What Are Some Natural Resources of Ireland?

Some of Ireland's natural resources include oil, natural gas, peat, fishing, livestock, and numerous minerals, including copper, lead, zinc, silver, limestone, gypsum and gold. Since the 1990s, significant reserves of natural gas and oil have been discovered in the country, although the gathering process has generated some controversy.

Government reports released in 2006 revealed the presence of significant reserves of oil and gas in Ireland, with the report mentioning an estimated 130 billion barrels of oil and 9.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Other sites off the country's coast have also generated significant amounts of oil, including a site owned by Providence Resources Plc. that was expected to generate 280 million barrels of oil as of 2012. Certain political parties and interest groups, including Rossport Five, Shell to Sea and the Irish Green Party, have expressed concerns about the economic benefits and environmental impact of oil gathering in the country.

Ireland also contains significant mineral resources. In particular, the country boasts large supplies of zinc ore and lead ore. There are also substantial reserves of gold, including an estimated 5 million ounces in the Monaghan/Cavan region. Ireland has long been renowned for some of the best fishing in Europe, and the country features extensive fishing grounds in its territorial seas and waters. Ireland's thousands of miles of rivers also contain a wide variety of fish life.