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Ireland, also known as the Republic of Ireland, is a sovereign state in Europe occupying about five-sixths of the island of Ireland. The capital is Dublin to the east of the island. The state shares its only land border with Northern Ireland, one of the constituent countries of the United Kingdom. It is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the Celtic Sea to the south, Saint George's Channel to the south east, and the Irish Sea to the east. It is a unitary parliamentary republic with an elected president serving as head of state. The head of government, the Taoiseach, is nominated by the lower house of parliament, Dáil Éireann. The modern Irish state gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1922 following a war of independence resulting in the Anglo-Irish Treaty, with Northern Ireland exercising an option to remain in the United Kingdom. Initially a dominion within the British Empire called the Irish Free State, a new constitution and the name of "Ireland" were adopted in 1937. In 1949 the remaining duties of the King were removed and Ireland was declared a republic, with the description Republic of Ireland. The state had no formal relations with Northern Ireland for most of the twentieth century, but since 1999 they have co-operated on a number of policy areas under the North-South Ministerial Council created under the Good Friday Agreement. (via Freebase)