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Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland is a country in the United Kingdom. Known for its strong national identity, some of the people of Northern Ireland don't associate themselves with either the English or the Irish.[5] With multiple attractions, such as Dark Hedges, the Carrickfergus Castle,  Dunluce Castle, the Glens of Antrim, the Titanic Belfast, and the Giant's Causeway, Northern Ireland receives multiple tourists annually.[2] The temperature also fluctuates annually, with the coldest months often being from December to February and the warm months being from June to August. In Northern Ireland, it is relatively cold throughout the year, with a high average temperature of 88.3 degrees Fahrenheit and an average low temperature of about 32 degrees. However, the temperature occasionally drops below zero degrees Fahrenheit. Rain falls throughout the year, and it is said that Northern Ireland is one of the wettest places in the world.[6] Historically, Northern Ireland is known for The Troubles, which was a time period in which bombings and shootings occurred. Lasting until 2003, The Troubles suffered over 50,000 casualties and 3,254 deaths. There were over 36,900 shooting incidents from 1969 to 2003, and a total of over 16,200 bombings, or attempted bombings, took place during The Troubles.[1] Other major historical events that took place in Northern Ireland include the introduction of Christianity by St. Patrick, the various rebellions against English control, and Bloody Sunday.[8]

What Northern Ireland is known for

Northern Ireland acts as a home to various attractions, landmarks, and cultural events. Northern Ireland is governed by the United Kingdom. The region is said to have a rich history in Europe, having a relatively big impact on traditions celebrated throughout the world. A "fun fact" is that the tradition of Halloween originated in Ireland and is now celebrated in various countries. Movies, such as Game of Thrones, have been filmed in Northern Ireland.[3] Northern Ireland is also known for its various attractions. The Giant's Causeway is Northern Ireland's only UNESCO World Heritage Site and gets multiple visitors a year. Dunluce Castle is located near the Causeway Coast and is another tourist attraction. Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, the Titanic Belfast, the Glens of Antrim, Carrickfergus Castle, and Dark Hedges are other places that tourists can see during their visit to Northern Ireland.[2] 

Northern Ireland has a population of over 1.8 million people, which makes up around 30% of Ireland's total population, along with 3% of the United Kingdom. The majority of the population is white, and over 88% of those people were born in Northern Ireland. Protestant and Roman Catholic are the two main religions that make up Northern Ireland. English is the main language that is spoken in Northern Ireland, though the native Gaelic language is spoken in specific regions.[4] 

In Northern Ireland, a lot of the culture is influenced by the manufacturing and agricultural economy, along with the Roman Catholic and Protestant religions. Because of these factors, a lot of the events or holidays that take place in Northern Ireland are relatively unique, though some holidays are shared across the globe. Another cultural aspect that Northern Ireland is known for is its strong national identity. Due to the political history of Northern Ireland, many of the residents consider themselves distant from both the Irish and English, though some of them still consider themselves to be connected to the Republic of Ireland or the United Kingdom.[5]


In Northern Ireland, the weather generally fluctuates throughout the year, going from cold to warm temperatures. In the winter, from December to February, temperatures drop, skies become cloudier, and rainfall occurs more frequently. Because Northern Ireland has a few hills and mountains, the cold temperatures vary based on their location. As a general rule, hills and mountains are colder while plains are slightly warmer. In Spring, from March to May, temperatures often remain relatively cool, and rainfall is less common. From June to August, rain is a common occurrence. Typically the highest temperature in Northern Ireland is around 88.3 degrees Fahrenheit, while the lowest temperature averages around 32 degrees.[6]

Overall, Northern Ireland is flat with only a few hills and mountains. Lough Neagh is the largest lough in the country, followed by Strangford Lough. The water surrounding Northern Ireland is the Irish Sea, which is connected to the North Atlantic Ocean through the North Channel, which is between Northern Ireland and Scotland.[10] Belfast is the capital city of Northern Ireland, and it is located on the east side of the region.[6] Londonderry Derry is another large city in Northern Ireland.

Because of its location next to the ocean, Northern Ireland acts as a home for multiple sea creatures such as grey seals, common bottlenose dolphins, humpback whales, orcas, striped dolphins, false killer whales, and long-finned pilot whales. Other than these mammals, sea creatures that live close to Northern Ireland are, namely, Altlantic beadlets, European green crabs, and Atlantic dogwhelks. Eurasian otters, Eurasian stoats, European badgers, red deer, red foxes, brown hares, and various types of bats are some of the mammals that dwell in the area. Birds are another common type of fauna in Northern Ireland, the most common being mallards, herring gulls, and greylag geese. Grey herons, European starlings, Eurasian blue tits, and Eurasian jays are other birds that can be found. Plantlife is common, especially in the more fielded areas of Northern Ireland. Flora such as lesser celandines, common Corallines, wood anemones, sea thrifts, European wood-sorrels, and bluebells can likely be found in fields or forests.[7]


When Christianity was brought to Ireland by St. Patrick in the 400s AD, the culture spread to a number of different groups of people.[8] One of these groups was the native Gaels, who were Catholic and Irish-speaking people. Made up of several Gaelic kingdoms and territories, Northern Ireland was a part of the province of Ulster. When the English conquest of Ireland began, Ulster was resistant to English control. An alliance of Ulster-Irish lords fought against the English government, specifically in the Nine Years' War, which took place from 1594-1603.[1] In 1610, James I started using plantations to attempt to stop the Ulster revolts. After giving land in Ulster to English and Scottish people, James I created a Protestant majority in Ulster. As plantations increased, Catholics began fearing that they would lose their land. Further conflict continued during the Ulster Rebellion of 1641, which resulted in the rumor that the Catholics had murdered Protestants, causing the Protestants to want revenge. Later in 1649, Oliver Cromwell took an army to Ireland with the intent to end the Irish revolts against English rule. After massacring a large number of Catholics to get revenge for the Protestants, Cromwell gave more Irish land to English Protestants. He then established anti-Catholic laws that took away political rights. The overall outcome of these events was that the Protestants won, and they owned 90% of the land after a century of conflict.[8] 

In 1801, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was formed. Because of this power, more legal reforms, known as Catholic emancipation, were created to remove discrimination against Catholics. As the progressive programs continued, they allowed tenant farmers to buy land from local landlords.[1] However, this didn't stop conflict from occurring. Following the Act of Union, the act that formed the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, there were a number of revolts that protested against the growing numbers of homeless and poor people in Ireland. English landlords had discovered that they could earn more from their land by making it into grazing land. Irish tenant farmers who rented land quickly found themselves losing that land, and most of them would become homeless because of it. When the tenant farmers were removed, they were thrown out onto the street, and their homes were destroyed.[8] 

Over time, more historical events would occur. A potato famine from 1845-1848 would have a significant impact on the farmers in Ireland. Home Rule Bills were created over the years, and in 1948 the Republic of Ireland was created. Other notable occurrences include the civil rights protests of 1968, Bloody Sunday, and the peace talks in 1996.[8] The Troubles, one of the more commonly known historical events, started in the late 1960s. The Troubles consisted of about 30 years of acts of intense violence. In total, 3,254 people were killed, and there were over 50,000 casualties. There were over 36,900 shooting incidents from 1969 to 2003. Around 16,200 bombings or attempted bombings took place during The Troubles.[1]

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