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Ireland Study http://www.iol.ie/~discover/welcome3.htm



Ireland breaks on a consistant basis what exactly a state is. Formed from an english kingdom into one country and broken by the british into two different parts. It is unified in the view of many people of the world, but at the same time not to itself. Like many national and international organizations for the purpose of this study we will consider the entire island 'Ireland.' However it is prudent to also recognize that the 'Republic of Ireland' and 'Northern Ireland' are two separate political entities.


Ireland was seen as a thrid world country with images of potatoes, IRA bombs, and town drunks named Paddy. Since its economy has grown nearly five-fold since 1973, today, Ireland is considered one of the world's wealthiest countries . It has one of the world's highest levels of GDP per capita, some 20 percent above the European average—while 30 years ago it was 35 percent poorer than the average.

Ireland's success are due the following reasons. They support free trade, they created an environment that is amenable to investment and they educated the population. Align the interests of industry and workers. And, most of all, have patience and persevere; it took decades for Ireland's efforts to bear fruit. But even a country that is a dedicated follower of the Irish way could find that linguistic or geographic bad luck might mean that its perseverance would not be rewarded.

They have a strong education system, unequalled leisure opportunities within a short scenic drive of one another, and there are excellent healthcare and social services. The crime rate is one of the lowest in the developed world and less than half the United Kingdom average.


The state of Ireland is a republic in nature since its founding in June of 1937. It has a three branch government that is remarkably similar to the United States. Suprisingly, despite the simlar structure, the political party structure is not limited to two parties as in the United States.

The executive branch is headed by a president who is advised by both a prime minister and a cabinet. The cabinet and prime minister are coappointed to their positions by the president and the senate.

The legislative branch is broken into two branches a senate and a house of representatives. The senate is nominated by the prime minister, universities and a set of industry panels and elected by a popular vote. The house of representatives is elected by simple popular vote based off population of the country's regions.

Finally the judical branch is headed by a supreme court which is join appointed by the president on the advice of the prime minister and the cabinet. The legal system of Ireland is common law based off the influences of England.


In the past 30 years Ireland has seen an amazing amount of growth in their economy. They went from a virtual third world country to a strong economic power in what was called the 'Celtic Tiger.' The result of this in the late 1990s made Ireland one of the ten richest countries in the world. This has been attributed to Ireland's free economy policies and its entry into the European Union.

The economic structure of the Region is broadly similar to that of the State as a whole. Statistics are largely influenced by the strong economic performance of the Dublin Region over the past number of years. It is essential that the catalysts for economic development such as the availability and quality of human capital, the presence of educational and training facilities, a well developed physical infrastructure and a strong urban structure are exploited so that economic growth can be more evenly distributed throughout the Region.

See chart on website below http://www.seregassembly.ie/region/region.asp?temp=&lang=en

Short video clip on how Ireland is stepping out of the shadow of... http://video.search.yahoo.com/video/view?&h=240&w=320&type=realmedia&rurl=www.cbsnews.com%2Fsections%2Fi_video%2FyahooVideo_frameset.html&vurl=www.cbsnews.com%2Fsections%2Fi_video%2Fmain500251.shtml%3Fchannel%3Di_video%26clip%3D%2Fmedia%2F2004%2F01%2F23%2Fvideo595276.rm%26sec%3D5000%26vidId%3D5000%26title%3DGyles%24%40%24Brandreth%24%40%24on%24%40%24how%24%40%24Ireland%24%40%24is%24%40%24stepping%24%40%24out%24%40%24of%24%40%24the%24%40%24shadow%24%40%24of%24%40%24America%26hitboxMLC%3Dvideo&back=p%3Direland%2Btechonolgy%26toggle%3D1%26ei%3DUTF-8%26fr%3DFP-tab-vid-t%26b%3D21&turl=scd.mm-a1.yimg.com%2Fimage%2F1615641581&name=Gyles+Brandreth+on+how+Ireland+is+stepping+out+of+the+shadow+of...&no=28&tt=6085&p=ireland+techonolgy&size=10.1MB&dur=127&src=p&pld=800x720


The educational system in Ireland consists of primary, secondary, and tertiary levels of education. Primary schools consist of eight years of education, just like in the United States. Primary school education focuses on core subjects such as English Language, Mathematics, Social & Environmental Studies, Arts & Crafts, Music, Physical Education and Religion. Instruction is centered on the individual child rather than the subject, and the teacher has a flexible timetable and different teaching methods available to them. No standardized testing is used during primary school education.

Following the end of primary schooling, students can enter any of three diferent types of second level schools, all of which last six years. The majority of second level schools are simply normal secondary schools, which include the eighty boarding schools in Ireland. Secondary schools are privately owned and administered, but very few charge any fees to Irish students as they are heavily state funded. Common owners/administrators of secondary schools in Ireland are boards of govenors, religions institutions, and even individuals.

Another type of second level school are community/comprehensive schools. Their carriculum differes in that there is much emphasis on specific technical skills in addition to normal academics. These schools are completely funded by the Irish government.

