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Information about Ireland
Ireland is the third-largest island in Europe, and the twentieth-largest island in the world. It lies to the north-west of continental Europe and is surrounded by hundreds of islands and islets. Ireland has a mild but changeable Oceanic climate with few extremes. The state became a republic in 1949. It had already ceased to participate in the British Commonwealth, but since sharing a monarch with the United Kingdom was then a requirement for m...embership, it automatically departed from that organisation at that time, which it has never rejoined. Ireland is a republic, with a parliamentary system of government. The President of Ireland, who serves as head of state, is elected for a seven-year term and can be re-elected only once. The economy of Ireland has transformed in recent years from an agricultural focus to a modern knowledge economy, focusing on services and high-tech industries and dependent on trade, industry and investment.
Dublin is both the largest city and capital of Ireland. It is officially known in Irish as Baile Átha Cliath or Áth Cliath the English name comes from the Irish Dubh Linn meaning "black pool". It is located near the midpoint of Ireland's east coast, at the mouth of the River Liffey and at the centre of the Dublin Region. Originally founded as a Viking settlement, it evolved into the Kingdom of Dublin and became the island's primary city following the Norman invasion. Today, it is ranked 10th (up from 13th in 2008) in the Global Financial Centres Index, has one of the fastest growing populations of any European capital city, and is nominated by the GaWC as a global city, with a ranking of Alpha - which places Dublin amongst the top 25 cities in the world. Dublin is a historical and contemporary cultural centre for the island of Ireland as well as a modern centre of education, the arts, administrative function, economy and industry.
Cork is the second largest city in the Republic of Ireland and the island of Ireland's third most populous city. It is the principal city and administrative centre of County Cork and the largest city in the province of Munster. Cork has a population of 119,143, while the addition of the suburban areas contained the county brings the total to 190,384. Metropolitan Cork has a population of approximately 274,000, while the Greater Cork area is about 380,000.
The city is built on the River Lee which divides into two channels at the western end of the city. The city centre is located on the island created by the channels. At the eastern end of the city centre they converge; and the Lee flows around Lough Mahon to Cork Harbour, the world's second largest natural harbour after Sydney Harbour in Australia. The city is a major Irish seaport; there are quays and docks along the banks of the Lee on the city's east side.
Galway is the fastest growing and is now the third largest city in the Republic of Ireland and the only city in the province of Connacht in Ireland. The city is located on the west coast of Ireland. In Irish, Galway is also called Cathair na Gaillimhe: "City of Galway".
The city takes its name from the Gaillimh river (River Corrib) that formed the western boundary of the earliest settlement, which was called Dún Bhun na Gaillimhe, or the fort at the bottom of the Gaillimh. The word Gaillimh means "stony" as in "stony river". (the mythical and alternative derivations are given in History of Galway.) The city also bears the nickname City of the Tribes / Cathair na dTreabh, because fourteen “Tribes” (merchant families) led the city in its Hiberno-Norman period. The term Tribes was originally a derogatory phrase from Cromwellian times. The merchants would have seen themselves as English gentry, and hence were loyal to the King. Their uncertain reaction to the siege of Galway by Cromwellian forces earned them this label, which they subsequently adopted in defiance.
The population of Galway city, given in the 2006 census, is 72,414.
Limerick is the third largest city in the Republic of Ireland, and the principal city in County Limerick. Limerick is the second-largest city in the province of Munster, an area which constitutes the midwest and southwest of Ireland.
Limerick is situated (and was initially founded on) several curves and islands of the River Shannon, which spreads into an estuary shortly after Limerick. Road infrastructure features three main crossing points near the city centre, and in 2006 the Limerick urban area had a population of 91,000. Limerick is one of the constituent cities of the Cork-Limerick-Galway corridor, which has a population of 1 million.
Waterford is the primary city of the South East region of Ireland. Founded in 914 AD by the Vikings, it is country's oldest city and its fifth largest. The city is situated at the head of Waterford Harbour . The city motto Urbs Intacta Manet Waterfordia ("Waterford remains the untaken city") was granted by King Henry VII of England in 1497 after Waterford refused to recognise the claims of the pretenders Lambert Simnel and Perkin Warbeck to the English throne.