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Europe :: Ireland
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Ireland
  • Introduction :: IRELAND

  • Celtic tribes arrived on the island between 600 and 150 B.C. Invasions by Norsemen that began in the late 8th century were finally ended when King Brian BORU defeated the Danes in 1014. Norman invasions began in the 12th century and set off more than seven centuries of Anglo-Irish struggle marked by fierce rebellions and harsh repressions. The Irish famine of the mid-19th century saw the population of the island drop by one third through starvation and emigration. For more than a century after that the population of the island continued to fall only to begin growing again in the 1960s. Over the last 50 years, Ireland's high birthrate has made it demographically one of the youngest populations in the EU. The modern Irish state traces its origins to the failed 1916 Easter Monday Uprising which touched off several years of guerrilla warfare resulting in independence from the UK in 1921 for 26 southern counties; six northern counties remained part of the UK. Unresolved issues in Northern Ireland erupted into years of violence known as the "Troubles" that began in the 1960s. The Government of Ireland was part of a process along with the UK and US Governments that helped broker what is known as The Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland in 1998. This initiated a new phase of cooperation between Irish and British governments. Ireland was neutral in World War II and continues its policy of military neutrality. Ireland joined the European Community in 1973 and the Eurozone currency union in 1999. The economic boom years of the Celtic Tiger (1995-2007) saw rapid economic growth, which came to an abrupt end in 2008 with the meltdown of the Irish banking system. Today the economy is recovering, fueled by large and growing foreign direct investment, especially from US multi-nationals.
  • Geography :: IRELAND

  • Western Europe, occupying five-sixths of the island of Ireland in the North Atlantic Ocean, west of Great Britain
    53 00 N, 8 00 W
    Europe
    total: 70,273 sq km
    land: 68,883 sq km
    water: 1,390 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 120
    slightly larger than West Virginia
    total: 443 km
    border countries (1): UK 443 km
    1,448 km
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
    temperate maritime; modified by North Atlantic Current; mild winters, cool summers; consistently humid; overcast about half the time
    mostly level to rolling interior plain surrounded by rugged hills and low mountains; sea cliffs on west coast
    lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
    highest point: Carrauntoohil 1,041 m
    natural gas, peat, copper, lead, zinc, silver, barite, gypsum, limestone, dolomite
    arable land: 16.98%
    permanent crops: 0.01%
    other: 83% (2012 est.)
    11 sq km (2003)
    52 cu km (2011)
    total: 0.79 cu km/yr (94%/6%/0%)
    per capita: 226.9 cu m/yr (2007)
    NA
    water pollution, especially of lakes, from agricultural runoff
    party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
    signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Marine Life Conservation
    strategic location on major air and sea routes between North America and northern Europe; over 40% of the population resides within 100 km of Dublin
  • People and Society :: IRELAND

  • noun: Irishman(men), Irishwoman(women), Irish (collective plural)
    adjective: Irish
    Irish 84.5%, other white 9.8%, Asian 1.9%, black 1.4%, mixed and other 0.9%, unspecified 1.6% (2011 est.)
    English (official, the language generally used), Irish (Gaelic or Gaeilge) (official, spoken by approximately 38.7% of the population as a first or second language in 2011; mainly spoken in areas along the western coast)
    Roman Catholic 84.7%, Church of Ireland 2.7%, other Christian 2.7%, Muslim 1.1%, other 1.7%, unspecified 1.5%, none 5.7% (2011 est.)
    4,832,765 (July 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 123
    0-14 years: 21.4% (male 529,140/female 506,857)
    15-24 years: 11.9% (male 292,962/female 283,127)
    25-54 years: 44.1% (male 1,070,875/female 1,061,396)
    55-64 years: 10.1% (male 245,913/female 244,345)
    65 years and over: 12.4% (male 275,114/female 323,036) (2014 est.)
    population pyramid:
    total dependency ratio: 51.4%
    youth dependency ratio: 32.7%
    elderly dependency ratio: 18.7%
    potential support ratio: 5.4% (2014 est.)
    total: 35.7 years
    male: 35.4 years
    female: 36.1 years (2014 est.)
    1.2% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 99
    15.18 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 132
    6.45 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 154
    3.31 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 34
    urban population: 63% of total population (2014)
    rate of urbanization: 1.58% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
    DUBLIN (capital) 1.155 million (2014)
    at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.84 male(s)/female
    total population: 1 male(s)/female (2014 est.)
    29.9
    note: data are based on events and not on fertility rates (2012 est.)
    6 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 169
    total: 3.74 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 4.11 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 3.35 deaths/1,000 live births (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 202
    total population: 80.56 years
    male: 78.28 years
    female: 82.97 years (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 27
    2 children born/woman (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 125
    64.8%
    note: percent of women aged 18-49 (2004/05)
    8.1% of GDP (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 57
    2.72 physicians/1,000 population (2012)
    2.9 beds/1,000 population (2011)
    improved:
    urban: 100% of population
    rural: 99.7% of population
    total: 99.9% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 0% of population
    rural: 0.3% of population
    total: 0.1% of population (2012 est.)
    improved:
    urban: 99.6% of population
    rural: 97.9% of population
    total: 99% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 0.4% of population
    rural: 2.1% of population
    total: 1% of population (2012 est.)
    NA
    NA
    NA
    25.2% (2008)
    country comparison to the world: 57
    6.4% of GDP (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 31
    total: 19 years
    male: 19 years
    female: 18 years (2012)
    total: 24%
    male: 36.4%
    female: 24% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 38
  • Government :: IRELAND

