Northern Ireland is a constituent region of the United Kingdom in the north-east of the island of Ireland. Northern Ireland shares a border to the south and west with the Republic of Ireland. Established by the Northern Ireland Act 1998 as part of the Good Friday Agreement, the Northern Ireland Assembly holds responsibility for a range of devolved policy matters, while other areas are reserved for the British government. Its capital and largest city is Belfast.
- I believe the problem lies in the older generations who have suffered terribly on all sides through violence and fear... My generation has a responsibility to not restrain the youth by our bigotry and division. It is my hope that in the future we will have non-sectarian elections in a Parliament of left, right and centre... it is time to put aside egos, individual and collective, for the sake of the youth... If this scenario of dysfunctional politics continues, we are each challenged to ask the question: are Sinn Fein or the Democratic Unionists (DUP) pursuing divisionary politics in a quest for continued power?... At this point in our history, faced as we are with important decision regarding Brexit and the question of a soft/hard border, it is even more important that all our elected politicians be present at the table to speak on behalf of the people... It is also important that our political representatives work for a full implementation of the Good Friday Agreement and the healing and reconciliation of our society... Unfortunately, if the two parties are not able to reconcile their differences then it is the responsibility of the British and Irish governments to hold talks with remaining parties willing to govern in Northern Ireland.
- It is Northern Ireland that provides the classic contemporary demonstration of Clausewitzian principles in action. In 1974 the Ulster Protestants rejected powersharing under the 1973 Sunningdale agreement to the point of launching a general strike which the British army warned the British government it could not handle. The government thereupon abandoned the project. But in 1998 the majority of Unionist political parties and at least half the Unionist electorate have come to accept power-sharing under the deal brokered by Mo Mowlam. Wherein lies the essential difference between 1973–74 and 1998? It lies in the profound yearning on the island of Ireland and on the British mainland (including Whitehall and Westminster) for "peace" after the intervening 25 years of unrelenting "war" on the part of the IRA, years of violence of the most extreme kind intended (to quote Clausewitz) "to compel our opponent to fulfil our will". Thus all the talk of compromise and reconciliation in Northern Ireland is just so much small-l liberal blather disguising the Clausewitzian reality that by their "continuation of politics by other means" the IRA have indeed compelled their opponents to fulfil their will.
- Correlli Barnett, 'Home front, front line', The Spectator (4 July 1998)
- Northern Ireland remains a deeply divided society. The number of 'peace walls', physical barriers separating Catholic and Protestant communities, has increased sharply since the first cease-fires in 1994. Most people in the region cannot envisage the barriers being removed, according to a recent survey conducted by the University of Ulster. In housing and education, Northern Ireland remains one of the most segregated tracts of land anywhere on the planet. Less than one in ten children attends a school that is integrated between Catholics and Protestant. This figure has remained stubbornly low despite the cessation of violence.
- Peter Geoghegan, "Return of the Troubles: Is Northern Ireland falling apart all over again?" (20 December 2012), Foreign Policy
- Serbs informed me what a putative peace-building trip to Northern Ireland had actually taught them. 'We need bigger walls,' one said.
- Peter Geoghegan, "Will Belfast ever have a Berlin Wall moment and tear down its 'peace walls'?" (29 September 2015), The Guardian, United Kingdom
I was stopped by a soldier, he said 'You are a swine'. He hit me with his rifle and he kicked me in the groin, I begged and I pleaded, sure my manners were polite. But all the time I'm thinking of my little Armalite...
A brave RUC man came marching up into our street, six hundred British soldiers he had lined up at his feet. 'Come out, ye cowardly Fenians, come out and fight'. But he cried, 'I'm only joking', when he heard the Armalite.
- "My Little Armalite" (1975)
- We share a deep concern for peace and justice in Northern Ireland and condemn all violence and terrorism in that strife-torn land. We support the process of peace and reconciliation established by the Anglo-Irish Agreement, and we encourage new investment and economic reconstruction in Northern Ireland on the basis of strict equality of opportunity and non-discrimination in employment.
- Republican Party Platform of 1988 (16 August 1988), Republican National Convention
- We urge peace and justice for Northern Ireland. We welcome the newly begun process of constitutional dialogue that holds so much promise. We encourage investment and reconstruction to create opportunity for all.
- Republican Party Platform of 1992 (17 August 1992), Republican National Convention
- Northern Ireland is in the unbelievably special position of having privileged access, not just to the U.K. home market … but also the European Union single market [...] That's like the world's most exciting economic zone!
- Rishi Sunak, "Rishi Sunak gives EU 'Windsor framework' deal the hard sell in Belfast", Politico (28 February 2023). The newly negotiated Windsor Framework altered the earlier Northern Ireland Protocol which had led the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) to walk out of power-sharing institutions in October 2022.
- When I told the people of Northern Ireland that I was an atheist, a woman in the audience stood up and said, 'Yes, but is it the God of the Catholics or the God of the Protestants in whom you don't believe?'
- Quentin Crisp, Quoted in The Wit and Wisdom of Quentin Crisp
- For generations, a wide range of shooting in Northern Ireland has provided all sections of the population with a pastime which ... has occupied a great deal of leisure time. Unlike many other countries, the outstanding characteristic of the sport has been that it was not confined to any one class.
- Northern Ireland Tourist Board, August 29, 1969 (Shortly before The Troubles broke out)
- The English avoided civil war but in the 1590s and the first decade of the 17th century they were embroiled in desperate struggles to subdue the ‘wild Irish,’ which they finally achieved—for the moment—in the last years of old Elizabeth’s reign. Thereafter their colonial energies were absorbed with ‘planting’ the conquered country, especially Ulster, until then the wildest part of it. Early in the 1600s Ulster was made the theater of the largest transfer of population ever carried out under the crown—thousands of Scots Presbyterians being allocated parcels of confiscated Catholic land along a defensible military line running along the Ulster border: a line which is still demographically significant to this day and explains why the Ulster problem remains so intractable. This major Ulster planting took root because it was based on agriculture and centered round hard-working, experienced Scots lowland farmers who were also ready to take up arms to defend their new possessions.
- Paul Johnson, A History of the American People (1999), p. 21
- Encyclopedic article on Northern Ireland on Wikipedia
- Media related to Northern Ireland on Wikimedia Commons
- Northern Ireland travel guide from Wikivoyage
- The dictionary definition of Northern Ireland on Wiktionary