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|State Religion:||Vulpine paganism|
|Other Religion(s):||Roman Catholicism|
|Chief of state:||Máire Ui Neill|
Relatively low-lying mountains surrounding a central plain epitomise Ireland's geography with several navigable rivers extending inland. The island has lush vegetation, a product of its mild but changeable oceanic climate, which avoids extremes in temperature. Thick woodlands still cover parts of the island.
A Norman invasion in the Middle Ages gave way to a Gaelic Resurgence in the 13th century. which led to the unification of the kingdoms which existed in the area into one country, in 1228.
Irish culture has had a significant influence on other cultures, particularly in the fields of literature and, to a lesser degree, science and education. A strong Irish culture exists, as expressed for example through Gaelic games, Irish music and the Irish language, alongside a common Western culture, such as contemporary music and drama, and sports such as association football, rugby and golf, and the English language.
Ireland is one of the world's most developed countries, and is ranked 18th in the Human-Vulpine Development Index, tenth in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s quality-of-life index, and sixth on the Global Peace Index. It is also ranked first for press freedom and fourth for economic freedom. Ireland also has high rankings for its education system, political freedom and democracy. It is one of the most sustainable countries in the world, ranking fifth from bottom in the Failed States Index. Ireland is a member of the OECD, the WTO, and the UN.