Ireland Population: 4,952,473

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 History
Celtic tribes arrived on the island between 600 and 150 B.C. Invasions by Norsemen that began in the late 8th century were finally ended when King Brian BORU defeated the Danes in 1014. Norman invasions began in the 12th century and set off more than seven centuries of Anglo-Irish struggle marked by fierce rebellions and harsh repressions. The Irish famine of the mid-19th century saw the population of the island drop by one third through starvation and emigration. For more than a century after that the population of the island continued to fall only to begin growing again in the 1960s. Over the last 50 years, Ireland's high birthrate has made it demographically one of the youngest populations in the EU. The modern Irish state traces its origins to the failed 1916 Easter Monday Uprising that touched off several years of guerrilla warfare resulting in independence from the UK in 1921 for 26 southern counties; six northern (Ulster) counties remained part of the UK. Unresolved issues in Northern Ireland erupted into years of violence known as the "Troubles" that began in the 1960s. The Government of Ireland was part of a process along with the UK and US Governments that helped broker what is known as The Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland in 1998. This initiated a new phase of cooperation between the Irish and British Governments. Ireland was neutral in World War II and continues its policy of military neutrality. Ireland joined the European Community in 1973 and the euro-zone currency union in 1999. The economic boom years of the Celtic Tiger (1995-2007) saw rapid economic growth, which came to an abrupt end in 2008 with the meltdown of the Irish banking system. Today the economy is recovering, fueled by large and growing foreign direct investment, especially from US multi-nationals.

 Geography
Strategic location on major air and sea routes between North America and northern Europe; over 40% of the population resides within 100 km of Dublin
Location: Western Europe, occupying five-sixths of the island of Ireland in the North Atlantic Ocean, west of Great Britain
Geographic coordinates: 53 00 N, 8 00 W
Area: total: 70,273 sq km
land: 68,883 sq km
water: 1,390 sq km

Size comparison: slightly larger than West Virginia
Land Boundaries: total: 443 km border countries (1): UK 443 km
Coastline: 1,448 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
Climate: temperate maritime; modified by North Atlantic Current; mild winters, cool summers; consistently humid; overcast about half the time
Terrain: mostly flat to rolling interior plain surrounded by rugged hills and low mountains; sea cliffs on west coast
Elevation extremes:
Natural resources: natural gas, peat, copper, lead, zinc, silver, barite, gypsum, limestone, dolomite
Land use: agricultural land: 66.1% arable land 15.4%; permanent crops 0%; permanent pasture 50.7% forest: 10.9%
other: 23% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land: 0 sq km (2012)
Natural hazards: NA
Current Environment Issues: water pollution, especially of lakes, from agricultural runoff
International Environment Agreements: party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Marine Life Conservation
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 People
Nationality: noun: Irishman(men), Irishwoman(women), Irish (collective plural)
adjective: Irish
Ethnic groups: Irish 84.5%, other white 9.8%, Asian 1.9%, black 1.4%, mixed and other 0.9%, unspecified 1.6% (2011 est.)
Languages: English (official, the language generally used), Irish (Gaelic or Gaeilge) (official, spoken by approximately 38.7% of the population as a first or second language in 2011; mainly spoken in areas along the western coast)
Religions: Roman Catholic 84.7%, Church of Ireland 2.7%, other Christian 2.7%, Muslim 1.1%, other 1.7%, unspecified 1.5%, none 5.7% (2011 est.)
Population: 4,952,473 (July 2016 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 21.51% (male 544,506/female 520,934)
15-24 years: 11.8% (male 297,025/female 287,512)
25-54 years: 43.52% (male 1,082,577/female 1,072,721)
55-64 years: 10.33% (male 256,353/female 255,155)
65 years and over: 12.84% (male 293,577/female 342,113) (2016 est.)
Dependency ratios: total dependency ratio: 53.7%
youth dependency ratio: 33.5%
elderly dependency ratio: 20.2%
potential support ratio: 5% (2015 est.)
Median age: total: 36.4 years
male: 36.1 years
female: 36.8 years (2016 est.)
Population growth rate: 1.2% (2016 est.)
Birth rate: 14.5 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate: 6.5 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Net migration rate: 4 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 63.2% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 1.58% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Major urban areas - population: DUBLIN (capital) 1.169 million (2015)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.86 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Mother's mean age at first birth: 29.9 (2012 est.)
Maternal mortality rate: 8 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 3.7 deaths/1,000 live births male: 4 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 3.3 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 80.8 years male: 78.5 years
female: 83.2 years (2016 est.)
Total fertility rate: 1.98 children born/woman (2016 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate: 64.8% note: percent of women aged 18-49 (2004/05)
Health expenditures: 7.8% of GDP (2014)
Physicians density: 2.67 physicians/1,000 population (2013)
Hospital bed density: 2.9 beds/1,000 population (2011)
Drinking water source: improved:
urban: 97.9% of population
rural: 97.8% of population
total: 97.9% of population