The third type of second level school are vocational schools. Like community/comprehensive schools, vocational schools are completely state funded. Vocational schools focus completely on technical and vocational training.

Students in all three types of second level schools follow a common program of education for their first three years, after which they are tested in order to obtain a Junior Certificate. The final three years of second level education is much more flexible in cariculum, and students are again tested at the end of their education in order to receive their Leaving Certificates.

The third level of education in Ireland consists of the University system, Technical and Technological colleges, and colleges of education. Third level education in Ireland mirrors that in the United States. These Universities and Colleges are all heavily state funded.

Tobin, Paul. Italic textLiving conditions of the EU CitizenItalic text (1997). Avaliable at http://www.eduvinet.de/eduvinet/irl002.htm (20 November 2005).



The Irish legal system is patterned after that of the United Kingdom’s, and was established in 1937 when the Irish constitution was written. The Irish constitution itself is heavily influenced by the US constitution, and includes a Bill of Rights which established the Ireland’s Parliament the Oireachtas. Judges receive lifetime appointments from the President, and can only be removed from office for misbehavior or incapacity. Judges are all senior members of the legal profession.

Ireland is divided into 23 District Courts, over which a Judge presides sans jury and tries minor criminal cases.

There are eight Circuit Courts which try all major criminal cases except murder, treason, piracy and allied offences. The Circuit court also acts as an appeals court for the District Courts. Criminal cases at the Circuit Court level do involve juries of twelve ordinary citizens. Non criminal cases do not involve juries.

Appeals from the Circuit Court are heard by the High Court, which for criminal cases is known as the Central Criminal Court. Criminal cases heard at the Central Criminal Court are presided over by a judge sitting with a jury of twelve ordinary citizens. Non-criminal cases are simply presided over by a single judge.

If the Government feels that the ordinary courts can not provide adequate administration of justice or preserve public peace and order, they can establish Special Criminal Courts. Special Criminal Courts are presided over by three judges pulled one each from the High Court, the Circuit Court, and the District Court. No juries are used in Special Criminal Courts.

Criminal case appeals from the Circuit Court, the Central Criminal Court, and the Special Criminal Court go to the Court of Criminal Appeal, which is presided over by three judges pulled from the High Court and the Supreme Court.

The final court of appeal in all matters is the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court is made up of a Chief Justice, four other judges, and the President of the High Court. In addition to appeals, the President can refer statutes to the Supreme Court before the statute becomes law, and the Supreme Court can determine if any provisions in the statute are in conflict with the constitution.

Since Ireland is a member of the European Union, decisions by the European Court of Justice take precedence over Irish national law.

Lawyers in Ireland are divided into solicitors and barristers. Solicitors deal with most administrative legal issues, such as transfers of ownership, handling of wills, etc. Most of the time solicitors only appear before District Courts and on appeal, Circuit Courts, but they have the right of audience before all courts. Cases in the higher courts are usually handled by barristers, who are usually advised by solicitors. Barristers normally can only be retained by solicitors.

Free counsel is provided in criminal cases when necessary, and in certain circumstances in civil cases.



Information and Communication Technology

Ireland's information and communication technology infrastructure is slowly improving. The growth rate is very high considering Ireland was so far behind compared to other European countries. As of 2004, only 50% of homes and businesses had broadband availability with a 15% geographic coverage. Also approx 25% of the lines connected to broadband enabled networks are not available for broadband use, this is partially due to the poor quality of the existing telecommunication lines. Coverage should expand if the telephone network is refurbished, current total line estimates are 2,046,000. There are three major providers of telephone service Eircom, BT Ireland, Smart Telecom with Eircom being the telecom giant out of the three. Eircom, correctly spelt eircom(lower case), has much to do with the bad line quality that is effecting the broadband coverage availability; they are responsible for not keeping up with line degradation in their network maintenance. The mobile market has four providers - 3 Ireland, O2 Ireland, Meteor Ltd and Vodafone Ireland. As of Sept 2005 there are approx 3,831,000 mobile lines. Vodafone acquired Eircell in 2001, creating Vodafone Eircell, the largest mobile service provider in Ireland. Eircell was the first in the world to introduce the ‘pay as you go’ system. In 2002 the company was re-branded as Vodafone Ireland. Vodafone Ireland operates a digital system (GSM/UMTS). GSM provides transfer rates of 14.5kbits/s while UMTS (commonly known as 3G) supports 1920kbit/s data transfer rates. Vodafone Ireland was first to launch the UMTS service in Ireland. O2 Ireland is the second largest mobile service provider in the Republic of Ireland. O2 has about 1.27million customers (40% market share). The company operates a GSM system, and is expected to offer 3G services (UMTS) soon. Hutchinson 3G Ireland Limited is a mobile provider that trades under the brand name “3”. It has a UMTS system only, the company is young, services launched in July of 2005. Customers of “3” can roam on the Vodafone Ireland GSM network. 3 began testing its networks with corporate clients in 2004; its network did not become available to the public until 2005. Al Kemner


The state Ireland has the top level domain 'ie' designated to it. Northern Ireland has three underwater cables that connect it to the UK, allowing Northern Ireland to have a secure high capacity connection with the rest of the world.

