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The British government, however, still retained the right to nominate the government of Ireland without the consent of the Irish parliament.

In , members of the Protestant Dissenter tradition mainly Presbyterian made common cause with Roman Catholics in a republican rebellion inspired and led by the Society of United Irishmen , with the aim of creating an independent Ireland.

Despite assistance from France the rebellion was put down by British and Irish government and yeomanry forces. The passage of the Act in the Irish Parliament was ultimately achieved with substantial majorities, having failed on the first attempt in According to contemporary documents and historical analysis, this was achieved through a considerable degree of bribery, with funding provided by the British Secret Service Office, and the awarding of peerages, places and honours to secure votes.

Aside from the development of the linen industry, Ireland was largely passed over by the industrial revolution , partly because it lacked coal and iron resources [64] [65] and partly because of the impact of the sudden union with the structurally superior economy of England, [66] which saw Ireland as a source of agricultural produce and capital.

The Great Famine of — devastated Ireland, as in those years Ireland's population fell by one-third. More than one million people died from starvation and disease, while an additional two million people emigrated, mostly to the United States and Canada.

The period of civil unrest that followed until the end of the 19th century is referred to as the Land War. Mass emigration became deeply entrenched and the population continued to decline until the midth century.

Immediately prior to the famine the population was recorded as 8. The 19th and early 20th centuries saw the rise of modern Irish nationalism , primarily among the Roman Catholic population.

He was elected as Member of Parliament for Ennis in a surprise result and despite being unable to take his seat as a Roman Catholic.

O'Connell spearheaded a vigorous campaign that was taken up by the Prime Minister, the Irish-born soldier and statesman, the Duke of Wellington.

George's father had opposed the plan of the earlier Prime Minister, Pitt the Younger , to introduce such a bill following the Union of , fearing Catholic Emancipation to be in conflict with the Act of Settlement Daniel O'Connell led a subsequent campaign, for the repeal of the Act of Union, which failed.

Unionists, especially those located in Ulster, were strongly opposed to Home Rule, which they thought would be dominated by Catholic interests.

To prevent this from happening, the Ulster Volunteers were formed in under the leadership of Edward Carson. Their formation was followed in by the establishment of the Irish Volunteers , whose aim was to ensure that the Home Rule Bill was passed.

The Act was passed but with the "temporary" exclusion of the six counties of Ulster that would become Northern Ireland.

Before it could be implemented, however, the Act was suspended for the duration of the First World War. The Irish Volunteers split into two groups.

The majority, approximately , in number, under John Redmond , took the name National Volunteers and supported Irish involvement in the war.

A minority, approximately 13,, retained the Irish Volunteers' name, and opposed Ireland's involvement in the war. The Easter Rising of was carried out by the latter group together with a smaller socialist militia, the Irish Citizen Army.

The British response, executing fifteen leaders of the Rising over a period of ten days and imprisoning or interning more than a thousand people, turned the mood of the country in favour of the rebels.

Support for Irish republicanism increased further due to the ongoing war in Europe, as well as the Conscription Crisis of Simultaneously the Volunteers, which became known as the Irish Republican Army IRA , launched a three-year guerrilla war , which ended in a truce in July although violence continued until June , mostly in Northern Ireland.

It gave Ireland complete independence in its home affairs and practical independence for foreign policy, but an opt-out clause allowed Northern Ireland to remain within the United Kingdom, which it immediately exercised as expected.

Additionally, Members of the Free State Parliament were required to swear an oath of allegiance to the Constitution of the Irish Free State and make a statement of faithfulness to the King.

The civil war officially ended in May when de Valera issued a cease-fire order. During its first decade, the newly formed Irish Free State was governed by the victors of the civil war.

When de Valera achieved power, he took advantage of the Statute of Westminster and political circumstances to build upon inroads to greater sovereignty made by the previous government.

The oath was abolished and in a new constitution was adopted. However, it was not until that the state was declared, officially, to be the Republic of Ireland.

The state was neutral during World War II , but offered clandestine assistance to the Allies , particularly in the potential defence of Northern Ireland.

Despite their country's neutrality, approximately 50, [77] volunteers from independent Ireland joined the British forces during the war, four being awarded Victoria Crosses.

The Abwehr was also active in Ireland. To the authorities, counterintelligence was a fundamental line of defence. With a regular army of only slightly over seven thousand men at the start of the war, and with limited supplies of modern weapons, the state would have had great difficulty in defending itself from invasion from either side in the conflict.

Large-scale emigration marked most of the post-WWII period particularly during the s and s , but beginning in the economy improved, and the s saw the beginning of substantial economic growth.

This period of growth became known as the Celtic Tiger. In , it was the sixth-richest country in the world in terms of GDP per capita. Social changes also occurred in this time, most markedly with the decline in authority of the Catholic Church.

The financial crisis that began in dramatically ended this period of boom. Northern Ireland resulted from the division of the United Kingdom by the Government of Ireland Act , and until was a self-governing jurisdiction within the United Kingdom with its own parliament and prime minister.

Northern Ireland, as part of the United Kingdom, was not neutral during the Second World War and Belfast suffered four bombing raids in Conscription was not extended to Northern Ireland and roughly an equal number volunteered from Northern Ireland as volunteered from the south.

Although Northern Ireland was largely spared the strife of the civil war, in decades that followed partition there were sporadic episodes of inter-communal violence.

Nationalists, mainly Roman Catholic, wanted to unite Ireland as an independent republic, whereas unionists, mainly Protestant, wanted Northern Ireland to remain in the United Kingdom.

The Protestant and Catholic communities in Northern Ireland voted largely along sectarian lines, meaning that the Government of Northern Ireland elected by "first-past-the-post" from was controlled by the Ulster Unionist Party.

Over time, the minority Catholic community felt increasingly alienated with further disaffection fuelled by practices such as gerrymandering and discrimination in housing and employment.

In the late s, nationalist grievances were aired publicly in mass civil rights protests, which were often confronted by loyalist counter-protests.

Law and order broke down as unrest and inter-communal violence increased. In , the paramilitary Provisional IRA , which favoured the creation of a united Ireland , emerged from a split in the Irish Republican Army and began a campaign against what it called the "British occupation of the six counties".

Other groups, on both the unionist side and the nationalist side, participated in violence and a period known as the Troubles began.

Over 3, deaths resulted over the subsequent three decades of conflict. There were several unsuccessful attempts to end the Troubles politically, such as the Sunningdale Agreement of In , following a ceasefire by the Provisional IRA and multi-party talks, the Good Friday Agreement was concluded as a treaty between the British and Irish governments, annexing the text agreed in the multi-party talks.

The substance of the Agreement formally referred to as the Belfast Agreement was later endorsed by referendums in both parts of Ireland.

The Agreement restored self-government to Northern Ireland on the basis of power-sharing in a regional Executive drawn from the major parties in a new Northern Ireland Assembly , with entrenched protections for the two main communities.

The Executive is jointly headed by a First Minister and deputy First Minister drawn from the unionist and nationalist parties.

Violence had decreased greatly after the Provisional IRA and loyalist ceasefires in and in the Provisional IRA announced the end of its armed campaign and an independent commission supervised its disarmament and that of other nationalist and unionist paramilitary organisations.

The Assembly and power-sharing Executive were suspended several times but were restored again in In that year the British government officially ended its military support of the police in Northern Ireland Operation Banner and began withdrawing troops.

Politically, the island is divided between the Republic of Ireland, an independent state , and Northern Ireland a constituent country of the United Kingdom.

They share an open border and both are part of the Common Travel Area. Both the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom are members of the European Union , having both acceded to its precursor entity, the European Economic Community [EEC], in , and as a consequence there is free movement of people, goods, services and capital across the border.

The Republic of Ireland is a parliamentary democracy based on the British model, with a written constitution and a popularly elected president who has mostly ceremonial powers.

Its capital is Dublin. The Republic today ranks amongst the wealthiest countries in the world in terms of GDP per capita [92] and in was ranked the sixth most developed nation in the world by the United Nations' Human Development Index.

Northern Ireland is a part of the United Kingdom with a local executive and assembly which exercise devolved powers.

The executive is jointly headed by the first and deputy-first minister, with the ministries being allocated in proportion with each party's representation in the assembly.

Its capital is Belfast. Ultimately political power is held by the UK government , from which Northern Ireland has gone through intermittent periods of direct rule during which devolved powers have been suspended.

The Northern Ireland Secretary is a cabinet-level post in the British government. Along with England and Wales and Scotland , Northern Ireland forms one of the three separate legal jurisdictions of the UK, all of which share the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom as their court of final appeal.

As part of the Good Friday Agreement , the British and Irish governments agreed on the creation of all-island institutions and areas of cooperation.

At least six of these policy areas must have an associated all-island "implementation bodies" and at least six others must be implemented separately in each jurisdiction.

The implementation bodies are: The British—Irish Intergovernmental Conference provides for co-operation between the Government of Ireland and the Government of the United Kingdom on all matter of mutual interest, especially Northern Ireland.

In light of the Republic's particular interest in the governance of Northern Ireland, "regular and frequent" meetings co-chaired by the ROI Minister for Foreign Affairs and the UK Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, dealing with non-devolved matters to do with Northern Ireland and non-devolved all-Ireland issues, are required to take place under the establishing treaty.

It has no formal powers but operates as a forum for discussing matters of common concern between the respective legislatures.

Despite the two jurisdictions using two distinct currencies the euro and pound sterling , a growing amount of commercial activity is carried out on an all-Ireland basis.

This has been facilitated by the two jurisdictions' shared membership of the European Union , and there have been calls from members of the business community and policymakers for the creation of an "all-Ireland economy" to take advantage of economies of scale and boost competitiveness.

There are three World Heritage Sites on the island: Dublin is the most heavily touristed region [] and home to several of the most popular attractions such as the Guinness Storehouse and Book of Kells.

Achill Island lies off the coast of County Mayo and is Ireland's largest island. It is a popular tourist destination for surfing and contains 5 Blue Flag beaches and Croaghaun one of the worlds highest sea cliffs.

Stately homes , built during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries in Palladian , Neoclassical and neo-Gothic styles, such as, Castle Ward , Castletown House , Bantry House , Glenveagh Castle are also of interest to tourists.

Giant's Causeway , County Antrim. Skellig Michael , County Kerry. Newgrange , County Meath. Ireland has an ancient industry based on peat known locally as "turf" as a source of energy for home fires.

