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Ireland Ulster-Scots: Airlann or Airlan [ˈɑːrlən]) is an island in the North Atlantic to the west of Great Britain, from which it is separated by the North Channel, the Irish Sea and St Georges Channel, and after which it is the largest island of the British Isles archipelago. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth. HP Pavilion dv6-1045ee CPU Fan

 

Politically, Ireland is divided between the Republic of Ireland, which covers five-sixths of the island, and Northern Ireland, a part of the United Kingdom, which covers the remaining area and is located in the north-east of the island. The population of Ireland is about 6.4 million. Just under 4.6 million live in the Republic of Ireland and just over 1.8 million live in Northern Ireland.[ HP Pavilion dv7-4050ev CPU Fan

 

The island's geography comprises relatively low-lying mountains surrounding a central plain, with several navigable rivers extending inland. The island has lush vegetation, a product of its mild but changeable oceanic climate, which avoids extremes in temperature. Thick woodlands covered the island until the Middle Ages. HP Pavilion dv6t-3200 CTO CPU Fan

As of 2013, the amount of land that is wooded in Ireland is about 11% of the total, compared with a European average of 35%.[8][9] There are twenty-six extant mammal species native to Ireland.

Prehistoric Ireland saw the arrival of humans after 8000 BC. Gaelic Ireland had emerged by the 1st century and lasted until the early 17th century. Toshiba Satellite L505-144 CPU Fan

The island was converted to Christianity from the 5th century onward. Following the Norman invasion in the 12th century, England claimed sovereignty over Ireland. However, English rule did not extend over the whole island until the 16th–17th century Tudor conquest. This led to colonisation of Ireland by settlers from Britain. Toshiba Satellite A205-S5804 CPU Fan

In the 1690s, a system of Protestant English rule was designed to materially disadvantage the Catholic majority and Protestant dissenters, and was extended during the 18th century. In 1801, Ireland became a part of the United Kingdom. A war of independence in the early 20th century was followed by the partition of the island, Toshiba Satellite L500-1XC CPU Fan

creating the Irish Free State, which became increasingly sovereign over the following decades, and Northern Ireland which remained a part of the United Kingdom. Northern Ireland saw much civil unrest from the late 1960s until the 1990s. This subsided following a political agreement in 1998. In 1973, both parts of Ireland joined the European Economic Community. Toshiba Satellite A660-BT2N22 CPU Fan

 

Irish culture has had a significant influence on other cultures, especially in the fields of literature and, to a lesser degree, science and education. Alongside mainstream Western culture, a strong indigenous culture exists, as expressed for example through Gaelic games, Irish music, and the Irish language. Toshiba Satellite P305-S8814 CPU Fan

The culture of the island has also many features shared with Great Britain, including the English language, and sports such as association football, rugby, horse racing and golf.

During the last glacial period, and up until about 9000 years ago, most of Ireland was covered with ice, most of the time. Toshiba Satellite L550-13U CPU Fan

Sea levels were lower and Ireland, like Great Britain, formed part of continental Europe. By 12,000 BC, rising sea levels due to ice melting caused Ireland to become separated from Great Britain. Later, around 5600 BC, Great Britain itself became separated from continental Europe.[ Lenovo IBM ThinkPad Edge E420 Keyboard

There is no evidence of any humans being in Ireland before Mesolithic people arrived by boat from Britain between 8000 BC and 7000 BC.[11]

From about 4500 BC Neolithic settlers arrived introducing cereal cultivars, a housing culture (similar to those of the same period in Scotland) and stone monuments. HP Pavilion G61-336NR CPU Fan

A more advanced agriculture was to develop. At the Céide Fields, preserved beneath a blanket of peat in present-day County Mayo, is an extensive field system, arguably the oldest in the world,[12] dating from not long after this period. Consisting of small divisions separated by dry-stone walls, the fields were farmed for several centuries between 3500 BC and 3000 BC. HP Pavilion dv7-6184ca CPU Fan

Wheat and barley were the principal crops imported from the Iberian Peninsula.

The Bronze Age – defined by the use of metal – began around 2500 BC, with technology changing people's everyday lives during this period through innovations such as the wheel, harnessing oxen, HP Pavilion dv7-3125eo CPU Fan

weaving textiles, brewing alcohol, and skilful metalworking, which produced new weapons and tools, along with fine gold decoration and jewellery, such as brooches and torcs. According to John T. Koch and others, Ireland in the Late Bronze Age was part of a maritime trading-networked culture called the Atlantic Bronze Age that also included Britain, HP Pavilion dv7-2185dx CPU Fan

western France and Iberia, and that this is where Celtic languages developed. This contrasts with the traditional view that their origin lies in mainland Europe with the Hallstatt culture.

During the Iron Age, a Celtic language and culture emerged in Ireland. How and when the island of Ireland became Celtic has been debated for close to a century, IBM MCF-C10AM05 CPU Fan

with the migrations of the Celts being one of the more enduring themes of archaeological and linguistic studies. Today there is more than one school of thought on how this occurred in Ireland.

