Northern Ireland (Tuaisceart Éireann in Irish or Norlin Airlann in Ulster Scots) is one of the four parts of the United Kingdom. It is part of an island in Western Europe called Ireland. In 1922 Ireland was split into two nations, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The capital is Belfast. 1.7 million people live in Northern Ireland.
Northern Ireland has had many conflicts between some of the people who live there. Unionists, who are mostly Protestant, want the Northern Ireland to stay a part of the United Kingdom. Nationalists, who are mostly Catholic, want Northern Ireland to leave the United Kingdom and have the whole island united as one country, under Irish rule. Some people do not want to join the Republic of Ireland or remain part of the United Kingdom. Instead, they want Northern Ireland to be an independent country.
Sometimes people use other names for Northern Ireland. Unionists sometimes call it "Ulster", but this is not correct as three counties of Ulster are in the Republic of Ireland. Nationalists sometimes call it "the north" or "the six counties", because they do not want to recognise the existence that a part of Ireland is in the United Kingdom.
English is spoken by almost everyone in Northern Ireland. Another important language is Irish (sometimes called "Irish Gaelic" or "Gaelic") and a language known as Ulster Scots, which comes from Eastern Ulster and Lowland Scotland. The Irish language became extinct in the 20th century, but a revival backed by Foras na Gaeilge has led to some usage, especially in Belfast, the Glens of Antrim and counties Tyrone and Fermanagh. This revival has been driven largely through the creation of Irish-language schools. The Irish language is spoken by some nationalist (whether Catholic or Protestant) people. Ulster Scots is almost exclusive to areas of Belfast and mid-Antrim.
Belfast Agreement [change]
Since the Belfast Agreement (sometimes called the Good Friday Agreement) of Friday, 10 April 1998, there has been mainly peace between the two sides of the community. This agreement was agreed by most of the people in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, as well as the Irish and British governments. It allows for the self-government of Northern Ireland and greater North-South co-operation and co-operation between Britain and the Republic of Ireland. Additionally, it makes clear the right of the people of Northern Ireland to decide their constitutional future and select whether they are British or Irish citizens.
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