A form of biomass energy, this source of heat is still widely used in rural areas. However, due to the ecological importance of peatlands in storing carbon and their rarity, the EU is attempting to protect this habitat by fining Ireland if they are dug up.

In cities, heat is generally supplied by heating oil , although some urban suppliers distribute "sods of turf" as "smokeless fuel".

An area in which the island operates as a single market is electricity. Both networks were designed and constructed independently post partition.

However, as a result of changes over recent years they are now connected with three interlinks [] and also connected through Great Britain to mainland Europe.

As with electricity, the natural gas distribution network is also now all-island, with a pipeline linking Gormanston, County Meath , and Ballyclare , County Antrim.

A decreasing supply is coming from the Kinsale gas field off the County Cork coast [] [] and the Corrib Gas Field off the coast of County Mayo has yet to come on-line.

The County Mayo field is facing some localised opposition over a controversial decision to refine the gas onshore.

The Republic has a strong commitment to renewable energy, and ranks as one of the top 10 markets for cleantech investment in the Global Green Economy Index.

Large wind farms have been constructed in Cork, Donegal, Mayo and Antrim. The construction of wind farms has in some cases been delayed by opposition from local communities, some of whom consider the wind turbines to be unsightly.

The Republic is hindered by an ageing network that was not designed to handle the varying availability of power that comes from wind farms.

As the term British Isles is controversial in relation to Ireland, the alternate term Britain and Ireland is often used as a neutral term for the islands.

A ring of coastal mountains surround low plains at the centre of the island. The highest of these is Carrauntoohil Irish: The island consists of varied geological provinces.

In the west, around County Galway and County Donegal , is a medium to high grade metamorphic and igneous complex of Caledonide affinity, similar to the Scottish Highlands.

Across southeast Ulster and extending southwest to Longford and south to Navan is a province of Ordovician and Silurian rocks, with similarities to the Southern Uplands province of Scotland.

Further south, along the County Wexford coastline, is an area of granite intrusives into more Ordovician and Silurian rocks, like that found in Wales.

In the southwest, around Bantry Bay and the mountains of Macgillicuddy's Reeks , is an area of substantially deformed, but only lightly metamorphosed , Devonian-aged rocks.

The west-coast district of the Burren around Lisdoonvarna has well-developed karst features. Hydrocarbon exploration is ongoing following the first major find at the Kinsale Head gas field off Cork in the mids.

This has increased activity off the west coast in parallel with the " West of Shetland " step-out development from the North Sea hydrocarbon province.

Dunluce Castle , County Antrim. Benbulbin , County Sligo. Connemara , County Galway. Glendalough , County Wicklow. Ardfert Cathedral , County Kerry.

Glenbeg Lough , County Cork. The island's lush vegetation, a product of its mild climate and frequent rainfall, earns it the sobriquet the Emerald Isle.

Overall, Ireland has a mild but changeable oceanic climate with few extremes. The climate is typically insular and is temperate , avoiding the extremes in temperature of many other areas in the world at similar latitudes.

Precipitation falls throughout the year but is light overall, particularly in the east. The west tends to be wetter on average and prone to Atlantic storms, especially in the late autumn and winter months.

These occasionally bring destructive winds and higher total rainfall to these areas, as well as sometimes snow and hail.

The regions of north County Galway and east County Mayo have the highest incidents of recorded lightning annually for the island, with lightning occurring approximately five to ten days per year in these areas.

Inland areas are warmer in summer and colder in winter. Ireland is sometimes affected by heat waves, most recently in , , , and Because Ireland became isolated from mainland Europe by rising sea levels before the last ice age had completely finished, it has fewer land animal and plant species than Great Britain, which separated later, or mainland Europe.

There are 55 mammal species in Ireland and of them only 26 land mammal species are considered native to Ireland.

Aquatic wildlife, such as species of sea turtle , shark , seal , whale , and dolphin , are common off the coast.

About species of birds have been recorded in Ireland. Many of these are migratory, including the barn swallow.

Several different habitat types are found in Ireland, including farmland, open woodland, temperate broadleaf and mixed forests , conifer plantations, peat bogs and a variety of coastal habitats.

However, agriculture drives current land use patterns in Ireland, limiting natural habitat preserves, [] particularly for larger wild mammals with greater territorial needs.

With no large apex predators in Ireland other than humans and dogs, such populations of animals as semi-wild deer that cannot be controlled by smaller predators, such as the fox, are controlled by annual culling.

There are no snakes in Ireland and only one species of reptile the common lizard is native to the island. Extinct species include the Irish elk , the great auk , brown bear and the wolf.

Some previously extinct birds, such as the golden eagle , been reintroduced in about the year after decades of extirpation.

Forests today cover about As of , the Republic is one of the least forested countries in Europe. Gorse Ulex europaeus , a wild furze , is commonly found growing in the uplands and ferns are plentiful in the more moist regions, especially in the western parts.

It is home to hundreds of plant species, some of them unique to the island, and has been "invaded" by some grasses, such as Spartina anglica. The algal and seaweed flora is that of the cold-temperate variety.

The total number of species is [] and is distributed as follows:. The island has been invaded by some algae, some of which are now well established.

Because of its mild climate, many species, including sub-tropical species such as palm trees , are grown in Ireland. The island itself can be subdivided into two ecoregions: The long history of agricultural production, coupled with modern intensive agricultural methods such as pesticide and fertiliser use and runoff from contaminants into streams, rivers and lakes, impact the natural fresh-water ecosystems and have placed pressure on biodiversity in Ireland.

A land of green fields for crop cultivation and cattle rearing limits the space available for the establishment of native wild species.

Hedgerows, however, traditionally used for maintaining and demarcating land boundaries, act as a refuge for native wild flora.

This ecosystem stretches across the countryside and acts as a network of connections to preserve remnants of the ecosystem that once covered the island.

Subsidies under the Common Agricultural Policy , which supported agricultural practices that preserved hedgerow environments, are undergoing reforms.

The Common Agricultural Policy had in the past subsidised potentially destructive agricultural practices, for example by emphasising production without placing limits on indiscriminate use of fertilisers and pesticides; but reforms have gradually decoupled subsidies from production levels and introduced environmental and other requirements.

Forest covers about Remnants of native forest can be found scattered around the island, in particular in the Killarney National Park.

Natural areas require fencing to prevent over-grazing by deer and sheep that roam over uncultivated areas. Grazing in this manner is one of the main factors preventing the natural regeneration of forests across many regions of the country.

People have lived in Ireland for over 9, years. The different eras are termed mesolithic , neolithic , Bronze Age , and Iron Age.

Many survived into late medieval times, others vanished as they became politically unimportant. Over the past years, Vikings , Normans , Welsh , Flemings , Scots , English , Africans , Eastern Europeans and South Americans have all added to the population and have had significant influences on Irish culture.

Ireland's largest religious group is Christianity. The population of Ireland rose rapidly from the 16th century until the midth century, interrupted briefly by the Famine of , which killed roughly two fifths of the island's population.

The population rebounded and multiplied over the next century, but another devastating famine in the s caused one million deaths and forced over one million more to emigrate in its immediate wake.

Over the following century the population was reduced by over half, at a time when the general trend in European countries was for populations to rise by an average of three-fold.

Traditionally, Ireland is subdivided into four provinces: Connacht west , Leinster east , Munster south , and Ulster north.

In a system that developed between the 13th and 17th centuries, [] Ireland has 32 traditional counties. Twenty-six of these counties are in the Republic of Ireland and six are in Northern Ireland.

The six counties that constitute Northern Ireland are all in the province of Ulster which has nine counties in total. As such, Ulster is often used as a synonym for Northern Ireland, although the two are not coterminous.

In the Republic of Ireland, counties form the basis of the system of local government. Counties Dublin , Cork , Limerick , Galway , Waterford and Tipperary have been broken up into smaller administrative areas.

However, they are still treated as counties for cultural and some official purposes, for example postal addresses and by the Ordnance Survey Ireland.

Counties in Northern Ireland are no longer used for local governmental purposes, [] but, as in the Republic, their traditional boundaries are still used for informal purposes such as sports leagues and in cultural or tourism contexts.

City status in Ireland is decided by legislative or royal charter. Dublin , with over 1 million residents in the Greater Dublin Area , is the largest city on the island.

Belfast, with , residents, is the largest city in Northern Ireland. City status does not directly equate with population size.

For example, Armagh , with 14, is the seat of the Church of Ireland and the Roman Catholic Primate of All Ireland and was re-granted city status by Queen Elizabeth II in having lost that status in local government reforms of In the Republic of Ireland, Kilkenny , seat of the Butler dynasty , while no longer a city for administrative purposes since the Local Government Act , is entitled by law to continue to use the description.

The population of Ireland collapsed dramatically during the second half of the 19th century. A population of over 8 million in was reduced to slightly more than 4 million by In part, the fall in population was due to death from the Great Famine of to , which took about 1 million lives.

However, by far the greater cause of population decline was the dire economic state of the country which led to an entrenched culture of emigration lasting until the 21st century.

Emigration from Ireland in the 19th century contributed to the populations of England, the United States, Canada and Australia, where a large Irish diaspora lives.

As of [update] , 4. The Protestants' ancestors arrived primarily in the colonial era, while Catholics are primarily descended from immigrants of the 19th century.

Irish leaders have been prominent in the Catholic Church in the United States for over years. The Irish have been leaders in the Presbyterian and Methodist traditions, as well.

With growing prosperity since the last decade of the 20th century, Ireland became a destination for immigrants. Since the European Union expanded to include Poland in , Polish people have made up the largest number of immigrants over , [] from Central Europe.

There has also been significant immigration from Lithuania , the Czech Republic and Latvia. Up to 50, eastern and central European migrant workers left Ireland in response to the Irish financial crisis.

The two official languages of the Republic of Ireland are Irish and English. Each language has produced a noteworthy literature.

Irish, though now only the language of a minority, was the vernacular of the Irish people for over two thousand years and was possibly introduced during the Iron Age.

It began to be written down after Christianisation in the 5th century and spread to Scotland and the Isle of Man where it evolved into the Scottish Gaelic and Manx languages respectively.

The Irish language has a vast treasury of written texts from many centuries, and is divided by linguists into Old Irish from the 6th to 10th century, Middle Irish from the 10th to 13th century, Early Modern Irish until the 17th century, and the Modern Irish spoken today.

