Country of the World Ireland Irish Republic

About the country Irish Republic in Ireland, its location, size, population, leaders and rulers.

NATIONS AND THEIR RULERS

IRISH REPUBLIC (EIRE)

Size: 27,136 sq. mi. (70,283 sq. km.).

Population: 3.2 million.

Who Rules: In the parliamentary elections of June 16, 1977, Jack Lynch's Fianna Fail ("Soldiers of Destiny") party ousted the ruling coalition of the Fine Gail ("Family of the Irish") party and the Labour party. The Fianna Fail swept 84 of the 148 seats in the Dail, the lower house--the largest majority of any Irish party in history. Jack Lynch, first elected to the Dail in 1948 largely on his popularity as a national hurling (Irish hockey) star, replaced Liam Cosgrave as prime minister on July 5, 1977.

Who REALLY Rules: Although Ireland is an independent state, the government is still very much a victim of the continuing crisis in Northern Ireland and England's response to it. Prime Minister Lynch favors a return to Gaelic as the language of government and calls for British withdrawal from Northern Ireland and peaceful reunification of the two Irelands. The influence of the Catholic Church continues to pervade the political process. Contraceptives of any kind are illegal in Eire.

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