Martin John Brundle is a British racing driver, best known as a Formula One driver and as a commentator for ITV Sport from 1997 to 2008, the BBC from 2009 to 2011, Sky Sports since 2012. Brundle contested the 1983 British Formula Three Championship, finishing a close second to Ayrton Senna, the two progressed to Formula One the next year. Brundle failed to win a race at the top level of single seater racing, though continued to find success in other series, he was the 1988 World Sportscar Champion with Silk Cut Jaguar, with a record points score. Brundle had an unorthodox route to Formula One, he began his racing career at the age of 12, competing in grass track racing, in the Norfolk village of Pott Row. In 1975, he received ` Star grade' status. In 1979, he started single seater racing in Formula Ford. During this time he raced Tom Walkinshaw's BMW touring cars, during which he finished second against a field of international drivers at Snetterton, he won the BMW championship in 1980, partnered Stirling Moss in the TWR-run BP/Audi team during the 1981 British Saloon Car Championship season.
In 1982, he moved up to Formula Three achieving five pole positions and two wins in his debut season. He won the Grovewood Award as the most promising Commonwealth driver; the next year, he competed with Ayrton Senna for the Formula Three championship, which Brundle lost on the final laps of the last race. In 1984, he was offered a Formula One entry, his Formula One career began with the Tyrrell Racing Organisation in 1984. He put in a number of aggressive and fast drives, finishing fifth in his first race in Brazil and second in Detroit. At the 1984 Dallas Grand Prix Brundle broke his ankles and both feet in a crash during a practice session, was forced to miss the rest of the season while he recuperated. While Brundle did recover, the damage would leave him with permanent injuries, preventing him from running and left-foot braking. In the year Tyrrell were disqualified from the World Championship due to a technical infringement and Brundle's achievements for that season were wiped from the record books.
For the next two seasons he remained with Tyrrell, despite the team's switch from the Cosworth DFV to the turbocharged Renault engines in mid-1985, the team struggled against the works teams. He scored only eight points in his time with Tyrrell, all in the 1986 season. In 1987 he left Tyrrell and moved to the struggling West German team Zakspeed, but scored only two points during the year; the Zakspeed 871 car was unable to compete with the front runners. The two points scored by Brundle in 1987 were the only points the Zakspeed team scored in their five-year run in Formula One; the driver he replaced at Zakspeed, fellow Englishman Jonathan Palmer, would join Tyrrell in 1987 who were once again using a Cosworth engine. While Brundle only had one point scoring finish for the season, Palmer would go on to score 6 World Championship points for Tyrrell and would win the Jim Clark Cup as the'Atmo Champion' for drivers of cars with Naturally aspirated engines. Four years of Formula One racing for underfunded teams led Brundle to seek a new challenge, thus in 1988 he took a year out.
Brundle had been associated with Jaguar since 1983, when he drove TWR-prepared Jaguar XJS touring cars in the European Touring Car Championship. From his two starts with the Jaguar team Brundle took two victories, the second in partnership with TWR owner Tom Walkinshaw; when Jaguar decided to return to the World Sportscar Championship and the American IMSA championship, in partnership with TWR, Walkinshaw chose Brundle as his lead driver. The team performed well in the 1988 World Sportscar Championship season, Brundle won the world sportscar title with a record points haul, he won the Daytona 24 Hours the same year. He became the test driver for Williams and stood in for Nigel Mansell at the 1988 Belgian Grand Prix, after Mansell was struck down with chickenpox. Brundle was to have driven Mansell's Williams-Judd again at the next race at Monza in Italy but prior IMSA commitments with TWR saw the drive go to fellow World Sportscar Championship contender Jean-Louis Schlesser instead. Schlesser would infamously be involved in the incident which caused the retirement of McLaren's Ayrton Senna late in the race, handing the win to Ferrari's Gerhard Berger and causing McLaren's only loss of the 1988 season.