It remained the dominant language of Ireland for most of those periods, having influences from Latin , Old Norse , French and English.

It declined under British rule but remained the majority tongue until the early 19th century, and since then has been a minority language.

The Gaelic Revival of the early twentieth century has had a long-term influence. They represent an expanding demographic, with their own schools called Gaelscoileanna and their own social media.

It has been argued that they tend to be more highly educated than monolingual English speakers, with better employment prospects and higher social status.

Traditional rural Irish-speaking areas, known collectively as the Gaeltacht , are in linguistic decline. The main Gaeltacht areas are in the west, south-west and north-west.

English in Ireland was first introduced during the Norman invasion. It was spoken by a few peasants and merchants brought over from England, and was largely replaced by Irish before the Tudor conquest of Ireland.

It was introduced as the official language with the Tudor and Cromwellian conquests. The Ulster plantations gave it a permanent foothold in Ulster, and it remained the official and upper-class language elsewhere, the Irish-speaking chieftains and nobility having been deposed.

Language shift during the 19th century replaced Irish with English as the first language for a vast majority of the population.

Shelta , the language of the nomadic Irish Travellers is native to Ireland. Ireland's culture comprises elements of the culture of ancient peoples, later immigrant and broadcast cultural influences chiefly Gaelic culture , Anglicisation , Americanisation and aspects of broader European culture.

This combination of cultural influences is visible in the intricate designs termed Irish interlace or Celtic knotwork.

These can be seen in the ornamentation of medieval religious and secular works. The style is still popular today in jewellery and graphic art, [] as is the distinctive style of traditional Irish music and dance, and has become indicative of modern "Celtic" culture in general.

Religion has played a significant role in the cultural life of the island since ancient times and since the 17th century plantations , has been the focus of political identity and divisions on the island.

Ireland's pre-Christian heritage fused with the Celtic Church following the missions of Saint Patrick in the 5th century. These missions brought written language to an illiterate population of Europe during the Dark Ages that followed the fall of Rome , earning Ireland the sobriquet, "the island of saints and scholars".

Since the 20th century the Irish pubs worldwide have become, especially those with a full range of cultural and gastronomic offerings, outposts of Irish culture.

The Republic of Ireland's national theatre is the Abbey Theatre , which was founded in , and the national Irish-language theatre is An Taibhdhearc , which was established in in Galway.

Ireland has made a large contribution to world literature in all its branches, both in Irish and English. Poetry in Irish is among the oldest vernacular poetry in Europe, with the earliest examples dating from the 6th century.

Irish remained the dominant literary language down to the nineteenth century, despite the spread of English from the seventeenth century on.

The latter part of the nineteenth century saw a rapid replacement of Irish by English. By , however, cultural nationalists had begun the Gaelic revival , which saw the beginnings of a modern literature in Irish.

Other notable eighteenth century writers of Irish origin included Oliver Goldsmith and Richard Brinsley Sheridan , though they spent most of their lives in England.

The playwright and poet Oscar Wilde , noted for his epigrams, was born in Ireland. In the 20th century, Ireland produced four winners of the Nobel Prize for Literature: Although not a Nobel Prize winner, James Joyce is widely considered to be one of the most significant writers of the 20th century.

Joyce's novel Ulysses is considered one of the most important works of Modernist literature and his life is celebrated annually on 16 June in Dublin as " Bloomsday ".

Music has been in evidence in Ireland since prehistoric times. Outside religious establishments, musical genres in early Gaelic Ireland are referred to as a triad of weeping music goltraige , laughing music geantraige and sleeping music suantraige.

Classical music following European models first developed in urban areas, in establishments of Anglo-Irish rule such as Dublin Castle , St Patrick's Cathedral and Christ Church as well as the country houses of the Anglo-Irish ascendancy, with the first performance of Handel 's Messiah being among the highlights of the baroque era.

In the 19th century, public concerts provided access to classical music to all classes of society. Yet, for political and financial reasons Ireland has been too small to provide a living to many musicians, so the names of the better-known Irish composers of this time belong to emigrants.

Irish traditional music and dance has seen a surge in popularity and global coverage since the s. In the middle years of the 20th century, as Irish society was modernising, traditional music had fallen out of favour, especially in urban areas.

Groups and musicians including Horslips , Van Morrison and Thin Lizzy incorporated elements of Irish traditional music into contemporary rock music and, during the s and s, the distinction between traditional and rock musicians became blurred, with many individuals regularly crossing over between these styles of playing.

The earliest known Irish graphic art and sculpture are Neolithic carvings found at sites such as Newgrange [] and is traced through Bronze age artefacts and the religious carvings and illuminated manuscripts of the medieval period.

During the course of the 19th and 20th centuries, a strong tradition of painting emerged, including such figures as John Butler Yeats , William Orpen , Jack Yeats and Louis le Brocquy.

The Irish philosopher and theologian Johannes Scotus Eriugena was considered one of the leading intellectuals of the early Middle Ages. Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton , an Irish explorer, was one of the principal figures of Antarctic exploration.

He, along with his expedition, made the first ascent of Mount Erebus and the discovery of the approximate location of the South Magnetic Pole.

Robert Boyle was a 17th-century natural philosopher, chemist, physicist, inventor and early gentleman scientist. He is largely regarded one of the founders of modern chemistry and is best known for the formulation of Boyle's law.

Father Nicholas Joseph Callan , Professor of Natural Philosophy in Maynooth College , is best known for his invention of the induction coil , transformer and he discovered an early method of galvanisation in the 19th century.

With Sir John Douglas Cockcroft , he was the first to split the nucleus of the atom by artificial means and made contributions to the development of a new theory of wave equation.

Sir Joseph Larmor , a physicist and mathematician, made innovations in the understanding of electricity, dynamics, thermodynamics and the electron theory of matter.

His most influential work was Aether and Matter, a book on theoretical physics published in George Johnstone Stoney introduced the term electron in John Stewart Bell was the originator of Bell's Theorem and a paper concerning the discovery of the Bell-Jackiw-Adler anomaly and was nominated for a Nobel prize.

Notable mathematicians include Sir William Rowan Hamilton , famous for work in classical mechanics and the invention of quaternions. Francis Ysidro Edgeworth 's contribution of the Edgeworth Box remains influential in neo-classical microeconomic theory to this day; while Richard Cantillon inspired Adam Smith , among others.

Cosgrave was a specialist in number theory and discovered a digit prime number in and a record composite Fermat number in John Lighton Synge made progress in different fields of science, including mechanics and geometrical methods in general relativity.

He had mathematician John Nash as one of his students. Kathleen Lonsdale , born in Ireland and most known for her work with crystallography , became the first female president of the British Association for the Advancement of Science.

Ireland has nine universities, seven in the Republic of Ireland and two in Northern Ireland, including Trinity College, Dublin and the University College Dublin , as well as numerous third-level colleges and institutes and a branch of the Open University, the Open University in Ireland.

Gaelic football is the most popular sport in Ireland in terms of match attendance and community involvement, with about 2, clubs on the island.

The island fields a single international team in most sports. One notable exception to this is association football, although both associations continued to field international teams under the name "Ireland" until the s.

The sport is also the most notable exception where the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland field separate international teams.

Northern Ireland has produced two World Snooker Champions. Gaelic football , hurling and handball are the best-known of the Irish traditional sports, collectively known as Gaelic games.

Gaelic games are governed by the Gaelic Athletic Association GAA , with the exception of ladies' Gaelic football and camogie women's variant of hurling , which are governed by separate organisations.

During the redevelopment of the Lansdowne Road stadium in —10, international rugby and soccer were played there. The game has been played in an organised fashion in Ireland since the s, with Cliftonville F.

It was most popular, especially in its first decades, around Belfast and in Ulster. However, some clubs based outside Belfast thought that the IFA largely favoured Ulster-based clubs in such matters as selection for the national team.

However, both the IFA and FAI continued to select their teams from the whole of Ireland, with some players earning international caps for matches with both teams.

Both also referred to their respective teams as Ireland. In , FIFA directed the associations only to select players from within their respective territories and, in , directed that the FAI's team be known only as " Republic of Ireland " and that the IFA's team be known as " Northern Ireland " with certain exceptions.

Northern Ireland qualified for the World Cup finals in reaching the quarter-finals , and and the European Championship in The Republic qualified for the World Cup finals in reaching the quarter-finals , , and the European Championships in , and Across Ireland, there is significant interest in the English and, to a lesser extent, Scottish soccer leagues.

Unlike soccer, Ireland continues to field a single national rugby team and a single association, the Irish Rugby Football Union IRFU , governs the sport across the island.

The Irish rugby team have played in every Rugby World Cup , making the quarter-finals in six of them. Ireland also hosted games during the and the Rugby World Cups including a quarter-final.

There are four professional Irish teams; all four play in the Pro14 and at least three compete for the Heineken Cup. Irish rugby has become increasingly competitive at both the international and provincial levels since the sport went professional in During that time, Ulster , [] Munster [] and [] and Leinster , and [] have won the Heineken Cup.

In addition to this, the Irish International side has had increased success in the Six Nations Championship against the other European elite sides. This success, including Triple Crowns in , and , culminated with a clean sweep of victories, known as a Grand Slam , in and Horse racing and greyhound racing are both popular in Ireland.

There are frequent horse race meetings and greyhound stadiums are well-attended. The island is noted for the breeding and training of race horses and is also a large exporter of racing dogs.

Irish athletics has seen a heightened success rate since the year , with Sonia O'Sullivan winning two medals at 5, metres on the track; gold at the World Championships and silver at the Sydney Olympics.

Olive Loughnane won a silver medal in the 20k walk in the World Athletics Championships in Berlin in Ireland has won more medals in boxing than in any other Olympic sport.

Boxing is governed by the Irish Athletic Boxing Association. In Kenneth Egan won a silver medal in the Beijing Games. Katie Taylor has won gold in every European and World championship since Golf is very popular, and golf tourism is a major industry attracting more than , golfing visitors annually.

Three golfers from Northern Ireland have been particularly successful. Open , and the first European to win that tournament since Rory McIlroy , at the age of 22, won the U.

The west coast of Ireland, Lahinch and Donegal Bay in particular, have popular surfing beaches, being fully exposed to the Atlantic Ocean.

Since just before the year , Bundoran has hosted European championship surfing. Scuba diving is increasingly popular in Ireland with clear waters and large populations of sea life, particularly along the western seaboard.