  • conventional long form: none
    conventional short form: Ireland
    local long form: none
    local short form: Eire
    republic, parliamentary democracy
    name: Dublin
    geographic coordinates: 53 19 N, 6 14 W
    time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
    28 counties and 3 cities*; Carlow, Cavan, Clare, Cork, Cork*, Donegal, Dublin*, Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, Fingal, Galway, Galway*, Kerry, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Leitrim, Limerick, Longford, Louth, Mayo, Meath, Monaghan, Offaly, Roscommon, Sligo, South Dublin, Tipperary, Waterford, Westmeath, Wexford, Wicklow
    6 December 1921 (from the UK by treaty)
    Saint Patrick's Day, 17 March
    previous 1922; latest drafted 14 June 1937, adopted by plebiscite 1 July 1937, effective 29 December 1937; amended many times, last in 2013 (2013)
    common law system based on the English model but substantially modified by customary law; judicial review of legislative acts in Supreme Court
    accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    18 years of age; universal
    chief of state: President Michael D. HIGGINS (since 29 October 2011)
    head of government: Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda KENNY (since 9 March 2011)
    cabinet: Cabinet nominated by the prime minister and appointed by the president with approval of Dail Eireann
    elections: president elected by popular vote for a seven-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 29 October 2011 (next to be held in October 2018); taoiseach (prime minister) nominated by the House of Representatives (Dail Eireann) and appointed by the president
    election results: Michael D. HIGGINS elected president; percent of vote - Michael D. HIGGINS 39.6%, Sean GALLAGHER 28.5%, Martin MCGUINNESS 13.7%, Gay MITCHELL 6.4%, David NORRIS 6.2%, other 5.6%
    description: bicameral Parliament or Oireachtas consists of the Senate or Seanad Eireann (60 seats; 43 members indirectly elected by panels of various vocational interests, 11 appointed by the prime minister, and 6 elected by graduates of the University of Dublin and the National University of Ireland; members serve 5-year terms) and the Parliament or Dail Eireann (166 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote; members serve 5-year terms)
    elections: Senate - last held in 27 April 2011 (next to be held in 2016); House of Representatives - last held on 25 February 2011 (next to be held probably in 2016)
    election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Fine Gael 19, Fianna Fail 14, Labor Party 12, Sinn Fein 3, independent 12; House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - Fine Gael 36.1%, Labor Party 19.5%, Fianna Fail 17.5%, Sinn Fein 9.9%, United Left Alliance 2.6%, independent and other 14.4%; seats by party - Fine Gael 76, Labor Party 37, Fianna Fail 20, Sinn Fein 14, United Left Alliance 5, independent 14
    highest court(s): Supreme Court or Court of Final Appeal (consists of the chief justice and 7 judges)
    judge selection and term of office: judges nominated by the prime minister and Cabinet and appointed by the president; judges serve till age 70
    subordinate courts: High Court, Court of Appeal; circuit and district courts
