Ireland[1] ( /ˈaɪərlənd/ or /ˈɑrlənd/; Irish: Éire, pronounced [ˈeːɾʲə] (Speaker Icon.svg listen)), described as the Republic of Ireland (Irish: Poblacht na hÉireann),[2] is a sovereign state in Europe occupying approximately five-sixths of the island of the same name. Its capital is Dublin. Ireland's population was 4.58 million in 2011. It is a constitutional republic governed as a parliamentary democracy, with an elected president serving as head of state. It is a member of the European Union. Ireland is a developed country with the seventh highest Human Development Index.[3] The country is highly ranked for press freedom, economic freedom and democracy and political freedom. Ireland is also a member of the Council of Europe, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organisation and the United Nations.

The modern Irish state was established in 1922 as the Irish Free State, a dominion within the British Empire, following the Anglo-Irish Treaty which brought an end to the Irish War of Independence. The partition of Ireland had already been provided for in previous British legislation in 1921[4] in response to opposition to Irish Home Rule or independence by Unionists, who formed a majority in the north-eastern part of the country. Six of the nine counties in the northern province of Ulster were established under that legislation as Northern Ireland, part of the United Kingdom, with which the Irish state shares its only land border. The state is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the Celtic Sea to the south, St George's Channel to the south east, and the Irish Sea to the east.

In 1801, the kingdoms of Ireland and Great Britain, previously in a personal union, were united to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following a failed uprising in 1916, in 1919 Irish nationalist parliamentarians supporting the establishment of the Irish Republic formed a secessionist parliament and the Irish Republican Army launched a guerrilla war to realise independence. The Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1922 concluded that war and established the Irish Free State as a self-governing dominion within the British Commonwealth. Northern Ireland chose to remain as part of the United Kingdom. The independent state increased in sovereignty through the 1931 Statute of Westminster and the abdication crisis of 1936.[5] A new constitution introduced in 1937 declared it a sovereign state named Ireland (Éire).[6][7] The Republic of Ireland Act proclaimed Ireland a republic in 1949 by removing the remaining duties of the monarch. Ireland consequently withdrew from the British Commonwealth.[8]

While it ranks among the wealthiest countries in the world today in terms of GDP,[9] Ireland was one of the most impoverished countries in Europe while it was a part of the United Kingdom and for decades following independence. Economic protectionism was dismantled in the late 1950s and Ireland joined the European Economic Community in 1973. Economic liberalism from the late 1980s onwards resulted in rapid economic expansion, particularly from 1995 to 2007, which became known as the Celtic Tiger period. An unprecedented financial crisis beginning in 2008 ended this era of rapid economic growth.[10][11]


Wikipedia has material related to:

Note:This article is mainly extracts of the Wikipedia version, the complex politial history is not covered here as it is not relevant to Tractor Wikis main subject are of vehicles and manufacturing history.


Main article: Geography of Ireland
Cliffs of Moher, Clare

The Cliffs of Moher on the Atlantic coast.

The Republic of Ireland extends over an area of approximately five-sixths (70,273 km²/27,133 sq mi

) of the island of Ireland (84,421 km²/32,595 sq mi

), with Northern Ireland constituting the remainder. The island is bounded to the north and west by the Atlantic Ocean and to the northeast by the North Channel. To the east, the Irish Sea connects to the Atlantic Ocean via St George's Channel and the Celtic Sea to the southwest.

The western landscape mostly consists of rugged cliffs, hills and mountains. The central lowlands are extensively covered with glacial deposits of clay and sand, as well as significant areas of bogland and several lakes. The highest point is Carrauntoohil (1,038 m/3,406 ft), located in the Macgillycuddy's Reeks mountain range in the southwest. The River Shannon, which traverses the central lowlands, is the longest river in Ireland at 386 km in length. The west coast is more rugged than the east, with numerous islands, peninsulas, headlands and bays.