There are also many shipwrecks along the coast of Ireland, with some of the best wreck dives being in Malin Head and off the County Cork coast.

The temperate Irish climate is suited to sport angling. While salmon and trout fishing remain popular with anglers, salmon fishing in particular received a boost in with the closing of the salmon driftnet fishery.

Coarse fishing continues to increase its profile. Sea angling is developed with many beaches mapped and signposted, [] and the range of sea angling species is around Food and cuisine in Ireland takes its influence from the crops grown and animals farmed in the island's temperate climate and from the social and political circumstances of Irish history.

For example, whilst from the Middle Ages until the arrival of the potato in the 16th century the dominant feature of the Irish economy was the herding of cattle, the number of cattle a person owned was equated to their social standing.

For this reason, pork and white meat were more common than beef and thick fatty strips of salted bacon known as rashers and the eating of salted butter i.

All of these influences can be seen today in the phenomenon of the " breakfast roll ". The introduction of the potato in the second half of the 16th century heavily influenced cuisine thereafter.

Great poverty encouraged a subsistence approach to food and by the midth century the vast majority of the population sufficed with a diet of potatoes and milk.

Since the last quarter of the 20th century, with a re-emergence of wealth in Ireland, a "New Irish Cuisine" based on traditional ingredients incorporating international influences [] has emerged.

An example of this new cuisine is "Dublin Lawyer": Traditional regional foods can be found throughout the country, for example coddle in Dublin or drisheen in Cork, both a type of sausage, or blaa , a doughy white bread particular to Waterford.

Irish whiskey, as researched in by the CNBC American broadcaster, remains popular domestically and has grown in international sales steadily over a few decades.

Stout , a kind of porter beer , particularly Guinness , is typically associated with Ireland, although historically it was more closely associated with London.

Porter remains very popular, although it has lost sales since the midth century to lager. Cider , particularly Magners marketed in the Republic of Ireland as Bulmers , is also a popular drink.

Red lemonade , a soft-drink, is consumed on its own and as a mixer, particularly with whiskey. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

This article is about the island in Europe. For the sovereign state of the same name, see Republic of Ireland. For the part of the United Kingdom, see Northern Ireland.

For other uses, see Ireland disambiguation. Part of a series on the. Prehistory Protohistory — — — — — — Timeline of Irish history.

History of Ireland — Bruce campaign in Ireland. United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Economy of the Republic of Ireland. International Financial Services Centre.

Tourist destinations in Ireland. Culture of Ireland and Culture of Northern Ireland. List of Irish sports people. Islands portal Europe portal Ireland portal.

Burke said 80, to , Archived from the original on 24 November Retrieved 11 November Journal of Marine and Island Cultures. Retrieved 28 June Highlights from Census Part 1".

Retrieved 28 May Archived from the original PDF on 24 December Retrieved 2 February These are Census data from the official governmental statistics agencies in the respective jurisdictions: Central Statistics Office, Ireland April But Priestland's boot, and Faletau's opportunism after the ball squirted out of an advancing scrum, somehow saw Wales back within three points at the break, and the boots of the fly-halves ensured the game ended level after a nerve-shredding second half.

Wales' dominance at the scrum was the cornerstone of their fightback, but Ireland looked more creative behind and with Stander and Jamie Heaslip outstanding in the back row, met Wales' predominantly physical challenge head-on.

Jamie Roberts ran straight for Wales and tackled hard and often, while Simon Zebo and Sexton cut lines for Ireland, with one second half break by the fly-half the outstanding moment of the match.

Wales face Scotland at home on Saturday, 13 February - a side smarting from their latest Calcutta Cup defeat and who have not won in Cardiff since On the same day Ireland will take on the misfiring French at Stade de France, having beaten them as recently as last October when they won a World Cup pool match in Cardiff.

Priestland for Biggar 21 , L Williams for G. Premiership Rugby Cup, Sat 10 Nov, Autumn Tests, Sat 10 Nov, Sexton 3 Wales 10 16 Try: Six Nations fixtures Read more on Six Nations fixtures.

Six Nations Read more on Six Nations. How to get into rugby union Read more on How to get into rugby union. No-one happy with Ireland v Wales draw - Best.

Wales fly-half Dan Biggar's injury 'not long-term'. Scotland players 'need a rocket' - Jeremy Guscott.

Novoline tipps und tricks book of ra are also many shipwrecks along the coast of Ireland, with some of the best wreck dives being in Malin Head and off the County Cork coast. Retrieved 8 May Alfred Nobel Memorial Foundation. Born near AbergavennyWilliams continued the earlier tradition of writing from a left-wing perspective on the Welsh industrial scene in his 6 star casino brisbane " Beste Spielothek in Kroisbach finden Country ""Second Generation"and "The Fight for Manod" With the clock in the red and fans' nerves shredded, both teams strove for the decisive score rather than settle for the draw. At that time sea levels were much lower than today, and the shallower parts of what is now the North Beste Spielothek in Herberg finden were dry land. They need two goals. Islam is the largest non-Christian religion in Wales, with 24, 0. Francis Ysidro Edgeworth 's trump hotel and casino las vegas of the Edgeworth Box remains influential in neo-classical microeconomic theory to this day; while Richard Cantillon inspired Adam Smithamong others. Irish Government Stationery Office. Retrieved 26 July The meaning behind the Welsh motto". Beste Spielothek in Spechthausen finden to John T. Dooney, Sean; O'Toole, John Numerous Welsh banks issued their own banknotes in the 19th century. Phycology of the south coast of Ireland. As of6 star casino brisbane Republic is one of the least forested countries in Europe. He was elected as Member of Parliament for Ennis in a surprise result and despite being unable to take his seat as a Roman Catholic. Dublin is the most heavily touristed region [] and home to poker varianten of the most popular attractions such as the Guinness Storehouse and Book of Kells. Henry was authorised to impose a tithe of one penny per hearth as an annual contribution. Archived from the original PDF on 28 October A similar genetic replacement happened with lineages in mitochondrial DNA. Great poverty encouraged a subsistence approach to food and by the midth century the tipüico majority of the population sufficed with a diet of potatoes and milk. History of local government in Wales. The population of Ireland rose rapidly from the 16th century until the midth century, interrupted briefly by the Famine ofwhich killed roughly two fifths of the island's population. Northern Ireland, as part Beste Spielothek in Altheim finden the United Kingdom, was not neutral during the Second World War juegos de casino fruit cocktail gratis Belfast suffered four bombing raids in

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The Welsh Assembly has the authority to draft and approve laws outside of the UK Parliamentary system to meet the specific needs of Wales.

Under powers approved by a referendum held in March , it is empowered to pass primary legislation known as Acts of the Assembly in relation to twenty subjects listed in the Government of Wales Act such as health and education.

Through this primary legislation, the Welsh Government can then also enact more specific secondary legislation.

Wales has no women's prisons; female inmates are imprisoned in England. Wales is a generally mountainous country on the western side of central southern Great Britain.

Much of Wales' diverse landscape is mountainous, particularly in the north and central regions. The mountains were shaped during the last ice age, the Devensian glaciation.

The highest outside the s is Aran Fawddwy , at metres 2, feet , in the south of Snowdonia. The highest point being Pumlumon at metres 2, feet.

Wales has three national parks: Snowdonia, Brecon Beacons and Pembrokeshire Coast. Forty two percent of the coastline of south and west Wales is designated as Heritage Coast , with 13 specific designated strips of coastline maintained by Natural Resources Wales successor body to the Countryside Council for Wales.

On the night of 25 October , over ships were destroyed off the coast of Wales when a hurricane blew in from the Atlantic.

The first border between Wales and England was zonal, apart from around the River Wye, which was the first accepted boundary.

The Seven Wonders of Wales is a list in doggerel verse of seven geographic and cultural landmarks in Wales probably composed in the late 18th century under the influence of tourism from England.

Snowdon the highest mountain , the Gresford bells the peal of bells in the medieval church of All Saints at Gresford , the Llangollen bridge built in over the River Dee , St Winefride's Well a pilgrimage site at Holywell in Flintshire , the Wrexham Wrecsam steeple 16th-century tower of St Giles' Church, Wrexham , the Overton yew trees ancient yew trees in the churchyard of St.

The earliest geological period of the Paleozoic era, the Cambrian , takes its name from the Cambrian Mountains , where geologists first identified Cambrian remnants.

The older rocks underlying the Cambrian rocks in Wales lacked fossils which could be used to differentiate their various groups and were referred to as Pre-cambrian.

In the midth century, two prominent geologists, Roderick Murchison and Adam Sedgwick who first proposed the name of the Cambrian period , independently used their studies of the geology of Wales to establish certain principles of stratigraphy and palaeontology.

The next two periods of the Paleozoic era, the Ordovician and Silurian , were named after ancient Celtic tribes from this area based on Murchison's and Sedgwick's work.

Wales lies within the north temperate zone. It has a changeable, maritime climate and is one of the wettest countries in Europe. Average annual coastal temperatures reach It becomes cooler at higher altitudes; annual temperatures decrease on average approximately 0.

The ocean current, bringing warmer water to northerly latitudes, has a similar effect on most of north-west Europe. As well as its influence on Wales' coastal areas, air warmed by the Gulf Stream blows further inland with the prevailing winds.

At low elevations, summers tend to be warm and sunny. Winters tend to be fairly wet, but rainfall is rarely excessive and the temperature usually stays above freezing.

The sunniest time of year tends to be between May and August. The south-western coast is the sunniest part of Wales, averaging over hours of sunshine annually.

Wales' sunniest town is Tenby , Pembrokeshire. The dullest time of year tends to be between November and January. The least sunny areas are the mountains, some parts of which average less than hours of sunshine annually.

Coastal areas are the windiest, gales occur most often during winter, on average between 15 and 30 days each year, depending on location.

Inland, gales average fewer than six days annually. Rainfall patterns show significant variation. Snow falls several times each winter in inland areas but is relatively uncommon around the coast.

Wales' wildlife is typical of Britain with several distinctions. Because of its long coastline, Wales hosts a variety of seabirds.

The coasts and surrounding islands are home to colonies of gannets , Manx shearwater , puffins , kittiwakes , shags and razorbills. The larger Welsh mammals died out during the Norman period, including the brown bear, wolf and the wildcat.

The pine marten which has had the occasional sighting, has not been officially recorded since the s. The polecat was nearly driven to extinction in Britain, but hung on in Wales and is now rapidly spreading.

