The independent sovereign nation of the Republic of Ireland shares the name and history with the island of Ireland. It was ruled by the warring tribal kings of Leinster, Connaught, Munster, Meath and Ulster (much of Ulster is now in Northern Ireland). It was then ruled by England from the 12th century. Many insurrections finally allowed it to gain increasing independence from the United Kingdom over the 16th-20th centuries until full independant nationhood on April 18, 1949. The official languages are Irish Gaelic and English. It is some 70272.78 square kilometers in area, and the 2003 estimated population was 3,968,100.

Quick Facts on Ireland

Go Historic ID
5,224,884 (#122 in world) (2021 est.)
English (official, the language generally used), Irish (Gaelic or Gaeilge) (official, spoken by approximately 39.8% of the population as of 2016; mainly spoken in areas along Ireland's western coast known as gaeltachtai, which are officially recognized regions where Irish is the predominant language)
Ethnic Groups
Irish 82.2%, Irish travelers 0.7%, other White 9.5%, Asian 2.1%, Black 1.4%, other 1.5%, unspecified 2.6% (2016 est.)
Roman Catholic 78.3%, Church of Ireland 2.7%, other Christian 1.6%, Orthodox 1.3%, Muslim 1.3%, other 2.4%, none 9.8%, unspecified 2.6% (2016 est.)