In 1989 he returned to Formula One full-time with the returning Brabham team who would be running the Judd V8 engine. But while the former champions were competitive, with Brundle running third at Monaco until a flat battery forced him to pit for a replacement while his teammate Stefano Modena finishing third, Brabham were unable to recapture their early past success and Brundle, who had failed to pre-qualify for both the Canadian and French races during the season opted to move back into the sports car arena for 1990, his 1990 24 Hours of Le Mans victory rejuvenated his career, but still a top-line race seat in Formula One eluded him. As well as contesting races in sports prototypes, Brundle contested the American IROC series in 1990, he took victory at the temporary circuit at Burke Lakefront Airport and finished third in the overall standings. In 1991 he rejoined Brabham, but the squad had fallen further down the grid and good results were sparse. Seasoned observers noticed Brundle's drives into the points in the uncompetitive Brabh
Bank of Ireland
Bank of Ireland Group plc is a commercial bank operation in Ireland and one of the traditional'Big Four' Irish banks. The premier banking organisation in Ireland, the Bank occupies a unique position in Irish banking history. At the core of the modern-day group is the old Bank of Ireland, the ancient institution established by Royal Charter in 1783. Bank of Ireland is the oldest bank in continuous operation in Ireland; the history is. 1783 – 25 June 1783, the Bank of Ireland opened for business at Mary's Abbey in a private house owned by one Charles Blakeney. 1808 – 6 June 1808, Bank of Ireland moved to 2 College Green. 1864 – Bank of Ireland first pays interest on deposits. 1926 – The Bank of Ireland took control of the National Land Bank – a friendly society. 1948 – The Bank of Ireland 1783–1946 by F. G. Hall was published jointly by Hodges Figgis and Blackwell's. 1958 – The Bank took over the Hibernian Bank Limited. 1965 – The National Bank Ltd, a bank founded by Daniel O'Connell in 1835, had branches in Ireland and Britain.
The Irish branches were acquired by Bank of Ireland and rebranded temporarily as National Bank of Ireland, before being incorporated into Bank of Ireland. The British branches were acquired by Glyn's Bank. 1980 - The first Pass card and machine were open known as ATM. 1983 – Bank of Ireland Bi-Centenary. A commemorative stamp was issued; the Bank commissioned the publication of "An Irish Florilegium". 1995 – Bank of Ireland merge First New Hampshire Bank with Royal Bank of Scotland's Citizens Financial Group 1996 – Bank of Ireland buys the Bristol and West building society for €882m, which keeps its own brand. 1999 – Merger talks with Alliance & Leicester were held and called off. 2000 – It is announced that Bank of Ireland is to acquire Chase de Vere. 2002 – Bank of Ireland acquires Iridian, the US investment manager, which doubles the size of its asset management business. 2005 – Bank of Ireland completes the sale of the Bristol and West branch and Direct Savings to Britannia Building Society.
2008 – Moody's Investors Service changed its outlook on Bank of Ireland from stable to negative. Moody's pinpointed concerns over weakening asset quality and the impact of a more challenging economic environment on profitability at Bank of Ireland. A share price collapse followed. 2009 – The Irish government announces a €7 billion rescue package for the bank and Allied Irish Banks plc in February. The biggest bank robbery in the history of the state took place at Bank of Ireland at College Green. Consultants Oliver Wyman validated Bank of Ireland's bad debt levels at €6 billion over three years to March 2011, a bad debt level, exceeded by €1 billion within a matter of months. 2010 – The European Commission orders the disposal of Bank of Ireland Asset Management, New Ireland Assurance, ICS Building Society, its US Foreign Exchange business and the stakes held in the Irish Credit Bureau and in an American Asset Manager followed the receipt of Irish Government State aid. 2011 – The Securities Services Division is sold to Northern Trust Corporation.
2013 – Bank of Ireland more than doubles interest rates on mortgages tracking the Bank of England rates, citing the need to hold more reserves and the'increased cost of funding mortgages'. Described by Ray Boulger of broker John Charcol as'having shot the reputation of its mortgages to smithereens' the bank continues to offer competitive mortgages through the Post Office. 2014 – Regulation of the bank will transfer to the European Central Bank. 2014 – Enters marketing alliance with EVO Payments International and re-enters the card acquiring market. BOI Payment Acceptance launches in December 2014; the Bank of Ireland is not, was never, the Irish central bank. However, as well as being a commercial bank – a deposit-taker and a credit institution – it performed many central bank functions, much like the earlier-established Bank of Scotland and Bank of England; the Bank of Ireland operated the Exchequer Account and during the nineteenth century acted as something of a banker of last resort. The titles of the chairman of the board of directors and the title of the board itself suggest a central bank status.
