Talk:Northern Ireland/Archive 1

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Disputed Status?

I don't think we can really say that its status is disputed in a real sense, such as Palestine. Not a single country in the world recognizes Northern Ireland a part of the rest of the country politically, however much they might wish it. With the vote accepting the Belfast Agreement the claim in the Constitution of Ireland to the whole island of Ireland was changed to a declaration of aspiration. While groups such as Republican Sinn Féin might not have accepted this, or indeed any election north or south since 1922, the page shou'd be neutral, and showing the views of an extreme minority is not. The government of the Second Dáil accepted the Anglo-Irish Treaty, which paved the way for the situation we have at the moment. I don't however see that any change I make will be accepted; we will probably continue an unstoppable reverting battle.

--User:Henry Williams Jan 10, 2004, 0950 (UTC)

Henry, be careful with phrases such as "Not a single country in the world recognizes Northern Ireland a part of the rest of the country politically ..." What country are you refering to? Do you mean the UK or the Republic of Ireland? Fergananim

I think it is fairly obvious that he is stating that not a single country in the world doesn't recognise that NI is part of the UK. -Fobo

Stroke City

Quote: Derry, not Londonderry, is the formal name of the city, as passed by its local council and given the force of law in recent years.

I'm pretty sure that no new Royal Charter has been issued for the City, and that therefore any name change does not have the force of law, whatever the wishes of the Council.



Firstly, get the terms right. The British didn't colonise Ireland because when the colonisation occured there was no 'Britain'. Britain as a state was formally created only with the merger of the English and Scottish kingdoms in the eighteenth century. It was the english colonisation of Ireland, albeit freuqently with Scottish colonisers.

Number 2: The colonisation WAS brutal. All colonial powers of the period were brutal. The english colonisation of my country was no-more brutal than occured elsewhere, and had Ireland been in a position to colonise England, the odds are that we would have been as brutal as they were to us. Those were the times, unfortunately, regrettably but that was the reality, with each colonising state (and the United States of America was no exception in how it treated other states!) believing that it was 'civilised', 'morally superior' and doing 'God's will' to the native savages. In fact, as someone whose family fought British (yes British. We are talking after the 1707 Act of Union) rule, and as a historian, I have to observe that British rule, though frequently abusive, incompetent and rascist, was technically quite moderate by the nineteenth century by the prevailing standards of the time! A proper historian does not use loaded prejorative phrases to assess a time when the standards by which behaviour as judged were different, however wrong he in retrospect may think that behaviour was. JTD

Certainly, colonisation becgan before 1707 when Great Britain was created, but the plantations were by no means exclusively or for that matter predominantly English as the Scots were a large part of these settlements. "British" would therefore seem a fair adjective being that of those from Britain in general whether or not it was politically unified at the time, but an alternative might be "English and Scottish", but then someone is bound to pull a Welshman out of the Hat. Dainamo 19:04, 20 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Okay, but Ireland was not a country at the time of any of these raids or invasions. Fergananim

Tridesch the historian, what is "Holocost"? Did you mean Holocaust? I also didn't find the word "brutal" there. Why should it be here? --mav

Tridesch says: , touche on the spelling

so you think the holocaust wasnt brutal? slavery was brutal, the holocaust was brutal, the colonization of northern ireland byt he british was brutal too.

IMO the Holocaust was brutal and so were many aspects of slavery. My POV aserts that the British also accomplished some fairly brutal acts too - but which country hasn't. But the IRA blowing up a bus with school children is also brutal, IMO. So to be fair we would have to say both side were brutal but this word is POV-charged. How about we stick to the facts at hand and let the reader make a decision on their own? Again, have you read our NPOV policy? --mav


Removed the Province from the opening sentence, which read The Province of Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland is not a province. There are four provinces in Ireland - Ulster, Munster, Leinster and Connacht. Northern Ireland consists of six of the nine counties of the Province of Ulster. The term province is often used colloquially by one community, interchangably with the word Ulster. But we cannot use it because

