Best Bitcoin Card for Ireland
The Republic of Ireland lies on the island of the same name in the Atlantic Ocean west of Great Britain, separated from the Atlantic Ocean by the Irish Sea. With a national area of 70 284 km², the republic occupies about five sixths of the total island area. In the north, the state borders on Northern Ireland, which belongs to Great Britain. The Irish name Eire for Ireland comes from the Celtic (Erin) and means as much as grassland.
Most of Ireland consists of the Irish lowlands, which extend from west to east in the central part of the island and are characterised by numerous lakes and extensive moors. The largest lake with an area of 181 km² is Lough Corrib in the west of the country. The 361 km long Shannon, Ireland’s longest river, flows through the lowlands from north to south and flows into the Atlantic Ocean.
Three mountain formations border the lowlands: In the north, the foothills of the Caledonian Mountains form the Northern Ireland Highlands, of which only the northwest belongs to the Republic. South of the capital Dublin there are the Wicklow Mountains, which are over 900 m high and extend along the eastern coast to the south. The mountain range in the southern part of the island belongs geologically to the Armorican mountain system, here is the Carrantuohill with 1 041 m as the highest elevation of the country. The coastline is more than 3 200 km long and especially in the west strongly indented and rich in bays (e.g. Donegalbai, Galwaybai).
Ireland is a parliamentary republic, based on the 1937 Constitution and headed by Michael D. Higgins, the President of the Republic directly elected by the people for seven years (since 2011 Michael D. Higgins). He appoints the Prime Minister (Enda Kenny since 2011) at the suggestion of the House of Commons. The cabinet is also appointed by the president after the prime minister has proposed the ministers and the parliament has given its consent.
The legislative power lies with a two-chamber parliament (Oireachtas) consisting of the lower house (Dáil Éireann, 166 deputies, directly elected for five years) and the senate (Seanad Éireann, 60 deputies, eleven of whom are appointed by the prime minister, the rest by the universities and five electoral colleges elected for five years). The main political parties in the Republic of Ireland are the liberal-conservative Fine Gael (Irish family, FG), the Labour Party, the Green Party (GP), the national-conservative, republican Fianna Fáil (soldiers of fate, FF) and the republican Sinn Féin. The supreme body of justice is the Supreme Court in Dublin. Ireland is divided into four provinces with 26 counties and four county boroughs.
Since joining the EU in 1973, Ireland has transformed itself from an essentially agricultural society into the “Celtic Tiger”, a modern, technologically advanced economy supported by tax incentives for foreign investors and EU subsidies. The global financial and confidence crisis of 2007/2008 did not stop at Ireland either. The Irish banking system, which had been badly hit, became a risk factor for the stability of the euro zone in 2010. In November 2010, Ireland received a support package from the EU and the International Monetary Fund, which includes a consolidation programme for public finances. Thanks to a continued austerity policy, the country was able to return to the capital market at the beginning of 2013. For 2012, Ireland recorded slight GDP growth of 0.9 %. Unemployment, however, remained at a record level of just under 15 %.
The contribution of the agricultural sector to gross domestic product (GDP) has now fallen to 1 %. Livestock farming is of great importance; almost 85 % of the land used for agriculture is used for grazing. Due to the mild climate, the animals can be kept free-range all year round. The dairy industry and sheep farming generate large surpluses. The main crops are potatoes, sugar beets and barley (as feed and as a basis for brewing). The lion’s share is generated by the service sector (67% of GDP in 2012).
32 % of GDP is generated by industry, mainly in the steel, zinc, silver, gypsum and barite processing and aluminium smelting sectors, food processing, the chemical industry, mechanical engineering, shipbuilding and vehicle construction, as well as in the
Software development. Exports are mainly to the USA and within the EU. The country’s energy needs are covered by oil, gas and coal, but its own reserves are not sufficient.
Tourism is very important. Ireland has a well-developed infrastructure with some 3 300 km of railways, 96 000 km of roads and numerous ports. There are international airports in Dublin, Carrickfinn, Farranfore, Shannon, Galway, Cork and Knock. The currency is the euro.