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Éire
Ireland
Flagofireland Coatofarmsofireland
Flag and Coat of Arms
Capital Dublin
Largest city Dublin
Official languages Irish, English
Demonym Irish
Government
 - President
 - First Minister
Parliamentary republic
John Mullan
Mary McDonough
Established
 - Declared
 - Recognized
 
16 April 2006
26 Feburary 2007
Area 81,638.1 km²
Population 5,981,448 (2006)

Ireland (Irish Gaelic: Éire) is a country located off the north-western coast of the European continent, comprising the island of Ireland and hundreds of smaller islands and islets. Ireland was politically divided into a southern, predominantly Roman Catholic entity and a northern, predominantly Protestant entity in 1922, and suffered waves of sectarian violence for seven decades before a peace treaty between the two entities was signed in 1998. In 2006, Ireland was forcibly reunited when the governments of both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland were overthrown in a coup d'etat. Ten months of open hostilities between the United Kingdom and Ireland ended with the Zagreb Agreement, which recognized Ireland's sovereignty over the island's entire territory. Following the ceasefire, several attempts to incorporate Northern Ireland into the existing Republic of Ireland nearly plunged the country into civil war. Today, however, a somewhat stable civilian government has returned to the country, and Ireland functions as a federal parliamentary republic. Dublin is its capital and largest city.

Administrative Divisions

Ireland is divided into four provinces and one special region, each of which is constitutionally guaranteed certain autonomy.

Name Area (km2) Population Capital
Connacht Province 17,713 503,083 Galway
Dublin Region 921 1,186,159 Dublin
Leinster Province 18,850 1,106,780 Kilkenny
Munster Province 24,608 1,172,261 Cork
Ulster Province 24,481 1,844,569 Belfast
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