There is no such thing as a perfect time to visit Ireland, and although the weather is always highly changeable, the temperatures are rarely extreme. Known as the land of ‘Saints and Scholars’, due to its rich heritage of religious devotion and education, and the ‘Emerald Isle’, due to its abundance of lush green vegetation, Ireland has long been associated with romance and beauty, humour and sadness. Ireland has had a long history, stretching back 12,000 years, and it has been ruled over the years by the Celts, the Normans and the English. After many years of English and British rule, Ireland became fully independent in 1937, although a part of Ireland - Northern Ireland - remained under British rule. Ireland had had a long history of poverty and immigration and, following a long period of protectionism, the new Irish state began to open up to the world. Northern Ireland continued to prove a stumbling block for peace between the UK and Ireland until the Good Friday Agreement ushered in a new era of cooperation.
Ireland joined the UN in 1955 and entered the EU in 1973. It is also a member of the Eurozone. The Irish economy has emerged from the depths of a severe economic recession and there are signs that the economic recovery, under way since 2012, is set to continue. Ireland has now emerged as a leader in innovation, with a business-friendly Government, a highly educated workforce, excellent infrastructure, and favourable tax policies for business. The recovery was hard fought and is a testament to the hard work and optimism of the Irish people, famously friendly and welcoming, and known the world over for their warmth and charm. It is no wonder Ireland has become such a popular destination for tourism and business.