Ireland is a small country at the western most point in Europe. An island nation made up of 32,595 square feet in total, Ireland is one of the smallest countries in Europe. Despite its small size, Ireland has a grandiose reputation for being a beautiful country with friendly people—and thus it has become a hotspot for tourism.
Ireland is made up of 32 countries that are split between four provinces. The country as a whole is also divided between the north and the south. Northern Ireland is at the top part of the isle and it is actually part of Great Britain. Meanwhile, the south is the Republic of Ireland which is a country outside of the U.K. The Republic of Ireland the Northern Ireland are on the same small island but they are very different places. For instance, they have different currency, exchange rates, politicians and laws!
Below is a list of facts about the two sides of Ireland, the four provinces, and the countries inside each province.
Republic of Ireland
The Republic of Ireland is an independent country. Of the 32 counties in Ireland, 26 of them are located in the Republic. The Republic of Ireland covers three of the four provinces entirely and has three of the nine countries in the fourth province.
Northern Ireland is the top part of the isle that is part of the United Kingdom. Northern Ireland is made up of six countries in the province of Ulster. The area was once a hotspot for IRA activity but in the past two decades the violence has decreased dramatically.
Ulster is the province in the northernmost part of Ireland. There are nine counties in Ulster, three of them are in the Republic and six of them are in the North. Donegal, Monaghan and Cavan are the three counties that belong to the Republic of Ireland and are therefore NOT part of the United Kingdom. Derry, Fermanagh, Tyrone, Down, Antrim, and Armagh are the six countries that make up Northern Ireland. Belfast is the biggest city in North Ireland and it is divided between the countries of Down and Antrim.
Shown: County Donegal
Munster is located in the southernmost part of Ireland. Munster has six counties: Clare, Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Tipperary, and Waterford. However, this province is divided up a bit more than some of the others. For starters, Tipperary is divided into “Tipperary North” and “Tipperary South.” Munster also has three cities that are considered to be territories in of themselves: Cork City, Limerick City and Waterford City.
Shown: County Clare
Leinster is located to the east of Ireland. Leinster has twelve counties: Carlow, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Longford, Louth, Meath, West Meath, Offaly, Wexford, Wicklow and Dublin. This province has the highest population rate, mostly on account of Dublin which is the biggest city in the country.
Shown: County Dublin
Connacht is located in the mid-west of Ireland. Connacht contains five counties: Leitrim, Mayo, Roscommon, Sligo and Galway. Although Galway is a county with a lot of scenery, it also boasts one of the bigger cities in Ireland. Connacht is the least populated province but it is arguably the most beautiful.
Shown: County Galway