The long standing traditional view, once widely accepted, is that Celtic language, SONY Vaio VGN-SZ2XP/C CPU Fan

Ogham script and culture were brought to Ireland by waves of invading or migrating Celts from mainland Europe. This theory draws on the Lebor Gabála Érenn, a medieval Christian pseudo-history of Ireland along with the presence of Celtic culture, language and artefacts found in Ireland such as Celtic bronze spears, shields, torcs and other finely crafted Celtic associated possessions. DELL Latitude E4300 CPU Fan

The theory holds that there were four separate Celtic invasions of Ireland. The Priteni were said to be the first, followed by the Belgae from northern Gaul and Britain. Later, Laighin tribes from Armorica (present-day Brittany) were said to have invaded Ireland and Britain more or less simultaneously. HP Pavilion dv7-2025es CPU Fan

Lastly, the Milesians (Gaels) were said to have reached Ireland from either northern Iberia or southern Gaul.[18] It was claimed that a second wave named the Euerni, belonging to the Belgae people of northern Gaul, began arriving about the sixth century BC. They were said to have given their name to the island.[ FUJITSU LifeBook A6030 CPU Fan

]

Another more recent theory put forth that has gained archaeological historian credence is that of cultural diffusion of the Celtic culture and language into Ireland. It is proposed that Celticisation of Ireland may have been the culmination of a long process of social and economic interaction between Ireland and Britain and adjacent parts of Continental Europe. SONY Vaio VGN-FS115Z CPU Fan

 

The theory was put forth partly due to a current lack of archeological evidence for the large-scale Celtic immigration element in this period although it is accepted that these type of movements are notoriously difficult to identify. However many archeological proponents of this alternate theory hold that migration of smaller groups HP 532617-001 CPU Fan

of Celts to Ireland was most likely and that the degree of traffic may have been sufficiently regular to constitute a "migration stream" but that invasion is not at the heart of the proposed social process of Insular Celticisation. ACER Aspire 5730Z CPU Fan

Historical linguists are sceptical that this method alone could account for the absorption of the Celtic language and a number state that an assumed processional view of Celtic linguistic formation is 'an especially hazardous exercise'. Genetic linage investigation into the area of Celtic migration to Ireland has led to findings that showed no large HP G56-126NR CPU Fan

significant differences in mitochondrial DNA between Ireland and large areas of continental Europe in contrast to parts of the Y-chromosome pattern. When taking both into account a recent study drew the conclusion that modern Celtic speakers in Ireland could be thought of as European HP Pavilion dv7-6166nr CPU Fan

"Atlantic Celts" showing a shared ancestry throughout the Atlantic zone from northern Iberia to western Scandinavia rather than substantially central European.

The earliest written records of Ireland come from classical Greco-Roman geographers. Ptolemy in his Almagest refers to Ireland as Mikra Brettania (Little Britain), FUJITSU Lifebook A3210 CPU Fan

in contrast to the larger island, which he called Megale Brettania (Great Britain).[24] In his later work, Geography, Ptolemy refers to Ireland as Iouernia and to Great Britain as Albion. These "new" names were likely to have been the local names for the islands at the time. The earlier names, in contrast, were likely to have been coined before direct contact with local peoples was made.[25] DELL Precision M6400 CPU Fan

 

The Romans would later refer to Ireland by this name too in its Latinised form, Hibernia,[26] or Scotia.[27] Ptolemy records sixteen nations inhabiting every part of Ireland in 100 AD.[28] The relationship between the Roman Empire and the kingdoms of ancient Ireland is unclear. Compaq Presario CQ60-615DX CPU Fan

However, a number of finds of Roman coins have been made, for example at the Iron Age settlement of Freestone Hill near Gowran and Newgrange.[29]

Ireland continued as a patchwork of rival kingdoms but, beginning in the 7th century AD, a concept of national kingship gradually became articulated through the concept of a High King of Ireland. HP Pavilion dv2660se CPU Fan

Medieval Irish literature portrays an almost unbroken sequence of High Kings stretching back thousands of years but modern historians believe the scheme was constructed in the 8th century to justify the status of powerful political groupings by projecting the origins of their rule into the remote past.[30] Toshiba Satellite L500-1XC CPU Fan

 

The High King was said to preside over the provincial kingdoms that together formed Ireland. All of these kingdoms had their own kings but were at least nominally subject to the High King. The High King was drawn from the ranks of the provincial kings and ruled also the royal kingdom of Meath, with a ceremonial capital at the Hill of Tara. DELL GM0503PEB1-8 (L2.M) CPU Fan

The concept only became a political reality in the Viking Age and even then was not a consistent one.[31] Ireland did have a culturally unifying rule of law: the early written judicial system, the Brehon Laws, administered by a professional class of jurists known as the brehons.[32] However, a united kingdom of Gaelic Ireland was never achieved. HP Pavilion dv7-1098eo CPU Fan

 

The Chronicle of Ireland records that in 431 AD Bishop Palladius arrived in Ireland on a mission from Pope Celestine I to minister to the Irish "already believing in Christ."[33] The same chronicle records that Saint Patrick, Ireland's best known patron saint, arrived the following year. Toshiba Satellite A205-S5804 CPU Fan

There is continued debate over the missions of Palladius and Patrick but the consensus is that they both took place[34] and that the older druid tradition collapsed in the face of the new religion.[35] Irish Christian scholars excelled in the study of Latin and Greek learning and Christian theology. HP Pavilion dv7-1240us CPU Fan

In the monastic culture that followed the Christianisation of Ireland, Latin and Greek learning was preserved in Ireland during the Early Middle Ages in contrast to elsewhere in Europe, where the Dark Ages followed the decline of the Roman Empire.

