Here are a few quick facts and figures about Ireland to get you started. As Ireland is a full member of the European Union, if you have the right of citizenship in any EU or EEA country (plus Switzerland) you are free to live and work in Ireland. If you are from outside these countries, please take a look at the section on work permits and visas.
The facts and figures below refer explicitly to the Republic of Ireland. The six counties of Northern Ireland are part of the United Kingdom.
Government: Republic, parliamentary democracy
Administrative Divisions: 26 counties, 5 cities
Area: 70,280 sq. km
Population: 4.5 million
Legal system: Common law system based on the English model, modified by customary law
Dialling code: +353
Time Zone: GMT (UTC+0)
Languages: English, Irish (Gaelige)
Currency: Euro (EUR)
Per capita income: $53,313.6 (Intl. $, 2014)
Life expectancy: Male: 78.28, Female: 82.97
Public holidays: January 1 (New Year’s Day); March 17 (St Patrick’s Day); Easter Monday; first Monday in June; first Monday in August; last Monday in October; December 25 (Christmas Day); December 26 (St Stephen’s Day/Boxing Day).
In December 1921 an Anglo-Irish Treaty was signed and 26 counties gained independence as the Irish Free State. Six Ulster counties had been granted their own parliament in Belfast in 1920 and still remain within the United Kingdom.
A new constitution was introduced in 1937 and Ireland remained neutral during the Second World War. In 1949 the Irish Republic was established. Ireland was admitted to the UN in 1955 and acceded to the European Economic Community in 1973, together with the United Kingdom and Denmark.