Ireland: The Land of the Potato

By: Bryan Clagett

Geography

Ireland is off the west coast of Europe, to the west of the United Kingdom. Surrounding Ireland is the Northern Atlantic Ocean. In total, Ireland is 70,273 square kilometers. The highest point of Ireland is Mount Carrauntoohil at 3,406, and the lowest point is The Atlantic Ocean at 0 feet. The Capitol of Ireladn is Dublin, home of one of Ireland's largest night time festival, Samhain. Major cities in Ireland include Limerick, Cork, Dundalk, and Galway.

Government and Currency

The type of government in Ireland is a government and parliament democracy. Just like the USA, Ireland's government has three branches, the Executive Branch, Legeslative Branch, and the Judicial Branch. The president of Ireland is Michael D. Higgins. Before Ireland converted to the EURO, they used the punt. On the front of the punt was a big deer.

History of Ireland

Originally, Ireland was part of Britain, but on December 6,1922, Ireland and Britain went to war. After the war was over, Ireland had split into a separate country and declared its independence. In the 1840s, the great potato famine in Ireland struck and over one million people died over a course of five years. The famine was caused by potato crops failing due to the disease in plants, blight, that eats the plants leaves and roots.

Ireland in the EU

After the war for independence from the United Kingdom, ireland went in to major poverty, suffered unemployment, and emigration. At first when Ireland had applied to become a member of the EEC, Europe did not let them join because of poverty and unemployment.

Finally in 1973, Ireland signed a treaty declaring them to be part of the EU. After being a member, Ireland has created 700,000 more job opportunities.

Irish flag

The Irish flag was adopted or made on December 29, 1937. The green on the left represents the Roman Catholics in Ireland. The Orange, on the right, represents the Northern Ireland Protestants. The white in the middle represents hope for peace between the two groups.

Tourism

One place to visit is the Burren. The Burren is a very cool rock formation made out of limestone plates. Around the formation is over 600 species of plants and vegetation. Another place to visit would be the Cliffs of Moher. The cliffs run for 5 miles off of the west coastline of Ireland and are about 700 feet overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. From the cliffs, you can see the Aran Islands and Galway Bay. The last place to visit is St. Patrick's Cathedral. The cathedral was once the place where the Saint Patrick baptized converts from paganism to Christianity.

Northern Ireland

Many people mistake The Republic of Ireland for Northern Ireland. After the war for independence from the United Kindom, Northern Ireland stayed part of the U.K. During the war for independence, the population of Northern Ireland were unionists which means they wanted to stay as a part of the U.K.

Interesting Facts

1. Ireland is about the size of West Virginia.

2. Ireland has won the Eurovision Song Contest seven times. (Most of all countries)

3. The beer Guiness originated in Dublin, Ireland.

Citations

-"Ireland: History." CultureGrams Online Edition. ProQuest, 2015. Web. 4 Dec. 2015.

-"Ireland." Central Intelligence Agency. Central Intelligence Agency, n.d. Web. 04 Dec. 2015.

-Ireland in the EU - Joining the European Community." Ireland in the EU - Joining the European Community. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Dec. 2015.

-"The Top Ten Places to Visit in Ireland." IrishCentral. N.p., 02 Sept. 2015. Web. 04 Dec. 2015.