Ireland is an island country of which Northern Ireland forms only about a sixth. While the rest of the country is known as the Irish Free State and is under independent rule, Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom (along with England, Scotland and Wales). Northern Ireland has a total area of 14 139 square kilometres and is fairly sparsely populated. Its capital city is Belfast and its official languages are English, Irish and Ulster Scots. This part of the United Kingdom is very beautiful, with its blue mountains and vast green moors.
Spectacular landscape of Connemara Lake mirror, between mountains.
The entire island was made part of the United Kingdom in 1801. At that time, this entity was called the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. However, internal disputes meant decades of civil war between the northern and southern parts of Ireland. Catholics and Protestants battled one another and Ireland was a sad, violent place. In 1886, William Gladstone proposed that Ireland rule itself in an attempt to end the civil unrest and re-establish a certain level peace amongst the people. In 1920, six Irish counties accepted the Home Rule Bill and, in 1921, Northern Ireland became its own political entity, a semi-autonomous government, under the main ‘umbrella’ of the United Kingdom, which remains a monarchy (currently led by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II).
Northern Ireland is made up of 26 counties. It is characterised by the tiny villages that hide in every nook and cranny of its vast landscape. Its shorelines are also lined by villages that use the ocean and its fish as a source of income.
The ruins of the ancient castles and forts are evidence of the years of conflict that once characterised this country. The natural beauty of clear skies, cobalt ocean waters, sweet air and rolling jade-coloured hills lends this land an unmistakable quality of the magical and enchanting.
Although Northern Ireland has a fantastic infrastructure, it does not display the hustle and bustle typical of modern destinations. Rather, there is a relaxed, welcoming air that exudes charm, fun and a rich cultural heritage. In times past, most Irish residents were rural. Today, they are still an outdoors type of people; people that enjoy spending time exploring the hills and beaches of their land.
It is within these breath-taking conditions that Northern Ireland exists, now a peaceful country that plays its own part in supporting the United Kingdom as a whole. Its culture, history and picturesque splendour combine to create a gorgeous destination and home.
For moreinformation, please view: http://www.discoverireland.com