The arts of manuscript illumination, metalworking and sculpture flourished and produced treasures such as the Book of Kells,  DELL yy529 CPU Fan

ornate jewellery and the many carved stone crosses[37] that still dot the island today. A mission founded in 563 on Iona by the Irish monk Saint Columba began a tradition of Irish missionary work that spread Christianity and learning to Scotland, England and the Frankish Empire on Continental Europe after the fall of Rome.[38] Toshiba Qosmio G40-10E CPU Fan

These missions continued until the late Middle Ages, establishing monasteries and centres of learning, producing scholars such as Sedulius Scottus and Johannes Eriugena and exerting much influence in Europe. SONY Vaio VGN-CR407E CPU Fan

 

From the 9th century, waves of Viking raiders plundered Irish monasteries and towns.[39] These raids added to a pattern of raiding and endemic warfare that was already deep-seated in Ireland. The Vikings also were involved in establishing most of the major coastal settlements in Ireland: Dublin, Limerick, HP Pavilion dv6-3131tx Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

Cork, Wexford, Waterford, and also Carlingford, Strangford, Annagassan, Arklow, Youghal, Lough Foyle and Lough Ree.

On 1 May 1169, an expedition of Cambro-Norman knights with an army of about six hundred landed at Bannow Strand in present-day County Wexford. HP 622029-001 Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

It was led by Richard de Clare, called Strongbow due to his prowess as an archer.[41] The invasion, which coincided with a period of renewed Norman expansion, was at the invitation of Dermot Mac Murrough, the king of Leinster.[42]

In 1166, Mac Murrough had fled to Anjou, France, following a war involving Tighearnán Ua Ruairc, of Breifne, Toshiba Satellite L675D-S7047 Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

and sought the assistance of the Angevin king, Henry II, in recapturing his kingdom. In 1171, Henry arrived in Ireland in order to review the general progress of the expedition. He wanted to re-exert royal authority over the invasion which was expanding beyond his control. HP Pavilion dv7-4170ez Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

Henry successfully re-imposed his authority over Strongbow and the Cambro-Norman warlords and persuaded many of the Irish kings to accept him as their overlord, an arrangement confirmed in the 1175 Treaty of Windsor.

The invasion was legitimised by the provisions of the Papal Bull Laudabiliter, issued by Adrian IV in 1155. HP Pavilion dv4-1506tx Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

The bull encouraged Henry to take control in Ireland in order to oversee the financial and administrative reorganisation of the Irish Church and its integration into the Roman Church system.[43] Some restructuring had already begun at the ecclesiastical level following the Synod of Kells in 1152.[ Compaq Presario CQ61-411WM Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

There has been significant controversy regarding authenticity of Laudabiliter,[45] and there is no general agreement as to whether the bull was genuine or a forgery.[

In 1172, the new pope, Alexander III, further encouraged Henry to advance the integration of the Irish Church with Rome. IBM FRU 46L4753 Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

Henry was authorised to impose a tithe of one penny per hearth as an annual contribution. This church levy, called Peter's Pence, is still extant in Ireland as a voluntary donation. In turn, Henry accepted the title of Lord of Ireland which Henry conferred on his younger son, John Lackland, in 1185. This defined the Irish state as the Lordship of Ireland. HP Pavilion dv6-3190sf Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

When Henry's successor died unexpectedly in 1199, John inherited the crown of England and retained the Lordship of Ireland.

Over the century that followed, Norman feudal law gradually replaced the Gaelic Brehon Law so that by the late 13th century the Norman-Irish had established a feudal system throughout much of Ireland. SONY Vaio VGN-FZ21E Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

Norman settlements were characterised by the establishment of baronies, manors, towns and the seeds of the modern county system. A version of the Magna Carta (the Great Charter of Ireland), substituting Dublin for London and Irish Church for Church of England, was published in 1216 and the Parliament of Ireland was founded in 1297. HP G42-415DX Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

 

From the mid-14th century, after the Black Death, Norman settlements in Ireland went into a period of decline. The Norman rulers and the Gaelic Irish elites intermarried and the areas under Norman rule became Gaelicised. In some parts, a hybrid Hiberno-Norman culture emerged. In response, the Irish parliament passed the Statutes of Kilkenny in 1367. HP 646578-001 Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

These were a set of laws designed to prevent the assimilation of the Normans into Irish society by requiring English subjects in Ireland to speak English, follow English customs and abide by English law.By the end of the 15th century central English authority in Ireland had all but disappeared and a renewed Irish culture and language, HP KSB06105HA CPU Fan

albeit with Norman influences, was dominant again. English Crown control remained relatively unshaken in an amorphous foothold around Dublin known as The Pale and under the provisions of Poynings' Law of 1494, the Irish Parliamentary legislation was subject to the approval of the English Parliament.  Dell Latitude E6500 Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

