May 17, 2022

Ireland (Irish Éire, English Ireland, also Irish Poblacht na hÉireann and English Republic of Ireland, Republic of Ireland) is a country in northwestern Europe, occupying about five-sixths of the island of the same name. Ireland borders the northern part of the United Kingdom - Northern Ireland. Its shores are washed by the Atlantic Ocean in the west, the Irish Sea in the east, the Strait of St. George in the southeast and the Celtic Sea in the south. Ireland is a unitary parliamentary republic headed by a president. The capital is Dublin (Irish Baile Átha Cliath). Independent Ireland is the result of many years of struggle for independence from the United Kingdom. On December 29, 1937, the Republic of Ireland became the successor to the Irish Free State, which was founded on December 6, 1922. Although Ireland's gross domestic product per capita is in the top ten worldwide, depending on sources, Ireland used to be one of the poorest countries in Western Europe and had a high emigration rate. The economy of protectionism was introduced in the 1950s, and Ireland joined the European Community (now the European Union) in 1973. In the 1980s, the economic crisis led Ireland to embark on major economic reforms. Subsequent liberal economic policies (including significant tax cuts compared to other EU countries) led to overall economic prosperity in 1995-2007. Thanks to this, the period earned the nickname Celtic Tiger. However, following the global financial crisis, this period of rapid economic growth was cut short in 2008. Ireland ranks third in the Human Development Index (2018). The state boasts a very high quality of life - it ranked 1st in the 2005 quality of life index - and ranked sixth in the World Peace Index (2012). Ireland is also highly rated for its education system, political freedom and human rights, freedom of the press and economic freedom. In 2012, Ireland was ranked 170th (eighth behind) in the Collapsing States Index. Ireland is a member of the European Union and the United Nations and a founding member of the OECD and the Council of Europe. Ireland's neutral policy means that it is not a member of NATO, even though it is involved in UN peacekeeping operations.


The origin of the name Éire and therefore Ireland is very unclear. However, interpretations of the origin of the name by ancient Irish legends are almost worthless for etymological research. Despite the ambiguities, there is no doubt that this is a very ancient name. Already in the geographical sources of ancient Greece from the 5th century BC, the name Ierne appears. Ptolemy's map of the world from about 150 AD is called Iouernia for Ireland, which was transliterated into Latin as Iuverna. In Caesar's work, there is already the name Hibernia, which probably originated from the contamination of the original designation and the Latin word hibernus, which means cold, winter. In the early Irish literature, the Old Irish term Ériu appears, from which the already mentioned current name Éire evolved. From this basis, the addition of the Germanic ending -land, characteristic of naming the country, created the current English name Ireland. In Irish, Welsh and Breton languages, the forms Ywerddon, Iwerdon and Iverdon, based on the Proto-Celtic * ɸīwerjō, were used to refer to Ireland. At present, it is the Welsh Iwerddon and Breton Iwerzhon; also Kornsky Iwerdhon. In Irish mythology, Eria was one of the divine eponyms for Ireland, along with the eponymous Banba and Fódla.


The oldest evidence of the presence of Mesolithic hunters and gatherers in the northeastern part of the island dates from the 6th millennium BC At the end of the 5th millennium BC, it spread to Ireland from