Northern Ireland Overview

Northern Ireland, English Northern Ireland [ n ɔ ː ðən a ɪ ələnd], part of the country of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, including the northeast part of the island of Ireland, 13,562 km 2, of which around 580 km 2 inland waters, (2015) 1850000 Resident; The capital is Belfast. Northern Ireland occupies part of the historic Ulster Province.

Constitutional situation: Within the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland has enjoyed extensive autonomy since 1999. The regional parliament is the Northern Ireland Assembly, whose 108 members are elected for a term of five years. The Northern Irish regional government (Executive Committee) is chaired by the First Minister. The regional assembly has legislative powers in the areas of finance, economic development, social, health, educational, agricultural and environmental policy. Tax sovereignty and security policy lie with the government in London. A North-South Ministerial Council is the joint body of the governments of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Parties: The most influential parties are the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP, founded in 1905) and the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP, founded in 1971; emerged from the »Ulster Constitution Defense Committee« that emerged in the 1960s) as well as the »Catholic ones Parties «applicable Sinn Féin and Social Democratic and Labor Party (SDLP, founded 1970). The Alliance Party (AP, founded in 1970) is non-denominational.

National nature: In its surface form, Northern Ireland shows the shape of a shallow bowl with a central depression around Lough Neagh and rolling hills and mountains on the edge. The basalt plateau of Antrim in the northeast slopes down to the sea at the Giant’s Causeway with impressive basalt columnar cliffs. The Morne Mountains in the southeast are a granite massif. The caledonian folded Sperrin Mountains in the north-west consist mainly of gneiss; Northern Ireland owes its fine relief to the deposits of the last Ice Age. The extensive drumlin fields between North Down and South Fermanagh and in the west around Lough Erne are particularly characteristic of the landscape. Some of the highlands have extensive overhead bogs, as well as recent reforestations with conifers.

Population: Almost a third of the population lives in the Belfast metropolitan area. Other major cities are Derry, Newtownabbey, Bangor and Lisburn. After a decline in the 1980s, the population is increasing again slightly: between 2001 and 2014 the increase was 0.67% per year. Emigration, mainly to Great Britain, has been exceeded by immigration since the 1990s (by 1,571 people in 2014). The population is relatively young. The proportion of people under the age of 15 was 21% in 2013.

Religion: The denominational division of the province is characteristic. After the last Irish uprisings were put down in the 17th century, Anglicans and Protestants immigrated from England and Scotland (Irish Scots) and settled mainly in cities and agriculturally more favorable regions. This created a regional, ethnic-denominational differentiation. According to the last census (2011), the proportion of Catholics was around 41% (1961: around 35%); around 36% of the population are Anglicans and Protestants (in addition to Presbyterians, especially Methodists). The tendency to increase among Catholics is offset by stagnating or declining populations among Anglicans and Protestants.

Business: After a long period of decline, the industrial sector has recently recovered. Between 1973 and 1986 around 40% of jobs were lost, mainly in the traditional shipbuilding, textile, clothing and food industries. However, in parallel to the general economic development, the situation has eased again. At the same time, unemployment has fallen noticeably in recent years. In 1986 it was 16.8%, in 1997 it was 8.2% and in 2002 it was at its lowest level to date at 5.8%, but by mid-2015 it had risen again to 6.5%. The service sector, which is primarily based on a broad public sector and a growing tourism industry, is the driving force behind the economic recovery.

Agriculture is of little importance with (2014) 3.4% of the workforce. Around 73.8% of the agricultural area is cultivated land, the rest is made up of extensive wild pastures (around 18%) and forests (around 8.2%), mainly young afforestations. Large farms over 50 ha determine the farm size structure with a share of around 55%. Agriculture is highly specialized, especially in beef fattening, sheep farming, dairy farming and poultry farming.

History: Up until the 20th century, according to pharmacylib, Northern Ireland formed a historical-political unit with the rest of the island (Ireland, history).

With the “Government of Ireland Act” (December 23, 1920), the British government separated the predominantly Protestant counties of Ulsters (Londonderry, Antrim, Tyrone, Fermanagh, Armagh and Down) from the rest of the predominantly Catholic Ireland and gave them under one Union with Great Britain autonomy, d. H. above all its own parliament (Stormont) and its own government; the Unionist Party (UP) became the leading political party; in addition, the Orange Order gained great social importance. In 1921–72 the Unionists were the head of government; James Craig (* 1871, † 1940), 1921–40 the first Northern Irish Prime Minister, like his successors, worked closely with Great Britain. In 1925 a treaty finally established the border between the Free State of Ireland and British Northern Ireland.

Between 1968 and 1998 the conflict was also carried out using terrorist means. The 1998 peace treaty ended the violent conflict. The Northern Ireland conflict, and with it the dispute over the country’s belonging, continues to dominate social and political life in Northern Ireland.

Northern Ireland Overview