The title of King of Ireland was re-created in 1542 by Henry VIII, then King of England, of the Tudor dynasty. English rule of law was reinforced and expanded in Ireland during the latter part of the 16th century, leading to the Tudor conquest of Ireland. A near complete conquest was achieved by the turn of the 17th century, following the Nine Years' War and the Flight of the Earls. SONY Vaio VGN-NR120Q Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

 

This control was further consolidated during the wars and conflicts of the 17th century, which witnessed English and Scottish colonisation in the Plantations of Ireland, the Wars of the Three Kingdoms and the Williamite War. Irish losses during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms (which, in Ireland, Toshiba Satellite A205-S5879 Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

included the Irish Confederacy and the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland) are estimated to include 20,000 battlefield casualties. 200,000 civilians are estimated to have died as a result of a combination of war-related famine, displacement, guerrilla activity and pestilence over the duration of the war. HP KSB06105HA Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

A further 50,000[Note 1] were sent to slavery in the West Indies. Some historians estimate that as much as half of the pre-war population of Ireland may have died as a result of the conflict.[51]

The religious struggles of the 17th century left a deep sectarian division in Ireland. Religious allegiance now determined the perception in law of loyalty to the Irish King and Parliament. Toshiba Satellite L645D-S4056 Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

After the passing of the Test Act 1672, and with the victory of the forces of the dual monarchy of William and Mary over the Jacobites, Roman Catholics and nonconforming Protestant Dissenters were barred from sitting as members in the Irish Parliament. HP Pavilion dv6-2016ax Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

Under the emerging penal laws Irish Roman Catholics and Dissenters were increasingly deprived of various and sundry civil rights even to the ownership of hereditary property. Additional regressive punitive legislation followed 1703, 1709 and 1728. This completed a comprehensive systemic effort to materially disadvantage Roman Catholics and Protestant Dissenters, SONY Vaio VGN-CR11S/P Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

while enriching a new ruling class of Anglican conformists.[52] The new Anglo-Irish ruling class became known as the Protestant Ascendancy.

An extraordinary climatic shock known as the "Great Frost" struck Ireland and the rest of Europe between December 1739 and September 1741, after a decade of relatively mild winters. HP Pavilion dv7-6b55dx Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

The winters destroyed stored crops of potatoes and other staples and the poor summers severely damaged harvests.[53] This resulted in the famine of 1740. An estimated 250,000 people (about one in eight of the population) died from the ensuing pestilence and disease.[54] The Irish government halted export of corn and kept the army in quarters but did little more.[ APPLE MacBook Pro 15 inch MA610LL Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

Local gentry and charitable organisations provided relief but could do little to prevent the ensuing mortality.

In the aftermath of the famine, an increase in industrial production and a surge in trade brought a succession of construction booms. HP G71-340US Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

The population soared in the latter part of this century and the architectural legacy of Georgian Ireland was built. In 1782, Poynings' Law was repealed, giving Ireland legislative independence from Great Britain for the first time since 1495. The British government, however, still retained the right to nominate the government of Ireland without the consent of the Irish parliament. HP Pavilion dv7-6166nr Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

 

In 1798, members of the Protestant Dissenter tradition (mainly Presbyterian) made common cause with Roman Catholics in a republican rebellion inspired and led by the Society of United Irishmen, with the aim of creating an independent Ireland. Despite assistance from France the rebellion was put down by British and Irish government and yeomanry forces. HP Pavilion dv6-3050et Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

In 1800, the British and Irish parliaments both passed Acts of Union that, with effect from 1 January 1801, merged the Kingdom of Ireland and the Kingdom of Great Britain to create a United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

The passage of the Act in the Irish Parliament was ultimately achieved with substantial majorities, having failed on the first attempt in 1799. Dell Vostro 3500 Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

According to contemporary documents and historical analysis, this was achieved through a considerable degree of bribery, with funding provided by the British Secret Service Office, and the awarding of peerages, places and honours to secure votes. HP KSB06105HA Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

Thus, Ireland became part of an extended United Kingdom, ruled directly by a united parliament at Westminster in London, though resistance remained, as evidenced by Robert Emmet's failed Irish Rebellion of 1803.

Aside from the development of the linen industry, Ireland was largely passed over by the industrial revolution, HP Pavilion dv5-2135dx Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

partly because it lacked coal and iron resources and partly because of the impact of the sudden union with the structurally superior economy of England,[59] which saw Ireland as a source of agricultural produce and capital.

