Facts About Ireland (Eire) from Irish Car Hire Company The island of Ireland, also known as Éire — its official name in the Irish (Gaelic) language — is the third largest island in Europe.
Ireland lies in the Irish Sea, west of the island of Great Britain. The name Eire is not frequently used as English is the main spoken language within the island. However, Gaelic language is still taught to all pupils aged from 4 years through to the completion of their primary and secondary levels of education, at 18 years of age. The language is still spoken in some rural region of Ireland, particularly on the West coast. These areas are known as "Gaeltacht" areas.
There are 32 counties on the island, 26 of which are in the Republic of Ireland and 6 in Northern Ireland. Within the 32 counties there are four provinces — Ulster, Leinster, Munster and Connaught.
The total population of the island is circa. 5.6 million people, with 4 millon living in the Republic of Ireland and the remainder residing in Northern Ireland Due to immigration and an increased birth rate in Ireland, this is the first time in over 130 years our population has exceeded 4 million.
Dublin City is Ireland's capital, with a population of over 1 million people. Ireland's second city, Cork lies to the South of the island with a population of 150,000. Belfast is the capital of Northern Ireland.
The currency used in the Republic of Ireland is the Euro. Northern Ireland uses the English pound (Sterling). The topography of the island is coastal mountains surrounding low central plains. The highest peak is Carrauntuohill in Co. Kerry, which is 1041 m (3414 feet). The River Shannon is the longest river in Britain and Ireland. It flows for 113kms rising in County Cavan and entering the Atlantic at Limerick City, Lough Neagh in Northern Ireland is the largest of Ireland's many lakes.
The island's lush vegetation, with "forty shades" of green, earns it the sobriquet of the "Emerald Isle." The green vegetation is a result of our mild climate. May-September are typically the hottest months in Ireland.
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