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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: 4.6 million
  • Languages: English and Irish
  • Government: Republic
  • Head of government: An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar
  • 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's rapid economic growth from 1993 to 2007 saw it become one of the world's most dynamic economies. However, the global economic downturn, a lengthy property market boom and problems within the Irish banking system led to recession from which the country is still recovering. The good news is that the Irish economy returned to growth in 2011 and is continuing to expand.

Did you know

For 2018 it is estimated that the value of food and drink exports from Ireland is €12.11bn, an increase of over €4.7bn since 2010. The value of Ireland’s food and drink exports has increased more than 64% in the last eight years.

Country Profile of Ireland in 2019

 

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!