Area: 70,285 sq km (27.137 sq ml).
Currency: 1 Irish Pound = 100 New Pence.
Religions: Roman Catholic 93.1% Church of Ireland 2.8% Others 4.1%.
Ethnic Groups: Over 94% Irish.
Languages: English & Irish.
|A country in western Europe
comprising four-fifths of the island of Ireland, to the
west of Great Britain.
A flat and fertile plain surrounds a central lake, Lough Ree, and the basin of the River Shannon. It is surrounded by coastal areas of great beauty; the Wicklow Mountains in the south-east reach to nearly 1,000m (3,300 feet); the Connemara Mountains in the west stand up above great lakes, while those of Kerry in the south-west reach to over 1,000m (3,282 feet) and point to the sea. Many islands among them Aran, lie in the deep bays of the western coast, where there are sandy beaches among the rocks. Warm, damp winds from the Atlantic keep the country largely free of frost, while rainfall is moderate to heavy.
[THE IRISH TIMES]