Ireland (Irish: Éire, Ulster Scots: Airlann) is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island in the world. It lies to the north-west of continental Europe and is surrounded by hundreds of islands and islets. The Republic of Ireland covers five-sixths of the island. Northern Ireland, a part of the United Kingdom, covers the remainder and is located in the northeast of the island. The population of Ireland is estimated to be 6.2 million. Slightly less than 4.5 million are estimated to live in the Republic of Ireland and slightly less than 1.8 million live in Northern Ireland.
Relatively low-lying mountains surrounding a central plain to epitomise the Ireland's geography with several navigable rivers extending inland. The island has a lush vegetation, a product of its mild but changeable oceanic climate, which avoids extremes in temperature. Thick woodlands covered the island until the 1600s. Today, it is the most deforested area in Europe. Twenty-six mammal species are native to Ireland, with some, such as the red fox, hedgehog and badger, being very common. Others, like the Irish hare, red deer and pine marten are less so.
Irish culture has had a significant influence on culture world-wide, particularly in the fields of literature and, to a lesser degree, science and learning. A strong indigenous culture, expressed for example through native sports and the Irish language, exists alongside a regional culture, such as Rugby football and golf. Read more ...
Battle of Tory Island was a naval action of the French Revolutionary Wars, fought on 12 October 1798 between French and British squadrons off the northwest coast of Donegal in Ireland. The last action of the Irish Rebellion of 1798, the Battle of Tory Island ended the final attempt by the French Navy to land substantial numbers of soldiers in Ireland during the war. It also ended the last hopes the United Irishmen had of receiving outside support in their struggle with the British.
In May 1798 the Society of United Irishmen, led by Theobald Wolfe Tone, precipitated an uprising against British rule in Ireland. At the urging of the rebels a small French force under General Humbert was landed at Killala, but by early September both this expedition and the rebellion had been defeated. Unaware of the defeat, on 16 September the French despatched reinforcements. Having missed one invasion force, the Royal Navy was on alert and when the reinforcements left Brest they were soon spotted. After a long chase, the French were brought to battle in a bay off Donegal close to Tory Island. During the action the outnumbered French attempted to escape, but were run down and defeated piecemeal, with the British capturing four ships and scattering the survivors. Of the ten ships in the original French squadron, only two frigates and a schooner reached safety. Read more...
Saint Patrick (Latin: Patricius, Irish: Naomh Pádraig) was a Roman Britain-born Christian missionary and is the patron saint of Ireland along with Brigid of Kildare and Columba. When he was about sixteen he was captured by Irish raiders and taken as a slave to Ireland, where he lived for six years before escaping and returning to his family. He entered the church, as his father and grandfather had before him, becoming a deacon and a bishop. He later returned to Ireland as a missionary in the north and west of the island, but little is known about the places where he worked and no link can be made between Patrick and any church. By the eighth century he had become the patron saint of Ireland. The Irish monastery system evolved after the time of Patrick and the Irish church did not develop the diocesan model that Patrick and the other early missionaries had tried to establish.
The available body of evidence does not allow the dates of Patrick's life to be fixed with certainty, but it appears that he was active as a missionary in Ireland during the second half of the fifth century. Two letters from him survive, along with later hagiographies from the seventh century onwards. Many of these works cannot be taken as authentic traditions. Uncritical acceptance of the Annals of Ulster (see below) would imply that he lived from 378 to 493, and ministered in modern day northern Ireland from 433 onwards. Read more...
Selected series: Irish cities
Top: Belfast skyline, Middle: Ulster Museum, Victoria Square, Great Victoria Street, Albert Clock, Bottom Belfast City Hall, Harland & Wolff
|Area||44.4 sq mi (115 km2)|
|Population||City of Belfast:|
|Irish grid reference||J338740|
|• Dublin||106 mi (171 km) S|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Postcode district||BT1–BT17, BT29 (part), BT36 (part), BT58|
|EU Parliament||Northern Ireland|