Ireland ( Irish: Éire [ˈeːɾʲə] ( listen) ), also known as the Republic of Ireland ( Poblacht na hÉireann ), is a country in north-western Europe consisting of 26 of the 32 counties of the island of Ireland. The capital and largest city is Dublin, which is located on the eastern side of the island.
The Republic of Ireland is a member of the European Union while the United Kingdom is a former member, having both acceded to its precursor entity, the European Economic Community [EEC], in 1973, and as a consequence there is free movement of people, goods, services and capital across the border. Republic of Ireland
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- Background to Independence
- The Irish State, 1922–1939
- World War II, Neutrality, and "The Emergency" 1939–1945
- 1949 – Declaring A Republic
- Current History
- Relationship with Northern Ireland 1945–Present
- Social Liberalisation
- National Scandals
- See Also
Separatism, rebellion and partition
From Union in 1801 until 6 December 1922 the whole of Ireland was part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. However, from the 1880s, there had been long-standing nationalist agitation for autonomy or Home Rule. Other, more radical voices such as the Irish Republican Brotherhoodcalled for independence, but these were in a minority. In 1912–1913, the Liberal government in Britain proposed a Bill for Home Rule. Alarmed, unionists in the north organized the Ulster Volunteers, an ar...
Negotiations between the British and Irish negotiating teams produced the Anglo-Irish Treaty, concluded on 6 December 1921. The Irish team was led by Michael Collins, who had organised the IRA intelligence during the War of Independence. The British team led by David Lloyd George and Winston Churchillwere prepared to make concessions on Irish independence but would not concede a republic. Towards the end of negotiations, Lloyd George threatened, "immediate and terrible war" if the Irish did n...
On a vote of 64 to 57, the Dáil narrowly passed the Anglo-Irish Treaty on 7 January 1922. Éamon de Valera, President of the Republic and several other cabinet members resigned in protest. The pro-Treaty leadership of Michael Collins and Arthur Griffith, organised in a Provisional Government, set about establishing the Irish Free State created by the Treaty. To this end, they began recruiting for a new army, based initially at Beggars Bush Barracksin Dublin, composed of pro-Treaty IRA units. T...
Immediately after the Civil War, elections were held in which anti-Treaty Sinn Féin were allowed to participate. Although many of their candidates, including Éamon de Valera, were imprisoned, they won about one third of the vote. However the pro-Treaty side, organised in Cumann na nGaedheal, won a comfortable majority and went on to form the government of the new state until 1932. The Cumann na nGaedheal governments, led by WT Cosgrave, were highly conservative – being more concerned with establishing the state's basic institutions after the havoc of the Civil War than with social or political reform. According to Kevin O'Higgins, the Minister for Justice, "we were the most conservative group of revolutionaries ever to have carried out a successful revolution". The Irish Civil Service was largely inherited intact from the British and senior civil servants such as C.J. Gregg were 'lent' to the Irish from London to get the new state's bureaucracy off the ground. The new service, and e...
The outbreak of the Second World War put the state and the de Valera government in a difficult situation. It came under pressure from Britain and later the US, to enter the war, or at least to allow the allies to use its ports. However, there remained a minority who felt that national independence had yet to be achieved and who were resolutely opposed to any alliance with Britain. For this reason, de Valera ensured that the state remained neutral throughout the War which was officially known as the "Emergency". The state's decision to adopt neutrality was influenced by memories of the Anglo–Irish War and the Civil War, and the state's lack of military preparedness for involvement in a war. The remnants of the IRA, which had split several times into ever smaller groupings since 1922, embarked on a bombing campaign in Britain (see Sabotage Campaign (IRA)) and some attacks in Northern Ireland (see Northern Campaign), intended to force a British withdrawal from Northern Ireland. Some of...
On 18 April 1949 the Republic of Ireland Act 1948, which had been enacted by the Oireachtas, came into force. That legislation described Ireland as the Republic of Ireland but did not change the country's name. The international and diplomatic functions previously vested in or exercised by the king were now vested in the President of Ireland who finally became unambiguously the Irish head of state. Under the Commonwealth rules then in force, the declaration of a republic automatically terminated the state's membership of the British Commonwealth. Unlike India, which became a republic shortly afterwards, Ireland chose not to reapply for admittance to the Commonwealth. Though a republic since 1949, the Crown of Ireland Act 1542 that had established the Kingdom of Ireland was not finally repealed until 1962, along with many other obsolete Parliament of Ireland statutes. However, long before that, the British Government in its Ireland Act 1949recognised that "the Republic of Ireland had...
Economic, political and social history, 1945–1998
Ireland emerged from the Second World War in better condition than many European countries, having been spared direct involvement in the war and with an income per capita higher than that of most belligerent countries. Ireland also benefited from a loan under the Marshal Plan; $36 million, at 2% interest. The money was spent on an extensive housing and slum-clearing project and a successful campaign to eradicate tuberculosis. However, whereas most European countries experienced a sustained ec...