The Great Famine of the 1840s caused the deaths of one million Irish people and over a million more emigrated to escape it.[ HP Pavilion dv7t-6100 CTO Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

By the end of the decade, half of all immigration to the United States was from Ireland. The period of civil unrest that followed until the end of the 19th century is referred to as the Land War. Mass emigration became deeply entrenched and the population continued to decline until the mid-20th century. Compaq Presario CQ61-435SA Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

Immediately prior to the famine the population was recorded as 8.2 million by the 1841 census.[63] The population has never returned to this level since.[64] The population continued to fall until 1961 and it was not until the 2006 census that the last county of Ireland (County Leitrim) to record a rise in population since 1841 did so.  ASUS M51SE Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

 

The 19th and early 20th centuries saw the rise of modern Irish nationalism, primarily among the Roman Catholic population. The pre-eminent Irish political figure after the Union was Daniel O'Connell. He was elected as Member of Parliament for Ennis in a surprise result and despite being unable to take his seat as a Roman Catholic. HP G42-415DX Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

O'Connell spearheaded a vigorous campaign that was taken up by the Prime Minister, the Irish-born soldier and statesman, the Duke of Wellington. Steering the Catholic Relief Bill through Parliament, aided by future prime minister Robert Peel, ACER Aspire 4736ZG Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

Wellington prevailed upon a reluctant George IV to sign the Bill and proclaim it into law. George's father had opposed the plan of the earlier Prime Minister, Pitt the Younger, to introduce such a bill following the Union of 1801, fearing Catholic Emancipation to be in conflict with the Act of Settlement 1701.  HP Pavilion dv4-1133tx Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

 

Daniel O'Connell led a subsequent campaign, for the repeal of the Act of Union, which failed. Later in the century, Charles Stewart Parnell and others campaigned for autonomy within the Union, or "Home Rule". Unionists, especially those located in Ulster, were strongly opposed to Home Rule, which they thought would be dominated by Catholic interests.[  HP Pavilion dv6-3043ee Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

After several attempts to pass a Home Rule bill through parliament, it looked certain that one would finally pass in 1914. To prevent this from happening, the Ulster Volunteers were formed in 1913 under the leadership of Edward Carson.[66]

Their formation was followed in 1914 by the establishment of the Irish Volunteers, whose aim was to ensure that the Home Rule Bill was passed.  Compaq Presario CQ61-421SG Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

The Act was passed but with the "temporary" exclusion of the six counties of Ulster that would become Northern Ireland. Before it could be implemented, however, the Act was suspended for the duration of the First World War. The Irish Volunteers split into two groups.  HP Pavilion dv6-1101au Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

The majority, approximately 175,000 in number, under John Redmond, took the name National Volunteers and supported Irish involvement in the war. A minority, approximately 13,000, retained the Irish Volunteers' name, and opposed Ireland's involvement in the war. HP Pavilion dv6-3125er Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

 

The failed Easter Rising of 1916 was carried out by the latter group in alliance with a smaller socialist militia, the Irish Citizen Army. The British response, executing fifteen leaders of the Rising over a period of ten days and imprisoning or interning more than a thousand people, turned the mood of the country in favour of the rebels. HP 606575-001 Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

Support for Irish republicanism increased further due to the ongoing war in Europe, as well as the Conscription Crisis of 1918.[67]

The pro-independence republican party, Sinn Féin, received overwhelming endorsement in the general election of 1918, and in 1919 proclaimed an Irish Republic, setting up its own parliament (Dáil Éireann) and government.  HP Pavilion dv7-6185us Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

Simultaneously the Volunteers, which became known as the Irish Republican Army (IRA), launched a three-year guerrilla war, which ended in a truce in July 1921 (although violence continued until June 1922, mostly in Northern Ireland).[67]

In December 1921, the Anglo-Irish Treaty was concluded between the British Government and representatives of the Second Dáil. DELL DFS491105MH0T Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

It gave Ireland complete independence in its home affairs and practical independence for foreign policy, but an opt-out clause allowed Northern Ireland to remain within the United Kingdom, which it immediately exercised as expected. Additionally, an oath of allegiance to the King was to be taken.[68] HP 532613-001 Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

Disagreements over these provisions led to a split in the nationalist movement and a subsequent civil war between the new government of the Irish Free State and those opposed to the treaty, led by Éamon de Valera. The civil war officially ended in May 1923 when de Valera issued a cease-fire order. Compaq Presario CQ60-417DX Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

 

During its first decade the newly formed Irish Free State was governed by the victors of the civil war. When de Valera achieved power, he took advantage of the Statute of Westminster and political circumstances to build upon inroads to greater sovereignty made by the previous government. HP Pavilion dv7-3060us Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

The oath was abolished and in 1937 a new constitution was adopted.[67] This completed a process of gradual separation from the British Empire that governments had pursued since independence. However, it was not until 1949 that the state was declared, officially, to be the Republic of Ireland.  HP KSB06105HA Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

 

The state was neutral during World War II, but offered clandestine assistance to the Allies, particularly in the potential defence of Northern Ireland. Despite being neutral, approximately 50,000[70] volunteers from independent Ireland joined the British forces during the war, four being awarded Victoria Crosses. Dell Latitude E6510 Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

 

German Intelligence was also active in Ireland.[71] German intelligence operations effectively ended in September 1941 when police made arrests on the basis of surveillance carried out on the key diplomatic legations in Ireland, including that of the United States. To the authorities counterintelligence was a fundamental line of defence. HP Pavilion dv6-2019er Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

With a regular army of only slightly over seven thousand men at the start of the war, and with limited supplies of modern weapons, the state would have had great difficulty in defending itself from invasion from either side of the conflict.

Large-scale emigration marked the 1950s and 1980s, but beginning in 1987 the economy improved, and the 1990s saw the beginning of substantial economic growth. HP Pavilion dv6-3126ea Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

This period of growth became known as the Celtic Tiger.[73] The Republic's real GDP grew by an average of 9.6% per annum between 1995 and 1999,[74] in which year the Republic joined the euro. In 2000 Ireland was the sixth-richest country in the world in terms of GDP per capita.[ HP 532613-001 Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

 

Social changes followed quickly on the heels of economic prosperity, ranging from the 'modernisation' of the annual parade in Dublin to mark the principal national holiday of Saint Patrick's Day (17 March), to the decline in authority of the Catholic Church. The financial crisis that began in 2008, dramatically ended this period of boom. HP Pavilion dv6-3300ss Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

GDP fell by 3% in 2008 and by 7.1% in 2009, the worst year since records began (although earnings by foreign-owned businesses continued to grow).[76] The state has since experienced deep recession, with unemployment, which doubled during 2009, remaining above 14% in 2012. IBM Lenovo Thinkpad W500 Series Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

 

Northern Ireland was created as a division of the United Kingdom by the Government of Ireland Act 1920 and until 1972 it was a self-governing jurisdiction within the United Kingdom with its own parliament and prime minister. Northern Ireland, as part of the United Kingdom, was not neutral during the Second World War and Belfast suffered four bombing raids in 1941. HP 646578-001 Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

Conscription was not extended to Northern Ireland and roughly an equal number volunteered from Northern Ireland as volunteered from the south. One, James Joseph Magennis, received the Victoria Cross for valour.

Although Northern Ireland was largely spared the strife of the civil war, in decades that followed partition there were sporadic episodes of inter-communal violence. HP Pavilion dv5-1020et Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

Nationalists, mainly Roman Catholic, wanted to unite Ireland as an independent republic, whereas unionists, mainly Protestant, wanted Northern Ireland to remain in the United Kingdom. The Protestant and Catholic communities in Northern Ireland voted largely along sectarian lines, HP Pavilion dv5030 Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

meaning that the Government of Northern Ireland (elected by "first-past-the-post" from 1929) was controlled by the Ulster Unionist Party. Over time, the minority Catholic community felt increasingly alienated with further disaffection fuelled by practices such as gerrymandering and discrimination in housing and employment.[ Compaq Presario CQ61-416EG Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

 

In the late 1960s, nationalist grievances were aired publicly in mass civil rights protests, which were often confronted by loyalist counter-protests.[81] The government's reaction to confrontations was seen to be one-sided and heavy-handed in favour of unionists. Law and order broke down as unrest and inter-communal violence increased.[82] HP 532614-001 Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

The Northern Ireland government requested the British Army to aid the police, who were exhausted after several nights of serious rioting. In 1969, the paramilitary Provisional IRA, which favoured the creation of a united Ireland, emerged from a split in the Irish Republican Army and began a campaign against what it called the "British occupation of the six counties".HP Pavilion dv5-1020et Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

 

Other groups, on both the unionist side and the nationalist side, participated in violence and a period known as the Troubles began. Over 3,600 deaths resulted over the subsequent three decades of conflict.[83] Owing to the civil unrest during the Troubles, the British government suspended home rule in 1972 and imposed direct rule. T HP 646578-001 Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

here were several unsuccessful attempts to end the Troubles politically, such as the Sunningdale Agreement of 1973. In 1998, following a ceasefire by the Provisional IRA and multi-party talks, the Good Friday Agreement was concluded as a treaty between the British and Irish governments, annexing the text agreed in the multi-party talks. HP Pavilion dv5-1020et Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

 

The substance of the Agreement (formally referred to as the Belfast Agreement) was later endorsed by referendums in both parts of Ireland. The Agreement restored self-government to Northern Ireland on the basis of power-sharing in a regional Executive drawn from the major parties in a new Northern Ireland Assembly, HP Pavilion dv5030 Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

with entrenched protections for the two main communities. The Executive is jointly headed by a First Minister and deputy First Minister drawn from the unionist and nationalist parties. Violence had decreased greatly after the Provisional IRA and loyalist ceasefires in 1994 and in 2005 the ProvisionalCompaq Presario CQ61-416EG Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

IRA announced the end of its armed campaign and an independent commission supervised its disarmament and that of other nationalist and unionist paramilitary organisations.[84]

The Assembly and power-sharing Executive were suspended several times but were restored again in 2007. HP 532614-001 Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

In that year the British government officially ended its military support of the police in Northern Ireland (Operation Banner) and began withdrawing troops. On 27 June 2012, Northern Ireland's deputy first minister and former IRA commander, Martin McGuinness, shook hands with Queen Elizabeth II in Belfast, symbolising reconciliation between the two sides. HP MCF-W13BM05 Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

 

Politically, the island is divided between Ireland (a sovereign state also called the Republic of Ireland) and Northern Ireland (a constituent country of the United Kingdom). They share an open border and both are part of the Common Travel Area.

