Wired Ireland

The stereotypical view of Ireland is of a rural, agricultural country where the people are friendly, but short of money and not very in touch with the modern world. Nothing could be further from the truth. Today, only about 8% of Irish people work in agriculture, and the population is young and well-educated. Nearly a third of Irish residents are aged between 25-44. In the decade, government initiatives have encouraged manufacturing and service industries in Ireland and have brought in much foreign investment, especially from Europe. Ireland is a member of the EU and, unlike the UK, adopted the euro as its currency at the beginning of 2002. Electronics is the largest manufacturing industry in Ireland, and a third of the country's exports these days consists of products from the telecommunications and computer industries. About 300 computer and software companies, including world leaders such as Apple, Dell, Microsoft and Intel, have operations in Ireland. Almost a third of personal computers and 60% of packaged software sold in Europe comes from Ireland.

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