reeds in these lakes formed a layer at the bottom of the water. This eventually choked the lakes and raised above the surface, forming raised bogs.[39] DELL Inspiron N4050 laptop keyboard


Since the 17th century, peat has been cut for fuel for domestic heating and cooking and it is called turf when so used. The process accelerated as commercial exploitation of bogs grew. In the 1940s, machines for cutting turf were introduced and larger-scale exploitation became possible. Packard Bell Easynote TK85 laptop keyboard

In the Republic, this became the responsibility of a semi-state company called Bord na Móna. In addition to domestic uses, commercially extracted turf is used in a number of industries, especially electricity generation[40] though peat is being combined with biomass for dual-firing electricity generation.[41] HP AESP7U00110 laptop keyboard


In recent years, the high level of bog being destroyed by cutting has raised environmental concerns. The problem is particularly acute for raised bogs as they yield a higher-grade fuel than blanket bogs. Plans are now in place in both the Republic and Northern Ireland to conserve most of the remaining raised bogs on the island. DELL Inspiron N4050 laptop keyboard


Offshore exploration for natural gas began in 1970.[43] The first major discovery was the Kinsale Head gas field in 1971.Next was the smaller Ballycotton gas field in 1989,[43] and the Corrib gas field in 1996.Exploitation of the Corrib project has yet to get off the ground because the controversial proposal to refine the gas onshore, FUJITSU Lifebook S7111 laptop keyboard

rather than at sea has been met with widespread opposition. Gas from these fields is pumped ashore and used for both domestic and industrial purposes. The Helvick oil field, estimated to contain over 28 million barrels (4,500,000 m3) of oil, is a 2000 discovery.Ireland is the largest European producer of zinc with three operating zinc-lead mines at Navan, Galmoy and Lisheen.  SONY VGN-FE21B laptop keyboard

Other mineral deposits with actual or potential commercial value include gold, silver, gypsum, talc, calcite, dolomite, roofing slate, limestone aggregate, building stone, sand and gravel.[47]

In May 2007 the Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources (now replaced by the Department of Communications, TOSHIBA Satellite L355-S7905 laptop keyboard

Energy and Natural Resources) reported that there may be volumes over 130 billion barrels (2.1×1010 m3) of petroleum and 50 trillion cubic feet (1,400 km3) of natural gas in Irish waters[48] – worth trillions of Euro, if true. The minimum 'guaranteed' amount of oil in the Irish Atlantic waters is 10 billion barrels (1.6×109 m3), worth over €450 billion. TOSHIBA Satellite M645-S4110 laptop keyboard

There are also areas of petroleum and natural gas on shore, for example the Lough Allen basin, with 9.4 trillion cubic feet (270 km3) of gas and 1.5 billion barrels (240,000,000 m3) of oil, valued at €74.4 billion. Already some fields are being exploited, such as the Spanish Point field, with 1.25 trillion cubic feet (35 km3) of gas and 206 million barrels (32,800,000 m3) of oil, valued at €19.6 billion. Packard Bell Easynote TK81 laptop keyboard

The Corrib Basin is also quite large, worth anything up to €87 billion, while the Dunquin gas field contains 25 trillion cubic feet (710 km3) of natural gas and 4.13 billion barrels (657,000,000 m3) of petroleum.

In March 2012 the first commercial oil well was drilled 70 km off the Cork coast by Providence Resources. Packard Bell PEW91 laptop keyboard

The Barryroe oil well is yielding 3500 barrels per day, at current oil prices at $120 a barrel Barryroe oil well is worth in excess of €2.14bn annually.

The climate of Ireland can be summed up as being mild, moist and changeable with abundant rainfall and a lack of temperature extremes. SONY VAIO PCG-FR315B laptop keyboard

It is defined as a temperate oceanic climate, or Cfb on the Köppen climate classification system, a classification it shares with most of northwest Europe.The country receives generally warm summers and mild winters. It is considerably warmer than other areas on its latitude, because it lies in the northeastern Atlantic Ocean, and as a result is warmed by the North Atlantic Current all year. SONY VAIO PCG-F23 laptop keyboard


The influence of the North Atlantic Current also ensures the coastline of Ireland remains ice-free throughout the winter—unlike for example the Sea of Okhotsk and the Labrador Sea which are at a similar latitude. The climate in Ireland does not experience extreme weather, with tornadoes and similar weather features being rare.  Lenovo 63Y0047 laptop keyboard


Ireland, as a whole, experiences a lack of temperature extremes compared to other areas of similar latitudes. Summers are generally warm and winters are mild. There is a regional variation, with inland areas being cooler in winter and warmer in summer than their coastal counterparts.