See pic below on website http://www.investni.com/index/locate/lc-why-northern-ireland/infrastructure-2.htm

Never before has Northern Ireland's infrastructural development been the central political and economic issue that it is today. It is now widely accepted that 30 years of focus on 'political' issues has led to huge underinvestment in Northern Ireland's public infrastructure. As a result Northern Ireland is now faced with an ageing public infrastructure, which is no longer sufficient to cope with the demands being placed upon it. Public transport is underdeveloped, roads are becoming more and more congested, water and sewerage systems are inadequate and much modernisation and investment is required in both the health and education sectors. Public policy is now focusing on infrastructure and public investment priorities - an estimated £16 billion over the next 10 years

Critical Gaps

Corruption has worsened over the past eight years. Ireland’s infrastructure is having trouble keeping up with the population growth, due to immigration and a high birth rate. A major gap in the communication is the language barriers of the tourism industry. Most staff in hospitality, tourism, and transport do not have language skills; these staff have problems communicating with tourists that have little command of English. Additionally, the use of multilingual signs, foreign tour guides, and the use of foreign language recorded commentary are very limited. On average the websites are English only and do not offer other languages.

See web site http://www.idaireland.com/home/index.aspx

Physical barriers and poor quality transport links are posing a problem, but could be addressed with new technologies. Social exclusion and equal opportunity can be addressed with the use of ICT. Outside of Dublin there are big gaps in what is available, mostly because of a weak infrastructure and training. The rural areas of Ireland are the most underdeveloped, with less house holds using the Internet then the rest of the UK; rural businesses are also far behind in Internet usage.

Government Initiatives

The government in Northern Ireland is committed to technology and communication growth for use by investors and local businesses. Northern Ireland is expected to have 100% broadband availability by the end of 2005. The government is looking to appoint a Service Provider to speed up the availability of broadband throughout Northern Ireland.

The Northern Ireland government unit, Reach, used Microsoft Department Interface Server (DIS) 2004 and Microsoft Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server 2004 to create a n infrastructure shared by government departments. The Government Gateway that was created will allow for launching online services, safeguarded by two layers of security. Microsoft’s BizTalk server is at the core of the Department Interface and Server(DIS). Reach was created by the Government of Ireland to integrate the public servers and the framework for electronic government. The Irish Council for Science, Technology & Innovation was created in 1997. This department is responsible scientific research for technology and development; in addition they are also responsible for the education on the primary, secondary, and third levels. The government has also initiated ‘The National Development Plan 2000-2006’ which pinpoints balanced regional development as a major objective of the Plan.


Northern Ireland has one of Europe's youngest populations - nearly 60% of the region's 1.69 million residents are under the age of 40, providing a young, enthusiastic and growing labour pool.

Localization Project

As far as I can tell a common facet of Irish web design is the fact that the sites tend to be slightly dual language. This means that proper names tend to have both the English Spelling and Irish evivalent on them. Also there seems to be a predominate choice of green and blue on the web pages we have encountered.


Elara Electronics Retailer

Notebook Section

Elara is a major online computer retailer of Ireland and follows many conventions of how Irish web design is done. First, Elara's web site is very light weight in regards to pictures. This is because the average Irish household is still on dial-up for their Internet access. So as a direct result, Irish web content tends to be predominately text based. There notable exceptions to this rule in the form of product pictures and annoying advertising, but not in the form of actual page structure.

The second big internationalization change comes in the form of the currency, in the Republic of Ireland the currency is the Euro and in Northern Ireland it is the pound. Also related to that feature is the value added tax that is tacked onto everything.

The third large characteristic of the site is the left alignment. In America there is a general trend of acceptance of right dominated pages in web design, however almost all of the Irish pages we examined stuck to a strong left alignment.

Finally there is a tendancy for the page to use subdued hues instead of bright colors.

Our Localization


For localization we decided to use Newegg.com as a starting point. It is a major computer part supplier in the US, and would easily fit in Irish culture. However the site does not conform to certain Irish needs and must be changed. Firstly we removed the left set of links and moved up the 'Quick Links' section. This is a bandwidth issue and will help cut the site of unnecessary content. Second we changed the product advertising into tabular form. Since the Irish don't tend to have a large number of images on the page, we had transform the table into a list to retain a coherent look and feel. The third change we made was the currency conversion. Since both the 'Republic of Ireland' and 'Northern Ireland' use a non-US currency the transition to Euros and Pounds was needed. Fourth due to the extensive use of images on the right side bar, we removed it to further cut the bandwidth. Also the majority of the content bars were also cut. Fifth like the right side, a large number of left side content panels were cut to reduce wasted page length. Sixth and finally we cut the thickness of the footer as a bandwidth reducing issue. All these helped to make the site much more pleasing to the Irish.














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