Both Ireland and the United Kingdom are members of the European Union, HP Pavilion dv5-1174ca Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

 and as a consequence there is free movement of people, goods, services and capital across the border.

The Republic of Ireland is a parliamentary democracy based on the Westminister model with a written constitution and a popularly elected president who has mostly ceremonial powers. HP Pavilion dv7-3050ec Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

Government is headed by a prime minister, the Taoiseach, who is appointed by the President on the nomination of the lower house of parliament, the Dáil. Members of the government are chosen from both the Dáil and the upper house of parliament, the Seanad. Its capital is Dublin. HP KSB06105HA Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

Ireland today ranks amongst the wealthiest countries in the world in terms of GDP per capita[85] and in 2011 was ranked the seventh most developed nation in the world by the United Nations' Human Development Index.[86] A period of rapid economic expansion from 1995 onwards became known as the Celtic Tiger period, was brought to an end in 2008 with an unprecedented financial crisis and an economic depression in 2009. HP 646578-001 Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

 

Northern Ireland is a part of the United Kingdom with a local executive and assembly which exercise devolved powers. The executive is jointly headed by the first and deputy-first minister, with the ministries being allocated in proportion with each party's representation in the assembly. Its capital is Belfast. HP 489126-001 Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

 

Ultimately political power is held by the UK government, from which Northern Ireland has gone through intermittent periods of direct rule during which devolved powers have been suspended. Northern Ireland elects 18 of the UK House of Commons' 650 MPs. The Northern Ireland Secretary is a cabinet level post in the British government. DELL Inspiron E1405 Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

 

Along with England and Wales and Scotland, Northern Ireland forms one of the three separate legal jurisdictions of the UK, all of which share the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom as their court of final appeal. DELL DFS541305MH0T Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

 

The North/South Ministerial Council is an institution through which ministers from the Government of Ireland and the Northern Ireland Executive agree all-island policies. At least six of these policy areas must have an associated all-island "implementation bodies" and at least six others must be implemented separately in each jurisdiction. HP G62-341NR Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

The implementation bodies are: Waterways Ireland, the Food Safety Promotion Board, InterTradeIreland, the Special European Union Programmes Body, the North/South Language Body and the Foyle, Carlingford and Irish Lights Commission. HP Pavilion dv6648el Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

The British–Irish Intergovernmental Conference provides for co-operation between the Government of Ireland and the Government of the United Kingdom on all matter of mutual interest, especially Northern Ireland. In light of Ireland's particular interest in the governance of Northern Ireland, HP Pavilion dv7-6151ed Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

"regular and frequent" meetings co-chaired by the Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs and the UK Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, dealing with non-devolved matters to do with Northern Ireland and non-devolved all-Ireland issues, are required to take place under the establishing treaty. Toshiba Satellite P100-386 Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

 

The North/South Inter-Parliamentary Association is a joint parliamentary forum for the island of Ireland. It has no formal powers but operates as a forum for discussing matters of common concern between the respective legislatures.

Despite the two jurisdictions using two distinct currencies (the euro and pound sterling),  HP G42-380LA Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

a growing amount of commercial activity is carried out on an all-island basis. This has been facilitated by the two jurisdictions' shared membership of the European Union, and there have been calls from members of the business community and policymakers for the creation of an "all-island economy" to take advantage of economies of scale and boost competitiveness.  HP G60-230us Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

 

Ireland has an ancient industry based on peat (known locally as "sod" or "turf") as a source of energy for home fires. A form of biomass energy, this source of heat is still widely used in rural areas. In cities, heat is generally supplied by heating oil, although some urban suppliers distribute "sods of turf" as "smokeless fuel." HP KSB06105HA Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

 

An area in which the island operates as a single market is electricity.[88] For much of their existence electricity networks in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland were entirely separate. Both networks were designed and constructed independently post partition. SONY Vaio VPC-EB1E0E Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

However, as a result of changes over recent years they are now connected with three interlinks[89] and also connected through Great Britain to mainland Europe. The situation in Northern Ireland is complicated by the issue of private companies not supplying Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE) with enough power.  Compaq Presario CQ70-220EO Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

In the Republic of Ireland, the ESB has failed to modernise its power stations and the availability of power plants has recently averaged only 66%, one of the worst such rates in Western Europe. EirGrid is building a HVDC transmission line between Ireland and Great Britain with a capacity of 500 MW, about 10% of Ireland's peak demand.[90] HP Pavilion dv7-3060sb Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

 

As with electricity, the natural gas distribution network is also now all-island, with a pipeline linking Gormanston, County Meath, and Ballyclare, County Antrim.[91] Most of Ireland's gas comes through interconnectors between Twynholm in Scotland and Ballylumford, County Antrim and Loughshinny, ACER Aspire 7720 Series Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

County Dublin. A decreasing supply is coming from the Kinsale gas field off the County Cork coast[92][93] and the Corrib Gas Field off the coast of County Mayo has yet to come on-line. The County Mayo field is facing some localised opposition over a controversial decision to refine the gas onshore. SONY UDQF2PH52CF0 Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

 

Research and development in Ireland in renewable energy such as wind power has increased since 2004. Large wind farms are being constructed in coastal counties such as Cork, Donegal, Mayo and Antrim. The construction of wind farms has in some cases been delayed by opposition from local communities, some of whom overall consider the wind turbines to be unsightly. Compaq Presario CQ61-216TU Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

The Republic of Ireland is also hindered by an ageing network that was not designed to handle the varying availability of power that comes from wind farms. The ESB's Turlough Hill facility is the only power-storage facility in the state.

