Ireland, the third largest island off the northwest coast of continental Europe: its geography, climate, economy, flora.
Ireland’s climate is classified as western maritime. The effect of the sea, which is felt everywhere inland on account of the deeply indented coastline, is increased by the influence of the Gulf Stream, which causes warm, moist winds from the Atlantic to blow over the island. So the coasts of Ireland are never ice-bound, and the interior is free from those extremes of heat and cold that continental countries on the same latitude generally experience. The rains, which are heaviest in the west, are responsible for the brilliant green grass of this island, called "emerald isle".
Ireland has a mixed economy.
Mineral production includes: lead, zinc, coal, iron, copper, limestone, aluminum, silver, hydraulic cement, clays for cement production, fire clay, granite, slate, marble, rock sand, silica rock, gypsum, limestone, dolomite, diatomite, building stone, and aggregate building materials.
Glass has been manufactured in Waterford, a place in south east Ireland, since 1783: Waterford crystal is world renowned.
Oil and natural gas are produced offshore.
Tourism is also very important: Ireland’s green hills, rocky coasts, and cozy pubs have drawn tourists for centuries. The rocky Cliffs of Moher are the most popular tourist attraction. They provide a stunning view of the Atlantic ocean: they reach 702 feet (214 meters) at their highest point and stretch nearly 5 miles (8 kilometers) across. Dublin is blessed by a multitude of historic monuments, statues, sculptures, many shops and fine buildings. The most prominent monument is Nelson’s Pillar.
Most of Ireland’s agricultural land is used as pasture or for growing hay. Cereal growing, particularly barley and wheat, is an important activity in the east and southeast of the island. Sheep raising is widespread on the rugged hills and mountain slopes throughout the country. Agriculture is considerably developed; the principal products are: barley, oats, flax, potatoes, corn, wheat, turnips, and sugar beets.
Dairy farming is very important; beef cattle, sheep, poultry, horses and pigs are reared for exportation. Other articles exported are: butter, cheese, meat, bacon, whisky, stout, linen, chemicals, machinery, computers, pharmaceuticals.
Today Ireland is the most deforested area in Europe. Considerably part of the territory is covered with bogs, or soft, wet, marshy ground, having a total surface of about 4.500 square miles/11.654 square kilometers. This renders communications difficult and reduces the area of fertile soil. Ferns are plentiful in many regions, especially in the western area. Many species of wild-flowers grow profusely in all parts of Ireland: they can be found on lake shores, rock ledges, dunes, marshes.
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source: The English-Speaking World - UK - USA - Edizioni A:P.E
Britain and America - Past and Present - Petrini Torino