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] ; Ulster-Scots: Norlin Airlann) is a part of the United Kingdom in the north-east of the island of Ireland that is variously described as a country, province or region. Northern Ireland shares an open border to the south and west with the Republic of Ireland. At the 2021 census, its population was 1,903,175, making up around 3% of the UK's population and 27% of the population on the island of Ireland. The Northern Ireland Assembly, 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. The government of Northern Ireland cooperates with the government of Ireland in several areas under the terms of the Belfast Agreement. The Republic of Ireland also has a consultative role on non-devolved governmental matters through the British–Irish Governmental Conference (BIIG).

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 by unionists and their supporters in Westminster, 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 (generally 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. (Full article...)

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A stone circle at Beaghmore County Tyrone on a sunny day.
A stone circle at Beaghmore.

Beaghmore is a complex of early Bronze Age megalithic features, stone circles and cairns, 8.5 miles north west of Cookstown, County Tyrone in Northern Ireland, on the south-east edge of the Sperrin Mountains.

Mackay's Dictionary of Ulster Place-names says that it is from Irish an Bheitheach Mhór, meaning "big place of birch trees", a name that reflects the fact that the area was a woodland before being cleared by Neolithic farmers. (Full article...)
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Kelvin, c. 1900, by T. & R. Annan & Sons

William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin, OM, GCVO, PC, FRS, FRSE (26 June 1824 – 17 December 1907) was a British mathematician, mathematical physicist and engineer born in Belfast. He was the professor of Natural Philosophy at the University of Glasgow for 53 years, where he undertook significant research and mathematical analysis of electricity, the formulation of the first and second laws of thermodynamics, and contributed significantly to unifying physics, which was then in its infancy of development as an emerging academic discipline. He received the Royal Society's Copley Medal in 1883 and served as its president from 1890 to 1895. In 1892, he became the first British scientist to be elevated to the House of Lords.

Absolute temperatures are stated in units of kelvin in his honour. While the existence of a coldest possible temperature, known as absolute zero, was known prior to his work, Kelvin is known for determining its correct value as approximately −273.15 degrees Celsius or −459.67 degrees Fahrenheit. The Joule–Thomson effect is also named in his honour. (Full article...)

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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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