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Republic of Ireland
Éire

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 November 5, 2012: 0.78 euro = $1US).

President (Uachtarán na hÉireann): Michael D. HIGGINS (Labour); elected on October 27, 2011, and inaugurated for a seven-year term on November 11, succeeding Mary Patricia McALEESE (Fianna Fáil).

Prime Minister (Taoiseach): Enda KENNY (Fine Gail); nominated by the Dáil on March 9, 2011, and appointed by the president and sworn in the same day in succession to Brian COWEN (Fianna Fáil), who had resigned on March 8.

The Country

The present-day Irish Republic, encompassing 26 of Ireland’s ...

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