Agriculture accounts for approximately 64% of the total land area.[12] This has resulted in limited land to preserve natural habitats, in particular for larger wild mammals with greater territorial requirements.[13] The long history of agricultural production coupled with modern agricultural methods, such as pesticide and fertiliser use, has placed pressure on biodiversity.[14]


Ireland has been a member state of the European Union since 1973, but has chosen to remain outside the Schengen Area. Citizens of the United Kingdom can freely enter the country without a passport due to the Common Travel Area, which is a passport-free zone comprising the islands of Ireland, Great Britain, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. However, some identification is required at airports and seaports.

Local governmentEdit

Main article: Local government in the Republic of Ireland

The Local Government Act 1898 is the founding document of the present system of local government, while the Twentieth Amendment to the constitution of 1999 provided for its constitutional recognition. The twenty-six traditional counties of Ireland are not always coterminous with administrative divisions. County Tipperary was divided into North Tipperary and South Tipperary in 1898, while County Dublin was divided into Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, Fingal, and South Dublin in 1994. The Local Government Act 2001 established a two-tier structure, with the top tier consisting of twenty-nine county councils and five city councils. The five cities of Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway, and Waterford are administered separately by their own city councils.

Ireland Administrative Counties
  1. Fingal
  2. Dublin City
  3. Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown
  4. South Dublin
  5. Wicklow
  6. Wexford
  7. Carlow
  8. Kildare
  9. Meath
  10. Louth
  11. Monaghan
  12. Cavan
  13. Longford
  14. Westmeath
  15. Offaly
  16. Laois
  17. Kilkenny
  1. Waterford City
  2. Waterford
  3. Cork City
  4. Cork
  5. Kerry
  6. Limerick
  7. Limerick City
  8. South Tipperary
  9. North Tipperary
  10. Clare
  11. Galway
  12. Galway City
  13. Mayo
  14. Roscommon
  15. Sligo
  16. Leitrim
  17. Donegal


Main article: Economy of the Republic of Ireland


Famine sculpture in front of the International Financial Services Centre Dublin 2006 Kaihsu Tai

The International Financial Services Centre in Dublin.

The Irish economy has transformed since the 1980s from being predominantly agricultural to a modern knowledge economy focused on high technology industries and services. Ireland adopted the euro currency in 2002 along with eleven other EU member states.[14] The country is heavily reliant on Foreign Direct Investment and has attracted several multinational corporations due to a highly educated workforce and a low corporation tax rate.[15]

Companies such as Intel invested in Ireland during the late 1980s, later followed by Microsoft and Google. Ireland is ranked as the world's seventh most economically free economy in the world according to the Index of Economic Freedom. In terms of GDP per capita, Ireland is one of the wealthiest countries in the OECD and EU. However, the country ranks below the OECD average in terms of GNP per capita. GDP is significantly greater than GNP due to the large amount of multinational corporations based in Ireland.[15]

Beginning in the early 1990s, the country experienced unprecedented economic growth fuelled by a dramatic rise in consumer spending, construction and investment, which became known as the Celtic Tiger period. The pace of growth slowed during 2007 and led to the burst of a major property bubble which had developed over time.[16] The dramatic fall in property prices has highlighted the over-exposure of the economy to construction, and has contributed to the ongoing Irish banking crisis. Ireland officially entered a recession in 2008 following consecutive months of economic contraction.[17]

Vehicle manufacturingEdit

The country is not noted for having a large vehicle manufacturing industry as the 'small' population and lack of disposable wealth for much of the 19th and 20th centuries did not make setting up factories worth while for mass production. One notable exception was Henry Ford setting up a tractor manufacturing plant in Cork in 192? to manufacture the Fordson Model F. Protectionis polices did leat to the setting up of some assembly factories for imported vehicles to reduce tariffs.

