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The Irish government has followed a policy of military neutrality through non-alignment since immediately prior to World War II and the country is consequently not a member of NATO, The Constitution of Ireland, adopted in 1937, provides that "the name of the State is Éire, or, in the English language, Ireland".
Section 2 of the Republic of Ireland Act 1948 states, "It is hereby declared that the description of the State shall be the Republic of Ireland." The 1948 Act does not name the state as "Republic of Ireland", because to have done so would have put it in conflict with the Constitution.
From the Act of Union on 1 January 1801, until 6 December 1922, the island of Ireland was part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
During the Great Famine, from 1845 to 1849, the island's population of over 8 million fell by 30%.
Article 4 of the Constitution of Ireland declares that the name of the state is Ireland; Section 2 of the Republic of Ireland Act 1948 declares that Republic of Ireland is "the description of the State".), is a sovereign state in north-western Europe occupying about five-sixths of the island of Ireland.
The capital and largest city is Dublin, which is located on the eastern part of the island, and whose metropolitan area is home to around a third of the country's 4.75 million inhabitants.
It was officially declared a republic in 1949, following the Republic of Ireland Act 1948.
Ireland became a member of the United Nations in December 1955.
For example, in 2015, Ireland was ranked as the joint sixth (with Germany) most developed country in the world by the United Nations Human Development Index.
One million Irish died of starvation and/or disease and another 1.5 million emigrated, mostly to the United States.
From 1874, and particularly under Charles Stewart Parnell from 1880, the Irish Parliamentary Party gained prominence.
It also performs well in several national performance metrics, including freedom of the press, economic freedom and civil liberties.
Ireland is a member of the European Union and is a founding member of the Council of Europe and the OECD.The state was created as the Irish Free State in 1922 as a result of the Anglo-Irish Treaty.