Ireland Fast Facts

  • Area: 27,132 square miles(70,273 square kilometers). Slightly larger than West Virginia.
  • Location: Western Europe, occupying five-sixths of the island of Ireland in the North Atlantic Ocean, west of Great Britain.
  • Population: 4,722,028 (July 2012 est.)
  • Capital: Dublin
  • Geography: Mostly level to rolling interior plain surrounded by rugged hills and low mountains; sea cliffs on west coast.
  • Climate: Temperate maritime; modified by North Atlantic Current; mild winters, cool summers; consistently humid; overcast about half the time.
  • Government: Republic, parliamentary democracy.
  • Head of State: President Michael D. Higgins (since 11 November 2011)
  • Head of Government: Prime Minister Enda Kenny (since 9 March 2011)
  • Language: English (official) is the language generally used, Irish (Gaelic or Gaeilge) (official) spoken mainly in areas along the western coast.
  • Religion: Roman Catholic 87.4%, Church of Ireland 2.9%, other Christian 1.9%, other 2.1%, unspecified 1.5%, none 4.2% (2006 census).
  • Time Zone: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time).
  • Daylight saving time: +1hour, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October.
  • Smoking: Since 2004, there has been a complete ban on smoking in Ireland wherever people are employed. Most pubs, bars, and restaurants will have an outside area for smokers. Hotels and B&Bs will have some smoking rooms.

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