  1. It reflects one community's use of language. This article needs to be NPOV and so should avoid using terms that are exclusive to one community. So we cannot call this article, Ulster, the North of Ireland or the Province because all are agenda-driven terms.
  2. As explained above, it is factually incorrect. FearÉIREANN 01:27 4 Jun 2003 (UTC)
So Northern Ireland, poltically, has no formal status (e.g., "province", "territory", "state") at all? It is just "a part" formally? --Menchi 02:22, Aug 5, 2003 (UTC)

yup. Some critics of its existence used to call it a statelet but that too is POV. FearÉIREANN 04:53, 5 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Northern Ireland is a province in the sense of it being politically a part of the UK, but not a country. How else can it be defined? The four traditional provinces of Ireland in their current shape have no polictical meaning and even the cultural division is a bit blurry now. Northern Ireland, irrespective of views on this, is at this time a disttinct entity and may be correctly defined as a province.
Shouldn't Northern Ireland have the same status as England, Scotland and Wales within the UK. The official name of the UK is, afterall, the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland" --Burwellian 16:01, Jun 24, 2005 (BST)

I understand the combination of the Presbyterians with the Church of Ireland in the final column of the table, but where did the extra three percent of Catholics come from? -Smack 00:57 22 Jul 2003 (UTC)


The Page gives the impression that the Republic of Ireland has a population of 1.6 million when that population is Northern Ireland's

Good point. I've corrected that. FearÉIREANN 23:51, 24 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Religious affiliation table

Something is wrong with the religious affiliation table. The third and fourth column are contradictory. Are Catholics 40.3% in 2001 or 43.8%? And why are the 9.9% "other religions" (are those only "other Protestant religions"?) and the 9% "not stated" (does this mean "Protestant, but not stated which Protestant"?) added to the Protestant total in the fourth column? --Wik 19:34, Nov 2, 2003 (UTC)

From what I can remember of the census returns, other religions are all other religions, not just christian religions, but are primarily christian. Not stated means those that refused to give a categorisation and left page blank, whether deliberately or accidentially, but the categorisation in most cases was easy to work out; many names in Northern Ireland indicate their community; Patrick O'Leary in West Belfast, for example, is 99% certain to be from the catholic community, Seymour Crawford in Lisburn 99% certain to be from the protestant community. Other questions also gave information that could clarify from which community a person who neglected to declare their categorisation belonged. There also was, if I remember correctly, a problem with the categorisation of 'Catholic' as 'catholic' can be interpreted in the Northern Ireland case as a political or religious designation, causing conflicting numbers at different parts of the census. But other questions could clarify ambiguities and work out where a non-designated person belonged. FearÉIREANN 21:05, 2 Nov 2003 (UTC)
The differences are caused by the difference between 'religion' and 'community background'. An unbaptised atheist is a Catholic if he's called Seamus and lives up the Falls! Gerry Lynch 17:20, 19 Jul 2004 (UTC)

The table design is very awkward. The All Protestant summation should just be a separate row in the table, highlighted differently, rather than the current way which is very strange. Daniel Quinlan 19:25, Dec 4, 2003 (UTC)


NISRA state the land area as 14,160 sq km, not 13,843 as it currently says on Wikipedia.

--Scronide 18:38, 2004 Apr 4 (UTC)

Norlin Airlann

Please, Norlin Airlann (as the Ullans name) appears on many governmental and quango web pages (search for it, please). Don't keep changing it to Scottish Scots or removing it. See [1] [2] [3] [4] etc. -- Kaihsu 21:36, 2004 Jun 29 (UTC)

