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Republic of Ireland

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1 Republic of Ireland on Mon Dec 13, 2010 4:00 am

Ireland[6] (pronounced /ˈaɪərlənd/ ( listen), locally /ˈɑrlənd/; Irish: Éire, pronounced [ˈeːɾʲə] ( listen)), described as the Republic of Ireland (Irish: Poblacht na hÉireann),[7] is a state in northwest Europe with a population of almost 4.5 million people.[3] It is a parliamentary democratic constitutional republic that occupies approximately five-sixths of the island of Ireland, which was partitioned into two jurisdictions in 1921.[8] It is bordered to the northeast by Northern Ireland, which is a part of the United Kingdom, and is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the Irish Sea to the east, St George's Channel to the southeast, and the Celtic Sea to the south.
The state, initially the Irish Free State, was established on 6 December 1922 as a dominion within the British Commonwealth as a result of the Anglo-Irish Treaty, which concluded the Irish War of Independence.[note 2] It gained increasing sovereignty through the Statute of Westminster and the abdication crisis of 1936.[note 3] A new constitution introduced in 1937[9] declared it as an entirely sovereign state named Ireland.[10] The last formal link with the United Kingdom was severed in 1949 when the Oireachtas (national parliament) passed the Republic of Ireland Act,[11] which declared Ireland a republic[12] by removing the remaining duties of the monarch. Ireland left the then British Commonwealth, having ceased attending meetings in 1937.[13] Britain recognised the republic by the Ireland Act 1949.

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