From the foundation of the Irish Free State in 1922 until 31 December 1971, the Bank of Ireland was the banker of the Irish Government. The headquarters of the bank until the 1970s was the impressive Parliament House on College Green, Dublin; this building was designed by Sir Edward Lovett Pearce in 1729 to host the Irish Parliament, it was the world's first purpose-built bicameral parliament building. The bank had planned to commission a building designed by Sir John Soane to be constructed on the site bounded by Westmoreland Street, Fleet Street, College Street and D'Olier Street. However, the project was cancelled following the Act of Union in 1800, when the newly defunct Parliament House was bought by the Bank of Ireland in 1803; the former Parliament House continues today as a working branch. Today, visitors can still view the impressive Irish House of Lords chamber within the old headquarters building; the Oireachtas, the modern parliament of the Republic of Ireland, is now housed in Leinster House in Dublin.
In 2011, the Irish Government set out proposals to acquire the building as a venue for the state to use as a cultural venue. In the 1970s the bank moved its headquarters to a modern building on Lower Baggot Street, Dublin 2; as Frank McDonald notes in his book Destructi
Jordan Grand Prix
Jordan Grand Prix was a Formula One constructor that competed from 1991 to 2005. The team is named after founder Eddie Jordan. Jordan and his team were well known for an easygoing attitude which added colour and character to Formula One in the 1990s; the team was based at UK but raced with the Irish licence. In early 2005, the team was sold to Midland Group, who competed for one final season as'Jordan', before renaming the team as MF1 Racing for the 2006 season, before being sold in 2006 to Dutch car manufacturer Spyker to become Spyker F1 for 2007, sold again to become Force India in 2008. In 2018, as a result of the financial collapse of the Force India team, its subsequent buyout by a consortium led by Lawrence Stroll, the team's FIA entry was not transferred, the Jordan Grand Prix's original entry was excluded from the sport. Eddie Jordan, bitten by the karting bug in Jersey in 1970, had a brief stint as a race driver in the late 1970s before founding Eddie Jordan Racing in the early 1980s.
The team first came to prominence in the 1983 British Formula Three championship with a duel between one-time Jordan test driver Ayrton Senna and Jordan-Ralt driver Martin Brundle. Brundle was edged out by the Brazilian at the last round of the championship; the team graduated to International Formula 3000 for 1988, winning its first race in the category with Johnny Herbert. In 1989, Jordan won the F3000 drivers' championship with future Formula One star Jean Alesi; the team ran future F1 drivers such as Martin Donnelly and Eddie Irvine in F3000. Jordan's success in lower formulae inspired the creation of a Formula One programme for the 1991 season and a change of name to Jordan Grand Prix; the first driver to test a Jordan F1 car was veteran Ulsterman John Watson. Jordan hired Italian veteran Andrea de Cesaris and Belgian Bertrand Gachot to race his first cars, which were powered by Ford; the team had a solid debut finishing 5th in the Constructors' Championship, with de Cesaris finishing 9th in the Drivers' Championship.
De Cesaris ran second for much of the Belgian Grand Prix, was gaining on leader Ayrton Senna until the car failed in the closing laps. Gachot failed to end the season after being sent to prison for attacking a taxi driver. Gachot was replaced for the Belgian Grand Prix by Michael Schumacher, for whom the team received $150,000 from Mercedes-Benz who were keen to give their young German sportscar star experience of Grand Prix racing in readiness for the firm's future F1 ambitions. Despite Jordan's signed agreement in principle with Mercedes for the remainder of the season, Schumacher was signed by Benetton-Ford for the following race. Jordan applied for an injunction in the UK courts to prevent Schumacher driving for Benetton, but lost the case as they had not yet signed a contract. Future Champ Car title winner Alex Zanardi and ousted Benetton driver Roberto Moreno filled the second car afterwards. Success for Jordan came at a high price; the team was forced to switch to cheaper Yamaha engines for the 1992 season.
