/ aɪərlənd /
Množina reči Ireland je Irelands.
Eire · Emerald Isle · Hibernia · Ireland · Irish Free State
1. A republic occupying most of the island of Ireland; Also called: Republic of Ireland, Irish Republic, Eire, Irish Free State.
2. An island comprising the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland; Also called: Hibernia, Emerald Isle.
In prehistoric times Ireland underwent a number of invasions from Europe, the most important of which was that of the Gaels in the 3rd century BC. Gaelic Ireland was divided into kingdoms, nominally subject to an Ardri or High King; the chiefs were elected under the tribal or Brehon law, and were usually at war with one another. Ireland was known to the Romans as Hibernia, but no invasion was ever attempted. Christianity was introduced by St Patrick about 432, and during the 5th and 6th centuries Ireland became the home of a civilization which sent out missionaries to Britain and Europe. From about 800 the Danes began to raid Ireland, and later founded Dublin and other coastal towns, until they were defeated by Brian Boru (king from 976) at Clontarf 1014. Anglo-Norman adventurers invaded Ireland 1167, but by the end of the medieval period English rule was still confined to the Pale, the territory around Dublin. The Tudors adopted a policy of conquest, confiscation of Irish land, and plantation by English sett
lers, and further imposed the Reformation and English law on Ireland. The most important of the plantations was that of Ulster, carried out under James I 1610. In 1641 the Irish took advantage of the developing struggle in England between king and Parliament to begin a revolt which was crushed by Oliver Cromwell 1649, the estates of all “rebels” being confiscated. Another revolt 1689–91 was also defeated, and the Roman Catholic majority held down by penal laws. In 1739–41 a famine killed one-third of the population of 1.5 million.
The subordination of the Irish parliament to that of England, and of Irish economic interests to English, led to the rise of a Protestant patriot party, which in 1782 forced the British government to remove many commercial restrictions and grant the Irish parliament its independence. This did not satisfy the population, who in 1798, influenced by French revolutionary ideas, rose in rebellion, but were again defeated; and in 1800 William Pitt induced the Irish parliament to vote itself out of existence by the Act of Union, effective 1 Jan 1801, which brought Ireland under the aegis of the British crown. During another famine 1846–51, 1.5 million people emigrated, mostly to the US.
By the 1880s there was a strong movement for home rule for Ireland; Gladstone supported it but was defeated by the British Parliament. By 1914, home rule was conceded but World War I delayed implementation.
The Easter Rising took place April 1916, when nationalists seized the Dublin general post office and proclaimed a republic. After a week of fighting, the revolt was suppressed by the British army and most of its leaders executed. From 1918 to 1921 there was guerrilla warfare against the British army, especially by the Irish Republican Army (IRA), formed by Michael Collins 1919. This led to a split in the rebel forces, but in 1921 the Anglo-Irish Treaty resulted in partition and the creation of the Irish Free State in S Ireland. For history since that date, see Ireland, Republic of; Ireland, Northern.
One of the British Isles, lying to the W of Great Britain, from which it is separated by the Irish Sea. It comprises the provinces of Ulster, Leinster, Munster, and Connacht, and is divided into the Republic of Ireland (which occupies the S, center, and NW of the island) and Northern Ireland (which occupies the NE corner and forms part of the United Kingdom).
The center of Ireland is a lowland, about 60–120 m/200–400 ft above sea level; hills are mainly around the coasts, although there are a few peaks over 1,000 m/3,000 ft high, the highest being Carrantuohill (“the inverted reaping hook”), 1,040 m/3,415 ft, in Macgillicuddy’s Reeks, County Kerry. The entire western coastline is an intricate alternation of bays and estuaries. Several of the rivers flow in sluggish courses through the central lowland and then cut through fjordlike valleys to the sea. The Shannon in particular falls 30 m/100 ft in its last 26 km/16 mi above Limerick, and is used to produce hydroelectric power.
The lowland bogs that cover parts of central Ireland are intermingled with fertile limestone country where dairy farming is the chief occupation. The bogs are an important source of fuel in the form of peat, Ireland being poorly supplied with coal.
The climate is mild, moist, and changeable. The annual rainfall on the lowlands varies from 76 cm/30 in in the E to 203 cm/80 in in some western districts, but much higher falls are recorded in the hills.