GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE COUNTRY
GEOGRAPHICAL SITUATION, CLIMATE, EXTENSION, POPULATION, ETC.
Ireland is the third largest island in Europe lying next to the island of Great Britain. It has a population of about 6 million, 4.25 million in the Republic of Ireland and 1.75 million in Northern Ireland (which is a part of the United Kingdom).
Ireland is a country where historically emigration, not immigration, has been a feature, but with the economic prosperity that the country has enjoyed since the 1990's, large-scale immigration has followed.
As immigration into Ireland on this scale is a relatively recent phenomenon, the legislation on the subject is still evolving. Currently (2007) Ireland has the lowest unemployment rate in Europe and the country is forecast to need half a million migrant workers over the next ten years. Many immigrants have come from Eastern European countries that are now EU members and so they have the same entitlements as Irish citizens. Others are economic migrants from non-EU countries, or people seeking political asylum. With the enlargement of the European Union over the past few years it is not anticipated there will be any further need for low skilled non-EEA workers in Ireland.
CULTURE IN IRELAND
Ireland is famed the world over for its rich literary tradition and vibrant traditional culture as well as its popular traditional music and dance. There are many ways to experience the culture in Ireland - be it at a traditional music session in a pub, a trip to the countryside or visit to an ancient Neolithic monument. The links below give information about a selection of Irish cultural life.
Ireland enjoys a temperate maritime climate, due mainly to its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean and the presence of the Gulf Stream. Known as the Emerald Isle, Ireland is so green because it rains a lot! Typical winter weather in Ireland is clouds and rain with the occasional sunny spell. Snow is unusual and temperatures hover around a January average of 5ºC.
Typically, summers in Ireland have warm, sunny weather and a sky dotted with gentle fluffy clouds, although there is often summer rainfall also. The average July temperature is around 15ºC, although temperatures in excess of 30ºC are not uncommon.
Across Ireland, the local climate differs from place to place. The West coast receives more rain than the East coast, where counties Dublin and Kildare enjoy the driest weather.
FOR ALL ASPECTS OF ENJOYING YOURSELF IN IRELAND
In order to get the best from your stay in Ireland the following sites offer plenty of useful information.