Feral goats can be found in Snowdonia. The waters of south-west Wales of Gower, Pembrokeshire and Cardigan Bay attract marine animals, including basking sharks , Atlantic grey seals , leatherback turtles, dolphins , porpoises , jellyfish, crabs and lobsters.

Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion, in particular, are recognised as an area of international importance for bottlenose dolphins , and New Quay has the only summer residence of bottlenose dolphins in the whole of the UK.

River fish of note include char , eel , salmon , shad , sparling and Arctic char , whilst the Gwyniad is unique to Wales, found only in Bala Lake.

The north facing high grounds of Snowdonia support a relict pre-glacial flora including the iconic Snowdon lily — Gagea serotina — and other alpine species such as Saxifraga cespitosa , Saxifraga oppositifolia and Silene acaulis.

Wales also hosts a number of plant species not found elsewhere in the UK including the spotted rock-rose Tuberaria guttata on Anglesey and Draba aizoides [] on the Gower.

Over the last years, Wales has been transformed first from a predominantly agricultural country to an industrial, and now a post-industrial economy.

From the middle of the 19th century until the post-war era, the mining and export of coal was a dominant industry.

At its peak of production in , nearly , men and women were employed in the south Wales coalfield , mining 56 million tons of coal. In the late s and early s, Wales was successful in attracting an above average share of foreign direct investment in the UK.

The Welsh landscape protected by three national parks and 45 Blue Flag beaches , as well as the unique culture of Wales, attract large numbers of tourists, who play an especially vital role in the economy of rural areas.

The pound sterling is the currency used in Wales. Numerous Welsh banks issued their own banknotes in the 19th century.

The last bank to do so closed in ; since then, although banks in Scotland and Northern Ireland continue to have the right to issue banknotes in their own countries, the Bank of England has a monopoly on the issue of banknotes in Wales.

However, Wales has not been represented on any coin minted from The A55 expressway has a similar role along the north Wales coast, connecting Holyhead and Bangor with Wrexham and Flintshire.

It also links to north-west England, principally Chester. The main north-south Wales link is the A , which runs from Cardiff to Llandudno.

Cardiff Airport is the only large and international airport in Wales. Other internal flights operate to northern England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The Welsh Government manages those parts of the British railway network within Wales, through the Transport for Wales Rail train operating company.

Cardiff Central is Wales' busiest railway station, with over four times as much passenger traffic as any other station in Wales.

Beeching cuts in the s mean that most of the remaining network is geared toward east-west travel connecting with the Irish Sea ports for ferries to Ireland.

All trains in Wales are diesel-powered since no lines have been electrified. Wales has four commercial ferry ports.

Regular ferry services to Ireland operate from Holyhead , Pembroke and Fishguard. The Swansea to Cork service, cancelled in , was reinstated in March , but has been withdrawn again in A distinct education system has developed in Wales.

The first grammar schools were established in Welsh towns such as Ruthin , Brecon and Cowbridge. At the end of the day, the wearer of the "not" would be beaten.

The University College of Wales opened in Aberystwyth in Cardiff and Bangor followed, and the three colleges came together in to form the University of Wales.

The Welsh Department for the Board of Education followed in , which gave Wales its first significant educational devolution.

In —, there were 1, maintained schools in Wales. Historically, Wales was served by smaller 'cottage' hospitals, built as voluntary institutions. A History of Wales.

The population of Wales doubled from , in to 1,, in and had reached 2,, by Most of the increase came in the coal mining districts, especially Glamorganshire , which grew from 71, in to , in and 1,, in However, there was also large-scale migration into Wales during the Industrial Revolution.

The English were the most numerous group, but there were also considerable numbers of Irish and smaller numbers of other ethnic groups, [] [] including Italians , who migrated to South Wales.

Many of these self-identify as Welsh. The census showed Wales' population to be 3,,, the highest in its history.

The UK census was criticised in Wales for not offering 'Welsh' as an option to describe respondents' national identity.

Respondents were instructed to "tick all that apply" from a list of options that included Welsh. The outcome was that No Welsh national identity was indicated by The proportion giving their sole national identity as British was No British national identity was indicated by The census showed Wales to be less ethnically diverse than any region of England: The lowest proportion of White British The proportion born in Wales varies across the country, with the highest percentages in the south Wales valleys and the lowest in mid Wales and parts of the north-east.

The total fertility rate TFR in Wales was 1. In his work Archaeologia Britannica Edward Lhuyd , keeper of the Ashmolean Museum , noted the similarity between the two Celtic language families: He argued that the Brythonic languages originated in Gaul France and that the Goidelic languages originated in the Iberian Peninsula.

Lhuyd concluded that as the languages had been of Celtic origin, the people who spoke those languages were Celts. According to a more recent hypothesis, also widely embraced today, Goidelic and Brythonic languages, collectively known as Insular Celtic languages , evolved together for some time separately from Continental Celtic languages such as Gaulish and Celtiberian.

From the 18th century, the peoples of Brittany , Cornwall , Ireland , Isle of Man , Scotland and Wales were known increasingly as Celts, and they are regarded as the modern Celtic nations today.

The Bible translations into Welsh helped to maintain the use of Welsh in daily life. The Welsh Language Act and the Government of Wales Act provide that the English and Welsh languages be treated on a basis of equality, and both are used as working languages within the National Assembly.

Code-switching is common in all parts of Wales and is known by various terms, though none is recognised by professional linguists.

It has been influenced significantly by Welsh grammar and includes words derived from Welsh. According to John Davies, Wenglish has "been the object of far greater prejudice than anything suffered by Welsh".

The Census showed , people, Road signs in Wales are generally in both English and Welsh; where place names differ in the two languages, both versions are used e.

Under new regulations that came into force in , the Welsh Language Commissioner requires local authorities and Welsh Government to ensure that all new or renewed road signs that use both languages to feature the Welsh language first.

During the 20th century, a number of small communities of speakers of languages other than Welsh or English, such as Bengali or Cantonese , established themselves in Wales as a result of immigration.

The largest religion in Wales is Christianity, with The Presbyterian Church of Wales was born out of the Welsh Methodist revival in the 18th century and seceded from the Church of England in Islam is the largest non-Christian religion in Wales, with 24, 0.

There are also communities of Hindus and Sikhs , mainly in the south Wales cities of Newport, Cardiff and Swansea, while the largest concentration of Buddhists is in the western rural county of Ceredigion.

The remnants of the native Celtic mythology of the pre-Christian Britons was passed down orally, in much-altered form, by the cynfeirdd the early poets.

Wales can claim one of the oldest unbroken literary traditions in Europe. The Poets of the Princes were professional poets who composed eulogies and elegies to the Welsh princes while the Poets of the Gentry were a school of poets that favoured the cywydd metre.

Despite the extinction of the professional poet, the integration of the native elite into a wider cultural world did bring other literary benefits.

Major developments in 19th-century Welsh literature include Lady Charlotte Guest's translation of the Mabinogion, one of the most important medieval Welsh prose tales of Celtic mythology, into English.

The 20th century experienced an important shift away from the stilted and long-winded Victorian Welsh prose, with Thomas Gwynn Jones leading the way with his work Ymadawiad Arthur.

Though the inter-war period is dominated by Saunders Lewis , for his political and reactionary views as much as his plays, poetry and criticism.

Thomas was one of the most notable and popular Welsh writers of the 20th century and one of the most innovative poets of his time.

The attitude of the post-war generation of Welsh writers in English towards Wales differs from the previous generation, in that they were more sympathetic to Welsh nationalism and to the Welsh language.

The change can be linked to the nationalist fervour generated by Saunders Lewis and the burning of the Bombing School on the Lleyn Peninsula in , along with a sense of crisis generated by World War II.

Thomas — was the most important figure throughout the second half of the twentieth century. While he "did not learn the Welsh language until he was 30 and wrote all his poems in English", [] he wanted the Welsh language to be made the first language of Wales, and the official policy of bilingualism abolished.

The major novelist in the second half of the twentieth century was Emyr Humphreys Born near Abergavenny , Williams continued the earlier tradition of writing from a left-wing perspective on the Welsh industrial scene in his trilogy " Border Country " , "Second Generation" , and "The Fight for Manod" He also enjoyed a reputation as a cultural historian.

The National Museum [of] Wales was founded by royal charter in and is now a Welsh Government sponsored body.

In April , the attractions attached to the National Museum were granted free entry by the Assembly, and this action saw the visitor numbers to the sites increase during — by Aberystwyth is home to the National Library of Wales , which houses some of the most important collections in Wales, including the Sir John Williams Collection and the Shirburn Castle collection.

Many works of Celtic art have been found in Wales. A number of illuminated manuscripts from Wales survive, of which the 8th-century Hereford Gospels and Lichfield Gospels are the most notable.

The 11th-century Ricemarch Psalter now in Dublin is certainly Welsh, made in St David's , and shows a late Insular style with unusual Viking influence.

The best of the few Welsh artists of the 16th—18th centuries tended to leave the country to work, many of them moving to London or Italy.

Richard Wilson —82 is arguably the first major British landscapist. Although more notable for his Italian scenes, he painted several Welsh scenes on visits from London.

By the late 18th century, the popularity of landscape art grew and clients were found in the larger Welsh towns, allowing more Welsh artists to stay in their homeland.

Artists from outside Wales were also drawn to paint Welsh scenery, at first because of the Celtic Revival. Then in the early 19th century, the Napoleonic Wars preventing the Grand Tour to continental Europe, travel through Wales came to be considered more accessible.

An Act of Parliament in provided for the establishment of a number of art schools throughout the United Kingdom and the Cardiff School of Art opened in Graduates still very often had to leave Wales to work, but Betws-y-Coed became a popular centre for artists and its artists' colony helped form the Royal Cambrian Academy of Art in Christopher Williams , whose subjects were mostly resolutely Welsh, was also based in London.

Stephens and Andrew Vicari had very successful careers as portraitists based respectively in the United States and France.

Many Welsh painters gravitated towards the art capitals of Europe. However, the landscapists Sir Kyffin Williams and Peter Prendergast lived in Wales for most of their lives, while remaining in touch with the wider art world.

Ceri Richards was very engaged in the Welsh art scene as a teacher in Cardiff and even after moving to London. He was a figurative painter in international styles including Surrealism.

The Kardomah Gang was an intellectual circle centred on the poet Dylan Thomas and poet and artist Vernon Watkins in Swansea, which also included the painter Alfred Janes.

