Ireland is an island to the north-west of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest
island on Earth. To its east is the larger island of Great Britain, from which it is separated by the Irish Sea. Exploring Ireland’s
impressive scenery reveals endless views of rugged sea cliffs, outlaying islands, and gentle hills. Nestled among these charming
landscapes are numerous castles, fishing villages, and national parks for great weekend adventures.
Ireland is a republic and has a parliamentary system of government. The head of state is the elected President of Ireland who serves for a 7-year term. Ireland also has a prime minister (called the Taoiseach) who is nominated by the House of Representatives (called Dáil Éireann) and then appointed by the president. Besides the lower house, the House of Representatives, there is also an upper house, the Senate (or Seanad Éireann).
Ireland is not only the technology hub of Europe; it has also got magnificent history and culture as well. It has one of the highest concentrations of ICT activity and employment in the OECD. The ICT sector attracts global investment with 9 of the top 10 US ICT companies & represents about 22% of Ireland’s total exports worldwide. Some of the biggest multi national companies like IBM, Motorola, Dell and Google have their European headquarters situated in Ireland.
Higher (or third-level) education awards in Ireland are conferred by more than 38 Higher Education Institutions including Trinity College Dublin, National University of Ireland (Cork, Dublin, Galway and Maynooth), Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin City University, Dublin Institute of Technology, Higher Education and Training Awards Council, Cork Institute of Technology, Waterford Institute of Technology, National College of Ireland, St. Patrick's College, Maynooth (Pontifical University), University of Limerick and Mary Immaculate College, Limerick. These are the degree-awarding authorities approved by the Government of Ireland and can grant awards at all academic levels. Universities typically offer four-year undergraduate programs leading to bachelor's degrees. Advanced degrees include master's degrees, generally requiring two years of study after a first degree, and doctoral degrees, requiring three to five years of postgraduate study and research as well as a dissertation. Slowly but surely Ireland is becoming the preferred destination to study abroad. Students from world over are choosing to pursue their higher studies in Ireland. The reasons can be many - from the superior education system to the historical grandeur to the rich nightlife.
Ireland performs well in overall well-being as it is ranked at number 7 by the HDI from amongst the best countries to settle. This is due to the high earning capacity of the individual and low unemployment rates. There is a good education system which contributes to an excellent literacy rate as well as high life expectancy.
This article is about the modern culture of Ireland and the Irish people. It includes customs and traditions, language, music, art, literature, folklore, cuisine and sport associated with Ireland and Irish people today. However, the culture of the people living in Ireland is not homogeneous. There are notable cultural divides between urban Irish and rural Irish, between Catholics and Protestants, between Irish-speakers in the Gaeltacht and English-speakers, between immigrants and the native population, and between Travellers and the settled population. Although most Irish people are of Gaelic descent, today Ireland is an ethnically diverse country as a result of large-scale immigration from many different countries throughout its history. Also, due to emigration of the Irish people themselves overseas, Irish culture has a global reach and Irish festivals such as St. Patrick's Day and Halloween are observed and celebrated all over the world.