Area: 70,273 sq km (27,133 sq
Population: 3,880,000 (2003).
Population Growth Rate: 1.07% (2002 est.)
Population Density: 55.2 per sq km.
Ethnicity / Race: Celtic, English
Language: English is the language
generally used, Irish (Gaelic) spoken mainly in
areas located along the western seaboard
Currency: Single European currency
(Euro): The Euro is now the official currency
of 12 EU member states (including Ireland). The
first Euro coins and notes were introduced in
January 2002; the Irish Punt was completely replaced
by the Euro on 9 February 2002. Euro (€)
= 100 cents. Notes are in denominations of €500,
200, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5. Coins are in denominations
of €2 and 1, and 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 cents.
Religion: Roman Catholic 95
per cent, Protestant 5 per cent.
Time: GMT (GMT + 1 from last
Sunday in March to Saturday before the last Sunday
Electricity: 220 volts AC, 50Hz.
Three-pin plugs are in use.
Tipping: The customary tip in
Ireland is 10 to 12 per cent. Many hotels and
restaurants add this in the form of a service
charge indicated on the menu or bill. It is not
customary to tip in bars unless you have table
service when a small tip is advised. Tipping porters,
taxi drivers, hairdressers, etc is customary but
Customs: Long gone are the days
when Ireland was one of the poorest countries
in Europe and its natives fled to all corners
of the globe in search of refuge. Today, it is
cool to be Irish and, thanks to the likes of the
Corrs, Boyzone and U2, evocative images of Ireland
now pervade popular culture across the globe.
The Ireland of the new millennium is a modern,
progressive European nation whose ‘Celtic
Tiger’ economy is booming, but it is not
only Irish eyes that are smiling as more and more
tourists discover Ireland for themselves.
Dublin is undoubtedly the spiritual and cultural
heart of the Emerald Isle. Crowding around the
banks of the murky River Liffey, the city, like
the country, is bound in rich layers of history,
back to the days when Celtic tribes wandered the
peat bogs, to the present that sees the city overflowing
with trendy bars and nightclubs. Elsewhere, the
cities of Cork, Galway and Limerick boast their
own charms, but it is out in the rolling countryside
that you can unearth the idyllic Ireland of the
movies. Here, in the atmospheric old pubs, you
can experience the legendary ‘craic’
where music and song lead the course of an evening.
Alternatively, ramble over the hills of Glenmalure
or sail through the mist shrouded Pater-Noster
Lakes, places that seem a million miles away from
the tourist maelstrom of Dublin.
Location: Western Europe, occupying
five-sixths of the island of Ireland in the North
Atlantic Ocean, west of Great Britain
Geographic coordinates: 53 00
N, 8 00 W
total: 70,280 sq km
Water: 1,390 sq km
Land: 68,890 sq km
Coastline: 1,448 km
Maritime claims: exclusive fishing
zone: 200 NM
Territorial sea: 12 NM
modified by North Atlantic Current; mild winters,
cool summers; consistently humid; overcast about
half the time
Terrain: mostly level to rolling
interior plain surrounded by rugged hills and
low mountains; sea cliffs on west coast
Elevation extremes: lowest point:
Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Carrauntoohil 1,041 m
Natural resources: zinc, lead,
natural gas, barite, copper, gypsum, limestone,
dolomite, peat, silver
Natural hazards: NA
Environment - current issues:
water pollution, especially of lakes, from agricultural
Geography - note: strategic
location on major air and sea routes between North
America and northern Europe; over 40% of the population
resides within 97 km of Dublin
Telephone: IDD is available.
Country code: 353 followed by the area code, omitting
the initial zero. Outgoing international code:
Mobile telephone: GSM 900 networks
cover the whole country. GSM 900/1800 networks
operated by Vodafone, O2 Communications (Ireland)
Ltd and Meteor (website: http://www.meteor.ie).
Handsets can be hired. For further information,
contact Vodafone (website: http://www.vodafone.ie).
Fax: Facilities are widely available.
Internet: Public access is available
free in libraries. Internet cafes exist in nearly
Post: Post office hours: Mon-Fri
0900-1730/1800, Sat 0900-1300. Sub-post offices
close at 1300 one day of the week. The Central
Post Office is in O’Connell Street, Dublin.
Press: There are several daily
newspapers published in Dublin including The Irish
Times, Evening Herald and the Irish Independent;
and two in Cork. British dailies and Sunday papers
Radio: BBC World Service. From time to
time the frequencies change and the most up-to-date
can be found online.