Northern Ireland Overview
Founded after the partition of Ireland (1921) as a statelet with its own local parliament subject to the 'mother' parliament in Westminster and as an integral part of the United Kingdom (of Great Britian and Northern Ireland). The area comprises of 6 of the 9 counties of the Irish province of Ulster (Antrim, