The Republic of Ireland is a nation on the island of Ireland. The Republic of Ireland was created in the 1922 after it won independence from the United Kingdom. The Republic of Ireland shares a short land border with Northern Ireland in the north; the rest of Ireland is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and the Irish Sea. The capital and largest city of the Republic of Ireland is Dublin. English and to a lesser extent Irish are widely spoken. Roman Catholicism has been practiced in Ireland since the arrival of Saint Patrick in the 5th century.
This section deals exclusively with the post-independence history of Ireland. For a general history of Ireland, see History of Ireland
Ireland gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1922 as the Irish Free State. However, Northern Ireland was left as a part of the U.K. because of its majority Protestant population. Due to lingering animosity between the U.K. and Ireland, Ireland was neutral during World War I.
From the 1960s onward, The Troubles plagued Ireland. Irish terrorist groups such as the Provisional Irish Republican Army set off bombs in Northern Ireland and the United Kingdom. The Ulster Volunteer Army, among others, retaliated by committing terrorist acts in the Republic of Ireland, sometimes with the support of British security forces. The Belfast Agreement of 1998, pioneered by Tony Blair, largely brought the violence to an end.
The national language of the Republic of Ireland is the Irish language. However, Irish is only spoken natively by a small number of people, and most people speak English. The dialect of English spoken in Ireland is known as Hiberno-English.