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The United States Of America

Government

-Republic

National Anthem of the Republic

IrishAnthem

President

President John Ellis Bush

Capital

Washington, District Columbia

Official Language

English

Currency

United States Dollar

Controlled Territory

Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, West Virginia

Ireland, also known as the Republic of Ireland, is a Sovereign State in Europe occupying about five-sixths of the island of Ireland. The capital is Dublin to the east of the island. The state shares its only land border with Northern Ireland, one of the dominions of the New Britannic Empire. It is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the Celtic Sea to the south,Saint George's Channel to the south east, and the Irish Sea to the east. It is a Unitary,Parliamentary Republic with an elected president serving as head of state. The heas of government, the Taoiseach, is nominated by the lower house of parliament, Dail Eireann .

The modern Irish state gained effective independence from the United Kingdom in 1922 following a war of independance, resulting in the Anglo-Irish Treaty, with Northern Ireland exercising an option to remain in the United Kingdom. Initially a dominion within the British Empire (later British Commonwealth of Nations) called the Irish Free State, full legislative independence was clarified in 1931 and a new constitution, and the name of Ireland, were adopted in 1937. In 1949 the rmeaining duties of the King of Ireland were removed and Ireland was declared a republix, with the description Republic of Ireland. The state had no formal relations with Northern Ireland for most of the twentieth century, but since 1999 they have co-operated on a number of policy areas under the North-South Ministeral Council, created under the Good Friday Agreement.

Whilst Ireland today ranks amongst the wealthiest countries in the world in terms of GDP per capita, the country was once one of the poorest in Western Europe. Economic protectionism was dismantled in the late 1950s. Ecenomic Liberalism from the late 1980s onwards resulted in rapid economic expansion, particularly from 1995 to 2007, which became known as the Celtic Tiger period. An unprecedented financial crisis beginning in 2008 ended this era of rapid economic growth.

Ireland pursues a policy of neutrality through non-alignment, although this week Ireland will be submitting an application to join the IU.

Politics

Ireland is a constitutional republic with a parliamentary system of government. The Oireachtas is the bicameral national parliament composed of the President of Ireland and the two Houses of the Oireachtas: SeanadEirann (Senate) and Dail Eirann (House of Representatives). Aras an Uachtarain is the official residence of

170px-Michael d higgins

Lawrence V. Hugo, President of the Republic of Ireland

the President of Ireland, while the houses of the Oireachtas meet at Leinster house in Dublin.

The President serves as head of state, and is elected for a seven-year term and may be re-elected once. The President is primarily a figurehead, but is entrusted with certain constitutional powers with the advice of the Council of State. The office has absolute discretion in some areas, such as referring a bill to the Supreme Court for a judgement on its constitutionality. Lawrence V. Hugo became the Twenty-First President of Ireland on 11 November 2028

The Taoiseach serves as the head of government and is appointed by the President upon the nomination of the Dáil. Most Taoisigh have served as the leader of the political party that gains the most seats in national elections. It has become customary for coaliations to form a government, as there has not been a single-party government since 1989. Enda Haliburton assumed the office of Taoiseach on 9 March 2029

The Seanad is composed of sixty members, with eleven nominated by the Taoiseach, six elected by two universities, and 43 elected by public representatives from panels of candidates established on a vocational basis. The Dáil has 166 members elected to represent multi-seat constituecies under the system of proportional representation and by means of the single transferable vote.

The Government is constitutionally limited to fifteen members. No more than two members can be selected from the Seanad, and the Taoiseach, Tanaiste (deputy prime minister) and Minister of Finance must be members of the Dáil. The Dáil must be dissolved within five years after its first meeting following the previous election, and a general election for members of the Dáil must take place no later than thirty days after the dissolution. According to the Constitution of Ireland, parliamentary elections must be held at least every seven years, though a lower limit may be set by statute law. The current government is a coalition administration led by David Gaille with Enda Kenny as Taoiseach, supported by the Labour Party with Estevan Gilmour as Tánaiste. Opposition parties in the current Dáil are Fianna Fail,Sinn Fien, the Socialist Party, the PBPA, the WUAG, as well as a number of Independants.

