Ireland, also known as the Republic of Ireland, is a sovereign state in western Europe occupying about five-sixths of the island of Ireland. The capital and largest city is Dublin, located in the eastern part of the island, whose metropolitan area is home to around a third of the country's 4.6 million inhabitants. The state shares its only land border with Northern Ireland, a part of the United Kingdom. It is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the Celtic Sea to the south, Saint George's Channel to the south east, and the Irish Sea to the east. It is a unitary, parliamentary republic with an elected president serving as head of state. The head of government, the Taoiseach, is nominated by the lower house of parliament, Dáil Éireann.
The Irish Free State was created in 1922 as a result of the Anglo-Irish Treaty. It effectively became a republic, with an elected president, under the constitution of 1937, in which it was named "Ireland". It was officially declared a republic in 1949. Ireland became a member of the United Nations in December 1955. It joined the European Economic Community (EEC), predecessor of the European Union, in 1973. Ireland had no formal relations with Northern Ireland for most of the twentieth century, but during the 1980s and 1990s the British and Irish governments worked with the Northern Ireland parties towards a resolution to the "Troubles". Since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, Ireland and Northern Ireland have co-operated on a number of policy areas under the North-South Ministerial Council created by the Agreement.
Ireland ranks among the wealthiest countries in the world in terms of GDP per capita. After joining the EEC, Ireland enacted a series of liberal economic policies that resulted in rapid economic growth, coupled with a dramatic rise in inequality. The country achieved considerable prosperity from 1995 to 2007, during which it became known as the Celtic Tiger. This was halted by an unprecedented financial crisis that began in 2008, in conjunction with the concurrent global economic crash.
In 2011 and 2013, Ireland was ranked as the seventh-most developed country in the world by the United Nations Human Development Index. It also performs well in several metrics of national performance, including freedom of the press, economic freedom and civil liberties. Ireland is a member of the European Union and is a founding member of the Council of Europe and the OECD. It pursues a policy of neutrality through non-alignment and is consequently not a member of NATO, although it does participate in Partnership for Peace.
How places in the Republic of Ireland are organized
The Republic of Ireland traditionally has been divided into 26 counties, with Tipperary county split into two counties in the 1890's and Dublin county split into three counties in the 1990's. The standard at WeRelate is to title Irish place pages according to their traditional (pre-split) county when it is known, with also-located-in links to the post-split counties.
All places in Republic of Ireland
Further information on historical place organization in Republic of Ireland
Irish records online.