Norlin Airland is made up nonsense. It may well be made up by quangos or whoever but Scots-speakers have never used it anywhere at any time.
Try finding it in both the Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue and the Scottish National Dictionary (Which includes Scots in Ulster - read the Intro.) [5].
Scots in Scotland and Ulster are the same language. Unfortunately certain circles can't be bothered learning the real language and make up gibberish.
The european charter from the Council of Europe[7]
"b) The United Kingdom declares, in accordance with Article 2, paragraph 1 of the Charter that it recognises that Scots and Ulster Scots meet the Charter's definition of a regional or minority language for the purposes of Part II of the Charter."
NOTE: _a_ regional or minority _language_ not two separate ones.
The North/South Co-operation (Implementation Bodies) Northern Ireland Order 1999 defines Ullans as: "the variety of the Scots language which has traditionally been used in parts of Northern Ireland and in Donegal in Ireland."
The Good Friday Agreement simply refers to Ulster Scots without the qualifier 'language'.[8]
"3. All participants recognise the importance of respect, understanding and tolerance in relation to linguistic diversity, including in Northern Ireland, the Irish language, Ulster-Scots and the languages of the various ethnic communities, all of which are part of the cultural wealth of the island of Ireland."
User: 01:04, Aug 22, 2004
See also my comments on Talk:UK and User talk: 00:27, Aug 24, 2004 (UTC)
I have added Norlin Airlann back, with a note. It appears in the documents – even if some thinks it made-up nonsense. — Kaihsu 17:58, 2004 Sep 19 (UTC)
Norlin Airlann is perfectly acceptable. The official Ulster Scots name for Waterways Ireland is Watterweys Airlann, as is always shown in their logo [9]. The other North-South institutions also use this spelling. I am removing the explanatory note. --Kwekubo 15:33, 10 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Just to make the point (i am not taking sides as i know little on the official spellings and status), but any versions of a states name used should have official status (within that state) if used over the data table. The data table is not the place for placing a states name in every language currently documented, if it is not official but common then consider using a footnote - keep wikipedia professional looking. Djegan

See also Talk:United_Kingdom/Archive_1#Scots_language_name

Overly political?

While undoubtedly many readers will come to this page for its political content, there are many other worthy sides to Northern Ireland which could be mentionned. The page, to me, feels quite dark and threatening. I wouldn't choose to holiday in NI after reading it! Would anyone care to mention some of the more positive things NI has to offer e.g. cultural festivals, musical and artistic tradition, tourist attractions (Bushmills, giant's causeway...), countryside, pubs and hospitality. I know a couple of these have been relegated to a list at the bottom. Maybe a separate page for NI's political history is needed?

If you don't like the way it's written, get on there and change it. You have a very good point, but the point of Wikipedia is that users can edit things themselves. Gerry Lynch 17:20, 19 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Re-NPOVing - Hun Nats/Taig Unionists=

This is a controversial page, so am giving warning! The phrase:

Most Irish Catholics (of both Gaelic and Anglo-Norman origin) still support reunification, while strong studies have shown that many from the Protestant community (especially the Scotch-Irish Presbyeterian community which produced many famous Irish nationalist rebels in the pastlike Wolfe Tone, Henry Joy and Robert Emmett) are beginning to move over to the nationalist/republican side again.

Is extremely POV - most surveys indicate that there are considerably more Catholics who wish to remain part of the UK than Protestants who want to join a United Ireland, and although the proportion of the latter has fallen dramatically in the past 10 years, the proportion of the former hasn't changed and remains tiny. (see just about every opinion poll produced in the history of NI, the annual NI Life and Times Surveys, etc.) Not to mention the fact that most Southerners couldn't care less if Belfast got nuked as long as the fallout stopped at Ravensdale!

Also the point about Gaelic and Anglo-Norman Catholics is spurious and irrelevant. Any conscious difference between the Old English and the Gaelic Irish passed away about 250 years ago. It wouldn't enter into anyone's head to even think about it. Gerry Lynch 17:20, 19 Jul 2004 (UTC)

A further note: "Most Irish Catholics (of both Gaelic and Anglo-Norman origin) still support reunification". For once and for all, would someone please tell me when the hell the island of Ireland was united politically? Correct me if I am wrong but this never in fact occoured. I am from the south, and as far as I am concerned the Republic of Ireland is the only political entity that can be called Ireland; we no longer have a claim on the territory of Northern Ireland which is in the UK. IF someday the north wants to join the south, fine (just as long as we can vote on letting you in!) but don't dress this up as reunification. Ireland has being a nation, never a united political country consisting of the entire island.

