The economy has been based on agriculture up to the 1960's with the
population living largely in the rural areas. Since the 1960's
policies to promote the establishment and expansion of modern industry
have been incorporated. This has brought about a major enlargement of
urban development that has changed patterns of agriculture and brought
more intensive production.
Contributing to the quality of Ireland's environment is the high
annual rainfall and prevailing southwest winds from the Atlantic. Air
pollution is low and the watercourses are of a very high standard. The
low population density over much of the country has helped to preserve
the quality of the landscape.
The protection of the environment is a major objective of Government;
a clean environment is recognized as a crucial economic factor. It is
of particular importance to the development of tourism, agriculture
and food production, mariculture, aquaculture, other natural
resource-based industries, and in the marketing abroad of quality
products and services. The Environmental Protection Agency promotes
and implements standards for environmental protection and management.
From 1994 it has been responsible for licensing those categories of
development that have the greatest potential to cause pollution.
of 2006 gave the British Isles its longest, unbroken
period of hot weather since 1659, when meteorological
records were first collected. |
Saint Patrick (about 389-461) is the patron saint of
Ireland. Patrick was born in Britain.|
Ireland, together with Britain, joined
the European Economic Community in 1973.|
population of the island as a whole is just under 6 million(2006),
4.20 million live in the Irish Republic and 1.7 million
live in Northern Ireland. |
a parliamentary democracy. The National Parliament
(Oireachtas) consists of the President and two Houses:
Dáil Éireann (the House of Representatives) and Seanad
Éireann (the Senate) Northern Ireland
has a parliamentary monarchy and an electoral democracy.
The voting age is 18 in both parts of Ireland.