The warmest areas are found along the southwest coast. TOSHIBA Satellite L355-S7905 laptop keyboard

Valentia Island, County Kerry has the highest annual mean temperature, at 10.4 °C (50.7 °F).[2]

The coldest areas are found inland. Clones, County Monaghan and Mullingar, County Westmeath both have the lowest annual mean temperature, at 8.8 °C (47.8 °F).[3][4] TOSHIBA Satellite M645-S4110 laptop keyboard


The highest temperature ever recorded in Ireland was 33.3 °C (91.9 °F) at Kilkenny Castle, County Kilkenny on 26 June 1887. The lowest temperature was −19.1 °C (−2.4 °F) at Markree Castle, County Sligo on 16 January 1881.[5]

Extreme heat and cold are both rare throughout the country. Packard Bell Easynote TK81 laptop keyboard

Summer temperatures exceed 30 °C (86 °F) usually once or twice every decade (2013, 2006, 2005, 2003, 1995, 1990, 1989, 1983, 1976 and 1975 are recent examples), although they commonly reach the high 20s °C (low 80s °F) most summers, while severe freezes occur only occasionally in winter, with temperatures below −10 °C (14 °F) being very uncommon, and temperatures below freezing uncommon in many coastal areas. Packard Bell PEW91 laptop keyboard


Mean daily winter temperatures vary from 4.0 °C (39.2 °F) to 7.6 °C (45.7 °F), and mean daily summer temperatures vary from 15 °C (59 °F) to 20 °C (68.0 °F).

Air frost occurs frequently in the winter, with most areas seeing over 40 days of air frost every year. In northern areas, air frost occurs on average 10.2 days every January, SONY VAIO PCG-FR315B laptop keyboard

the month in which air frost occurs most frequently.[6] Along the coast, air frost occurs less regularly. In the Sperrins and the Glens of Antrim air frost occurs around 80 days a year.[7] The pattern is similar with ground frost, with on average around 100 days of ground frost in the lowlands and over 140 in the mountains.[8]  SONY VAIO PCG-F23 laptop keyboard


Frost is rarer along the coast, in urban areas and also in western and southern areas.

Roches Point, County Cork receives the least number of days with air frost, with an average of 7.0 days with air frost recorded annually.Kilkenny, County Kilkenny receives the most amount of days with air frost, with an average of 53.0 days with air frost recorded annually.[10] Lenovo 63Y0047 laptop keyboard


In Dublin, Dublin Airport records air frost on average 24.3 days per year, while Casement Aerodrome (which is further inland) records air frost on average 41.3 days per year.

The sunniest months are May and June. During these months sunshine duration averages between 5 and 6½ hours per day over most of the country. HP Pavilion DV6-1000 laptop keyboard

The south-east gets the most sunshine, averaging over 7 hours a day in early summer. December is the dullest month with an average daily sunshine ranging from about 1 hour in the north to almost 2 hours in the south-east. Over the year as a whole most areas get an average of between 3¼ and 3¾ hours of sunshine each day.  SONY Vaio PCG-K45 laptop keyboard

 Irish skies are completely covered by cloud roughly half of the time.

The sunniest part of the island is the south-east coast. Rosslare, County Wexford is the sunniest area, and receives on average 4.38 hours of sunshine per day (1,598.41 hours per year)

The dullest, i.e., least sunny, part of the island is generally in the west and northwest of the country. However, Birr, SONY VGN-FE790 laptop keyboard

County Offaly, in the midlands, is the dullest station, receiving on average 3.2 hours of sunshine per day, considerably less than the stations at Malin Head in the North or Belmullet in the West.[15] Inland areas tend to receive less sunshine than coastal areas due to the convective development of clouds over land.  HP Pavilion dv6-2150es laptop keyboard

Cloud develops because of vertical air currents caused by thermal heating of the ground.

Rainfall is the most common form of precipitation on the island, and is extremely common throughout Ireland, although some parts of the west coast receive over four times as much rain as the east coast. HP Pavilion dv6-3124tx laptop keyboard

Rainfall in Ireland normally comes from Atlantic frontal systems which travel north-east over the Island, bringing cloud and rain. Most of the eastern half of the country has between 750 and 1,000 mm (29.5 and 39.4 in) of rainfall in the year. Rainfall in the west generally averages between 1,000 and 1,250 mm (39.4 and 49.2 in). SONY VGN-FE790 laptop keyboard

In many mountainous districts rainfall exceeds 3,000 mm (118.1 in) per year. The wettest months almost everywhere are December and January. April is the driest month generally, but in many southern parts June is the driest. HP Mini 110-3007tu Laptop Keyboard


The average number of "wet days" (days with more than 1 mm (0.039 in) of rain) ranges from about 151 days a year along the east and south-east coasts, to about 225 days a year in parts of the west.