The island of Ireland is located in the north-west of Europe, between latitudes 51° and 56° N, and longitudes 11° and 5° W. Toshiba Satellite A215-S5802 Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

It is separated from the neighbouring island of Great Britain by the Irish Sea and the North Channel, which has a width of 23 kilometres (14 mi)[95] at its narrowest point. To the west is the northern Atlantic Ocean and to the south is the Celtic Sea, which lies between Ireland and Brittany, in France. Toshiba Satellite A210-1BC Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

Ireland has a total area of 84,421 km2 (32,595 sq mi)[1][96] Ireland and Great Britain, together with many nearby smaller islands, are known collectively as the British Isles. As the term British Isles is controversial in relation to Ireland, the alternate term Britain and Ireland is often used as a neutral term for the islands. DELL Inspiron 630m Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

 

A ring of coastal mountains surround low plains at the centre of the island. The highest of these is Carrauntoohil (Irish: Corrán Tuathail) in County Kerry, which rises to 1,038 m (3,406 ft) above sea level.[97] The most arable land lies in the province of Leinster.[98] Western areas can be mountainous and rocky with green panoramic vistas. ACER Travelmate 4152nlci Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

The River Shannon, the island's longest river at 386 km (240 mi) long, rises in County Cavan in the north west and flows 113 kilometres (70 mi) to Limerick city in the mid west.[99]

The island's lush vegetation, a product of its mild climate and frequent rainfall, earns it the sobriquet the Emerald Isle. HP Pavilion dv6-3034tx Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

Overall, Ireland has a mild but changeable oceanic climate with few extremes. The climate is typically insular and is temperate avoiding the extremes in temperature of many other areas in the world at similar latitudes.[100] This is a result of the moderating moist winds which ordinarily prevail from the South-Western Atlantic. HP G62-107SA Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

Precipitation falls throughout the year but is light overall, particularly in the east. The west tends to be wetter on average and prone to Atlantic storms, especially in the late autumn and winter months. These occasionally bring destructive winds and higher total rainfall to these areas, as well as sometimes snow and hail.  HP G62-455TX Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

The regions of north County Galway and east County Mayo have the highest incidents of recorded lightning annually for the island, with lightning occurring approximately five to ten days per year in these areas.[101] Munster, in the south, records the least snow whereas Ulster, in the north, records the most. HP 532617-001 Laptop CPU Cooling Fan

 

Inland areas are warmer in summer and colder in winter. Usually around 40 days of the year are below freezing 0 °C (32 °F) at inland weather stations, compared to 10 days at coastal stations. Ireland is sometimes affected by heat waves, most recently in 1995, 2003, 2006 and 2013. HP Pavilion dv6-1101au CPU Fan

In common with the rest of Europe, Ireland experienced unusually cold weather during the winter of 2009/10. Temperatures fell as low as −17.2 °C (1 °F) in County Mayo on 20 December[102] and up to a metre (3 ft) of snow in mountainous areas.

The island consists of varied geological provinces. HP Pavilion dv7-3190ev CPU Fan

the far west, around County Galway and County Donegal, is a medium to high grade metamorphic and igneous complex of Caledonide affinity, similar to the Scottish Highlands. Across southeast Ulster and extending southwest to Longford and south to Navan is a province of Ordovician and Silurian rocks, HP Pavilion dv7-1157cl CPU Fan

with similarities to the Southern Uplands province of Scotland. Further south, along the County Wexford coastline, is an area of granite

intrusives into more Ordovician and Silurian rocks, like that found in Wales.[103][104] HP COMPAQ NX9420 CPU Fan

In the southwest, around Bantry Bay and the mountains of Macgillicuddy's Reeks, is an area of substantially deformed, but only lightly metamorphosed, Devonian-aged rocks.[105] This partial ring of "hard rock" geology is covered by a blanket of Carboniferous limestone over the centre of the country, giving rise to a comparatively fertile and lush landscape. HP Mini 110-1110ET CPU Fan

The west-coast district of the Burren around Lisdoonvarna has well-developed karst features.[106] Significant stratiform lead-zinc mineralisation is found in the limestones around Silvermines and Tynagh. HP Pavilion dv7-1157cl CPU Fan

 

Hydrocarbon exploration is ongoing following the first major find at the Kinsale Head gas field off Cork in the mid-1970s.In 1999, economically significant finds of natural gas were made in the Corrib Gas Field off the County Mayo coast. This has increased activity off the west coast in parallel with the "West of Shetland" step-out development from the North Sea hydrocarbon province. HP Pavilion dv6-3163eo CPU Fan

 

The Helvick oil field, estimated to contain over 28 million barrels (4,500,000 m3) of oil, is another recent discovery.

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