There is no additional sales tax added to goods items in the north or the Republic. Value-added tax will have already been added to many items (non-EC residents can claim VAT back).

Free travel is given to all Senior citizens in the Republic. This entitles travel on public buses and trains at off-peak times.

Alcohol can only be served to over-18s.

Voting begins at 18 although it is not compulsory.

Irish facts 2

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Political facts (continued)

The Irish Republic was declared on 18 April 1949.

There are two elected political houses, the Dail and the Seanad. Members of the Dail are voted using proportional representation while Senators are elected by commercial, political and educational forums.

The political leader of the Republic is known as the Taoiseach. The head of state is the President - also elected by the people but with virtually no political power.

There are several political parties in the Republic. The oldest date back to the civil war namely Fianna Fail (De Valera) and Fine Gael (Collins). While socialism played a part in the 1916 Rising, modern socialist Irish parties hold a small minority with Labour being the best represented.

The Republic is not a member of NATO but has been a member of the European Community since 1973.

Proportional representation is the voting system used in the Republic.

Provision is made to consult the people on matters of national importance; this is done through a referendum.

Irish law is founded in its constitution, first adopted in 1937.


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