With Maurício Gugelmin and Stefano Modena driving, the team struggled badly and failed to score a point until the final race of the season. 1993 saw further changes, with the team again changing this time to Hart. Again, the season started with two new drivers, Ivan Capelli and Brazilian rookie Rubens Barrichello. Capelli left after two races and Barrichello saw five other drivers become teammates of his during the 1993 campaign. Jordan only had scoring three points. Signs of stability were beginning to show near the end of the season when Barrichello was joined by Eddie Irvine, a former Jordan driver in F3000; the Ulsterman secured a point on his debut Formula One race at Suzuka. It was further memorable because Irvine unlapped himself against McLaren's Ayrton Senna, in order to overtake Damon Hill. After the race finished, an incensed Senna, infuriated by what he deemed as unsafe racing by Irvine in poor weather conditions stormed into the Jordan garage and punched Irvine in the face after Irvine pushed him in a heated discussion in which both drivers lost their temper.
Barrichello and Irvine returned for the 1994 season, as did the Hart engines, but Irvine had a bad start to the season, earning a three-race ban for reckless driving. Barrichello earned the team their first top three finish in Japan at the Pacific Grand Prix, but was nearly killed during the following race in San Marino following a frightening qualifying crash; the team overcame these difficulties and returned to their initial form as they finished fifth in the Constructors' Championship again. Barrichello earned Jordan's first pole position after a gamble during a wet qualifying session in Belgium, finished 6th in the Drivers' Championship with 19 points; this achievement stunned the Formula 1 big teams given the fact that a team with such a low budget with an engine designed and built by Darrell O'Brien/Hart Engineering achieved 5th in the Constructors' Championship with 28 points. Jordan switched to Peugeot power in 1995. During the Canadian Grand Prix that year, both Barrichello and Irvine finished on the podium, finishing second and third respectively.
It was the highlight to an unspectacular but solid year for Jordan, as they hung around mid-pack to finish 6th in the Championship. When Irvine left in 1996 to become Michael Schumacher's teammate at Ferrari, Jordan replaced him with veteran Martin Brundle, the ex-Le Mans winner and World Sportscar Champion; the team failed to make the podium, but both drivers managed to score a string of fourth-place finishes as the team scored yet another 5th among the constructors. 1996 saw the team adopt their bright-yellow color scheme which would become their trademark. 1997
Damon Graham Devereux Hill, is a British former racing driver. He is the son of Graham Hill, along with Nico Rosberg, one of only two sons of a Formula One world champion to win the title, he started racing on motorbikes in 1981, after minor success moved on to single-seater racing cars. Despite progressing up the ranks to the International Formula 3000 championship by 1989, being competitive, he never won a race at that level. Hill became a test driver for the Formula One title-winning Williams team in 1992, he was promoted to the Williams race team the following year after Riccardo Patrese's departure and took the first of his 22 victories at the 1993 Hungarian Grand Prix. During the mid-1990s, Hill was Michael Schumacher's main rival for the Formula One Drivers' Championship, which saw the two clash several times on and off the track, their collision at the 1994 Australian Grand Prix gave Schumacher his first title by a single point. Hill was dropped by Williams for the following season, he went on to drive for the less competitive Arrows and Jordan teams, in 1998 gave Jordan their first win.
Hill retired from racing after the 1999 season. He has since launched several businesses and has made appearances playing the guitar with celebrity bands. In 2006, he became president of the British Racing Drivers' Club. Hill was succeeded by Derek Warwick, he presided over the securing of a 17-year contract for Silverstone to hold Formula One races, which enabled the circuit to see extensive renovation work. Hill works as part of the Sky Sports F1 broadcasting team. Hill was born in London, to Graham and Bette Hill. Graham Hill was a racing driver in the international Formula One series, he won the world Drivers' Championship in 1962 and 1968 and became a well-known personality in the United Kingdom. Graham Hill's career provided a comfortable living. Bette was a former medalist at the European Rowing Championships. By 1975 the family lived in a "25-room country mansion" in Hertfordshire and Damon attended the independent The Haberdashers' Aske's Boys' School; the death of his father in an aeroplane crash in 1975 left the 15-year-old Hill, his mother, sisters Samantha and Brigitte in drastically reduced circumstances.