And the distinction about Gaelic and Anglo-Normans ceased to apply hundreds of years ago. The overwhelming majority of Irish people are of both the Gael and Gall. Only an idiot would make a big deal out of it these days, as it simply does not apply. I am happy to be an utter mongrel descended from Gael, Gall, Sen-Gall, Vikings, Prods, Taigs, Dissenters, as well as Welsh, Scots, French, Norman and even ENGLISH!!! Mix them all up and you end up with an Irish person.Fergananim

Ireland was unified as part of the UK until 1922.--Po8crg 6 July 2005 23:13 (UTC)

Northern Ireland Flag

Someone on a talk page or in an edit comment (I think it was Morwen) said there is no flag for Northern Ireland. Well there is. It's the Cross of St George with the Hand of Ulster placed in the centre. Can we have it back please, at the head of the article?

Morwen is actually correct. The flag you are thinking of was the flag of the Parliament of Northern Ireland (i.e. the one that was got rid of in '72). It has no official status although many Unionists have adopted it as an unofficial flag. And it certainly has no cross-community consent.Gerry Lynch 12:36, 20 Jul 2004 (UTC)

So how about a section on NI flags - there's lots of them.

There is already an article - Flag of Northern Ireland, which just needs linking to. 13:56, 20 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Great idea. You know what to do! Gerry Lynch 14:15, 20 Jul 2004 (UTC)

OK, I've done it

Sorry to be so brutal but I had to do it as:

  • Gaels/Anglo-Normans – nobody even notices this sort of stuff. Really. Let’s not get too into racial purity ideas.
  • Sinn Féin supporters – an encyclopaedia is no the place to boast about how many votes you have. Save it for the talk boards and try and be a little bit more impartial.
  • Wolfe Tone was an Anglican of English background, not Ulster-Scots, and the Presbyterians (and especially offshoots like the Free Ps and Brethren) will be last people on Earth to support a United Ireland. Hell will freeze over first! Wishful thinking seriously at work here.
  • Six Counties – POV term, sorry.
  • Paisley isn’t a Presbyterian, he’s a Free Presbyterian. It makes a whole wide world of difference.
  • ‘free elections’ to be held soon – when was our last ‘unfree’ election?
  • ‘There is a small, usually silent, middle class minority of Irish Catholics who support union with Britain.’ – that’s almost certainly true, but they almost all vote SDLP/SF or Alliance. They don’t vote UUP and that’s something that’s worth pointing out.
  • ‘with Catholics beginning to use contraceptives, reunification will most likely only occur with consent from the Anglo-Saxon and Scotch-Irish Protestant community’- Hmmm, this comes from one of the sort of Prod who really thinks Catholics take direct instructions from the Pope. A bit smutty and not really fit for an encyclopaedia. The point is probably correct in macro terms, although the cause of the collapse in birth rates all over Europe (including among Ulster Protestants) is more complex than contraception).
  • Party structures in GB may well have their roots in social class – but the class basis of politics is weakening in just about every major democracy. There’s no evidence that NI is going down that road, and certainly arguable whether class based politics are a good thing.
  • Catholic UUP Assembly members – oul’ John Gorman didn’t stand for re-election, and the one off Catholic Unionist (e.g. Sir Denis Henry, first Attorney General of NI) and Prod Nats are nothing new. But they tend to be one offs.
  • The British Conservative do contest elections in NI – they might not win any, but that’s a different story. And the UUP have no formal links with the Tories, either.Gerry Lynch 12:35, 20 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Kilometres or not

Picking up on the Kilometres versus miles point (edits and reversions on 20th July): Kilometres are obviously the preferred unit for tabular data of the sort in this article. Use of standard units enables comparisons between countries and the like. Their use in a scientific or geographical context is clearly beneficial. However, I suggest there is little or no benefit to their use - or preference - in less formal text of the sort that introduces this article. Despite so-called metrication in the UK kilometres, and by extension sq. kilometres, have not been adopted by the man in the street. They should not, therefore be preferred in written, less formal text, in the British context. One would not expect the text of an article on Northern Ireland to be written in American English, so why should non-British units of measure, especially the little used kilometre, be given priority over the extensively used mile? If ever Kilometres come to be used on British (and Northern Irish) roads then I'll perhaps revise my point-of-view.

I don't see what the border with RoI has got to do with it, even if they do use kilometres on the roads in the South.

See Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style and Wikipedia:Measurements_Debate for lots more on this.

