This encyclopedia, part of the Facts On File European Nations Series, is the latest in a number of excellent reference books on the Emerald Isle. The first 179 pages form a well-written and concise history. The largest section is the A-Z historical dictionary with articles on important people, all 32 counties, culture, politics, and geographic features. The entries range in length from one paragraph to more than a page. The third section is a chronology extending from 8000 BCE to 2005. Two appendixes containing a list of leaders from 1922 to 2005 and 12 maps precede a 10-page bibliography organized by historical periods.
Although the title says this work covers the Renaissance to the present, coverage in fact spans the full spectrum of Irish history. The main attraction to this work is the coverage up through the year 2005.