Portal:Northern Ireland

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] (listen); Ulster-Scots: Norlin Airlann) is a part of the United Kingdom, situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, that is variously described as a country, province or region. Northern Ireland shares a border to the south and west with the Republic of Ireland. In 2021, its population was 1,903,100, making up about 27% of Ireland's population and about 3% of the UK's population. The Northern Ireland Assembly (colloquially referred to as Stormont after its location), established by the Northern Ireland Act 1998, holds responsibility for a range of devolved policy matters, while other areas are reserved for the UK Government. Northern Ireland cooperates with the Republic of Ireland in several areas.

Northern Ireland was created in 1921, when Ireland was partitioned by the Government of Ireland Act 1920, creating a devolved government for the six northeastern counties. As was intended, Northern Ireland had a unionist majority, who wanted to remain in the United Kingdom; they were generally the Protestant descendants of colonists from Britain. Meanwhile, the majority in Southern Ireland (which became the Irish Free State in 1922), and a significant minority in Northern Ireland, were Irish nationalists and Catholics who wanted a united independent Ireland. Today, the former generally see themselves as British and the latter generally see themselves as Irish, while a Northern Irish or Ulster identity is claimed by a significant minority from all backgrounds.

The creation of Northern Ireland was accompanied by violence both in defence of and against partition. During the conflict of 1920–22, the capital Belfast saw major communal violence, mainly between Protestant unionist and Catholic nationalist civilians. More than 500 were killed and more than 10,000 became refugees, mostly Catholics. For the next fifty years, Northern Ireland had an unbroken series of Unionist Party governments. There was informal mutual segregation by both communities, and the Unionist governments were accused of discrimination against the Irish nationalist and Catholic minority. In the late 1960s, a campaign to end discrimination against Catholics and nationalists was opposed by loyalists, who saw it as a republican front. This unrest sparked the Troubles, a thirty-year conflict involving republican and loyalist paramilitaries and state forces, which claimed over 3,500 lives and injured 50,000 others. The 1998 Good Friday Agreement was a major step in the peace process, including paramilitary disarmament and security normalisation, although sectarianism and segregation remain major social problems, and sporadic violence has continued.

Cultural links between Northern Ireland, the rest of Ireland, and the rest of the UK are complex, with Northern Ireland sharing both the culture of Ireland and the culture of the United Kingdom. In many sports, the island of Ireland fields a single team, with the Northern Ireland national football team being an exception to this. Northern Ireland competes separately at the Commonwealth Games, and people from Northern Ireland may compete for either Great Britain or Ireland at the Olympic Games. (Full article...)

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The Good Friday Agreement (GFA), or Belfast Agreement (Irish: Comhaontú Aoine an Chéasta or Comhaontú Bhéal Feirste; Ulster-Scots: Guid Friday Greeance or Bilfawst Greeance), is a pair of agreements signed on 10 April 1998 that ended most of the violence of The Troubles, a political conflict in Northern Ireland that had prevailed since the late 1960s. It was a major development in the Northern Ireland peace process of the 1990s. It is made up of the Multi-Party Agreement between most of Northern Ireland's political parties, and the British–Irish Agreement between the British and Irish governments. Northern Ireland's present devolved system of government is based on the agreement.

Issues relating to sovereignty, governance, discrimination, military and paramilitary groups, justice and policing were central to the agreement. It restored self-government to Northern Ireland on the basis of "power sharing" and it included acceptance of the principle of consent, commitment to civil and political rights, cultural parity of esteem, police reform, paramilitary disarmament and early release of paramilitary prisoners, followed by demilitarisation. The agreement also created a number of institutions between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland ("North–South"), and between the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom ("East–West"). (Full article...)
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George Best (1976).jpg
Best with Northern Ireland in 1976

George Best (22 May 1946 – 25 November 2005) was a Northern Irish professional footballer who played as a winger, spending most of his club career at Manchester United. A highly skilful dribbler, Best is regarded as one of the best players in the history of the sport. He was named European Footballer of the Year in 1968 and came fifth in the FIFA Player of the Century vote. Best received plaudits for his playing style, which combined pace, skill, balance, feints, two-footedness, goalscoring and the ability to get past defenders.

Born in Belfast, Best began his club career in England with Manchester United, with the scout who had spotted his talent at the age of 15 sending a telegram to manager Matt Busby which read: "I think I've found you a genius". After making his debut aged 17, he scored 179 goals from 470 appearances over 11 years and was the club's top goalscorer in the league for five consecutive seasons. He won two League titles and the European Cup with the club. His style of play on the field captured the public's imagination, and in 1999 he was on the six-man short-list for the BBC's Sports Personality of the Century. He was also an inaugural inductee into the English Football Hall of Fame in 2002. (Full article...)

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  • 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.
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