unimproved:
urban: 2.1% of population
rural: 2.2% of population
total: 2.1% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility access: improved:
urban: 89.1% of population
rural: 92.9% of population
total: 90.5% of population

unimproved:
urban: 10.9% of population
rural: 7.1% of population
total: 9.5% of population (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.28% (2014 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 8,000 (2014 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 100 (2014 est.)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate: 27% (2014)
Education expenditures: 5.3% of GDP (2013)
Literacy:
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education): total: 19 years male: 19 years
female: 19 years (2012)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24: total: 23.9% male: 26.6%
female: 20.9% (2014 est.)
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 Government
Country name: conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Ireland
local long form: none
local short form: Eire
etymology: the modern Irish name "Eire" evolved from the Gaelic "Eriu," the name of the matron goddess of Ireland (goddess of the land); the names "Ireland" in English and "Eire" in Irish are direct translations of each other
Government type: parliamentary republic
Capital: name: Dublin
geographic coordinates: 53 19 N, 6 14 W
time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
Administrative divisions: 28 counties and 3 cities*; Carlow, Cavan, Clare, Cork, Cork*, Donegal, Dublin*, Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, Fingal, Galway, Galway*, Kerry, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Leitrim, Limerick, Longford, Louth, Mayo , Meath, Monaghan, Offaly, Roscommon, Sligo, South Dublin, Tipperary, Waterford, Westmeath, Wexford, Wicklow
Independence: 6 December 1921 (from the UK by treaty)
National holiday: Saint Patrick's Day, 17 March
Constitution: history: previous 1922; latest drafted 14 June 1937, adopted by plebiscite 1 July 1937, effective 29 December 1937 amendments: proposed as bills in Parliament; passage requires majority vote by both the Senate and House of Representatives, majority vote in a referendum, and presidental signature; amended many times, last in 2015 (2016)
Legal system: common law system based on the English model but substantially modified by customary law; judicial review of legislative acts by Supreme Court
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: President Michael D. HIGGINS (since 11 November 2011)

head of government: Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda KENNY (since 9 March 2011); reelected prime minister on 6 May 2016

cabinet: Cabinet nominated by the prime minister, appointed by the president, approved by the Dali Eireann (lower house of Parliament) elections/appointments: president directly elected by majority popular vote for a 7-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 29 October 2011 (next to be held in October 2018); taoiseach (prime minister) nominated by the House of Representatives (Dail Eireann), appointed by the president

election results: Michael D. HIGGINS elected president; percent of vote - Michael D. HIGGINS (Labor Party) 39.6%, Sean GALLAGHER (independent) 28.5%, Martin MCGUINNESS (Sinn Fein) 13.7%, Gay MITCHELL (Fine Gael) 6.4%, David NORRIS (independent) 6.2%, other 5.6%
Legislative branch: description: bicameral Parliament or Oireachtas consists of the Senate or Seanad Eireann (60 seats; 43 members indirectly elected by panels of various vocational interests, 11 appointed by the prime minister, and 6 elected by graduates of the University of Dublin and the National University of Ireland; members serve 5-year terms) and the House of Representatives or Dail Eireann (158 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote; members serve 5-year terms)

elections: Senate - last held in April and May 2016 (next to be held no later than 2021); House of Representatives - last held on 26 February 2016 (next to be held no later than 2021)

