Mostly level to rolling interior plain surrounded by rugged hills and low mountains; sea cliffs on west coast
Temperate maritime; modified by North Atlantic Current; mild winters, cool summers; consistently humid; overcast about half the time
Nationality: Irishman (men), Irishwoman (women), Irish (collective plural)
Population: 4,832,765 (July 2014 est.)
Languages: English (official, the language generally used), Irish (Gaelic or Gaeilge) (official, spoken mainly in areas along the western coast)
Roman Catholic 84.7%, Church of Ireland 2.7%, other Christian 2.7%, Muslim 1.1%, other 1.7%, unspecified 1.5%, none 5.7% (2011 est.)
Ireland is a small, modern, trade-dependent economy. Ireland was among the initial group of 12 EU nations that began circulating the euro on 1 January 2002. GDP growth averaged 6% in 1995-2007, but economic activity has dropped sharply since the onset of the world financial crisis. Ireland entered into a recession in 2008 for the first time in more than a decade, with the subsequent collapse of its domestic property market and construction industry.
The traditional rural home was narrow and rectangular. It was built from a combination of stones and mortar (made from mud, lime, or whatever material was locally available). The roof was often thatched. Rural homes and those in some urban areas are commonly heated by fireplaces that burn peat (called "turf" in Ireland) instead of wood. Modern homes are replacing traditional dwellings both in the country and the city.
Republic, parliamentary democracy
US Military Presence/Support