Hill worked as a motorcycle courier to support his further education. Hill is married to Susan George and they have four children: Oliver, Joshua and Rosie. Oliver was born with Down's syndrome and Hill and Georgie are both patrons of the Down's Syndrome Association. In 2008, Hill became the first patron of St. Joseph's Specialist School and College, a school for children with severe learning disabilities and autism in Cranleigh, Surrey. Joshua started racing in 2008, competing in the British Formula Renault Championship in 2011. On 9 July 2013 Joshua announced his retirement from motor racing. Hill started his motorsport career in motorcycle racing in 1981, he used the same simple identifiable helmet design as his father: eight white oar blades arranged vertically around the upper surface of a dark blue helmet. The device and colours represent the London Rowing Club for which Graham Hill rowed in the early 1950s. Although he won a 350 cc clubman's championship at the Brands Hatch circuit, his racing budget came from working as a building labourer and he "didn't look destined for great things" according to Motorcycle News reporter Rob McDonnell.
He worked as a dispatch rider for Special Delivery, a London motorcycle dispatch company and was provided TZ350 racing bikes by them. His mother, concerned about the dangers of racing motorcycles, persuaded him to take a racing car course at the Winfield Racing School in France in 1983. Although he showed "above-average aptitude", Hill had only sporadic single-seater races until the end of 1984, he graduated through British Formula Ford, winning six races driving a Van Diemen for Manadient Racing in 1985, his first full season in cars, finishing third and fifth in the two UK national championships. He took third place in the final of the 1985 Formula Ford Festival, helping the UK to win the team prize. For 1986, Hill planned to move up to the British Formula Three Championship with title-winning team West Surrey Racing; the loss of sponsorship from Ricoh, the death of his proposed teammate Bertrand Fabi in a testing accident, ended Hill's proposed drive. Hill says "When Bert was killed, I took the conscious decision that I wasn't going to stop doing that sort of thing.
It's not just competing, it's doing something more exciting. I'm at racing or whatever, and I'm more frightened of letting it all slip and reaching 60 and finding I've done nothing." Hill borrowed £100,000 to finance his racing and had a steady first season for Murray Taylor Racing in 1986 before taking a brace of wins in each of the following years for Intersport. He finished third in the 1988 championship. In Europe in the 1990s, a successful driver would progress from Formula Three either directly to Formula One, the pinnacle of the sport, or to the International Formula 3000 championship. However, Hill did not have enough sponsorship available to fund a drive in F3000, he says "I ended up having to reappraise my career a bit. The first thing was to realise. I made the decision that whatever I drove I would do it to the best of my ability and see where it led." He took a one-off drive in the lower level British F3000 championship and shared a Porsche 962 at Le Mans for Richard Lloyd Racing, where th
McLaren Racing Limited is a British motor racing team based at the McLaren Technology Centre, Surrey, England. McLaren is best known as a Formula One constructor but competes in the Indianapolis 500 and has won the Canadian-American Challenge Cup; the team is the second oldest active Formula One team after Ferrari, where they compete as McLaren F1 Team. They are the second most successful team in Formula One history after Ferrari, having won 182 races, 12 Drivers' Championships and eight Constructors' Championships; the team is a wholly owned subsidiary of the McLaren Group. Founded in 1963 by New Zealander Bruce McLaren, the team won its first Grand Prix at the 1968 Belgian Grand Prix, but their greatest initial success was in Can-Am, which they dominated from 1967 to 1971. Further American triumph followed, with Indianapolis 500 wins in McLaren cars for Mark Donohue in 1972 and Johnny Rutherford in 1974 and 1976. After Bruce McLaren died in a testing accident in 1970, Teddy Mayer took over and led the team to their first Formula One Constructors' Championship in 1974, with Emerson Fittipaldi and James Hunt winning the Drivers' Championship in 1974 and 1976 respectively.
