ireland is an island on the western fringe of europe between latitude 51 12 and 55 12 degrees north, and longitude 5 12 to 10 12 degrees west. its greatest length, from malin head in the north to mizen head in the south, is 486 km and its greatest width from east to west is approximately 275 km. since 1921 the island has been divided politically into two parts. the independent twenty-six county area, comprising 70,282 sq. km, has a population of 3,523,401 1991. northern ireland, which is part of the united kingdom and contains six of the nine counties of the ancient province of ulster, has a population of 1,569,971 1991. in 1973 ireland became a member of the european union eu.
the two great mountain systems of europe, north of the alps, converge westwards to meet and mingle in ireland. the older caledonian extends from scandinavia through scotland to the north and west of ireland, where it gives...
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