South Wales had several notable potteries , one of the first important sites being the Ewenny Pottery in Bridgend , which began producing earthenware in the 17th century.

It was officially recognised as the Welsh national flag in George which then represented the Kingdom of England and Wales. The daffodil and the leek are both symbols of Wales.

The origins of the leek can be traced to the 16th century, while the daffodil became popular in the 19th century, encouraged by David Lloyd George. The red kite is a national symbol of Welsh wildlife.

The Prince of Wales' heraldic badge is also sometimes used to symbolise Wales. The badge, known as the Prince of Wales's feathers , consists of three white feathers emerging from a gold coronet.

A ribbon below the coronet bears the German motto Ich dien I serve. Several Welsh representative teams, including the Welsh rugby union, and Welsh regiments in the British Army the Royal Welsh , for example use the badge or a stylised version of it.

The Prince of Wales has claimed that only he has the authority to use the symbol. Land of My Fathers is the National Anthem of Wales, and is played at events such as football or rugby matches involving the Wales national team as well as the opening of the Welsh Assembly and other official occasions.

More than 50 national governing bodies regulate and organise their sports in Wales. Although football has traditionally been the more popular sport in north Wales , rugby union is seen as a symbol of Welsh identity and an expression of national consciousness.

The five professional sides that replaced the traditional club sides in major competitions in were replaced in by the four regions: Cardiff Blues , Dragons , Ospreys and Scarlets.

Wales has had its own football league , the Welsh Premier League , since Rugby league in Wales dates back to The Crusaders competed in the top level Super League competition from — A professional Welsh League existed from to Wales has produced several world-class participants of individual sports including snooker players Ray Reardon , Terry Griffiths , Mark Williams and Matthew Stevens.

Wales also has a tradition of producing world-class boxers. Wales has hosted several international sporting events. All Welsh television broadcasts are digital.

The last of the analogue transmitters ceased broadcasts in April , and Wales became the UK's first digital nation.

BBC Cymru Wales is the national broadcaster. Its output was mostly Welsh-language at peak hours but shared English-language content with Channel 4 at other times.

Since the digital switchover in April , the channel has broadcast exclusively in Welsh. Their remaining output is commissioned from ITV and independent producers.

Several regional radio stations broadcast in Welsh: Most of the newspapers sold and read in Wales are national newspapers available throughout Britain, unlike in Scotland where many newspapers have rebranded into Scottish-based titles.

The Western Mail is Wales' only national daily newspaper. Magazines published in Welsh and English cover general and specialist subjects.

Cambria , a Welsh affairs magazine published bi-monthly in English, has subscribers in over 30 countries. Although both beef and dairy cattle are raised widely, especially in Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire, Wales is more well known for its sheep farming and thus lamb is the meat traditionally associated with Welsh cooking.

Traditional dishes include laverbread made from laver Porphyra umbilicalis , an edible seaweed ; bara brith fruit bread ; cawl a lamb stew ; cawl cennin leek soup ; Welsh cakes ; and Welsh lamb.

Cockles are sometimes served as a traditional breakfast with bacon and laverbread. Although Wales has its own traditional food and has absorbed much of the cuisine of England, Welsh diets now owe more to the countries of India , China and the United States.

Wales is often referred to as "the land of song", [] and is notable for its harpists, male choirs, and solo artists.

The principal Welsh festival of music and poetry is the annual National Eisteddfod. The Llangollen International Eisteddfod echoes the National Eisteddfod but provides an opportunity for the singers and musicians of the world to perform.

Traditional music and dance in Wales is supported by a myriad of societies. The Welsh Folk Song Society has published a number of collections of songs and tunes.

Traditional instruments of Wales include telyn deires triple harp , fiddle, crwth , pibgorn hornpipe and other instruments.

Popular bands that emerged from Wales include the Beatles-nurtured power pop group Badfinger in the s, Man and Budgie in the s and the Alarm in the s.

Many groups emerged during the s, led by Manic Street Preachers , followed by the likes of the Stereophonics and Feeder ; notable during this period were Catatonia , Super Furry Animals , and Gorky's Zygotic Mynci who gained popular success as dual-language artists.

Male voice choirs emerged in the 19th century and continue today. Originally these choirs where formed as the tenor and bass sections of chapel choirs, and embraced the popular secular hymns of the day.

Along with the playhouses, there existed mobile companies at visiting fairs, though from most of these travelling theatres settled, purchasing theatres to perform in.

Drama in the early 20th century thrived, but the country failed to produce a Welsh National Theatre company. After the Second World War the substantial number of amateur companies that had existed before the outbreak of hostilities reduced by two-thirds.

Other Welsh actors to have crossed the Atlantic more recently include: Dancing is a popular pastime in Wales; traditional dances include folk dancing and clog dancing.

The first mention of dancing in Wales is in a 12th-century account by Giraldus Cambrensis , but by the 19th century traditional dance had all but died out; this is attributed to the influence of Nonconformists and their belief that any physical diversion was worthless and satanic, especially mixed dancing.

The Welsh Folk Dance Society was founded in ; [] it supports a network of national amateur dance teams and publishes support material.

Contemporary dance grew out of Cardiff in the s; one of the earliest companies, Moving Being, came from London to Cardiff in As well as celebrating many of the traditional religious festivals of Great Britain, such as Easter and Christmas, Wales has its own unique celebratory days.

An early festivity was Mabsant when local parishes would celebrate the patron saint of their local church.

Commemorating the patron saint of friendship and love, Dydd Santes Dwynwen 's popularity has been increasing recently.

It is celebrated on 25 January in a similar way to St Valentine's Day: Calan Gaeaf , associated with the supernatural and the dead, is observed on 1 November All Saints Day.

It has largely been replaced by Hallowe'en. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the country. For other uses, see Wales disambiguation.

Sovereign state Legal jurisdiction. National Assembly UK Parliament. Wales in the Roman era. Glamorgan and Lower Swansea valley. Local government in Wales.

History of local government in Wales. List of settlements in Wales by population and List of towns in Wales. Tourism in Wales and Agriculture in Wales.

List of universities in Wales and List of further education colleges in Wales. Demography of Wales and Demography of the United Kingdom.

Languages of Wales , Welsh language , and Welsh English. Mythology Matter of Britain Arthurian legend Mabinogion. Music and performing arts.

National symbols of Wales. List of newspapers in Wales. It seems comparatively late as a place name, the nominative plural Lloegrwys , "men of Lloegr", being earlier and more common.

The English were sometimes referred to as an entity in early poetry Saeson , as today but just as often as Eingl Angles , Iwys Wessex-men , etc.

Lloegr and Sacson became the norm later when England emerged as a kingdom. As for its origins, some scholars have suggested that it originally referred only to Mercia — at that time a powerful kingdom and for centuries the main foe of the Welsh.

It was then applied to the new kingdom of England as a whole see for instance Rachel Bromwich ed. See also Discussion in Reference The meaning behind the Welsh motto".

Retrieved 22 March Retrieved 26 July Retrieved 7 July Retrieved 24 April Retrieved 10 October Henry wrote the same about Wallachia.

University of Wales Press. More on the Etymology of Walden". Laudator Temporis Acti website. Retrieved 29 October Longmans, Green, and Co.

Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion published Retrieved 28 September Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society.

Retrieved 30 September Retrieved 5 August Retrieved 30 December Retrieved 17 November Retrieved 24 October BBC Cymru Wales website.

Retrieved 2 October Retrieved 17 May Celtic from the West: Oxbow Books and Celtic Studies Publications. Insularity and Connectivity in Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society 75, , pp.

Acta Palaeohispanica X Palaeohispanica. An Atlas of Roman Britain. Blackwell Publishers published A History of Roman Britain 3rd, revised ed.

The Works of Gildas and Nennius. Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion. University of Wales Press , Third Edition, Retrieved 9 September European Journal of Human Genetics.

Retrieved 27 November The Medieval March of Wales: The Creation and Perception of a Frontier, — Retrieved 4 October The Coming of the Normans".

Retrieved 5 March A country and principality within the mainland of Britain But Edward II was not an infant when the title was granted; the story is apocryphal and was first recorded in Retrieved 21 September Amgueddfa Cymru — National Museum Wales.

Archived from the original on 3 October Retrieved 26 September Rebirth of a Nation: National Library of Wales. Archived from the original on 6 December Retrieved 25 November Archived from the original on 18 January The drowning of Tryweryn and Capel Celyn".

Retrieved 18 October Archived from the original on 30 December Retrieved 8 January The Fight for Welsh Freedom.

National Assembly for Wales. Archived from the original PDF on 20 April Retrieved 6 April Archived from the original on 9 September Retrieved 5 November The United Kingdom is made up of four countries: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Retrieved 25 July Retrieved 24 August The Monarchy and the Constitution. In his autobiography, the Duke of Windsor complained that, as Prince of Wales, there was 'no specific routine job in the sense, for example, that a vice-president has a job Though I was next in line to the Throne, with all that position implied, I actually possessed no formal state duties or responsibilities.

United Kingdom Parliament website. Retrieved 1 September Archived from the original PDF on 3 September National Assembly for Wales website.

Archived from the original on 9 January Retrieved 6 October Retrieved 29 September Retrieved 9 December Retrieved 19 June Retrieved 19 August Deadlock in vote for first minister".

Retrieved 15 October Archived from the original on 22 September The Republic has a strong commitment to renewable energy, and ranks as one of the top 10 markets for cleantech investment in the Global Green Economy Index.

Large wind farms have been constructed in Cork, Donegal, Mayo and Antrim. The construction of wind farms has in some cases been delayed by opposition from local communities, some of whom consider the wind turbines to be unsightly.

The Republic is hindered by an ageing network that was not designed to handle the varying availability of power that comes from wind farms.

As the term British Isles is controversial in relation to Ireland, the alternate term Britain and Ireland is often used as a neutral term for the islands.

A ring of coastal mountains surround low plains at the centre of the island. The highest of these is Carrauntoohil Irish: The island consists of varied geological provinces.

In the west, around County Galway and County Donegal , is a medium to high grade metamorphic and igneous complex of Caledonide affinity, similar to the Scottish Highlands.

Across southeast Ulster and extending southwest to Longford and south to Navan is a province of Ordovician and Silurian rocks, with similarities to the Southern Uplands province of Scotland.

Further south, along the County Wexford coastline, is an area of granite intrusives into more Ordovician and Silurian rocks, like that found in Wales.