The year 1974 marked the start of a long-standing sponsorship by Phillip Morris' Marlboro cigarette brand. In 1981, McLaren merged with Ron Dennis' Project Four Racing; this began the team's most successful era: with Porsche and Honda engines, Niki Lauda, Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna took between them seven Drivers' Championships and the team took six Constructors' Championships. The combination of Prost and Senna was dominant—together they won all but one race in 1988—but their rivalry soured and Prost left for Ferrari. Fellow English team Williams offered the most consistent challenge during this period, the two winning every constructors' title between 1984 and 1994. However, by the mid-1990s, Honda had withdrawn from Formula One, Senna had moved to Williams, the team went three seasons without a win. With Mercedes-Benz engines, West sponsorship, former Williams designer Adrian Newey, further championships came in 1998 and 1999 with driver Mika Häkkinen, during the 2000s the team were consistent front-runners, driver Lewis Hamilton taking their latest title in 2008.
Ron Dennis retired as McLaren team principal in 2009, handing over to long time McLaren employee Martin Whitmarsh. However, at the end of 2013, after the team's worst season since 2004, Whitmarsh was ousted. McLaren announced in 2013 that they would be using Honda engines from 2015 onwards, replacing Mercedes-Benz; the team raced as McLaren-Honda for the first time since 1992 at the 2015 Australian Grand Prix. In September 2017, McLaren announced they had agreed on an engine supply with Renault from 2018 to 2020. Bruce McLaren Motor Racing was founded in 1963 by New Zealander Bruce McLaren. Bruce was a works driver for the British Formula One team Cooper with whom he had won three Grands Prix and come second in the 1960 World Championship. Wanting to compete in the Australasian Tasman Series, Bruce approached his employers, but when team owner Charles Cooper insisted on using 1.5-litre Formula One-specification engines instead of the 2.5-litre motors permitted by the Tasman rules, Bruce decided to set up his own team to run him and his prospective Formula One teammate Timmy Mayer with custom-built Cooper cars.
Bruce won the 1964 series, but Mayer was killed in practice for the final race at the Longford Circuit in Tasmania. When Bruce McLaren approached Teddy Mayer to help him with the purchase of the Zerex sports car from Roger Penske, Teddy Mayer and Bruce McLaren began discussing a business partnership resulting in Teddy Mayer buying in to Bruce McLaren Motor Racing Limited becoming its largest shareholder; the team was based in Feltham in 1963–1964, from 1965 until 1981 in Colnbrook, England. The team held the British licence. Despite this, Bruce never used the traditional British racing green on his cars. Instead, he used colour schemes. During this period, Bruce drove for his team in sports car races in the United Kingdom and North America and entered the 1965 Tasman Series with Phil Hill, but did not win it, he continued to drive in Grands Prix for Cooper, but judging that team's form to be waning, decided to race his own cars in 1966. Bruce made the team's Grand Prix debut at the 1966 Monaco race.
His race ended after nine laps due to a terminal oil leak. The 1966 car was the M2B designed by Robin Herd, but the programme was hampered by a poor choice of engines: a 3.0-litre version of Ford's Indianapolis 500 engine and a Serenissima V8 were used, the latter scoring the team's first point in Britain, but both were underpowered and unreliable. For 1967 Bruce decided to use a British Racing Motors V12 engine, but due to delays with the engine, was forced to use a modified Formula Two car called the M4B powered by a 2.1-litre BRM V8 building a similar but larger car called the M5A for the V12. Neither car brought the best result being a fourth at Monaco. For 1968, after driving McLaren's sole entry for the previous two years, Bruce was joined by 1967 champion and fellow New Zealander Denny Hulme, racing for McLaren in Can-Am; that year's new M7A car, Herd's final design for the team, was powered by Cosworth's new and soon to be ubiquitous DFV engine and with
Republic of Ireland
Ireland known as the Republic of Ireland, is a country in north-western Europe occupying 26 of 32 counties of the island of Ireland. The capital and largest city is Dublin, located on the eastern part of the island, whose metropolitan area is home to around a third of the country's over 4.8 million inhabitants. The sovereign state shares its only land border with a part of the United Kingdom, it is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the Celtic Sea to the south, St George's Channel to the south-east, the Irish Sea to the east. It is a parliamentary republic; the legislature, the Oireachtas, consists of a lower house, Dáil Éireann, an upper house, Seanad Éireann, an elected President who serves as the ceremonial head of state, but with some important powers and duties. The head of government is the Taoiseach, elected by the Dáil and appointed by the President; the state was created as the Irish Free State in 1922 as a result of the Anglo-Irish Treaty. It had the status of Dominion until 1937 when a new constitution was adopted, in which the state was named "Ireland" and became a republic, with an elected non-executive president as head of state.
