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Ireland

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Ireland (Irish: Éire; Ulster Scots: Airlann, Latin: Hibernia) is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island in the world. It lies to the north-west of continental Europe and is surrounded by hundreds of islands and islets. To the east of Ireland, separated by the Irish Sea, is the island of Great Britain. The sovereign state of Ireland (official name "Ireland", description "Republic of Ireland", covers five-sixths of the island, with Northern Ireland (part of the United Kingdom) covering the remaining one-sixth of the island, located in the northeast.

Ireland became part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in 1801. The Irish War of Independence ended in 1921 with the British Government proposing a truce and during which the Anglo-Irish Treaty was signed, creating the Irish Free State. The Free State left the Commonwealth to become a republic in 1949. In 1973 both parts of Ireland joined the European Community.

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Adapted from the Wikipedia article, "Ireland" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ireland, used under the GNU Free Documentation License.

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