"Celtic Tiger;" Economic growth of 1990s–2008
The state had had a disappointing economic performance for much of its existence, but it became one of the fastest growing economies in the world by the 1990s, a phenomenon known as the Celtic Tiger. One factor in this was a policy of attracting foreign investment by offering very low taxes on profits ("corporations taxes", which were set at 12%) and by investing in education – offering a well-educated work force at relatively low wages and access to the now-open European market. The second f...
Economic and political history 2008–present
The Irish banks had invested heavily in loans to property developers and were facing ruin as result of the property markets' collapse and also the international 'Credit crunch' or drying up of loans from abroad. Much of the Irish economy and public finances had also depended on the property market and its collapse at roughly the same time as the banking crisis impacted all parts of the Irish economy. It also meant that revenue collected by the state fell radically. This situation was compound...
The official position of the Irish state, as laid out in the 1937 constitution, was that the territory of the state comprised the whole island of Ireland, but that its laws applied only to the territory of the Free State, as outlined in the 1922 Treaty. Thereafter the policies of Irish governments pursued the peaceful unification of Ireland through the pressure groups such as the anti-Partition League. However, at the same time, the state recognised that paramilitary groups – in particular the IRA – were also a threat to its own security. Furthermore, their attacks on Northern Ireland could drag the Irish state into an unwanted confrontation with Britain. In the 1950s, the IRA launched a campaign of attacks on Northern security targets along the border (the Border Campaign). The Irish government first detained the IRA's leaders under the Offences Against the State Act and later introduced internment for all IRA activists. This helped to halt the campaign in its tracks, and the IRA c...
In the late twentieth century, Irish society underwent rapid social change. After the introduction of free education in the late 1960s, many more people had access to second and third level qualifications. The relative economic success of the 1960s and 1970s also decreased emigration, meaning that Ireland became a younger and much more urban society than before. The spread of television and other mass media also exposed Irish citizens to a far wider range of influences than previously. All of these factors loosened the power of the traditional political parties and the Catholic Church over society. By the 1980s, some were calling for liberalisation of the state's laws, particularly a review of the bans on divorce, contraception, and homosexuality. However, they were also opposed by well-organised groups who accused the reformers of being irreligious and "anti-family". That decade saw bitter disagreement between socially conservative, principally religious, elements and liberals over...
Part of the reason why social liberalisaton was widely accepted by the 1990s was due to a very damaging series of scandals in that decade. The revelation that one senior Catholic bishop, Eamon Casey, fathered a child by a divorcée caused a major reaction, as did the discovery of a child abuse ring whereby offenders became clerics in order to use their position in the Roman Catholic Church to obtain access to victims—notably the infamous paedophile Father Brendan Smyth. Another bishop, McGee, subsequently resigned over his mishandling of child abuse cases in his diocese.It was also revealed, in the 2000s, after an enquiry, the Ryan Commission, that there had been widespread physical and sexual abuse of children in secular and Church-run industrial schoolsand orphanages from the 1920s until the 1960s. These were institutions which were set up to house children without families or with very poor parents. In some cases, it was claimed, these children had been removed from their parents...
1. Hopkinson, Michael (2004). Green Against Green, The Irish Civil War. ISBN 9780717137602. 2. Lee, J.J. (1989). Ireland, 1912-1985: Politics and Society. ISBN 9780521377416.
- Related Pages
Several hundred years ago, the English took over the country and made it part of the United Kingdom in 1801. After many years of revolution, Ireland gained its independence from the United Kingdom in 1922 and has been an independent country since then. It was a neutral country during World War II.
The head of State, the President, is elected for seven years by the adult citizens. The same president can only be elected twice (14 years). Most of the president's tasks are representing and ceremonial ones. The president has little power over the government. Ireland is a democracy and people vote for their representatives. The Taoiseach(equivalent to a prime minister) is selected by the parliament. The Taoiseach is usually the head of the biggest party. The Oireachtas (equivalent to the parliament) consists of the Dáil Éireann (the lower House) and the Seanad (the 'upper House'). The system is similar to that of France or the United States, except that the President is not an executive. The main political parties in Ireland are Fine Gael 25%, Sinn Féin 22%, Fianna Fail18%, the Labour Party 7% and others, ref RED C poll 29 th June 2014.
Notes 1. ↑ Prior to 2002, Ireland used the punt(Irish pound) as its circulated currency. The euro was introduced as an accounting currency in 1999.
The COVID-19 pandemic in the Republic of Ireland is part of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The virus reached the country in late February 2020 and within three weeks, cases had been confirmed in all counties.
History 1920s–1980s. Between 1882 and 1924, Ireland was represented by a single national football team organised by the Belfast-based Irish Football Association (IFA). In 1920, Ireland was partitioned into Northern Ireland and the Irish Free State (the latter in turn becoming Éire or Ireland after adopting a new Constitution in 1937, followed by declaring itself a republic in 1949.)