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IRELAND

INTRODUCTION

Ireland, described as the Republic of Ireland, is a state in northwest Europe with a population of almost 4.5 million people. It is a parliamentary democraticconstitutional republic occupying approximately five-sixths of the island of Ireland, which was partitioned into two jurisdictions in 1921. It is bordered to the northeast by Northern Ireland, whichis a part of the United Kingdom, and is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the Irish Sea to the east, St George's Channel to the southeast, and the Celtic Sea to the south.
Ireland isone of the world's most developed countries. In 2006 it had the sixth highest nominal GDP (Gross Domestic Product) per capita and the ninth highest per capita considering PPP (Purchasing PowerParity). The country is ranked fifth in the Human Development Index, first in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s quality-of-life index, and sixth on the Global Peace Index. It is also ranked first for pressfreedom and fourth for economic freedom. Ireland also has high rankings for its education system, political freedom and democracy. It is one of the most sustainable countries in the world, rankingfifth from bottom in the Failed States Index. Ireland is a member of the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), the WTO (World Trade Organization) and the UN (United Nations).POLITICS

Ireland is a constitutional republic with a parliamentary system of government. The President of Ireland serves as head of state, and is elected for a seven-year term and canbe re-elected only once. The president is largely a figurehead, but is entrusted with certain constitutional powers and functions, aided by an advisory body, the Council of State. The Taoiseach(prime minister) is appointed by the president on his election by the lower house of the parliament. Most Taoisigh have been the leader of the political party which wins the most seats in the national...
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