Ireland officially the Republic of Ireland to differentiate it from Northern Ireland, is a sovereign country, member of the European Union, which occupies most of the homonymous island. Its capital is Dublin, located in the east of the island. The country has a single land border, with Northern Ireland, one of the constituent nations of the United Kingdom. The island is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and has the Celtic Sea to the south, the St. George Canal to the southeast and the Irish Sea to the east. It is a parliamentary republic with an elected president who acts as head of state. The head of government, the Taoiseach, is appointed by the Lower House of Parliament, the Dáil Éireann.
The modern Irish state achieved its effective independence from the United Kingdom in 1922, after a war of independence that ended with the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty, while Northern Ireland chose to remain in the United Kingdom. It was when the Northern Ireland Conflict began that it still lasts. Although in principle Ireland was a domain within the British Empire, with the name of Irish Free State, in 1931 its complete legislative independence was clarified and in 1937 it adopted a new constitution and the name of Ireland. In 1949 the remaining duties of the figure of the King of Ireland were eliminated and the country declared a republic. The State did not have formal relations with Northern Ireland for most of the twentieth century, but since 1999 they have cooperated in various policies within the framework of the North-South Ministerial Council created by the Good Friday Agreement.
At the beginning of the twentieth century, protectionist economic measures weakened the Irish economy and were therefore dismantled in the 1950s. Ireland joined the European Economic Community in 1973. Economic liberalism since the late 1980s resulted in rapid economic expansion, particularly between 1995 and 2007, when Ireland was known as the Celtic Tiger. An unprecedented financial crisis began in 2008 which, together with the global economic crisis, put an end to this period of rapid economic growth, however, given that the Irish economy grew the most in the EU in 2015, Ireland returns to Climb quickly in the leaderboards comparing wealth and prosperity internationally. In 2017, Ireland ranked fourth in the world's most developed nations in the United Nations human development index, and the Irish Republic is ranked highest in terms of economic, political and press freedom.
The Republic of Ireland is currently among the richest countries in the world in terms of per capita income. Today, Ireland is one of the founding countries of the Council of Europe and the OECD. The country follows a policy of neutrality and non-alignment and therefore is not a member of NATO, although it does participate in the Association for Peace.