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The Northern Ireland Portal

Introduction

Location of Northern Ireland within the United Kingdom
Northern Ireland borders the Republic of Ireland to its south and west

Northern Ireland (Irish: Tuaisceart Éireann [ˈt̪ˠuəʃcəɾˠt̪ˠ ˈeːɾʲən̪ˠ] (About this soundlisten); Ulster-Scots: Norlin Airlann) is a part of the United Kingdom in the north-east of the island of Ireland, variously described as a country, province or region. Northern Ireland shares a border to the south and west with the Republic of Ireland. In 2011, its population was 1,810,863, constituting about 30% of the island's total population and about 3% of the UK's population. Established by the Northern Ireland Act 1998 as part of the Good Friday Agreement, the Northern Ireland Assembly holds responsibility for a range of devolved policy matters, while other areas are reserved for the British government. Northern Ireland co-operates with the Republic of Ireland in several areas, and the Agreement granted the Republic the ability to "put forward views and proposals" with "determined efforts to resolve disagreements between the two governments".

Northern Ireland was created in 1921, when Ireland was partitioned between Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland by the Government of Ireland Act 1920. Unlike Southern Ireland, which would become the Irish Free State in 1922, the majority of Northern Ireland's population were unionists, who wanted to remain within the United Kingdom. Most of these were the Protestant descendants of colonists from Great Britain. However, a significant minority, mostly Catholics, were nationalists who wanted a united Ireland independent of British rule. Today, the former generally see themselves as British and the latter generally see themselves as Irish, while a distinct Northern Irish or Ulster identity is claimed both by a large minority of Catholics and Protestants and by many of those who are non-aligned.

For most of the 20th century, when it came into existence, Northern Ireland was marked by discrimination and hostility between these two sides in what First Minister of Northern Ireland, David Trimble, called a "cold house" for Catholics. In the late 1960s, conflict between state forces and chiefly Protestant unionists on the one hand, and chiefly Catholic nationalists on the other, erupted into three decades of violence known as the Troubles, which claimed over 3,500 lives and caused over 50,000 casualties. The 1998 Good Friday Agreement was a major step in the peace process, including the decommissioning of weapons and security normalisation, although sectarianism and religious segregation still remain major social problems, and sporadic violence has continued.

Northern Ireland has historically been the most industrialised region of Ireland. After declining as a result of the political and social turmoil of the Troubles, its economy has grown significantly since the late 1990s. The initial growth came from the "peace dividend" and the links which increased trade with the Republic of Ireland, continuing with a significant increase in tourism, investment and business from around the world. Unemployment in Northern Ireland peaked at 17.2% in 1986, dropping to 6.1% and down by 1.2 percentage points over the year, similar to the UK figure of 6.2%. 58.2% of those unemployed had been unemployed for over a year. Read more...

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Political map of Ireland

The partition of Ireland (Irish: críochdheighilt na hÉireann) divided the island of Ireland into two jurisdictions, Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland. It took place on 3 May 1921 under the Government of Ireland Act 1920. Today, the former is still known as Northern Ireland and forms part of the United Kingdom, while the latter is now a sovereign state also named Ireland and sometimes called the Republic of Ireland.

The Act of 1920 was intended to create two self-governing territories within Ireland, with both remaining within the United Kingdom. It also contained provisions for co-operation between the two territories and for the eventual reunification of Ireland. However, in 1922, following the War of Independence and the Anglo-Irish Treaty, the southern part became the Irish Free State, while Northern Ireland exercised its option to remain in the United Kingdom. Read more...

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McEvilly playing for Marine in 2012

Lee Richard McEvilly (born 15 April 1982) is a footballer who plays as a striker. Although born in England, he won one cap for the Northern Ireland national team in 2002 and also played for Northern Ireland at under-21 and under-23 levels.

McEvilly had a journeyman career, starting with non-League side Burscough, rising through their youth ranks to the senior side, where he made 49 league appearances, scoring 28 goals. In December 2001, Third Division club Rochdale signed him for £20,000. From 2004 to 2009 he had spells in the Conference National and League Two with Accrington Stanley, Cambridge United and Wrexham. Since 2009, McEvilly has struggled with injuries and has had brief spells at numerous non-league clubs in England and Wales, as well as a brief period at League of Ireland side Sligo Rovers in 2010, which was also cut short due to injury. Since 2013, McEvilly has continued playing for amateur and semi-professional teams in the lower levels of non-league. Read more...

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Northern Ireland on Wikipedia

  • Northern Ireland is in the top 250 most referenced articles. It ranks 232nd, with 3,955 links to it - one more link than Music, and many more links than the Bible.
  • Besides English, the Northern Ireland article has been translated to 44 other languages.

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