- Official Name: Republic of Ireland
- Official Languages: Irish (Gaeilge), English
- Population: 4,921,500
- Currency: Euro
- The Republic of Ireland occupies 26 of 32 counties on the island of Ireland in northwestern Europe.
- Capital: Dublin
- Government: Unitary parliamentary republic
- Ireland ranks among the top ten wealthiest countries in the world in terms of GDP per capita.
- The Irish Constitution describes Irish (Gaeilge) as the “national language,” but English is dominant. Less than 40% of the population report themselves as competent in Irish, and many public services and government publications are not available in both languages. Road signs are bilingual except in a small number of rural areas in the west and south of the country.
- Catholic (78.3%), Non-religious (10.1%), Protestant (4.1%), Other (6.1%)
- According to the 2016 census, the five largest sources of non-Irish nationals were Poland, the UK, Lithuania, Romania, and Latvia.
- Ireland has distinct regional cultures rather than a single national one. The daily lives of city dwellers are much different than those in the countryside.
- The Irish pub is a focal point for many small villages and urban neighborhoods, where the Irish passion for conversation, stories, and jokes can be indulged.
- There is a cultural tendency to view politeness as more important than the absolute truth. In the Irish language, there are no words for “yes” or “no,” and Irish people may use understatement or indirect communication to avoid conflict.
- It is common for Irish people to trade insults and tease one another (called “slagging”) with people to whom they are close. It is important to take it well and not see it as personal.
Economy & Doing Business:
- Foreign multinational companies are the driver of Ireland’s economy, employing a quarter of the private sector workforce, and paying 80% of Irish business taxes.
- Ireland’s economy was transformed with the introduction of a low-tax special economic zone, called the International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) in 1987. In 1999, the entire country was turned into an IFSC with the reduction of Irish corporation tax from 32% to 12.5%.
- This “low-tax” model accelerated Ireland’s transition from a predominantly agricultural economy into a knowledge economy focused on attracting US multinationals from high-tech, life sciences, and financial services industries. It has also opened the country to accusations of being a corporate tax haven.