Ireland (Irish: Éire) is the third-largest island in Europe. It lies in the Atlantic Ocean and it is composed of the Republic of Ireland (officially, Ireland), which covers five sixths of the island (south, east, west and north-west), and Northern Ireland; part of the United Kingdom, which covers the northeastern sixth of the island.
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[...] The state was plagued by poverty and emigration until the 1990s. That decade saw the beginning of unprecedented economic success, in a phenomenon known as the "Celtic Tiger". By the early 2000s, it had become one of the richest countries (in terms of GDP per capita) in the European Union, moving from being a net recipient to a net contributor and from a population with net emigration to one with net immigration. Ireland has the fourth-highest GDP (based on PPP) per capita in the world after Luxembourg, Norway, and the United States, but lies 8th in the 2005 UN Human Development Index. [...]
[...] On July the Provisional IRA (PIRA) announced the end of its armed campaign and on September international weapons inspectors supervised the full disarmament of the PIRA. Sinn Féin (means "ourselves" or "we ourselves"). The only political party to have seats in the parliaments of both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. As a leading representative of the Republican wing of Irish nationalism, Sinn Féin advocates a United Ireland and avowedly leftist values, and is seen by many as the political wing of the Provisional IRA. Current president : Gerry Adams. [...]
[...] Other groups, legal and illegal on the unionist side, and illegal on the nationalist side, began to participate in the violence and the period known as the "Troubles" began. Owing to the civil unrest the British government suspended home rule in 1972 and imposed direct rule. In 1998, following a Provisional IRA cease-fire, the Good Friday Agreement was concluded and attempts began to be made to restore self-government to Northern Ireland on the basis of power sharing between the two communities. Violence has greatly decreased since the signing of the accord. [...]
[...] The whole island of Ireland would remain within the United Kingdom, ruled directly by the UK Parliament in London. The 19th century saw considerable economic difficulties for Ireland, including the Great Famine of the 1840s in which at least 1 million Irish people died and over a million were forced to emigrate. The late 19th and early 20th century saw a vigorous but unsuccessful campaign for Irish home rule, followed by the eclipse of moderate nationalism by militant separatism. The Government of Ireland Act 1914 granted Ireland national self-government within the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. [...]