Population: 4,900,000 (estimate 2019)
Religion: 78.8% Catholics
Language: Irish, English
Order of Visit: Sixth
First Visit: 20 February 2000
Last Visit: 26 February 2000
Duration: 7 Days
Must Do: St Mary’s Cathedral (Limerick), King John’s Castle (Limerick), Watch Waterford Crystal Vases being created, Trinity College (Dublin), Visit Guinness Brewery (Dublin, Enjoy the Irish green countryside, visit an Irish pub and sit by a fire.
Cities: Dublin, Limerick, Waterford, Kilkenny
Republic of Ireland Journal Entries
Southern Ireland was created as Irish Free State in 1922, when Ireland was partitioned between Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland by the Government of Ireland Act 1920. Southern Ireland eventually become the Republic of Ireland in 1937 on leaving the Dominion of Britain but didn’t use the Republic title 1949.
Republic of Ireland joined the European Economic Community (now the European Union) in 1973. Since the Good Friday Agreement of 1998 the Republic of Ireland as worked with the Northern Ireland Executive, whose powers were devolved from the United Kingdom, on overlapping island policy areas (seas, cross border policing etc).
Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland fields a single team in some sports most notable Rugby Union is an all Irish team.
Republic of Ireland had significant economic growth between 1995 and 2007 before a very significant crash in 2008. When I visited in 2000 the economic expansion was going strong.
The entire island of Ireland was part of United Kingdom from 1801 until 1922 during which time there were very significant independence pushes. Population peaked at around 8 million in 1845 before the Great Famine (also referred to Potato Famine) which saw over population drop by over 30% in four years. During this time over 1.5 million Irish emigrated something which continued until 1970s which is why there are some many Irish in other countries in particular United States of America and my country of Australia.
All of Ireland is stunning and the people friendly but in Republic there was little or no tension below the surface that I could sense in Northern Ireland and no heavily armed police or military equipment easily seen.
I felt an enormous sense of well-being and peace while sitting in pubs in Republic of Ireland and it’s a country I will return to one day for a much longer stay after seeing a much great proportion of the world. In fact if it was an option I could see myself in retirement spending a few months each year in a cottage in a small village in Irish countryside.