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The Republic of Ireland (Éire in Irish language; [1]) is a country in Europe. It shares the island of Ireland with Northern Ireland, a part of the United Kingdom.

Celtic tribes settled on the island in the 4th century B.C. Invasions by Norsemen that began in the late 8th century were finally ended when King Brian BORU defeated the Danes in 1014. English invasions began in the 12th century and set off more than seven centuries of Anglo-Irish struggle marked by fierce rebellions and harsh repressions. A failed 1916 Easter Monday Rebellion touched off several years of intense guerrilla warfare that in 1921 resulted in independence from the UK for 26 southern counties; six northern (Ulster) counties remained part of the United Kingdom. In 1949 Ireland withdrew from the British Commonwealth; it joined the European Community in 1973. Irish governments have sought the peaceful unification of Ireland and have cooperated with Britain against extra-state armed groups. A peace settlement for Northern Ireland, known as the Good Friday Agreement and approved in 1998, is currently being implemented.

By plane (The Republic of) Ireland is served by two large international airports, Dublin and Shannon. Dublin is connected to several cities in the US, Canada, the UK and continental Europe. Shannon, close to the cities of Limerick and Ennis, also has flights to the US, Canada, the UK and Europe.

There are connections from Cork airport in the south to Irish, UK and European cities. Smaller regional airports that operate domestic and UK services are Donegal,Kerry, Knock, Waterford and Galway. There are airports in Northern Ireland in Derry (Londonderry), Belfast International and Belfast City (George Best).

Discount airline Ryanair is a good source of cheap flights to Ireland, particularly from the UK, while the national carrier Aer Lingus often has cheap deals available from continental Europe and the US, particularly in the winter. Comprehensive listings of airlines flying directly into Ireland, along with destinations and timetables, can be found on the Dublin, Shannon and Cork airport websites. A regional service is also provided by Aer Árann which flies internally within Ireland and externally mainly to and from the United Kingdom.

By train
The only cross-border train is the Enterprise service from Belfast Central to Dublin Connolly. A Rail-Sail Scheme is also present with Stena Line, Irish Ferries, Iarnrod Eireann and UK Train Companies like Virgin Trains mainly operating from UK cities to across the Irish Rail Network via the Dublin-Holyhead routes.

By bus
Cross border services are operated by Ulsterbus and Bus Éireann.

Eurolines operate services to Great Britain and beyond in conjunction with Bus Eireann and National Express (Great Britain). Bus Éireann also operates frequent services to and from Eastern Europe, in particular Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

By boat
Ireland is served by numerous services to Great Britain and France:

Swansea-Cork Ferries provide a daily service from the United Kingdom between Swansea in South Wales and Cork. Irish Ferries travel from Holyhead, North Wales to Dublin and from Pembroke, South Wales to Rosslare. Stena Line connects Holyhead to Dun Laoghaire (about 8 km south of Dublin) and Fishguard, South Wales to Rosslare. Irish Ferries and Brittany Ferries provide services from France (e.g. Roscoff) to Rosslare and Cork. Irish Ferries is sometimes significantly cheaper than Brittany Ferries, so compare prices. Other operators to Ireland include:

Irish Sea Express-Liverpool to Dublin
P&O Irish Sea- North West England to Dublin and Belfast Steam Packet Sea Cat-Operate services between the North West of England (Mainly Liverpool) to Dublin, Belfast and the Isle of Man Norse Merchant Ferries-operate Freight and Passenger services to Dublin from the North West of England

From the UK and Northern Ireland
Due to Ireland's long relationship with Britain, citizens of Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom do not require passports to enter the Republic. As a consequence, there is no passport controls at border crossing points. In fact, the border is rarely signposted and it is often difficult to tell when you have crossed from the Republic into Northern Ireland and vice-versa. Occasionally, the police (Garda) set up random checkpoints at border crossing points and may stop and question drivers exiting and entering, but are usually friendly and will normally wave tourists through without any trouble.

Information provided by Wikipedia

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