Ireland ( / (; ) listen : Irish Éire [ˈeːɾʲə] (; ) listen : Ulster-Scots Airlann ) is an [ˈɑːrlən] in the North Atlantic. It is separated from island to its east by the Great Britain , the North Channel , and Irish Sea . Ireland is the St George's Channel of the second-largest island , the British Isles in Europe, and the third-largest on Earth. twentieth-largest 
Politically, Ireland is divided between the
(officially Republic of Ireland ), which covers five-sixths of the island, and named Ireland , which is part of the Northern Ireland . In 2011, the United Kingdom was about 6.6 million, ranking it the population of Ireland after Great Britain. Just under 4.8 million live in the Republic of Ireland and just over 1.8 million live in Northern Ireland. second-most populous island in Europe 
comprises relatively low-lying mountains surrounding a central plain, with geography of Ireland extending inland. Its lush vegetation is a product of its mild but changeable climate which is free of extremes in temperature. Much of Ireland was woodland until the end of the several navigable rivers . Today, woodland makes up about 10% of the island, compared with a European average of over 33%, Middle Ages and most of it is non-native conifer  . plantations  There are twenty-six extant land  species native to Ireland. mammal The  is Irish climate and thus very moderate, influenced by the Atlantic Ocean and winters are milder than expected for such a northerly area, although summers are cooler than those in continental Europe. Rainfall and cloud cover are abundant. 
The earliest evidence of human presence in Ireland is dated at 10,500 BCE (12,500 years ago).
 had emerged by the 1st century CE. The island was Gaelic Ireland from the 5th century onward. Following the 12th century Christianised , Norman invasion claimed sovereignty. However, English rule did not extend over the whole island until the 16th–17th century England , which led to Tudor conquest . In the 1690s, a system of colonisation by settlers from Britain was designed to materially disadvantage the Protestant English rule majority and Protestant Catholic , and was extended during the 18th century. With the dissenters in 1801, Ireland became Acts of Union the a part of . A United Kingdom in the early 20th century was followed by the war of independence , creating the partition of the island , which became increasingly sovereign over the following decades, and Northern Ireland, which remained a part of the United Kingdom. Northern Ireland saw much Irish Free State . This subsided following civil unrest from the late 1960s until the 1990s in 1998. In 1973 the Republic of Ireland joined the a political agreement while the United Kingdom, and Northern Ireland, as part of it, did the same. has had a significant influence on other cultures, especially in the field of Irish culture . Alongside mainstream literature , a strong indigenous culture exists, as expressed through Western culture , Gaelic games and the Irish music . The island's culture shares many features with that of Great Britain, including the Irish language , and sports such as English language , , , and horse racing . golf
Ireland and Éire derive from Old Irish . This in turn comes from the Eriu Proto-Celtic *Iveriu (compare Welsh ), which is also the source of Latin Iwerddon . Hibernia Iveriu derives from a root meaning 'fat, prosperous'.
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