    Fianna Fail [Micheal MARTIN]
    Fine Gael [Enda KENNY]
    Green Party [Eamon RYAN]
    Labor (Labour) Party [Joan BURTON]
    Renua Ireland [Lucinda CREIGHTON]
    Sinn Fein [Gerry ADAMS]
    Socialist Party [Collective Leadership]
    The Workers' Party [Michael DONNELLY]
    Continuity IRA (terrorist group)
    Families Acting for Innocent Relatives or FAIR [Brian MCCONNELL] (seek compensation for victims of violence);
    Iona Institute [David QUINN] (a conservative Catholic think tank)
    Irish Anti-War Movement [Richard BOYD BARRETT] (campaigns against wars around the world)
    Keep Ireland Open (environmental group)
    Oglaigh na hEireann (terrorist group)
    Midland Railway Action Group or MRAG [Willie ALLEN] (transportation promoters)
    New Irish Republican Army (terrorist group combining elements of the former Real IRA and Republican Action Against Drugs)
    Peace and Neutrality Alliance [Roger COLE] (campaigns to protect Irish neutrality)
    Rail Users Ireland (formerly the Platform 11 - transportation promoters)
    32 Country Sovereignty Movement or 32CSM (supports unifying Northern Ireland with the rest of the island under Irish government sovereignty)
    ADB (nonregional member), Australia Group, BIS, CD, CE, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, FATF, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD (partners), IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MINURSO, MONUSCO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNDOF, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNOCI, UNRWA, UNTSO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
    chief of mission: Ambassador Anne Colette ANDERSON (since 28 August 2013)
    chancery: 2234 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 462-3939
    FAX: [1] (202) 232-5993
    consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, New York, San Francisco
    chief of mission: Ambassador Kevin F. O'MALLEY (since 8 October 2014)
    embassy: 42 Elgin Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4
    mailing address: use embassy street address
    telephone: [353] (1) 668-8777
    FAX: [353] (1) 668-9946
    three equal vertical bands of green (hoist side), white, and orange; officially the flag colors have no meaning, but a common interpretation is that the green represents the Irish nationalist (Gaelic) tradition of Ireland; orange represents the Orange tradition (minority supporters of William of Orange); white symbolizes peace (or a lasting truce) between the green and the orange
    note: similar to the flag of Cote d'Ivoire, which is shorter and has the colors reversed - orange (hoist side), white, and green; also similar to the flag of Italy, which is shorter and has colors of green (hoist side), white, and red
    harp, shamrock (trefoil): national color: green
    name: "Amhran na bhFiann" (The Soldier's Song)
    lyrics/music: Peadar KEARNEY [English], Liam O RINN [Irish]/Patrick HEENEY and Peadar KEARNEY
    note: adopted 1926; instead of "Amhran na bhFiann," the song "Ireland's Call" is often used at athletic events where citizens of the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland compete as a unified team
  • Economy :: IRELAND

