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About Ireland

For a small country, Ireland has made a big impact. We've given the world saints and scholars, artists and entrepreneurs, scientists and sporting heroes. We've built a reputation for innovation, hard work and determination but we've still kept our inimitable outlook on life. Ireland is unique - let us show you why...

Ireland at a glance

  • Name: Ireland (Éire in Irish)
  • Capital: Dublin
  • Population: 4.9 million
  • Languages: English and Irish
  • Government: Republic
  • Head of government: An Taoiseach Michéal Martin
  • Head of state: President Michael D Higgins
  • Currency: Euro
  • Flag: Tricolour of green, white and orange
  • Emblem: Harp
  • National Day: Saint Patrick's Day, 17 March

 

  • Our history
  • Our economy
  • Our culture
  • Our languages

Our history

Our economy

Ireland is one of the world's most dynamic economies. The economy was in a strong position prior to the pandemic, with robust growth, balanced public finances and a labour market close to full employment. The Covid-19 pandemic, and the unprecedented social and economic measures introduced to suppress the virus, have had a significant impact on the Irish economy and public finances.

The Trade and Co-operation Agreement between the EU and UK and the rollout of Covid-19 vaccines have improved the outlook for the economy. Rising vaccine coverage will allow for a more significant easing of containment measures over the summer, with positive implications for economic activity. Conditioned upon these assumptions, modified domestic demand (MDD) is projected to increase by 2.5 per cent this year (GDP growth of 4.5 per cent). MDD growth is expected to accelerate next year, reaching 7.5 per cent (GDP by 5 per cent).

Did you know

The value of goods exports from Ireland rose to €160.8bn in 2020, the highest level on record, and an increase of 5% over 2019.

For more information and regular updates, visit the CSO Key Economic Indicators for Ireland

Our culture

Our Culture

Our unique culture and heritage feed our creativity and make us what we are. We tell the story of Ireland and her people through our music, poetry, art, literature and film. Sometimes it's joyous, sometimes tragic. It can make us laugh and it can force us to face uncomfortable truths but it is always, always inspiring.

Did you know? Ireland has produced four winners of the Nobel Prize for Literature: George Bernard Shaw, William Butler Yeats, Samuel Beckett and Seamus Heaney.

 

Our languages

Our Language

Given the Irish reputation for eloquence, it should come as no surprise that we have two official languages: Irish and English. While everyone speaks English, Irish is also spoken by many including those living in Gaeltacht (Irish speaking) areas. Irish has always been taught in schools. Today, around 41% of people living here can speak at least some Irish.

Did you know? The Blarney Stone in Co. Cork is one of our top tourist destinations. Visitors come to kiss the stone to apparently gain the Irish gift of eloquence!