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Ireland is an island country, the third largest in Europe, at the edge of the northwestern European continental shelf. It is surrounded on the north, west, and east by the Atlantic Ocean. The Irish Sea separates it from Britain. Four-fifths the size of South Carolina, it has an area of 27,136 square miles (70,238 square kilometers), stretching 290 miles (465 km) north to south and 177 miles (285 km) east to west.

Topographically, Ireland has three main features—coasts, lowlands, and mountains. The Irish coastline surrounding is 1,738 miles long (2,797 kilometers) are cut by numerous inlets and bays, especially on the northern and western sides.

The Shannon River runs through the center of the country into Galway Bay, where the ports of Limrick and Galway are located. ...

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