Total area: 81 638 km² (31,521 sq mi)
Population: 4.6 million (July 2011)
Officially known as the Republic of Ireland, Ireland is an island to the northwest region of Europe. To the east, it’s larger island neighbor is the island of GREAT BRITAIN, from which they are separated by the Irish Sea and the North Channel, which has a width of 23 kilometers (around 14 miles) at its narrowest. To the west lies the northern Atlantic Ocean and to the south lies the Celtic Sea, which lies between Ireland and Brittany, a cultural area in FRANCE and considered to be one of the 6 Celtic nations.
There is a political division present in Ireland, between the Republic of Ireland itself, which covers just under five-sixths of the island, and Northern Ireland, a part of the United Kingdom, which covers the remainder and is located in the northeast of the island. Since the population of Ireland is totaling about 6.4 million residents, 4.6 million live in the Republic of Ireland and just under 1.8 million live in Northern Ireland.
The climate is typically insular and is temperate avoiding the extremes in temperature of many other areas in the world at similar latitudes. This comes as a result of the moderating moist winds which ordinarily prevail from the South-Western Atlantic.
The island's lush vegetation, a product of its mild climate and frequent rainfall, earns it the (sometimes) assumed nickname the Emerald Isle. Ireland has overall a mild but changeable oceanic climate with few extremes in its temperature. Thick woodlands covered the island until the 17th century. Today, it is one of the most deforested areas in EUROPE. There are twenty-six extant mammal species native to Ireland.
Inland areas are warmer in summer and colder in winter. Usually around 35-40 days of the year are below freezing 0 °C (32 °F) at inland weather stations, compared to about 8-10 days at coastal stations. Strangely enough, Ireland is sometimes also affected by heat waves, most recently in the years of 1995, 2003 and 2006. However, in line with the rest of Europe, Ireland experienced unusually cold weather during the winter of 2009-10. Temperatures dropped to the very low of −17.2 °C (1 °F) in County Mayo on December 20th and up to a metre (3 ft) of snow fell in mountainous areas.
Ever since the mid-19th century, when the Industrial revolution started to materialize and grow, Ireland failed to join the band wagon and the reasons were many; the most important as one scholar mentioned, is that they did not know how. In contrast, Irish coal resources were feeding the growing economy of Great Britain. There was mass emigration which continued until the 1980s.
The Irish economy however, reversed dramatically during the course of the 1990s, which saw the beginning of unprecedented economic growth in the Republic of Ireland, in a phenomenon known as the "Celtic Tiger", followed also by the peace being restored in the area of Northern Ireland. It was in fact doing so well that the Republic of Ireland joined the euro in 1999, while Northern Ireland remained with the pound sterling due to other reasons. Both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland entered a recession in 2008 and, in 2009, due to the 2008–2010 Irish financial crisis where the unemployment rate for the Republic of Ireland was a high of 12.5%
The economy is now faring better due to the early structural reforms taken early in 2009-10. The industry (technology, exports) and tourism sectors which bring in valuable foreign income have obviously seen better days, but Ireland has been doing better than many of its European counterparts (2012).
The nationalities of visitors to Ireland vary, but the top 10 markets providing tourists in Ireland in 2008 out of a total of 7,839,000 International overseas arrivals were:
1. Great Britain – 3.87 million
2. USA – 0.91 million
3. Germany – 0.47 million
4. France – 0.42 million
5. Poland – 0.30 million
6. Spain – 0.24 million
7. Italy – 0.24 million
8. Netherlands – 0.15 million
9. Australia – 0.14 million
10. Canada – 0.10 million
11. Rest of World – 0.13 million
International Tourist arrivals in Ireland in 2009 were 7,189,000 which was a serious decrease (compared to 1998 levels), given that international arrivals both in 2007 (8,332,000) and 2008 (7,839,000) had fared better.
Sources: Trading Economics, Irish Times, Worldbank data, OECD, CSO Overseas Travel Survey 2008
Car Hire in Ireland with MisterHire.Com
There are many ways to connect to Ireland as it such a beautiful place. Connect to the land by arranging short rides on horseback, discover its abundant nature trails by hiking and commit yourself to cycling its stunning lush green countryside. Another way is by meeting the locals. Being friendly and hospitable is one of many Irish traits the locals are renowned for.
However, it is also to consider hiring a car, as you cannot really see much unless you are out and about. Traveling by car in the Emerald Isle appears to be an easy and comfortable way to get round it and beyond. Apart from its chilled lagers, ales, bitters and stout, Ireland is best represented by its lively centres, the not-so-far-away green hills in its countryside, ample of nightlife and entertainment. Likewise, jogging, fishing, bird watching and playing golf are some more activities that could be easily taken up in order to further spice up your holiday there.
Car Rental rates with MisterHire.Com include collision damage waiver and theft waiver insurances, local taxes (usually Vat & road tax licensing fees) and free roadside assistance in the unlikely event you should have any sort of breakdown with one of our cars. Optional car rental extras for a bit of spice can be added into any of our online car rental packages should they be required. Pre-booking your car rental extras (in the areas of baby/child/booster seats, movable luggage racks and Satellite Navigation) along with your Online car rental deal is highly recommended as it mostly ensures that they are included when arriving at the car rental kiosk.
Speed limits in the Republic Of Ireland
The maximum speed limits in miles for the Republic of Ireland are:
• 30mph (50km/h) in built up areas
• 60mph (95km/h) outside built up areas
• 70mph (110km/h) on motorways
On certain roads, which are clearly marked the speed limits are either 40mph (65km/h) or 50mph (80km/h). Where there is no indication the speed limit is 60mph (95km/h). In the Republic, vehicles towing caravans must not exceed 55mph (90km/h) on any road. Speed limits are more strictly enforced in the North than in the Republic.