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World Factbook (1982) Ireland.jpg
(See reference map V)


68,894 km2 ; 17% arable, 51% meadows and pastures, 3% forested, 2% inland water, 27% waste and urban

Land boundaries: 360 km


Limits of territorial waters (claimed): 3 nm (fishing 200 nm)

Coastline: 1,448 km


Population: 3,533,000 (July 1982), average annual growth rate 1.5%

Nationality: noun—Irishman(men), Irish (collective pl.); adjective—Irish

Ethnic divisions: racially homogeneous Celts

Religion: 94% Roman Catholic, 4% Anglican, 2% other

Language: English and Gaelic official; English is generally spoken

Literacy: 98%-99%

Labor force: about 1,133,000 (1978); 26% agriculture, forestry, fishing; 19% manufacturing; 15% commerce; 7% construction; 5% transportation; 4% government; 24% other; 7.8% unemployment (August 1979)

Organized labor: 36% of labor force


Official name: Ireland, Eire (Gaelic)

Type: republic

Capital: Dublin

Political subdivisions: 26 counties

Legal system: based on English common law, substantially modified by indigenous concepts; constitution adopted 1937; judicial review of legislative acts in Supreme Court; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

National holiday: St. Patrick's Day, 17 March

Branches: elected President; bicameral parliament reflecting proportional and vocational representation; judiciary appointed by President on advice of government

Government leaders: President Patrick HILLERY; Prime Minister Charles HAUGHEY; Deputy Prime Minister Raymond MACSHARRY

Suffrage: universal over age 18

Elections: Dail (lower house) elected every five years—last election February 1982; President elected for seven-year term—last election November 1976

Political parties and leaders: Fianna Fail, Charles Haughey; Labor Party, Michael O'Leary; Fine Gael, Garret Fitzgerald; Communist Party of Ireland, Michael O'Riordan; Sinn Fein the Workers' Party (SFWP), Tomas MacGiolla

Voting strength: (1982 election) Fianna Fail (81 seats), Fine Gael (63 seats), Labor Party (15 seats), Sinn Fein the Workers' Party (3 seats), independents (4 seats)

Communists: approximately 600

Member of: Council of Europe, EC, EEC, ESRO (observer), EURATOM, FAO, GATT, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICES, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, ILO, IMCO, IMF, IPU, ISO, ITC, ITU, IWC—International Wheat Council, OECD, UN, UNESCO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WSG


GNP: $17.1 billion (1980), $5,000 per capita; 63.8% consumption, 30.1% investment, 22.2% government, —2.5% inventories and net factor income; —14.0% net foreign demand

Agriculture: 70% of agricultural area used for permanent hay and pasture; main products—livestock and dairy products, turnips, barley, potatoes, sugar beets, wheat; 85% self-sufficient; food shortages—grains, fruits, vegetables; caloric intake 3,510 calories per day per capita (1970)

Fishing: catch 108,434 metric tons (1978); exports of fish and fish products $66.5 million (1979), imports of fish and fish products $26.0 million (1979)

Major industries: food products, brewing, textiles and clothing, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, machinery and transportation equipment

Shortages: coal, petroleum, timber and woodpulp, steel and nonferrous metals, fertilizers, cereals and animal feed, textile fibers and textiles

Crude steel: 66,000 metric tons produced in 1978

Electric power: 3,117,000 kW capacity (1980); 10.889 million kWh produced (1980), 3,170 kWh per capita

Exports: $8,322.0 million (f.o.b., 1980); dairy products, live animals, textiles, chemicals, machinery, clothing

Imports: $11,153.0 million (c.i.f., 1980); petroleum and petroleum products, machinery, chemicals, manufactured goods, cereals

Major trade partners: 74.1% EC (42.7% UK); 8.0% US and Canada

Budget: (1980 actual) 3,702 million pounds expenditures, 3,155 million pounds revenues, 547 million pounds deficit, public sector borrowing requirement 1,316 million pounds; (1981 est.) 4,719 million pounds expenditures, 3,932 million pounds revenues, 787 million pounds deficit, public sector borrowing requirement 1,637 million pounds

Monetary conversion rate: 1 Irish pound=US$2.0580 (1980 average)

Fiscal year: calendar year


Railroads: 2,190 km 1.600-meter gauge, government owned

Highways: 92,294 km total; 87,422 km surfaced, 4,872 km gravel or crushed stone

Inland waterways: approximately 1,000 km

Ports: 6 major, 38 minor

Civil air: 36 major transport aircraft, including 2 leased in and 4 out

Airfields: 38 total, 37 usable; 9 with permanent-surface runways; 1 with runways 2,440-3,659 m, 3 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Telecommunications: small, modern system using cable and radio-relay circuits; 586,000 telephones (17.2 per 100 popl.); 15 AM, 14 FM, and 59 TV stations; 2 coaxial submarine cables; planned satellite station


Military manpower: males 15-49, 807,000; 662,000 fit for military service; about 33,000 reach military age (17) annually

Military budget: for fiscal year ending 31 December 1981, $222 million; about 4.0% of the central government budget