19 Facts About Northern Ireland

1. 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.

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2. Economy of Northern Ireland was the most industrialised in Ireland at the time of Partition of Ireland, but declined, a decline exacerbated by the political and social turmoil of the Troubles.

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3. The initial growth came from the "peace dividend" and increased trade with the Republic of Northern Ireland, continuing with a significant increase in tourism, investment, and business from around the world.

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4. Region that is Northern Ireland was long inhabited by native Gaels who were Irish-speaking and predominantly Catholic.

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5. In 1169, Northern Ireland was invaded by a coalition of forces under the command of the English crown that quickly overran and occupied most of the island, beginning 800 years of foreign central authority.

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6. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland was formed in 1801 and governed from London.

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7. From 1956 to 1962, the Irish Republican Army carried out a limited guerrilla campaign in border areas of Northern Ireland, called the Border Campaign.

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8. In 1973, Northern Ireland held a referendum to determine if it should remain in the United Kingdom, or be part of a united Ireland.

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9. The Constitution of Northern Ireland was amended in 1999 to remove a claim of the "Irish nation" to sovereignty over the entire island.

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10. Protestants have a slight majority in Northern Ireland, according to the latest Northern Ireland Census.

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11. Northern Ireland is a distinct legal jurisdiction, separate from the two other jurisdictions in the United Kingdom.

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12. The largest island of Northern Ireland is Rathlin, off the north Antrim coast.

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13. People born in Northern Ireland are, with some exceptions, deemed by UK law to be citizens of the United Kingdom.

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14. The current wording provides that people born in Northern Ireland are entitled to be Irish citizens on the same basis as people from any other part of the island.

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15. Northern Ireland ruled from Emain Macha, and had a fierce rivalry with queen Medb and king Ailill of Connacht and their ally, Fergus mac Roich, former king of Ulster.

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16. Northern Irish murals have become well-known features of Northern Ireland, depicting past and present events and documenting peace and cultural diversity.

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17. Highest level of competition within Northern Ireland are the NIFL Premiership and the NIFL Championship.

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18. Six counties of Northern Ireland are among the nine governed by the Ulster branch of the Irish Rugby Football Union, the governing body of rugby union in Ireland.

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19. Main universities in Northern Ireland are Queen's University Belfast and Ulster University, and the distance learning Open University which has a regional office in Belfast.

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