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Seminar paper from the year 2005 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Culture and Applied Geography, grade: 1,3, University of Trier, course: Examenskolloquium Linguistik, 28 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: The island of Ireland is divided into the four provinces of Connaught, Leinster, Munster and Ulster. These are further divided into 32 counties for administrative purposes. Six Ulster counties form Northern Ireland while the other 26 counties form the Republic of Ireland.1The population of the island is about 5.7 million people. 4 million live in the Republic of Ireland and 1.7. in Northern Ireland. Ireland can look back at a very turbulent history. It has a special position in that has been one of the few places not invaded by Roman conquerors. However, it has been invaded by the Vikings and, of course, by the Anglo-Normans who both played an important part in the history of the island. Today, most people think about the Northern Ireland conflict when they think about Ireland. The news concerning Ireland in the 20thcentury was mainly connected with IRA bomb attacks, parades of the Orange Order or peace negotiations. Recently, the decommissioning of weapons by the IRA is in the public eye. However, not only its history makes Ireland a country worth looking at. The language situation of the island is also special. In the Republic of Ireland, the first official language is Irish although it is only spoken as an everyday language by a minority of speakers. In Northern Ireland, English is the first official language with Irish being a minority language. The following paper will focus on Ireland's history and language situation. In the first part, Ireland's history from prehistoric times until today will be briefly outlined. The main focus will lie on the 20thcentury until today. The second part of the paper will deal with the language situation of Ireland. The origins and historical development of the Irish language will be described. Irish speaking areas and different dialects of Irish will be mentioned. Furthermore, this paper will look on the situation of the Irish language today. In addition, the paper will deal with Irish English, the form of English used in Ireland. Differences to Standard English concerning pronunciation, grammar and vocabulary will be mentioned.