Arcturus 18:49, 20 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Arcturus, to quote from the Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style_(dates_and_numbers).

Areas of land should be given in km², which is entered as km². This form is preferable to km2, which adds extra line leading. Smaller areas in m² etc. Volumes in m³, cm³ etc. Note that the compact superscript style works only for 1, 2 and 3 (unless you use numeric UTF-8 codes &8304; for superscript zero and &8308; to &8313; for superscript 4 to 9). This means that the <sup> style has to be used when general superscripts are required, as in the examples below.

Citing in km² also means you can link to the area comparisons meaningfully, which you have just reminded me to do.
As for whether the man in the street uses metric or imperial units - we all know these things are a bit of a mess in the UK and people can be fluent in metric in one area and entirely ignorant in another. The article cites both measures and I didn't see any reason to change it. (You didn't, someone else did). Arcturus 19:44, 20 Jul 2004 (UTC)
The border does matter - the average person in Northern Ireland is more likely to deal with kilometres on roads on a regular basis than the average person in Great Britain.Gerry Lynch 19:23, 20 Jul 2004 (UTC)


Yes I noticed the quote in the style manual but I was wondering whether it actually meant '...if you use square kilometres then use this format...' The bullet points which preceded the quote perhaps support this, especially the fourth one:

  • In scientific contexts, such as physics and chemistry, use SI units. Unless for any historic reference or other particular reason, it is not necessary to state American or Imperial units in parentheses.
  • If using American or Imperial units, give the metric equivalent as a courtesy.
  • If using metric units, remember that many readers will not know what you mean and will be aided by the equivalent in American or Imperial units.
  • Equivalents should be given to the same level of precision as the original measurement, for example, "the moon is 250,000 miles (400,000 km) from Earth", not "402,336 km".
  • If the quantity is always given in one form, you need not perform any conversion at all.

The style guide does state that you should use units appropriate to the locality and gives alternatives for distance, but as you point out, not explicity for area, which seems a little strange.

Good point about the average person from NI having greater exposure to Km than someone from the rest of the UK.

Anyway, I suppose this particular issue is not the most important one to dwell on in the overall Northern Ireland debate.

Arcturus 19:44, 20 Jul 2004 (UTC)

No more or less important than anything else! We don't spend all our time talking about the troubles! While I was cycling home from work (don't ask - yes I am a wikipediholic!) it hit me than the man in the street neither uses square miles nor square km very much. To most people (me included except for some reason I've always known NI was abt 14,000 km²) these things are meaningless without a comparison table. I know what a square mile or a square kilometre is but 100,000 don't make much sense unless I sit down and work it out. Gerry Lynch 21:31, 20 Jul 2004 (UTC)

To user

If you're going to make major changes on the political tone of an article, you may find it best to discuss them here, and get consent from other users, first. That way it's less likely your edits will be reverted. Gerry Lynch 16:03, 4 Aug 2004 (UTC)

National Anthem

Quote: "Similarly, there is no longer a national anthem; A Londonderry Air was the national anthem."

Is this accurate? I was under the impression that this was never the official national anthem.

A Lonodnderry Air/Danny Boy is played when an NI athlete wins a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games.

Government of NI

The opening paragraphs referred to the suspension in 1972, the troubles and the ceasfires. The sidebar mentioned 'First Minister. The NI-Assembly is mentioned only in reference to the Womens Coalition, and the the 1998 Agreement only under Languages. Since the agreement was a major event in the history of NI and defines how the current Govt is to be operated, any reader of the encylopedia would expect it to be mentioned. Therefore I have added one sentence to the opening paragraphs. Rye1967 03:39, Oct 12, 2004 (UTC)


Is the anthem really Das Lied der Deutschen? I don't recall hearing Deutschland Uber Alles in NI. 16:57, 31 Dec 2004 (UTC)

It isn't- nor is the top level domain .de - why can't the info box be amended? The SDLP uses a '.ie' address, but I can't see anyone using '.de', unless they want Anschluss!
You mean, why can't you edit Template:Northern Ireland infobox? I don't know. Maybe your browser is broken?
James F. (talk) 03:21, 1 Jan 2005 (UTC)