Other manufacturers include;

See alsoEdit




  1. Government of Ireland (1937). "Article 4". Constitution of Ireland. Stationery Office. “The name of the State is Éire, or, in the English language, Ireland.”
  2. Government of Ireland (1948). "Article 2". Republic of Ireland Act, 1948. Government of Ireland. “It is hereby declared that the description of the State shall be the Republic of Ireland.”
  3. United Nations (2011). "Table 1". Human Development Index and its components. United Nations Development Programme. Retrieved on 26 November 2011.
  4. Statutory Rules & Orders published by authority, 1921 (No. 533); Additional source for 3 May 1921 date: Alvin Jackson, Home Rule – An Irish History, Oxford University Press, 2004, p. 198.
  5. DW Hollis, 2001, The history of Ireland, Greenwood: Connecticut
    Michael J. Kennedy, 2000, Division and consensus: the politics of cross-border relations in Ireland, 1925–1969, Institute of Public Administration: Dublin
    "In April 1936 de Valera had announced that he was preparing to draft a new constitution to replace that of 1922. Drafting was in progress when the abdication of King Edward VIII in December 1936 gave de Valera the opportunity to make further constitutional changes and introduce the External Relations Bill. In London, the cabinet's Irish Situation Committee had been told by [Malcolm] MacDonald in November 1936 to expect such legislation in the near future, so its introduction was not a shock to the British. Even so, de Valera was concerned about the possible British reaction, and he was able to use the abdication crisis to implement a further revision of the Treaty, safe in the knowledge that British politicians had other matters on their minds."
  6. Bill Kissane, 2007, Éamon de Valéra and the Survival of Democracy in Inter-War Ireland in Journal of Contemporary History, Vol. 42, No. 2, 213–226
  7. T Garvin, 1922: the birth of Irish democracy, Gill & Macmillan: Dublin, 2005
    Peter Cottrell (2008). The Irish Civil War 1922–23. Osprey Publishing, 85. ISBN 9781846032707. “Irish voters approved a new constitution, Bunreacht na hÉireann, in 1937 renaming the country Éire or simply Ireland.” 
    Dr. Darius Whelan (June 2005). "Guide to Irish Law". Retrieved on 11 September 2009. “This Constitution, which remains in force today, renamed the State Ireland (Article 4) and established four main institutions – the President, the Oireachtas (Parliament), the Government and the Courts.”
    John T. Koch, Celtic culture: a historical encyclopedia, ABC-CLIO: Santa Barbara, 2006
  8. (2001) Citizenship in a Global World: Comparing Citizenship Rights for Aliens. Hampshire: Palgrave, 120. ISBN 0-333-80265-9. “Ireland reluctantly remained a member of the Commonwealth s Irish citizens remained British Subjects. However, Irish representatives stopped attending Commonwealth meetings in 1937 and Ireland adopted a position of neutrality in World War II. Ireland became a Republic in 1949 and formally left the Commonwealth.” 
  9. "Country Comparison: GDP – per capita (PPP)". World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved on 29 August 2011.
  10. "EU: Causes of Growth differentials in Europe", WAWFA think tank
  11. Nicoll, Ruaridh (16 May 2009). "Ireland: As the Celtic Tiger roars its last", The Guardian (London). Retrieved on 30 March 2010. 
  12. "Agriculture in Ireland". Retrieved on 12 November 2010.
  13. "Land cover and land use". Environmental Protection Agency (2000). Retrieved on 30 July 2007.
  14. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named CIA
  15. 15.0 15.1 "Annual Competitiveness Report 2008, Volume One: Benchmarking Ireland's Performance". NCC (2009). Retrieved on 1 July 2009.
  16. "ESRI – Irish Economy". Retrieved on 2011-06-30.
  17. "CSO – Central Statistics Office Ireland". Central Statistics Office Ireland (9 November 2004). Retrieved on 9 July 2009.


  • Gilland, Karin (2001). Ireland: Neutrality and the International Use of Force. Routledge. ISBN 0415218047. 
  • Greenwood, Margaret (2003). Rough guide to Ireland. Rough Guides. ISBN 1843530597. 
  • Mangan, James Clarence (2007). James Clarence Mangan – His Selected Poems. Read Books. ISBN 1408627000. 
  • Meinardus, Otto Friedrich August (2002). Two thousand years of Coptic Christianity. American Univ in Cairo Press. ISBN 9774247574. 
  • Moody, Theodore William (2005). A New History of Ireland: Prehistoric and early Ireland. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0198217374. 

External linksEdit

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