election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Fine Gael 19, Fianna Fail 14, Sinn Fein 7, Labor Party 5, Sinn Fein 3, Green Party 1, independent 14; House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - Fine Gael 25.5%, Fianna Fail 24.4%, Sinn Fein 13.8%, Labor Party 6.6%, AAA-PBD 4.0%, Social Democrats 3.0%, Green Party 2.7%, Renua Ireland 2.2% independents 17.8%; seats by party - Fine Gael 50, Fianna Fail 44, Sinn Fein 23, Labor Party 7, AAA-PBP 6, Social Democrats 3, Green Party 2, independent 23
Judicial branch: highest court(s): Supreme Court of Ireland (consists of the chief justice, 9 judges, 2 ex-officio members - the presidents of the High Court and Court of Appeal - and organized in 3-, 5-, or 7-judge panels, depending on the importance or complexity of an issue of law) judge selection and term of office: judges nominated by the prime minister and Cabinet and appointed by the president; chief justice serves in the position for 7 years; judges can serve until age 70

subordinate courts: High Court, Court of Appeal; circuit and district courts; criminal courts
Political parties and leaders: Anti-Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit or AAA-PBP [collective leadership] Fianna Fail [Micheal MARTIN] Fine Gael [Enda KENNY] Green Party [Eamon RYAN] Labor (Labour) Party [Brendan HOWLIN] Renua Ireland [John LEAHY] Sinn Fein [Gerry ADAMS] Social Democratic Party [Stephen DONNELLY, Catherine MURPHY, Roisin SHORTALL] Socialist Party [collective leadership] The Workers' Party [Michael DONNELLY]
Political pressure groups and leaders: Continuity IRA (terrorist group) Families Acting for Innocent Relatives or FAIR [Brian MCCONNELL] (seek compensation for victims of violence) Iona Institute [David QUINN] (a conservative Catholic think tank) Irish Anti-War Movement [Richard BOYD BARRETT] (campaigns against wars around the world) Keep Ireland Open (environmental group) Oglaigh na hEireann (terrorist group) Midland Railway Action Group or MRAG [Willie ALLEN] (transportation promoters) New Irish Republican Army (terrorist group combining elements of the former Real IRA and Republican Action Against Drugs) Peace and Neutrality Alliance [Roger COLE] (campaigns to protect Irish neutrality) Rail Users Ireland (formerly the Platform 11 - transportation promoters) 32 Country Sovereignty Movement or 32CSM (supports unifying Northern Ireland with the rest of the island under Irish government sovereignty)
International organization participation: ADB (nonregional member), Australia Group, BIS, CD, CE, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, FATF, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD (partners), IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MINURSO, MONUSCO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNDOF, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNOCI, UNRWA, UNTSO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
National symbol(s): harp, shamrock (trefoil); national colors: blue, green
National anthem: name: "Amhran na bhFiann" (The Soldier's Song)
lyrics/music: Peadar KEARNEY [English], Liam O RINN [Irish]/Patrick HEENEY and Peadar KEARNEY

note: adopted 1926; instead of "Amhran na bhFiann," the song "Ireland's Call" is often used at athletic events where citizens of Ireland and Northern Ireland compete as a unified team
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Anne Colette ANDERSON (since 28 August 2013)
chancery: 2234 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 462-3939
FAX: [1] (202) 232-5993
consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Austin (TX), Boston, Chicago, New York, San Francisco
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Kevin F. O'MALLEY (since 8 October 2014)
embassy: 42 Elgin Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4
mailing address: use embassy street address
telephone: [353] (1) 668-8777
FAX: [353] (1) 668-9946
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 Economy
Ireland is a small, modern, trade-dependent economy. Ireland was among the initial group of 12 EU nations that began circulating the euro on 1 January 2002. GDP growth averaged 6% in 1995-2007, but economic activity dropped sharply during the world financial crisis and the subsequent collapse of its domestic property market and construction industry. Faced with sharply reduced revenues and a burgeoning budget deficit from efforts to stabilize its fragile banking sector, the Irish Government introduced the first in a series of draconian budgets in 2009. These measures were not sufficient to stabilize Ireland’s public finances. In 2010, the budget deficit reached 32.4% of GDP - the world's largest deficit, as a percentage of GDP. In late 2010, the former COWEN government agreed to a $92 billion loan package from the EU and IMF to help Dublin recapitalize Ireland’s banking sector and avoid defaulting on its sovereign debt. In March 2011, the KENNY government intensified austerity measures to meet the deficit targets under Ireland's EU-IMF bailout program. In late 2013, Ireland formally exited its EU-IMF bailout program, benefiting from its strict adherence to deficit-reduction targets and success in refinancing a large amount of banking-related debt. In 2014, the economy rapidly picked up and GDP grew by 5.2%. The recovering economy assisted lowering the deficit to 2.5% of GDP. In late 2014, the government introduced a fiscally neutral budget, marking the end of the austerity program. Continued growth of tax receipts has allowed the government to lower some taxes and increase public spending while keeping to its deficit-reduction targets. In 2015, GDP growth reached 7.8%, the highest growth in the EU for the second consecutive year. In the wake of the collapse of the construction sector and the downturn in consumer spending and business investment, the export sector, dominated by foreign multinationals, has become an even more important component of Ireland's economy. Ireland’s low corporation tax of 12.5% and a talented pool of high-tech laborers have been key factors in encouraging business investment. Loose tax residency requirements made Ireland a common destination for international firms seeking to avoid taxation. Amid growing international pressure, the government announced it would phase in more stringent tax laws, effectively closing a loophole.
GDP (purchasing power parity): GDP (purchasing power parity): $324.3 billion (2016 est.) $309 billion (2015 est.) $244.7 billion (2014 est.)