It was declared a republic in 1949, following the Republic of Ireland Act 1948. Ireland became a member of the United Nations in December 1955, it joined the European Economic Community, the predecessor of the European Union, in 1973. The state had no formal relations with Northern Ireland for most of the twentieth century, but during the 1980s and 1990s the British and Irish governments worked with the Northern Ireland parties towards a resolution to "the Troubles". Since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, the Irish government and Northern Ireland Executive have co-operated on a number of policy areas under the North-South Ministerial Council created by the Agreement. Ireland ranks among the top twenty-five wealthiest countries in the world in terms of GDP per capita, as the tenth most prosperous country in the world according to The Legatum Prosperity Index 2015. After joining the EEC, Ireland enacted a series of liberal economic policies that resulted in rapid economic growth.
The country achieved considerable prosperity between the years of 1995 and 2007, which became known as the Celtic Tiger period. This was halted by an unprecedented financial crisis that began in 2008, in conjunction with the concurrent global economic crash. However, as the Irish economy was the fastest growing in the EU in 2015, Ireland is again ascending league tables comparing wealth and prosperity internationally. For example, in 2015, Ireland was ranked as the joint sixth most developed country in the world by the United Nations Human Development Index, it performs well in several national performance metrics, including freedom of the press, economic freedom and civil liberties. Ireland is a member of the European Union and is a founding member of the Council of Europe and the OECD; the Irish government has followed a policy of military neutrality through non-alignment since prior to World War II and the country is not a member of NATO, although it is a member of Partnership for Peace. The 1922 state, comprising 26 of the 32 counties of Ireland, was "styled and known as the Irish Free State".
The Constitution of Ireland, adopted in 1937, provides that "the name of the State is Éire, or, in the English language, Ireland". Section 2 of the Republic of Ireland Act 1948 states, "It is hereby declared that the description of the State shall be the Republic of Ireland." The 1948 Act does not name the state as "Republic of Ireland", because to have done so would have put it in conflict with the Constitution. The government of the United Kingdom used the name "Eire" and, from 1949, "Republic of Ireland", for the state; as well as "Ireland", "Éire" or "the Republic of Ireland", the state is referred to as "the Republic", "Southern Ireland" or "the South". In an Irish republican context it is referred to as "the Free State" or "the 26 Counties". From the Act of Union on 1 January 1801, until 6 December 1922, the island of Ireland was part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. During the Great Famine, from 1845 to 1849, the island's population of over 8 million fell by 30%. One million Irish died of starvation and/or disease and another 1.5 million emigrated to the United States.
This set the pattern of emigration for the century to come, resulting in constant population decline up to the 1960s. From 1874, under Charles Stewart Parnell from 1880, the Irish Parliamentary Party gained prominence; this was firstly through widespread agrarian agitation via the Irish Land League, that won land reforms for tenants in the form of the Irish Land Acts, secondly through its attempts to achieve Home Rule, via two unsuccessful bills which would have granted Ireland limited national autonomy. These led to "grass-roots" control of national affairs, under the Local Government Act 1898, in the hands of landlord-dominated grand juries of the Protestant Ascendancy. Home Rule seemed certain when the Parliament Act 1911 abolished the veto of the House of Lords, John Redmond secured the Third Home Rule Act in 1914. However, the Unionist movement had been growing since 1886 among Irish Protestants after the introduction of the first home rule bill, fearing discrimination and loss of economic and social privileges if Irish Catholics achieved real political power
Mullingar is the county town of County Westmeath in Ireland. It is the 3rd most populous town in the midlands region, with a population of 20,928 in the 2016 census; the Counties of Meath and Westmeath Act of 1543, proclaimed Westmeath a county, separating it from Meath. Mullingar became the administrative centre for County Westmeath; the town was named Maelblatha, takes its modern name from a mill noted in the legend of Colman of Mullingar. Traditionally a market town serving the large agricultural hinterland, Mullingar remains a significant commercial location, it had a tradition of cattle-trading until 2003, when its cattle market was closed for development of a mixed commercial and residential scheme called Market Point. However, in 2014 the local County Council have allowed an annual Christmas Market to take place on Mount Street. Mullingar has a number of neighbouring lakes, Lough Owel, Lough Ennell and Lough Derravaragh, which attract anglers. Lough Derravaragh is known for its connection with the Irish legend of the Children of Lir.
