Flag and Coat of Arms
|Official languages||Irish, English|
- First Minister
| Parliamentary republic|
16 April 2006
26 Feburary 2007
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.
Ireland is divided into four provinces and one special region, each of which is constitutionally guaranteed certain autonomy.