In the southwest, around Bantry Bay and the mountains of Macgillicuddy's Reeks , is an area of substantially deformed, but only lightly metamorphosed , Devonian-aged rocks.

The west-coast district of the Burren around Lisdoonvarna has well-developed karst features. Hydrocarbon exploration is ongoing following the first major find at the Kinsale Head gas field off Cork in the mids.

This has increased activity off the west coast in parallel with the " West of Shetland " step-out development from the North Sea hydrocarbon province.

Dunluce Castle , County Antrim. Benbulbin , County Sligo. Connemara , County Galway. Glendalough , County Wicklow.

Ardfert Cathedral , County Kerry. Glenbeg Lough , County Cork. The island's lush vegetation, a product of its mild climate and frequent rainfall, earns it the sobriquet the Emerald Isle.

Overall, Ireland has a mild but changeable oceanic climate with few extremes. The climate is typically insular and is temperate , avoiding the extremes in temperature of many other areas in the world at similar latitudes.

Precipitation falls throughout the year but is light overall, particularly in the east. The west tends to be wetter on average and prone to Atlantic storms, especially in the late autumn and winter months.

These occasionally bring destructive winds and higher total rainfall to these areas, as well as sometimes snow and hail. The regions of north County Galway and east County Mayo have the highest incidents of recorded lightning annually for the island, with lightning occurring approximately five to ten days per year in these areas.

Inland areas are warmer in summer and colder in winter. Ireland is sometimes affected by heat waves, most recently in , , , and Because Ireland became isolated from mainland Europe by rising sea levels before the last ice age had completely finished, it has fewer land animal and plant species than Great Britain, which separated later, or mainland Europe.

There are 55 mammal species in Ireland and of them only 26 land mammal species are considered native to Ireland. Aquatic wildlife, such as species of sea turtle , shark , seal , whale , and dolphin , are common off the coast.

About species of birds have been recorded in Ireland. Many of these are migratory, including the barn swallow.

Several different habitat types are found in Ireland, including farmland, open woodland, temperate broadleaf and mixed forests , conifer plantations, peat bogs and a variety of coastal habitats.

However, agriculture drives current land use patterns in Ireland, limiting natural habitat preserves, [] particularly for larger wild mammals with greater territorial needs.

With no large apex predators in Ireland other than humans and dogs, such populations of animals as semi-wild deer that cannot be controlled by smaller predators, such as the fox, are controlled by annual culling.

There are no snakes in Ireland and only one species of reptile the common lizard is native to the island. Extinct species include the Irish elk , the great auk , brown bear and the wolf.

Some previously extinct birds, such as the golden eagle , been reintroduced in about the year after decades of extirpation. Forests today cover about As of , the Republic is one of the least forested countries in Europe.

Gorse Ulex europaeus , a wild furze , is commonly found growing in the uplands and ferns are plentiful in the more moist regions, especially in the western parts.

It is home to hundreds of plant species, some of them unique to the island, and has been "invaded" by some grasses, such as Spartina anglica.

The algal and seaweed flora is that of the cold-temperate variety. The total number of species is [] and is distributed as follows:. The island has been invaded by some algae, some of which are now well established.

Because of its mild climate, many species, including sub-tropical species such as palm trees , are grown in Ireland.

The island itself can be subdivided into two ecoregions: The long history of agricultural production, coupled with modern intensive agricultural methods such as pesticide and fertiliser use and runoff from contaminants into streams, rivers and lakes, impact the natural fresh-water ecosystems and have placed pressure on biodiversity in Ireland.

A land of green fields for crop cultivation and cattle rearing limits the space available for the establishment of native wild species. Hedgerows, however, traditionally used for maintaining and demarcating land boundaries, act as a refuge for native wild flora.

This ecosystem stretches across the countryside and acts as a network of connections to preserve remnants of the ecosystem that once covered the island.

Subsidies under the Common Agricultural Policy , which supported agricultural practices that preserved hedgerow environments, are undergoing reforms.

The Common Agricultural Policy had in the past subsidised potentially destructive agricultural practices, for example by emphasising production without placing limits on indiscriminate use of fertilisers and pesticides; but reforms have gradually decoupled subsidies from production levels and introduced environmental and other requirements.

Forest covers about Remnants of native forest can be found scattered around the island, in particular in the Killarney National Park.

Natural areas require fencing to prevent over-grazing by deer and sheep that roam over uncultivated areas. Grazing in this manner is one of the main factors preventing the natural regeneration of forests across many regions of the country.

People have lived in Ireland for over 9, years. The different eras are termed mesolithic , neolithic , Bronze Age , and Iron Age. Many survived into late medieval times, others vanished as they became politically unimportant.

Over the past years, Vikings , Normans , Welsh , Flemings , Scots , English , Africans , Eastern Europeans and South Americans have all added to the population and have had significant influences on Irish culture.

Ireland's largest religious group is Christianity. The population of Ireland rose rapidly from the 16th century until the midth century, interrupted briefly by the Famine of , which killed roughly two fifths of the island's population.

The population rebounded and multiplied over the next century, but another devastating famine in the s caused one million deaths and forced over one million more to emigrate in its immediate wake.

Over the following century the population was reduced by over half, at a time when the general trend in European countries was for populations to rise by an average of three-fold.

Traditionally, Ireland is subdivided into four provinces: Connacht west , Leinster east , Munster south , and Ulster north.

In a system that developed between the 13th and 17th centuries, [] Ireland has 32 traditional counties. Twenty-six of these counties are in the Republic of Ireland and six are in Northern Ireland.

The six counties that constitute Northern Ireland are all in the province of Ulster which has nine counties in total. As such, Ulster is often used as a synonym for Northern Ireland, although the two are not coterminous.

In the Republic of Ireland, counties form the basis of the system of local government. Counties Dublin , Cork , Limerick , Galway , Waterford and Tipperary have been broken up into smaller administrative areas.

However, they are still treated as counties for cultural and some official purposes, for example postal addresses and by the Ordnance Survey Ireland.

Counties in Northern Ireland are no longer used for local governmental purposes, [] but, as in the Republic, their traditional boundaries are still used for informal purposes such as sports leagues and in cultural or tourism contexts.

City status in Ireland is decided by legislative or royal charter. Dublin , with over 1 million residents in the Greater Dublin Area , is the largest city on the island.

Belfast, with , residents, is the largest city in Northern Ireland. City status does not directly equate with population size.

For example, Armagh , with 14, is the seat of the Church of Ireland and the Roman Catholic Primate of All Ireland and was re-granted city status by Queen Elizabeth II in having lost that status in local government reforms of In the Republic of Ireland, Kilkenny , seat of the Butler dynasty , while no longer a city for administrative purposes since the Local Government Act , is entitled by law to continue to use the description.

The population of Ireland collapsed dramatically during the second half of the 19th century. A population of over 8 million in was reduced to slightly more than 4 million by In part, the fall in population was due to death from the Great Famine of to , which took about 1 million lives.

However, by far the greater cause of population decline was the dire economic state of the country which led to an entrenched culture of emigration lasting until the 21st century.

Emigration from Ireland in the 19th century contributed to the populations of England, the United States, Canada and Australia, where a large Irish diaspora lives.

As of [update] , 4. The Protestants' ancestors arrived primarily in the colonial era, while Catholics are primarily descended from immigrants of the 19th century.

Irish leaders have been prominent in the Catholic Church in the United States for over years. The Irish have been leaders in the Presbyterian and Methodist traditions, as well.

With growing prosperity since the last decade of the 20th century, Ireland became a destination for immigrants.

Since the European Union expanded to include Poland in , Polish people have made up the largest number of immigrants over , [] from Central Europe.

There has also been significant immigration from Lithuania , the Czech Republic and Latvia. Up to 50, eastern and central European migrant workers left Ireland in response to the Irish financial crisis.

The two official languages of the Republic of Ireland are Irish and English. Each language has produced a noteworthy literature.

Irish, though now only the language of a minority, was the vernacular of the Irish people for over two thousand years and was possibly introduced during the Iron Age.

It began to be written down after Christianisation in the 5th century and spread to Scotland and the Isle of Man where it evolved into the Scottish Gaelic and Manx languages respectively.

The Irish language has a vast treasury of written texts from many centuries, and is divided by linguists into Old Irish from the 6th to 10th century, Middle Irish from the 10th to 13th century, Early Modern Irish until the 17th century, and the Modern Irish spoken today.

It remained the dominant language of Ireland for most of those periods, having influences from Latin , Old Norse , French and English. It declined under British rule but remained the majority tongue until the early 19th century, and since then has been a minority language.

The Gaelic Revival of the early twentieth century has had a long-term influence. They represent an expanding demographic, with their own schools called Gaelscoileanna and their own social media.

It has been argued that they tend to be more highly educated than monolingual English speakers, with better employment prospects and higher social status.

Traditional rural Irish-speaking areas, known collectively as the Gaeltacht , are in linguistic decline. The main Gaeltacht areas are in the west, south-west and north-west.

English in Ireland was first introduced during the Norman invasion. It was spoken by a few peasants and merchants brought over from England, and was largely replaced by Irish before the Tudor conquest of Ireland.

It was introduced as the official language with the Tudor and Cromwellian conquests. The Ulster plantations gave it a permanent foothold in Ulster, and it remained the official and upper-class language elsewhere, the Irish-speaking chieftains and nobility having been deposed.

Language shift during the 19th century replaced Irish with English as the first language for a vast majority of the population.

Shelta , the language of the nomadic Irish Travellers is native to Ireland. Ireland's culture comprises elements of the culture of ancient peoples, later immigrant and broadcast cultural influences chiefly Gaelic culture , Anglicisation , Americanisation and aspects of broader European culture.

This combination of cultural influences is visible in the intricate designs termed Irish interlace or Celtic knotwork.

These can be seen in the ornamentation of medieval religious and secular works. The style is still popular today in jewellery and graphic art, [] as is the distinctive style of traditional Irish music and dance, and has become indicative of modern "Celtic" culture in general.

Religion has played a significant role in the cultural life of the island since ancient times and since the 17th century plantations , has been the focus of political identity and divisions on the island.

Ireland's pre-Christian heritage fused with the Celtic Church following the missions of Saint Patrick in the 5th century. These missions brought written language to an illiterate population of Europe during the Dark Ages that followed the fall of Rome , earning Ireland the sobriquet, "the island of saints and scholars".