  • Ireland is a small, modern, trade-dependent economy. Ireland was among the initial group of 12 EU nations that began circulating the euro on 1 January 2002. GDP growth averaged 6% in 1995-2007, but economic activity dropped sharply during the world financial crisis and the subsequent collapse of its domestic property market and construction industry. Faced with sharply reduced revenues and a burgeoning budget deficit from efforts to stabilize its fragile banking sector, the Irish Government introduced the first in a series of draconian budgets in 2009. These measures were not sufficient to stabilize Ireland’s public finances. In 2010, the budget deficit reached 32.4% of GDP - the world's largest deficit, as a percentage of GDP. In late 2010, the former COWEN government agreed to a $92 billion loan package from the EU and IMF to help Dublin recapitalize Ireland’s banking sector and avoid defaulting on its sovereign debt. In March 2011, the KENNY government intensified austerity measures to meet the deficit targets under Ireland's EU-IMF bailout program. In late 2013, Ireland formally exited its EU-IMF bailout program, benefiting from its strict adherence to deficit-reduction targets and success in refinancing a large amount of banking-related debt. In 2014, the economy rapidly picked up and GDP grew by 3.6%. The recovering economy assisted lowering the deficit to 4.2% of GDP. In late 2014, the government introduced a fiscally neutral budget, marking the end of the austerity program. In the wake of the collapse of the construction sector and the downturn in consumer spending and business investment, the export sector, dominated by foreign multinationals, has become an even more important component of Ireland's economy. Ireland’s low corporation tax of 12.5% has been central to encouraging business investment. Loose tax residency requirements made Ireland a common destination for international firms seeking to avoid taxation. Amid growing international pressure the government announced it would phase in more stringent tax laws, effectively closing a loophole.
    $224.7 billion (2014 est.)
    $216.9 billion (2013 est.)
    $216.5 billion (2012 est.)
    note: data are in 2014 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 61
    $245.8 billion (2014 est.)
    3.6% (2014 est.)
    0.2% (2013 est.)
    -0.3% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 84
    $46,800 (2014 est.)
    $45,400 (2013 est.)
    $47,200 (2012 est.)
    note: data are in 2013 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 23
    19.7% of GDP (2014 est.)
    20% of GDP (2013 est.)
    17.3% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 83
    household consumption: 46.5%
    government consumption: 14.4%
    investment in fixed capital: 15.3%
    investment in inventories: 0.3%
    exports of goods and services: 106.6%
    imports of goods and services: -83.1%
    (2014 est.)
    agriculture: 1.6%
    industry: 27%
    services: 71.4% (2014 est.)
    barley, potatoes, wheat; beef, dairy products
    pharmaceuticals, chemicals, computer hardware and software, food products, beverages and brewing; medical devices
    4% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 71
    2.174 million (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 122
    agriculture: 5%
    industry: 19%
    services: 76% (2011 est.)
    11.3% (2014 est.)
    13.1% (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 124
    5.5% (2009)
    lowest 10%: 2.9%
    highest 10%: 27.2% (2000)
    33.9 (2010)
    35.9 (1987)
    country comparison to the world: 98
    revenues: $80.65 billion
    expenditures: $91.87 billion (2014 est.)
    32.8% of GDP (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 76
    -4.6% of GDP (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 153
    118.9% of GDP (2014 est.)
    119.9% of GDP (2013 est.)
    note: data cover general government debt, and includes debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data include debt issued by subnational entities, as well as intra-governmental debt; intra-governmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as for retirement, medical care, and unemployment; debt instruments for the social funds are not sold at public auctions
    country comparison to the world: 9
    calendar year
    0.3% (2014 est.)
    0.5% (2013 est.)
    0.75% (31 December 2013)
    1.5% (31 December 2010)
    note: this is the European Central Bank's rate on the marginal lending facility, which offers overnight credit to banks in the euro area
    country comparison to the world: 137
    3.3% (31 December 2014 est.)
    3.28% (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 169
    $146.2 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $156.1 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    note: see entry for the European Union for money supply for the entire euro area; the European Central Bank (ECB) controls monetary policy for the 18 members of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU); individual members of the EMU do not control the quantity of money circulating within their own borders
    country comparison to the world: 28
    $255.3 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $267.4 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 37
    $411.3 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $440.9 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 30
    $109 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    $108.1 billion (31 December 2011)
    $60.45 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 41
    $16.9 billion (2014 est.)
    $14.44 billion (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 23
    $121.3 billion (2014 est.)
    $116.1 billion (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 35
    machinery and equipment, computers, chemicals, medical devices, pharmaceuticals; foodstuffs, animal products
    US 19.6%, UK 16.9%, Belgium 13.7%, Germany 7.7%, Switzerland 6.3%, France 4.9%, Netherlands 4.5% (2013)
    $66.94 billion (2014 est.)
    $66.1 billion (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 45
    data processing equipment, other machinery and equipment, chemicals, petroleum and petroleum products, textiles, clothing
    UK 39.8%, US 9.9%, Germany 8.6%, Netherlands 6.3%, China 4.1% (2013)
    $1.635 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    $1.635 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 127
    $2.164 trillion (31 December 2012 est.)
    $2.213 trillion (31 December 2011)
    country comparison to the world: 11
    $831.5 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $788.5 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 12
    $943.4 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $913.7 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 11
    euros (EUR) per US dollar -
    0.7489 (2014 est.)
    0.7634 (2013 est.)
    0.78 (2012 est.)
    0.7185 (2011 est.)
    0.755 (2010 est.)
  • Energy :: IRELAND

