Ireland ( or ;), also known as the Republic of Ireland, is a sovereign state in Europe occupying about five-sixths of the island of Ireland. It is a republic with an elected president serving as head of state. The head of government—called the Taoiseach—is nominated by the lower house of parliament (Dáil Éireann). The capital is Dublin in the east of the island. 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.
The modern Irish state gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1922 following a war of independence resulting in the Anglo-Irish Treaty, with Northern Ireland exercising an option to remain in the United Kingdom. Initially a dominion within the British Empire called the Irish Free State, a new constitution and the name of "Ireland" were adopted in 1937. In 1949 the remaining duties of the British monarch were removed and Ireland was declared a republic, with the description Republic of Ireland. The state had no formal relations with Northern Ireland for most of the twentieth century, but since 1999 they have co-operated on a number of policy areas under the North-South Ministerial Council created under the Good Friday Agreement.
Whilst Ireland today ranks amongst the wealthiest countries in the world in terms of GDP per capita, the country was once one of the poorest in Western Europe. 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.
In 2011, Ireland was ranked the seventh most developed nation in the world by the United Nations' Human Development Index, Ireland is also highly ranked for press, economic and political freedom. 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 consequently is 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.