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Northern Ireland

     
Northern Ireland
the northern part of the island of Ireland, which is politically part of the United Kingdom. Population 1,577,836 (2001). It is sometimes called the Six Counties, because it consists of six counties, or as Ulster, or the Province. Its capital city is Belfast, and its main industries are farming and engineering, especially ship and aircraft building. The population of Northern Ireland is divided between the Protestants (over 50%) and the Roman Catholics (almost 40%). In general, the Protestants want Northern Ireland to remain part of the UK, and they are called Unionists or Loyalists. Catholics want Northern Ireland to become part of the Republic of Ireland, and are called Republicans or Nationalists. The disagreements between these groups have led to a lot of violence.

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