The wettest weather station is Valentia Island, County Kerry, which receives 1,430.1 mm (56.30 in) of rain per year, on average.[2] DELL Vostro 3450 Laptop Keyboard


The driest weather station is Casement Aerodrome, County Dublin, which receives 711.4 mm (28.01 in) of rain per year, on average.[12]

The weather station with the highest number of "wet days" is Belmullet, County Mayo with 193 days per year,[18] while the station with the lowest number of "wet days" is Dublin Airport, County Dublin with 128 days per year. HP Pavilion dv4t-1400 CTO Laptop Keyboard


Severe cold weather is uncommon in Ireland with the majority of winter precipitation coming in the form of rain. Although hills and mountainous regions in the country can see up to 30 days of snowfall annually, most low lying regions of the island only see a few days of lying snow per year (from December to March inclusive), or may see no snow at all during some winters. Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

However, in recent winters, there has been a significant increase in prolonged "cold snaps", in which heavy snow does fall across Ireland for several weeks, often causing disruption to traffic and services across Ireland. Consequently, there have been increased calls to prepare the country for snow and ice, ASUS K012462A1 Laptop Keyboard

including the distribution of grit, salt, and other snow-treatable minerals. In late 2011, the Irish Government set up "Winter-Ready", in order to prepare the country for such severe weather.[20]

Due to the volatility of Ireland's weather (which is mainly because of the influence of the Atlantic Ocean,  DELL Vostro 3550 Laptop Keyboard

Gulf Stream and North Atlantic Drift, as well as Ireland's Northerly latitude and vulnerability to Siberian/Arctic winds) weather during the Winter months is very variable and difficult to predict, with the aforementioned factors making both extremely low temperatures and relatively mild temperatures possible. DELL Vostro 3450 Laptop Keyboard


The snowiest weather station is Clones, County Monaghan; which receives, on average, nearly 30 days of snow and/or sleet per year. Of these, 10.8 days have snow lying at 09:00.[3]

The least snowy weather station is Valentia Island, County Kerry; which receives, on average, 5.6 days of snow and/or sleet per year. Of these, 0.8 days have snow lying at 09:00. Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard


Generally, the coast tends to be windier than inland areas; and the west tends to be windier than the east.

The station with the highest mean wind speed is Malin Head, County Donegal; averaging at 16.3 kn (30.2 km/h; 18.8 mph). Malin Head also receives the most gale force winds, recording them on average 66.0 days per year.[21] HP G61-406SA Laptop Keyboard


The station with the lowest mean wind speed is Kilkenny, County Kilkenny; averaging at 6.5 kn (12.0 km/h; 7.5 mph).[10]

The station that records the least amount of gale force winds is Birr, County Offaly; recording them on average 1.2 days per year.[24]

The highest wind speed ever recorded in Ireland was 327 km/h (203 mph; 177 kn) at Kilkeel, County Down on 12 January 1974.  HP G61-406SA Laptop Keyboard


Tornadoes are very rare in Ireland, with around less than ten reported every year - mostly in August.

Irish cuisine is a style of cooking originating from Ireland or developed by Irish people. It evolved from centuries of social and political change. The cuisine takes its influence from the crops grown and animals farmed in its temperate climate. COMPAQ Presario CQ61 Laptop Keyboard

The introduction of the potato in the second half of the 16th century heavily influenced Ireland's cuisine thereafter and, as a result, is often closely a

ssociated with Ireland. Representative Irish dishes include Irish stew, bacon and cabbage, potato, boxty, coddle, and colcannon. IBM Lenovo ThinkPad X300 Laptop Keyboard


There are many references to food and drink in Irish mythology and early Irish literature such as the tale of Fionn mac Cumhaill and the Salmon of Knowledge[1] The old stories also contain many references to banquets, although these may well be greatly exaggerated and provide little insight into everyday diets. Honey seems to have been widely eaten and used in the making of mead. SONY VAIO VGN-N21S/W Laptop Keyboard

There are also many references to fulacht fiadh, which may have been sites for cooking deer, consisting of holes in the ground which were filled with water. The meat was placed in the water and cooked by the introduction of hot stones. Many fulacht fiadh sites have been identified across the island of Ireland, and some of them appear to have been in use up to the 17th century. SONY Vaio PCG-K315B Laptop Keyboard


Excavations at the Viking settlement in the Wood Quay area of Dublin have produced a significant amount of information on the diet of the inhabitants of the town. The main meats eaten were beef, mutton, and pork. Domestic poultry and geese as well as fish and shellfish were also common, as was a wide range of native berries and nuts, especially hazel. DELL Vostro 3550 Laptop Keyboard

The seeds of knotgrass and goosefoot were widely present and may have been used to make a porridge.