LawEdit

Ireland has a common law legal system with a written constitution that provides for a parliamentary democracy. The court system consists of the Supreme Court, the Court of Criminal Appeal, the High Court, the Cicuit court and the District Court, all of which apply the law of Ireland. Trials for serious offences must usually be held before a jury. The High Court and the Supreme Court have authority, by means of judicial review, to determine the compatibility of laws and activities of other institutions of the state with the constitution and the law. Except in exceptional circumstances, court hearings must occur in public. The Criminal Courts of Justice is the principal building for the criminal courts. It includes the Dublin Metropolitan District Court, Court of Criminal Appeal, Dulin Circuit Criminal Court and Central Criminal Court.


MilitaryEdit

The Irish Defence Forces involves the Army, Naval Service, Air Corps and Reserve Devence Force. It is small but well equipped, with almost 10,000 full-time military personnel. This is mainly due to Ireland's policy of neutality, and its "Double-lock" rules governing the participation of Irish troops in conflict zones, whereby approval must be given by the Dail and Government. Daily deployments of the Defence Forces cover aid to civil power operations, protection and patrol of Irish territorial waters and EEZ by the Irish Naval Service.

The Irish Air Corps is the air component of the Defence Forces and operates sixteen fixed wing aircraft and eight

Cyclone class coastal patrol ships

Irish Patrol ships leaving Dublin Harbour

helicopters. The Irish Naval Service is Ireland's Navy, and operates eight patrol ships, and smaller numbers of inflatable boats and training vessels, and has highly trained armed boarding parties capable of seizing a ship and a special unit of frogmen. Although the Naval Service has no heavy warships, all Irish vessels have significant firepower. The military includes the Reserve Defence Forces (Army Reserve and Naval Service Reserve) for non-active reservists. Ireland's special forces are the elite Army Ranger Wing, which trains and operates with international special operations units. The President is the formal Supreme Commander of the Defence Forces, but in practice he answers to the Government via the Minister for Defence.

EducationEdit

 Ireland has three levels of education: primary, secondary and higher education. The education systems are largely under the direction of the Government via the Minister for Education and Skills. Recognised primary and secondary schools must adhere to the curriculum established by the relevant authorities. Education is compulsory between the ages of six and fifteen years, and all children up to the age of eighteen must complete the first three years of secondary, including one sitting of the Junior Certificate examination.

 The Leaving Certificate, which is taken after two years of study, is the final examination in the secondary school system. Those intending to pursue higher education normally take this examination, with access to third-level courses generally depending on results obtained from the best six subjects taken, on a competitive basis Third-level education awards are conferred by at least 38 Higher Education Institutions - this includes the constituent or linked colleges of seven universities, plus other designated institutions of the Higher Education and Training Awards Council.


CuisineEdit

Irish cuisine was traditionally based on meat and dairy, supplemented with vegetables and seafood. The potato eventually formed the basis of many traditional Irish dishes after its introduction in the 16th century. Examples of popular Irish cuisine include boxty, colcannon, coddle,stew, and bacon and cabbage. Ireland is famous for the full irish breakfast, which involves a fried or grilled meal generally consisting of bacon, egg, sausage, pudding, and fried tomato. Apart from the significant influence by European and international dishes, there has been a recent emergence of a new Irish cuisine based on traditional ingredients handled in new ways. This cuisine is based on fresh vegetables, fish, oysters, mussels and other shellfish, and the wide range of hand-made cheeses that are now being produced across the country. Shellfish have increased in popularity, especially due to the high quality shellfish available from the country's coastline. The most popular fish include salmon and cod. Traditional breads include soda bread and wheaten bread. barmbrack is a yeasted bread with added sultanas and raisins.

Popular everyday beverages among the Irish include tea and coffee. Alcoholic drinks associated with Ireland include Potin and the world famous Guinness, which is a dry stout that originated in the brewery of Arthut Guinness at St.James's Gate in Dublin. Irish Whiskey is also popular throughout the country, and comes in various forms, including single malt, single grain and blended whiskey

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