Portal:Northern Ireland

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Location of Northern Ireland within the United Kingdom.

Northern Ireland is the smallest and least populous constituent country of the United Kingdom. It occupies roughly one sixth of the island of Ireland and is the only part of the United Kingdom to share a land border (that of the Republic of Ireland) with a different state.

Northern Ireland was created in 1921 out of the continuation of the Act of Union 1800, when the island of Ireland as a whole became part of the United Kingdom. Twenty-six counties of Ireland were separated from the United Kingdom in 1921, following the Irish War of Independence and subsequent Treaty. The remaining six counties were named Northern Ireland. The Northern Ireland Government operated for 50 years, until it was suspended in 1972 due to civil disturbances known as The Troubles. Several attempts have since been made to restore some form of devolved government to the region, culminating in the recent Belfast Agreement. It is sometimes described as a province, referring to it being a province of the United Kingdom, though it is also part of a larger Irish province called Ulster.

Northern Ireland borders the Republic of Ireland to its south and west

Belfast is Northern Ireland's capital city. The official flag of Northern Ireland is the Union Flag, although the former flag of the Government of Northern Ireland is still widely used to represent Northern Ireland, particularly in sporting events. It is based on the older flag of Ulster (with the addition of a crown, a star and a white background.) Flags and emblems are politically contentious, and several flags are widely flown. Saint Patrick is the Patron Saint of Ireland, including Northern Ireland.

Northern Ireland had the largest textile industry in the world before the last industrial and technological revolutions, combined with outsourcing of labour, made production cheaper elsewhere. Belfast is also known for having two of the largest gantry cranes in the world, towering above the largest dry dock in the world, in its ship building factory Harland & Wolff, which is also famous for producing the ill-fated RMS Titanic.

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The Titanic leaving Belfast for sea trials in April 1912
RMS Titanic was an Olympic class passenger liner that collided with an iceberg and sank in 1912. The second of a trio of superliners, she and her sisters, RMS Olympic and HMHS Britannic, were designed to provide a three-ship weekly express service and dominate the transatlantic travel business for the White Star Line. Built at the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, Ireland, Titanic was the largest passenger steamship in the world at the time of her sinking. During Titanic's maiden voyage (from Southampton, England; to Cherbourg, France; Queenstown (Cobh), Ireland; then New York), she struck an iceberg at 11:40 p.m. (ship's time) on Sunday evening April 14, 1912, and sank two hours and forty minutes later, after breaking into two pieces, at 2:20 a.m. Monday morning April 15.

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Did you know...

H&W Cranes2.jpg

Web resources

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.

Selected biography

Edmund Irvine Jr. (born 10 November 1965) is a former racing driver from Northern Ireland. He competed in Formula One between 1993 and 2002, and finished runner-up in the 1999 World Drivers' Championship, driving for Scuderia Ferrari.

He began his career at the age of seventeen when he entered the Formula Ford Championship, achieving early success, before progressing to the Formula Three and Formula 3000 Championships. He made his Formula One debut in 1993 with Jordan Grand Prix, where he achieved early notoriety for his involvement in incidents on and off the track. He scored his first podium in 1995 with Jordan, before moving to Ferrari in 1996. His most successful season was in 1999 when he took four victories and challenged McLaren driver Mika Häkkinen for the World Championship. He moved to Jaguar Racing in 2000, scoring the team's first podium in 2001 and his final podium in 2002. Irvine retired from competitive motorsport at the end of the 2002 season.

Since retiring, Irvine became a media personality in Great Britain. He was linked with the takeover of the Jordan and Minardi Formula One teams in 2005, but talks came to nothing. Irvine also expanded his interests in the property market, having built up an investment portfolio during his racing career. Read more...

Northern Ireland lists


Northern Ireland


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