  • 26.09 billion kWh (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 67
    24.68 billion kWh (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 67
    389 million kWh (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 71
    2.716 billion kWh (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 50
    8.572 million kW (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 62
    77.2% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 96
    0% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 82
    2.9% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 134
    19.9% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 12
    1,100 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 100
    0 bbl (1 January 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 127
    61,650 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 80
    141,600 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 67
    26,120 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 70
    110,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 48
    345 million cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 72
    4.77 billion cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 60
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 90
    4.401 billion cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 34
    9.911 billion cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 79
    35.49 million Mt (2012 est.)
  • Communications :: IRELAND

  • 2.007 million (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 57
    4.906 million (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 114
    general assessment: modern digital system using cable and microwave radio relay
    domestic: system privatized but dominated by former state monopoly operator; increasing levels of broadband access particularly in urban areas
    international: country code - 353; landing point for the Hibernia-Atlantic submarine cable with links to the US, Canada, and UK; satellite earth stations - 81 (2014)
    publicly owned broadcaster Radio Telefis Eireann (RTE) operates 2 TV stations; commercial TV stations are available; about 75% of households utilize multi-channel satellite and TV services that provide access to a wide range of stations; RTE operates 4 national radio stations and has launched digital audio broadcasts on several stations; a number of commercial broadcast stations operate at the national, regional, and local levels (2014)
    AM 9, FM 106, shortwave 0 (1998)
    4 (many repeaters) (2008)
    .ie
    1.387 million (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 40
    3.042 million (2009)
    country comparison to the world: 65
  • Transportation :: IRELAND

  • 40 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 105
    total: 16
    over 3,047 m: 1
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
    914 to 1,523 m: 5
    under 914 m: 5 (2013)
    total: 24
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
    914 to 1,523 m: 2
    under 914 m:
    21 (2013)
    gas 2,147 km (2013)
    total: 3,237 km
    broad gauge: 1,872 km 1.600-m gauge (37 km electrified)
    narrow gauge: 1,365 km 0.914-m gauge (operated by the Irish Peat Board to transport peat to power stations and briquetting plants) (2008)
    country comparison to the world: 54
    total: 96,036 km
    paved: 96,036 km (includes 1,224 km of expressways) (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 49
    956 km (pleasure craft only) (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 67
    total: 31
    by type: cargo 28, chemical tanker 2, container 1
    foreign-owned: 5 (France 2, Spain 1, US 2)
    registered in other countries: 33 (Bahamas 3, Bermuda 1, Cambodia 1, Cyprus 3, Isle of Man 1, Kazakhstan 1, Malta 4, Marshall Islands 6, Netherlands 8, Panama 1, Russia 1, Slovakia 1, Sweden 1, UK 1) (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 84
    major seaport(s): Dublin, Shannon Foynes,
    river port(s): Cork (Lee), Waterford (Suir)
    container port(s) (TEUs): Dublin (1,931,001)
  • Military :: IRELAND

  • Irish Defence Forces (Oglaigh na h-Eireannn), Permanent Defence Forces (PDF): Army, Naval Service, Air Corps; Reserve Defence Forces (RDF): Army, Naval Service Reserves (2014)
    18-25 years of age for male and female voluntary military service recruits to the Permanent Defence Forces (PDF; 18-27 years of age for the Naval Service); 18-28 for cadetship (officer) applicants; 18-35 years of age for the Reserve Defence Forces (RDF); maximum obligation 12 years (PDF officers), 5 years (PDF enlisted), 3 years RDF (4 years for Naval Service Reserves); EU citizenship, refugee status, or 5-year residence in Ireland required (2014)
    males age 16-49: 1,179,125
    females age 16-49: 1,163,728 (2010 est.)
    males age 16-49: 977,631
    females age 16-49: 965,900 (2010 est.)
    male: 28,564
    female: 27,197 (2010 est.)
    0.55% of GDP (2012)
    0.59% of GDP (2011)
    0.55% of GDP (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 126
  • Transnational Issues :: IRELAND

  • Ireland, Iceland, and the UK dispute Denmark's claim that the Faroe Islands' continental shelf extends beyond 200 nm
    stateless persons: 73 (2013)
    transshipment point for and consumer of hashish from North Africa to the UK and Netherlands and of European-produced synthetic drugs; increasing consumption of South American cocaine; minor transshipment point for heroin and cocaine destined for Western Europe; despite recent legislation, narcotics-related money laundering - using bureaux de change, trusts, and shell companies involving the offshore financial community - remains a concern
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