Since the 20th century the Irish pubs worldwide have become, especially those with a full range of cultural and gastronomic offerings, outposts of Irish culture.

The Republic of Ireland's national theatre is the Abbey Theatre , which was founded in , and the national Irish-language theatre is An Taibhdhearc , which was established in in Galway.

Ireland has made a large contribution to world literature in all its branches, both in Irish and English. Poetry in Irish is among the oldest vernacular poetry in Europe, with the earliest examples dating from the 6th century.

Irish remained the dominant literary language down to the nineteenth century, despite the spread of English from the seventeenth century on.

The latter part of the nineteenth century saw a rapid replacement of Irish by English. By , however, cultural nationalists had begun the Gaelic revival , which saw the beginnings of a modern literature in Irish.

Other notable eighteenth century writers of Irish origin included Oliver Goldsmith and Richard Brinsley Sheridan , though they spent most of their lives in England.

The playwright and poet Oscar Wilde , noted for his epigrams, was born in Ireland. In the 20th century, Ireland produced four winners of the Nobel Prize for Literature: Although not a Nobel Prize winner, James Joyce is widely considered to be one of the most significant writers of the 20th century.

Joyce's novel Ulysses is considered one of the most important works of Modernist literature and his life is celebrated annually on 16 June in Dublin as " Bloomsday ".

Music has been in evidence in Ireland since prehistoric times. Outside religious establishments, musical genres in early Gaelic Ireland are referred to as a triad of weeping music goltraige , laughing music geantraige and sleeping music suantraige.

Classical music following European models first developed in urban areas, in establishments of Anglo-Irish rule such as Dublin Castle , St Patrick's Cathedral and Christ Church as well as the country houses of the Anglo-Irish ascendancy, with the first performance of Handel 's Messiah being among the highlights of the baroque era.

In the 19th century, public concerts provided access to classical music to all classes of society. Yet, for political and financial reasons Ireland has been too small to provide a living to many musicians, so the names of the better-known Irish composers of this time belong to emigrants.

Irish traditional music and dance has seen a surge in popularity and global coverage since the s. In the middle years of the 20th century, as Irish society was modernising, traditional music had fallen out of favour, especially in urban areas.

Groups and musicians including Horslips , Van Morrison and Thin Lizzy incorporated elements of Irish traditional music into contemporary rock music and, during the s and s, the distinction between traditional and rock musicians became blurred, with many individuals regularly crossing over between these styles of playing.

The earliest known Irish graphic art and sculpture are Neolithic carvings found at sites such as Newgrange [] and is traced through Bronze age artefacts and the religious carvings and illuminated manuscripts of the medieval period.

During the course of the 19th and 20th centuries, a strong tradition of painting emerged, including such figures as John Butler Yeats , William Orpen , Jack Yeats and Louis le Brocquy.

The Irish philosopher and theologian Johannes Scotus Eriugena was considered one of the leading intellectuals of the early Middle Ages.

Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton , an Irish explorer, was one of the principal figures of Antarctic exploration. He, along with his expedition, made the first ascent of Mount Erebus and the discovery of the approximate location of the South Magnetic Pole.

Robert Boyle was a 17th-century natural philosopher, chemist, physicist, inventor and early gentleman scientist. He is largely regarded one of the founders of modern chemistry and is best known for the formulation of Boyle's law.

Father Nicholas Joseph Callan , Professor of Natural Philosophy in Maynooth College , is best known for his invention of the induction coil , transformer and he discovered an early method of galvanisation in the 19th century.

With Sir John Douglas Cockcroft , he was the first to split the nucleus of the atom by artificial means and made contributions to the development of a new theory of wave equation.

Sir Joseph Larmor , a physicist and mathematician, made innovations in the understanding of electricity, dynamics, thermodynamics and the electron theory of matter.

His most influential work was Aether and Matter, a book on theoretical physics published in George Johnstone Stoney introduced the term electron in John Stewart Bell was the originator of Bell's Theorem and a paper concerning the discovery of the Bell-Jackiw-Adler anomaly and was nominated for a Nobel prize.

Notable mathematicians include Sir William Rowan Hamilton , famous for work in classical mechanics and the invention of quaternions.

Francis Ysidro Edgeworth 's contribution of the Edgeworth Box remains influential in neo-classical microeconomic theory to this day; while Richard Cantillon inspired Adam Smith , among others.

Cosgrave was a specialist in number theory and discovered a digit prime number in and a record composite Fermat number in John Lighton Synge made progress in different fields of science, including mechanics and geometrical methods in general relativity.

He had mathematician John Nash as one of his students. Kathleen Lonsdale , born in Ireland and most known for her work with crystallography , became the first female president of the British Association for the Advancement of Science.

Ireland has nine universities, seven in the Republic of Ireland and two in Northern Ireland, including Trinity College, Dublin and the University College Dublin , as well as numerous third-level colleges and institutes and a branch of the Open University, the Open University in Ireland.

Gaelic football is the most popular sport in Ireland in terms of match attendance and community involvement, with about 2, clubs on the island.

The island fields a single international team in most sports. One notable exception to this is association football, although both associations continued to field international teams under the name "Ireland" until the s.

The sport is also the most notable exception where the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland field separate international teams.

Northern Ireland has produced two World Snooker Champions. Gaelic football , hurling and handball are the best-known of the Irish traditional sports, collectively known as Gaelic games.

Gaelic games are governed by the Gaelic Athletic Association GAA , with the exception of ladies' Gaelic football and camogie women's variant of hurling , which are governed by separate organisations.

During the redevelopment of the Lansdowne Road stadium in —10, international rugby and soccer were played there. The game has been played in an organised fashion in Ireland since the s, with Cliftonville F.

It was most popular, especially in its first decades, around Belfast and in Ulster. However, some clubs based outside Belfast thought that the IFA largely favoured Ulster-based clubs in such matters as selection for the national team.

However, both the IFA and FAI continued to select their teams from the whole of Ireland, with some players earning international caps for matches with both teams.

Both also referred to their respective teams as Ireland. In , FIFA directed the associations only to select players from within their respective territories and, in , directed that the FAI's team be known only as " Republic of Ireland " and that the IFA's team be known as " Northern Ireland " with certain exceptions.

Northern Ireland qualified for the World Cup finals in reaching the quarter-finals , and and the European Championship in The Republic qualified for the World Cup finals in reaching the quarter-finals , , and the European Championships in , and Across Ireland, there is significant interest in the English and, to a lesser extent, Scottish soccer leagues.

Unlike soccer, Ireland continues to field a single national rugby team and a single association, the Irish Rugby Football Union IRFU , governs the sport across the island.

The Irish rugby team have played in every Rugby World Cup , making the quarter-finals in six of them. Ireland also hosted games during the and the Rugby World Cups including a quarter-final.

There are four professional Irish teams; all four play in the Pro14 and at least three compete for the Heineken Cup. Irish rugby has become increasingly competitive at both the international and provincial levels since the sport went professional in During that time, Ulster , [] Munster [] and [] and Leinster , and [] have won the Heineken Cup.

In addition to this, the Irish International side has had increased success in the Six Nations Championship against the other European elite sides.

This success, including Triple Crowns in , and , culminated with a clean sweep of victories, known as a Grand Slam , in and Horse racing and greyhound racing are both popular in Ireland.

There are frequent horse race meetings and greyhound stadiums are well-attended. The island is noted for the breeding and training of race horses and is also a large exporter of racing dogs.

Irish athletics has seen a heightened success rate since the year , with Sonia O'Sullivan winning two medals at 5, metres on the track; gold at the World Championships and silver at the Sydney Olympics.

Olive Loughnane won a silver medal in the 20k walk in the World Athletics Championships in Berlin in Ireland has won more medals in boxing than in any other Olympic sport.

Boxing is governed by the Irish Athletic Boxing Association. In Kenneth Egan won a silver medal in the Beijing Games.

Katie Taylor has won gold in every European and World championship since Golf is very popular, and golf tourism is a major industry attracting more than , golfing visitors annually.

Three golfers from Northern Ireland have been particularly successful. Open , and the first European to win that tournament since Rory McIlroy , at the age of 22, won the U.

The west coast of Ireland, Lahinch and Donegal Bay in particular, have popular surfing beaches, being fully exposed to the Atlantic Ocean.

Since just before the year , Bundoran has hosted European championship surfing. Scuba diving is increasingly popular in Ireland with clear waters and large populations of sea life, particularly along the western seaboard.

There are also many shipwrecks along the coast of Ireland, with some of the best wreck dives being in Malin Head and off the County Cork coast. The temperate Irish climate is suited to sport angling.

While salmon and trout fishing remain popular with anglers, salmon fishing in particular received a boost in with the closing of the salmon driftnet fishery.

Coarse fishing continues to increase its profile. Sea angling is developed with many beaches mapped and signposted, [] and the range of sea angling species is around Food and cuisine in Ireland takes its influence from the crops grown and animals farmed in the island's temperate climate and from the social and political circumstances of Irish history.

For example, whilst from the Middle Ages until the arrival of the potato in the 16th century the dominant feature of the Irish economy was the herding of cattle, the number of cattle a person owned was equated to their social standing.

For this reason, pork and white meat were more common than beef and thick fatty strips of salted bacon known as rashers and the eating of salted butter i.

All of these influences can be seen today in the phenomenon of the " breakfast roll ". The introduction of the potato in the second half of the 16th century heavily influenced cuisine thereafter.

Great poverty encouraged a subsistence approach to food and by the midth century the vast majority of the population sufficed with a diet of potatoes and milk.

Since the last quarter of the 20th century, with a re-emergence of wealth in Ireland, a "New Irish Cuisine" based on traditional ingredients incorporating international influences [] has emerged.

An example of this new cuisine is "Dublin Lawyer": Traditional regional foods can be found throughout the country, for example coddle in Dublin or drisheen in Cork, both a type of sausage, or blaa , a doughy white bread particular to Waterford.

Irish whiskey, as researched in by the CNBC American broadcaster, remains popular domestically and has grown in international sales steadily over a few decades.

Stout , a kind of porter beer , particularly Guinness , is typically associated with Ireland, although historically it was more closely associated with London.

Porter remains very popular, although it has lost sales since the midth century to lager. Cider , particularly Magners marketed in the Republic of Ireland as Bulmers , is also a popular drink.

Red lemonade , a soft-drink, is consumed on its own and as a mixer, particularly with whiskey. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

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