From the Middle Ages, until the arrival of the potato in the 16th century, the dominant feature of the rural economy was the herding of cattle. The meat produced was mostly the preserve of the gentry and nobility. DELL Latitude D830 Laptop Keyboard

The poor generally made do with milk, butter, cheese, and offal, supplemented with oats and barley. The practice of bleeding cattle and mixing the blood with milk and butter (similar to the practice of the Maasai) was not uncommon. Black pudding is made from blood, grain, (usually barley) and seasoning, and remains a breakfast staple food in Ireland. HP Pavilion dv6-3136ee laptop keyboard


Potatoes form the basis for many traditional Irish dishes. The potato was introduced into Ireland in the second half of the 16th century, initially as a garden crop. It eventually came to be the main food crop of the poor. As a food source, the potato is extremely valuable in terms of the amount of energy produced per unit area of crop. HP Pavilion dv6-3136ee laptop keyboard

The potato is also a good source of many vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamin C when fresh.

Potatoes were widely cultivated, but in particular by those at a subsistence level; the diet of this group of this period consisted mainly of potatoes supplemented with buttermilk. Lenovo 45N2141 laptop keyboard

Potatoes were also fed to pigs, to fatten them prior to their slaughter at the approach of the cold winter months. Much of the slaughtered pork would have been cured to provide ham and bacon that could be stored over the winter. HP Pavilion DV6-1350us laptop keyboard


Fresh meat was generally considered a luxury except for the most affluent until the late 19th century and chickens were not raised on a large scale until the emergence of town grocers in the 1880s allowed people to exchange surplus goods, like eggs, and for the first time purchase a variety food items to diversify their diet. HP Mini 210 laptop keyboard


The reliance on potatoes as a staple crop meant that the people of Ireland were vulnerable to poor potato harvests. Consequently several famines occurred throughout the 16th and 17th centuries. The first Great Famine of 1739 was the result of extreme cold weather but the famine of 1845 to 1849 (see Great Irish Famine) was caused by potato blight which spread throughout the Irish crop which consisted largely of a single variety, the Lumper. HP Pavilion dv6-3034ca laptop keyboard

During the famine approximately 1 million people died and a million more emigrated from Ireland.

In the 21st century, the usual modern selection of foods common to Western culture has been adopted in Ireland. Common meals include pizza, curry, Chinese food, and lately, Lenovo 63Y0011 laptop keyboard

some West African dishes and East European (especially Polish) dishes have been making an appearance, as ingredients for these and other cuisines have become more widely available.

In tandem with these developments, and led by Myrtle Allen,[3] the last quarter of the 20th century saw the emergence of a new Irish cuisine based on traditional ingredients handled in new ways. HP 519265-001 laptop keyboard

This cuisine is based on fresh vegetables, fish (especially salmon and trout), oysters, mussels and other shellfish, traditional soda bread, the wide range of cheeses that are now being made across the country, and, of course, the potato. Traditional dishes, such as Irish stew, coddle, the Irish breakfast, SONY Vaio PCG-K23 laptop keyboard

and potato bread have enjoyed a resurgence in popularity. Schools like the Ballymaloe Cookery School have emerged to cater for the associated increased interest in cooking.

Fish and chips take-away is popular. The first fish and chips were sold in Dublin in the 1880s by an Italian immigrant from San Donato Val di Comino, Giuseppe Cervi. TOSHIBA PK13CW10200 laptop keyboard

His wife Palma would ask customers 'Uno di questa, uno di quella?' This phrase (meaning 'one of this, one of the other') entered the vernacular in Dublin as 'one and one', which is still a common way of referring to fish and chips in the city.[4]

In much of Ulster (especially Northern Ireland and County Donegal), fish and chips are usually known as a 'fish supper'.  DELL NSK-DJ301 laptop keyboard


The proliferation of fast food has led to increasing public health problems, including obesity, where it was reported that as many as 327,000 Irish children are now obese or overweight and in response the Irish Government is now considering introducing a "Fast Food Tax".[5] Government efforts to combat obesity have also included television advertising campaigns and education programmes in schools. ACER TravelMate 3020 laptop keyboard


The eating of seafood, particularly shellfish has always been very popular in Ireland, especially in coastal cities like Galway and Dublin. Such is the impact of shellfish in Irish culture that in Dublin the fish seller is celebrated in the traditional folk song Molly Malone and in Galway the international Galway Oyster Festival is held every September.[10 DELL Inspiron N4050 laptop keyboard


] An example of an Irish shellfish dish is Dublin Lawyer (lobster cooked in whiskey and cream).[11] Salmon and cod are perhaps the two most common types of fish eaten. Carrageen moss and Dulse (both types of red algae) are commonly used in Irish seafood dishes. Lenovo 04W0872 laptop keyboard,HP Pavilion dv4-1318tu laptop keyboard,HP Mini 210-1107TU laptop keyboard

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