note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): GDP (official exchange rate): $307.9 billion (2015 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 4.9% (2016 est.) 26.3% (2015 est.) 8.5% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): GDP - per capita (PPP): $69,400 (2016 est.) $66,700 (2015 est.) $53,100 (2014 est.)

note: data are in 2016 dollars
Gross national saving: 31.9% of GDP (2016 est.) 31.9% of GDP (2015 est.) 23.6% of GDP (2014 est.)
GDP - composition, by end use: household consumption: 36.7%
government consumption: 10.8%
investment in fixed capital: 20.4%
investment in inventories: 0.6%
exports of goods and services: 124.1%
imports of goods and services: -92.6% (2016 est.)
GDP - composition, by sector of origin: household consumption: 36.7%
government consumption: 10.8%
investment in fixed capital: 20.4%
investment in inventories: 0.6%
exports of goods and services: 124.1%
imports of goods and services: -92.6% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - products: barley, potatoes, wheat; beef, dairy products
Industries: pharmaceuticals, chemicals, computer hardware and software, food products, beverages and brewing; medical devices
Industrial production growth rate: 1.2% (2016 est.)
Labor force: 2.181 million (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 5%
industry: 11%
services: 84% (2015 est.)
Unemployment rate: 8% (2016 est.) 9.5% (2015 est.)
Population below poverty line: 8.2% (2013 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 2.9%
highest 10%: 27.2% (2000)
Distribution of family income - Gini index: 31.3 (2013 est.) 35.9 (1987 est.)
Budget: revenues: $78.47 billion
expenditures: $80.86 billion (2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues: 25.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
Public debt: 77.9% of GDP (2016 est.) 78.7% of GDP (2015 est.)

note: data cover general government debt and include debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data include debt issued by subnational entities, as well as int
Fiscal year: calendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices): Inflation rate (consumer prices): 0.2% (2016 est.) 0% (2015 est.)
Current account balance: $29.11 billion (2016 est.) $29.02 billion (2015 est.)
Exports: $160.1 billion (2016 est.) $160.9 billion (2015 est.)
Exports - commodities: machinery and equipment, computers, chemicals, medical devices, pharmaceuticals; foodstuffs, animal products
Exports - partners: US 23.7%, UK 13.8%, Belgium 13.2%, Germany 6.6%, Switzerland 5.5%, Netherlands 4.4%, France 4.4% (2015)
Imports: $88.01 billion (2016 est.) $87.79 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commodities: data processing equipment, other machinery and equipment, chemicals, petroleum and petroleum products, textiles, clothing
Imports - partners: UK 32.5%, US 14%, France 10.2%, Germany 9.3%, Netherlands 4.9%, China 4.1% (2015)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $2.203 billion (31 December 2015 est.) $1.748 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
Debt - external: $2.47 trillion (31 March 2016 est.) $2.35 trillion (31 March 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home: $1.057 trillion (31 December 2016 est.) $963.4 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad: $1.435 trillion (31 December 2016 est.) $1.321 trillion (31 December 2015 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares: $128 billion (31 December 2015 est.) $143.5 billion (31 December 2014 est.) $170.1 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
Exchange rates: euros (EUR) per US dollar - 0.9214 (2016 est.) 0.885 (2015 est.) 0.885 (2014 est.) 0.7634 (2013 est.) 0.78 (2012 est.)
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 Energy
Electricity - production: 25 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - consumption: 25 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - exports: 700 million kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - imports: 2.9 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity: 9.1 million kW (2014 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels: 72.3% of total installed capacity (2013 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants: 2.7% of total installed capacity (2013 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources: 25% of total installed capacity (2013 est.)
Crude oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - exports: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - imports: 74,690 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - proved reserves: 0 bbl (1 January 2016 es)
Refined petroleum products - production: 68,050 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption: 147,800 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 34,200 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports: 115,000 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Natural gas - production: 152 million cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 4.387 billion cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 4.246 billion cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 9.911 billion cu m (1 January 2016 es)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy: 34 million Mt (2013 est.)
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 Communications
Cellular Phones in use: total: 4.902 million subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 100 (July 2015 est.)
Telephone system: general assessment: modern digital system using cable and microwave radio relay

