Inhabited since the Ice Age, Dublin has a rich history that includes foundation by the Vikings, English conquest and re-conquest, an eighteenth century golden era, decline and poverty, and re-emergence since the 1990s as an economic miracle.
Located in the province of Leinster in the east-central part of the country at the head of Dublin Bay on the Irish Sea, it is the country’s chief port and center of financial, commercial, and administrative power. One fourth of the Republic of Ireland's population resides in the Greater Dublin urban area, and it continues to have one of the fastest growing populations of any European capital city.
Dublin has been at the center of the country's rich Anglo-Irish literary, philosophical, and political history. Literary figures of international significance who hailed from Dublin include three winners of the Nobel Prize for Literature—William Butler Yeats, George Bernard Shaw and Samuel Beckett—as well as Oscar Wilde, Jonathan Swift, Brendan Behan, and Dracula creator Bram Stoker. James Joyce composed some of his greatest works while in the city. Both Orson Welles and James Mason began their acting careers there.
As capital of the nation with the second highest GDP per capita in the world, and the fourth highest Human Development Index, as well as high ratings for political, economic, and press freedom, as well as literacy, Dublin is well placed to continue as a prosperous city. With its rich literary history, and long history of emigration, the city is guaranteed a continuing stream of international guests, from literati, and from young travelers in search of their ancestral roots.
While its history has been one of war and conquest, its leaders have worked to solve the resultant problems and raise the standard of living and quality of life of its citizens. This is in line with the responsibilities of leadership, to work for the good of the whole.