Introduction to Ireland
The Republic of Ireland is an island located to the north-west of continental Europe and is the third-largest island in Europe. To the East lies Great Britain from which it is separated from by the Irish Sea. To the north-east is Northern Ireland a territory under the rule of Britain to the South and West is the Atlantic Ocean.
Politically Ireland is divided between the Republic and the UK territory of Northern Ireland. The population of the Republic is approximately 4.6 million. Relatively low-lying mountains surrounding a central plain epitomise Ireland’s geography with several navigable rivers extending inland. The island has lush vegetation, a product of its mild but changeable oceanic climate, which avoids extremes in temperature. Thick woodlands covered the island until the 17th century. Today, it is one of the most deforested areas in Europe.
Irish culture has a large impact on other cultures and today boasts a strong unique tradition. Irish culture is famous for the Gaelic games, Irish dance, Irish music, the language and of course the drinking.