Forgotten World (179): Ireland

The Irish Republic, officially known as Ireland, has emerged from the conflict that marked its birth as an independent nation to become one of Europe’s economic powerhouses. Long under English or British rule, Ireland lost half its population in the decades following the Great Potato Famine of the 1840s, becoming a nation of emigrants. However, since the country joined the European Community in 1973, it has been transformed from a largely agricultural society into a modern, high-technology economy.
It has a population of just over 4 million – over a quarter in the capital Dublin – mostly Catholic, compared to the 1.5 million in Northern Ireland (about one-third Catholic) which is part of the United Kingdom. Ireland’s economy began to grow rapidly in the 1990s, fuelled by foreign investment. This attracted a wave of incomers to a country where, traditionally, mass emigration had been the norm. But the boom that earned Ireland the nickname of “Celtic Tiger” faltered when the country fell into recession in the wake of the global financial crisis of 2008.

One Comment

  • Philip

    Just being a pedant as usual but I think it should be ‘Roman Catholic’ that you cite in para 2. From memory ‘catholic’ means universal (Greek?). As an Anglican we still do the creed of ‘We believe in one holy, catholic and apostolic church’.


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