Republic of Ireland


Political Status: Independent state since 1921; under republican constitution effective December 29, 1937.

Area: 27,136 sq. mi. (70,283 sq. km.).

Population: 4,239,848 (2006C); 4,412,000 (2008E).

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 December 1, 2009: 1 euro = $1.51US).

President (Uachtarán na hÉireann): Mary Patricia McALEESE (Fianna Fáil); elected on October 30, 1997, and inaugurated for a seven-year term on November 11, succeeding Mary ROBINSON (nonparty); reelected without opposition on October 1, 2004, and sworn in for a second seven-year term on November 11.

Prime Minister (Taoiseach): Brian COWEN (Fianna Fáil); nominated by the Dáil on May 7, 2008, and appointed by the president and sworn in the same day in succession to Patrick Bartholomew ...

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