Northern Ireland ( ; Ulster-Scots: Norlin Airlann or Norlin Airlan) is a part of the United Kingdom in the north-east of the island of Ireland. It is variously described as a country, province or region of the UK, amongst other terms. Northern Ireland shares a border to the south and west with the Republic of Ireland. As of 2011, its population was 1,810,863, constituting about 30% of the island's total population and about 3% of the population of the United Kingdom. Since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, Northern Ireland is largely self-governing. According to the agreement, Northern Ireland co-operates with the rest of Ireland on some policy areas, while other areas are reserved for the Government of the United Kingdom, though the Republic of Ireland "may put forward views and proposals" with "determined efforts to resolve disagreements between [the two governments]".
Northern Ireland was created in 1921, when Ireland was partitioned between Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland by an act of the British parliament. Unlike Southern Ireland, which would become the Irish Free State in 1922, the majority of the population of Northern Ireland identified as unionists or loyalists, and wanted to remain within the United Kingdom. Most of these were the Protestant descendants of colonists from Great Britain. However, a significant minority identified as Irish nationalists or republicans, and wanted a united Ireland independent of British rule, Today, the former generally see themselves as British and the latter generally see themselves as Irish, although some people from both communities describe themselves as Northern Irish. Historically, Northern Ireland was marked by discrimination and hostility between these two communities in what Nobel Peace Prize-winner David Trimble called a "cold house" for Catholics. In the late 1960s, conflict between the two communities, and involving state forces, erupted into three decades of violence known as The Troubles, which claimed over 3,000 lives and caused over 50,000 casualties. The Good Friday Agreement in 1998 was a major step in the peace process although sectarianism and segregation still remain major social problems.
Northern Ireland has historically been the most industrialised region of the island. After declining as a result of the political and social turmoil of the Troubles in the second half of the 20th century, its economy has grown significantly since the 1990s. This is in part due to a "peace dividend" and in part due to links and increased trade with the Republic of Ireland, easier freedom of movement for residents due to the elimination of British Army security checkpoints and a sharp decrease in security alerts, and a significant increase in tourism, investment and business from around the world. Northern Ireland has the highest unemployment rate in the United Kingdom, at 7.5%, down from a peak of 17.2% in 1986.
Prominent artists and sports persons from Northern Ireland include Van Morrison, Rory McIlroy, and George Best. Some from that part of the island prefer to define themselves as Irish (e.g., Seamus Heaney and Liam Neeson). Cultural links between Northern Ireland, the rest of Ireland, and the rest of the UK are complex, with Northern Ireland sharing both the culture of Ireland and the culture of the United Kingdom. In most sports the island of Ireland fields a single team, a notable exception being association football. Northern Ireland competes separately at the Commonwealth Games and athletes from Northern Ireland may compete for either Great Britain or Ireland at the Olympic Games.
How places in Northern Ireland are organized
Northern Ireland was divided into six counties until 1973, when the counties were replaced by districts. The standard at WeRelate is to title Irish place pages according to their county, which is then broken down into parishes and then into townlands. When a townland is not known, villages, hamlets, cities and towns will be placed directly under the county they are located in. Pages for the modern districts have not yet been created.
In many cases, the hierarchy of places in Northern Ireland, as it appears here, does not represent the modern or current place names. The townlands that have been added, for instance, come from the names and locations that were in place according to when the 1851 census was taken. The IreAtlas Townland database has been used as a reference.
Explanation of divisions
The following terms are used to describe the type of settlement the particular place is. The NINIS defines terms based on statistical analysis. This is used merely as a guide as words such as "hamlet," "village," and "town" are used on WeRelate to give a general idea of the type of location without being exact as to population:
All places in Northern Ireland
Further information on historical place organization in Northern Ireland