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Celtic tribes arrived on the island between 600-150 B.C. Invasions by Norsemen that began in the late 8th century were finally ended when King Brian BORU defeated the Danes in 1014. English invasions began in the 12th century and set off more than seven centuries of Anglo-Irish struggle marked by fierce rebellions and harsh repressions. A failed 1916 Easter Monday Rebellion touched off several years of guerrilla warfare that in 1921 resulted in independence from the UK for 26 southern counties; six northern (Ulster) counties remained part of the UK. In 1949, Ireland withdrew from the British Commonwealth; it joined the European Community in 1973. Irish governments have sought the peaceful unification of Ireland and have cooperated with Britain against terrorist groups. A peace settlement for Northern Ireland is gradually being implemented despite some difficulties. In 2006, the Irish and British governments developed and began to implement the St. Andrews Agreement, building on the Good Friday Agreement approved in 1998.


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Geography

Location
Western Europe, occupying five-sixths of the island of Ireland in the North Atlantic Ocean, west of Great Britain

Geographic coordinates
53 00 N, 8 00 W

Map references
Europe

Area World Ranking: 120
Total 70,273 sq km
Land 68,883 sq km
Water 1,390 sq km

Area - comparative
Slightly larger than West Virginia

Land boundaries
Total 360 km
Border countries UK 360 km

Coastline
1,448 km

Maritime claims
Territorial sea 12 nm
Exclusive fishing zone 200 nm

Climate
Temperate maritime; modified by North Atlantic Current; mild winters, cool summers; consistently humid; overcast about half the time

Terrain
Mostly level to rolling interior plain surrounded by rugged hills and low mountains; sea cliffs on west coast

Elevation extremes
Lowest point Atlantic Ocean 0 m
Highest point Carrauntoohil 1,041 m

Natural resources
Natural gas, peat, copper, lead, zinc, silver, barite, gypsum, limestone, dolomite

Land use
Arable land 16.82%
Permanent crops 0.03%
Other 83.15% (2005)

Irrigated land
NA

Total renewable water resources
46.8 cu km (2003)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
Total 1.18 cu km/yr (23%/77%/0%)
Per capita 284 cu m/yr (1994)

Natural hazards
NA

Environment - current issues
Water pollution, especially of lakes, from agricultural runoff

Environment - international agreements
Party to
Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
Signed, but not ratified
Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Marine Life Conservation

Geography - note
Strategic location on major air and sea routes between North America and northern Europe; over 40% of the population resides within 100 km of Dublin


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  Ireland (Dublin):


  GPS points from Ireland (Dublin)

Whitechurch Dublin

Boherger House Limerick


Monksgrange Tipperary


Benbulbin Sligo


Killaidamee Tipperary




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