Ireland (Éire) is a country and island northwest of continental Europe and west of Britain. Ireland's ancient and beautiful landscape is varied with lakes, islands, mountains. There is a staggering 1448km of coastline with the Atlantic Ocean on the west coast and the Irish Sea to the east.
The culture of Ireland originates from the indigenous Celtic peoples.
The Irish language, one of the Gaelic languages, closer to Scottish and Manx than to Welsh, Cornish and Bretagne is still widely spoken in Ireland although the primary language is English.
Following the Norman invasion and after decades of warfare in the 1500's English dominion prevailed after 1603. A systematic process of subjugation saw the extension of English rule and resulted in 1801 Ireland becoming part of the United Kingdom.
The war of independence in the early twentieth century saw the partition of the island of Ireland with six of the nine counties of Ulster being declared to remain in the United Kingdom. This has caused continued unrest with a strong movement for the reunification of Ireland and resulted in the 1998 Belfast Agreement or Good Friday Agreement under which the future status and system of government within Northern Ireland and it’s relationship with both the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom was agreed. This was subsequently supported in a referendum vote in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. The division of Ireland at this time sees five-sixths of the island in the Republic of Ireland with the remainder in the northeast.