Republic of Ireland


English, Gaelic


About 90% Roman Catholic, rest Church of Ireland (Anglican) or other Christian denominations

Political System

Parliamentary Democracy.



Geographical Information

Climate temperate and changeable with lots of showers.

Typical Food and drinks

Food: lots of dishes with meat or fish and local seasonal vegetables such as Irish stew

Beverages: Guinness, tea

Holidays and Festivals

17th March St.Patrick’s Day

First Monday in June and August and last Monday in October are Bank Holiday Mondays


Settled by Gaels and Celts, clans fighting each other.

Monks brought Christianity to Ireland and then went on to found monasteries all over Europe.

Viking attacks, small kingdoms in Ireland fighting each other.

Anglo-Normans brought English administrative system.

Ireland colonised by English and Scottish Protestants, conquered by Elisabeth I.

Act of Union brought direct British rule.

19th century: mass emigration due to potato famine and poverty.

Repeated rebellions against British rule led to the establishment of the Irish Free State, but Ulster remained in the United Kingdom.

Irish Free State became Republic of Ireland.



Art and culture

Literature: Book of Kells, Jonathan Swift, Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw, William Butler Yeats, Samuel Becket, James Joyce, Brendan Behan

Music: U2, Nick Kelly, Bill Wheelan, Mary Coughlan

Art: Walter Osborne, William John Leech, John Lavery, Sam Fleming, Ray Duncan, Maire O’Sullivan

Dos and don´ts for visiting the country

Drive on the left.

Pubs very important. If friends go together each person buys a "round" of drinks for everyone else.

Politics and religion are sensitive subjects.

Population and

% of foreign population /minorities

Population: 3,8 million.

The Irish emigrated to other countries and continents for centuries. This trend has been reversed, people from other countries come in search of work.

There are about 7000 refugees from Eastern Europe, Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa.

Main Integration Problems


Mistrust of Gypsies widespread amongst the Irish.

Refugees and other black and ethnic groups face social exclusion and fall into the poverty trap due to racism and discrimination in employment, education and training and due to their own difficulties in obtaining vital information.

Adjusting from welfare to work is more difficult for asylum seekers.



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Latest update of this page: 2005-07-15 
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