However, summers are cooler than those in Continental Europe. The earliest evidence of human presence in Ireland is dated at 10,500 BC. The island was Christianised from the 5th century onward.
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For other uses, see Ireland (disambiguation).) is an island in the North Atlantic.
It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel, the Irish Sea, and St George's Channel. It is the second largest island in the British Isles, after Great Britain.
The theory holds that there were four separate Celtic invasions of Ireland.
The Priteni were said to be the first, followed by the Belgae from northern Gaul and Britain.
Just under 4.8 million live in the Republic of Ireland and just over 1.8 million live in Northern Ireland.
The island's geography comprises relatively low-lying mountains surrounding a central plain, with several navigable rivers extending inland.In 1973 the Republic of Ireland joined the European Economic Community while the United Kingdom, and Northern Ireland, as part of it, did the same.Irish culture has had a significant influence on other cultures, especially in the fields of literature.Alongside mainstream Western culture, a strong indigenous culture exists, as expressed through Gaelic games, Irish music, and the Irish language.The culture of the island also shares many features with that of Great Britain, including the English language, and sports such as association football, rugby, horse racing, and golf.Politically, Ireland is divided between the Republic of Ireland (officially named Ireland), which covers five-sixths of the island, and Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom, in the northeast of the island.