The town of Mullingar is linked to Lough Ennell via the River Brosna. Another nearby waterway is the Royal Canal. Westmeath County Council is the local authority for Westmeath; the county council comprises two constituencies or “municipal districts”. Mullingar town is in the Mullingar Municipal District; the current mayor is Councillor Ken Glynn. The town is part of the Longford–Westmeath constituency for elections to Dáil Éireann. There is a Chamber of Commerce in Mullingar, Mullingar is one of the three towns that forms the Midlands Gateway region, along with Athlone and Tullamore, set up as part of the Government’s National Spatial Strategy 2002–2020. Mullingar's main tourist attractions are its lakes – Lough Owel, Lough Derravaragh and Lough Ennell – which are visited by anglers. Nearby is Belvedere House and Gardens; the town has several hotels. The Greville Arms Hotel has latterly begun creating a mini-museum, holds the two Brit awards presented to Niall Horan. James Joyce's connection with the hotel is marked on the premises.
In the rooftop garden, there stands a large granite monument which stood at Dominick Street. It was presented to the town by Lord Greville. Mullingar's most notable building is the cathedral of Christ the King Mullingar, the cathedral of the Diocese of Meath; the Cathedral was dedicated on the day. Columb Barracks, which closed in March 2012, was a military base which housed the 4th Field Artillery Regiment, the 4th Field Supply & Transport Company and the HQ of the 54 Reserve Field Artillery Regiment; the 1916 Centenary Monument Green Bridge Mullingar was unveiled by Cllr Billy Collentine MCC on Easter Monday 2017. Mullingar Tidy Towns were the organisation that built this monument in memory of the 1916 Easter Rising. Mullingar Town Park is a public park located in Co.. Westmeath, Republic of Ireland|Ireland; the park includes a wide variety of a swimming pool and a large pond near the centre. On 22 July 2016 the park became one of 22 public spaces in Ireland to be awarded a Green Flag. Among Mullingar's exports are items of pewterware produced by Mullingar Pewter.
Associated with Mullingar is Genesis Fine Art, which produces gift items. The "Pilgrims" sculpture on Mullingar's Austin Friars Street, at which location there once stood an Augustinian Friary, was crafted by Genesis on foot of a commission by the Mullingar chapter of Soroptimists International. Mullingar's commercial sector has expanded in recent years from just a few shops on the town's main thoroughfares – Oliver Plunkett Street, Austin Friars Street, Mount Street – to several major shopping areas. There is an out-of-town retail park at Lakepoint, the Harbour Place Shopping Centre near the town centre, a development at the Green – on the site of the former Avonmore and Penneys units; the town has a mix of local retailers and chain stores, branches of the major banks. The town has one of the country's largest credit unions. A proposed development, named "Mullingar Central", was to have been located between Mount Street, the Railway station and Blackhall Street. Planning permission was granted for retail and residential units.
Phase 1, which included tax offices, civic offices and County Council buildings was opened on 11 June 2009. Phase 2 did not, however proceed. Mullingar contains several industrial estates including Lough Sheever Corporate Park and Clonmore Industrial Estate and Mullingar Business Park; the Industrial Development Authority has a business park at Marlinstown. As of 2015, only one plot on the site has been acquired by an employer, Patterson Pumps, constructing a new plant to which it intends moving its entire Irish operation from its current location, at Mullingar Business Park. Two of the town's manufacturing plants – Penn tennis balls and Tarkett – both closed in the early 2000s causing many job losses. Other local employers include the Midland Regional Hospital at Mullingar, P. E. M. Engineering, Trend Technologies, Taconic International, Mullingar Pewter. Iralco, an automotive component manufacturer, is located nearby in Collinstown; the town is home to a € 25m Lidl distribution centre. Mullingar is served by internet providers, speeds of up to 240 Mbit/s are available in the town.
As of April 2015, eircom Wholesale announced that by mid-2017, it would be able to offer ISPs the opportunity to purchase access to Fibre to the