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Republic of Ireland
Note: Michael D. Higgins, leader of the Labour Party, won the presidential balloting October 27, 2011, with 56.8 percent of the transferrable votes to the independent Séan Gallagher's 35.5 percent. Martin McGuinness and Sinn Féin placed third with 13.7 percent of the vote. There were four other candidates, but none received more than 6.4 percent. In concurrent constitutional referendums, voters approved reductions in judicial salaries but rejected a measure to grant parliament greater investigatory powers. Higgins was sworn in November 11.
Political Status: Independent state since 1921; under republican constitution effective December 29, 1937.
Area: 27,136 sq. mi. (70,283 sq. km.).
Population: 4,712,525 (2012E—UN); 4,722,028 (2012E—U.S. Census).
Major Urban Centers (2006C): DUBLIN (506,211), Cork (119,418), Galway (72,414), Limerick (52,539).
Official Languages: Irish (Gaelic), English.
Monetary Unit: Euro (market rate ...