The Republic of Ireland is an independent island nation situated on the westernmost edge of Europe with a population of just under 5 million people. Over three quarters of the island’s land mass belongs to the Republic of Ireland. The remainder makes up Northern Ireland which is a part of the United Kingdom. Although there are no hard borders between Ireland and Northern Ireland, you will need a visa to travel between both areas.
Dublin is the capital city of Ireland. Over 1 million of the country’s population live in the city and its surroundings. Cork is Ireland’s second largest city and is located in the south. Ireland has three other cities: Waterford, Galway and Limerick.
As it is situated next to the Atlantic Ocean, Ireland enjoys a temperate maritime climate. Ireland rarely experiences extreme weather conditions in comparison with other countries on the same latitude.
Winters in Ireland are typically cloudy, wet and windy. The coldest months are January and February. Summers are generally warm and sunny with occasional rain showers. The hottest month is July with an average temperature of 15⁰C. However, temperatures can reach 30⁰C sometimes.
Recently, Ireland has endured some unusual extreme weather events such as more frequent snows, stronger storms and hotter summers.
Despite being a small country, Irish culture has created an impact throughout the entire world. Emigration has played a huge part in Irish history and has contributed greatly to this impact. The greatest example of this is the national holiday of St. Patricks Day which falls on March 17th. Many cities across the world celebrate by hosting parades. Ireland also has a proud history of storytelling through spoken word, poetry, music and novels. Famous Irish storytellers include Oscar Wilde, WB Yeats and James Joyce.
Ireland is a parliamentary, democratic republic with a multi-party system. There are three branches of power: executive, legislative and judicial. Executive power is exercised by the Irish government which is led by the Taoiseach (Ireland’s Prime Minister). The legislative branch of power is controlled by the Oireachtas which is responsible for making laws. The judicial branch is led by the Chief Justice and is responsible for implementing laws created by the Oireachtas.
Christianity is the main religion in Ireland with most people identifying as Roman Catholics. However, since the 1990s a growing number of people are not identifying with any religion. In 2016, almost 10% declared as having ‘No Religion’. This figure has doubled from 2011.
Although the official state language is Irish, English is the most commonly spoken language with 94% of the population calling it their mother tongue. Irish is spoken as a day to day language in specific regions known as Gaeltacht regions. A map of Ireland highlighting these regions can be found here: http://www.udaras.ie/en/an-ghaeilge-an-ghaeltacht/an-ghaeltacht/
Public Transport Information
Legal Matters: Rights and Responsibilities
What are my Rights and Responsibilities?
If you are granted international protection, you are entitled to similar rights to Irish citizens. A notable exception is in a relation to voting. As a refugee, you will be allowed to vote in local elections but not in European or national elections.
When living in Ireland, you must comply with the laws of the State. You are also obliged to register your place of residence every time you move, to seek employment or education and learn the language of the country.
A refugee can apply for citizenship through a process known as naturalisation after three years of residency in Ireland. This is calculated upon the date of arrival in the State. A person can be absent from the State for up to 6 weeks per year without affecting the application.
Details on the naturalisation process can be found in the section below. This process usually takes about 6 months. The fee for this application is €175. If approved, certificates of naturalisation are free for Programme Refugees.
Further Information and Links
- Living in Ireland – https://www.livinginireland.ie/culture-society/
- Information on the Naturalisation Process – https://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/moving_country/irish_citizenship/becoming_an_irish_citizen_through_naturalisation.html
- Applying for Citizenship – http://www.inis.gov.ie/en/INIS/Pages/citizenship-naturalisation-forms