domestic: system privatized but dominated by former state monopoly operator; increasing levels of broadband access particularly in urban areas

international: country code - 353; landing point for the Hibernia-Atlantic submarine cable with links to the US, Canada, and UK; satellite earth stations - 81 (2014)
Broadcast media: publicly owned broadcaster Radio Telefis Eireann (RTE) operates 2 TV stations; commercial TV stations are available; about 75% of households utilize multi-channel satellite and TV services that provide access to a wide range of stations; RTE operates 4 na (2014)
Internet country code: .ie
Internet users: total: 3.92 million percent of population: 80.1% (July 2015 est.)
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 Transportation
Airports: 40 (2013)
Airports (paved runways): total 16
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 5
under 914 m: 5 (2013)
Airports (unpaved runways): total 24

2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 2
under 914 m: 21 (2013)
Pipelines: gas 2,147 km (2013)
Railways: total 3,237 km
broad gauge: 1,872 km 1.600-m gauge (49 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 1,365 km 0.914-m gauge (operated by the Irish Peat Board to transport peat to power stations and briquetting plants) (2014)
Roadways: total 96,036 km
paved: 96,036 km (includes 1,224 km of expressways) (2014)
Waterways: 956 km (pleasure craft only) (2010)
Merchant marine: total 31

by type: cargo 28, chemical tanker 2, container 1

foreign-owned: 5 (France 2, Spain 1, US 2)

registered in other countries: 33 (Bahamas 3, Bermuda 1, Cambodia 1, Cyprus 3, Isle of Man 1, Kazakhstan 1, Malta 4, Marshall Islands 6, Netherlands 8, Panama 1, Russia 1, Slovakia 1, Sweden 1, UK 1) (2010)
Ports and terminals: major seaport(s): Dublin, Shannon Foynes
river port(s): Cork (Lee), Waterford (Suir) container port(s) (TEUs): Dublin (1,931,001)
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 Military
Military branches: Irish Defence Forces (Oglaigh na h-Eireannn), Permanent Defence Forces (PDF): Army, Naval Service, Air Corps; Reserve Defence Forces (RDF): Army, Naval Service Reserves (2014)
Military service age and obligation: 18-25 years of age for male and female voluntary military service recruits to the Permanent Defence Forces (PDF; 18-27 years of age for the Naval Service); 18-28 for cadetship (officer) applicants; 18-35 years of age for the Reserve Defence Forces (RDF); maximum obligation 12 years (PDF officers), 5 years (PDF enlisted), 3 years RDF (4 years for Naval Service Reserves); EU citizenship, refugee status, or 5-year residence in Ireland required (2014)
Military expenditures: 0.49% of GDP (2014) 0.51% of GDP (2013) 0.55% of GDP (2012) 0.59% of GDP (2011) 0.55% of GDP (2010)
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 Transnational Issues
Disputes - International: Ireland, Iceland, and the UK dispute Denmark's claim that the Faroe Islands' continental shelf extends beyond 200 nm
Refugees and internally displaced persons:
stateless persons: 99 (2015)
Illicit drugs: transshipment point for and consumer of hashish from North Africa to the UK and Netherlands and of European-produced synthetic drugs; increasing consumption of South American cocaine; minor transshipment point for heroin and cocaine destined for Western Europe; despite recent legislation, narcotics-related money laundering - using bureaux de change, trusts, and shell companies involving the offshore financial community - remains a concern
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