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Non-Irish population accounts for just over 17% of the country’s population. The country with its most educated workforce has a huge potential of harvesting its demographic dividend. Ireland’s one third population is under 25 years of age and almost half of the population is under the age of 34; making the workforce more capable, highly adaptable and more committed to achievement. Ireland’s population is forecast to increase by almost one million people to 5.75 million in 2040.
The culture of Irish people because of intellectual manifestation reflected in its religion, ethnicity, patterns of behaviour, music, art, literature, and lifestyle; thus, encompassing diverse aspects of life. Ireland is often called the ‘land of saints and scholars’ referring to the golden age of monastic learning, or ‘Emerald Isle’ referring to the green landscape. The culture of Ireland is influenced by several different cultures, such as Anglo-Norman, English, and Scottish.
Some of the most visited sites in Ireland include Bunratty Castle, the Rock of Cashel, the Cliffs of Moher, Holy Cross Abbey and Blarney Castle. Ireland is a place for learning during ancient period and aptly called ‘Land of Saints and Scholars’ and is home to various important monastic sites such as Glendalough which are preserved as national monuments. The capital city Dublin is a popular tourist destination and home to attractions such as Brú na Bóinne (the Boyne Palace) in County Meath contains some of the most important historic sites and monuments in Ireland, and is a designated World Heritage Site.The Cliffs of Moher, one of Ireland’s most famous sights offer tremendous views with the Aran Islands etched on the waters of Galway Bay.The Guinness Storehouse is also Ireland's most popular tourist attraction, welcoming over 1.5 million people through its doors in 2016.Trinity College is Ireland's most prestigious college and is famous for many of its majestic buildings which are hundreds of years old. The College is also known for the Book of Kells, it's also worth going there to check out the Long Room of its Old Library.
Ireland is a popular destination for the entertainment. Every town and city have expansive list of bars and night clubs that play Irish music. Ireland has evolved as a shopping destination over the last decade. Ireland celebrates numerous traditional festivals across the year among which St. Patrick’s Day festival is most significant. Other noteworthy festivals are the harp celebrations in Roscommon, the Waterford International Festival of Light Opera or the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival. Ireland offers various options for outdoor enthusiasts, for example, hang-floating, paragliding, shake climbing, scuba jumping, surfing and water skiing. Caving is also very popular that includes options of such as Burren in County Clare, the Mitchelstown Caves in County Cork and Crag Cave at Castleisland in County Kerry.
Quality and freshness of the ingredients define Irish cuisine. Cooking mostly involves use of salt and pepper; without herbs or spices. Traditionally, potatoes, grains (oats), and dairy products form the staple food. About fifty types of cheese delicacies found across the country. Irish Stew, fresh soda bread is considered as national dishes of Irish cuisine. Representative traditional Irish dishes include Irish stew (made with lamb, mutton, or goat), shepherd's pie (meat and vegetables, topped with potato), bacon and cabbage (with potatoes), boxty (potato pancake), coddle (sausage, bacon, and potato), and colcannon (mashed potato, kale or cabbage, and butter).
The economy of Ireland is one of the fastest growing economies of the Eurozone, sixth most competitive in the world, and one of the wealthiest among OECD countries in terms of GDP per capita. Trade is central to Ireland’s economy. It witnessed +5.2% growth in GDP in 2016. Strong education, English speaking strong business environs, low corporate tax structure, high valued exports, and robust current account surplus; all contributing to Ireland’s economy providing for strong impetus.