in Europe occupying approximately five-sixths of the island
of the same name. Its capital is Dublin. Ireland, which had a population of 4.58 million in 2011, is a constitutional republic
governed as a parliamentary democracy, with an elected president serving as head of state
. It is a member of the European Union
1936 Aer Lingus (Aer Loingeas) is founded by the Irish government as the national airline of the Republic of Ireland.
1937 The Irish Free State is replaced by a new state called Ireland with the adoption of a new constitution.
1949 The twenty-six counties of the Irish Free State become the Republic of Ireland.
1949 At midnight 26 Irish counties officially leave the British Commonwealth. A 21-gun salute on O'Connell Bridge, Dublin, ushers in the Republic of Ireland.
1973 Denmark, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the Republic of Ireland are admitted into the European Community.
1973 Mountjoy Prison helicopter escape. Three Provisional Irish Republican Army members escape from Mountjoy Prison, Dublin, Republic of Ireland aboard a hijacked helicopter that lands in the exercise yard.
1976 Christopher Ewart-Biggs British ambassador to the Republic of Ireland is assassinated by the Provisional IRA.
1979 An IRA bomb kills British World War II admiral Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma and 3 others while they are boating on holiday in Sligo, Republic of Ireland. Another bomb near Warrenpoint, Northern Ireland kills 18 British soldiers.
1979 Pope John Paul II becomes the first pope to set foot on Irish soil with his pastoral visit to the Republic of Ireland.
1980 Buttevant Rail Disaster kills 18 and injures dozens of train passengers in Ireland.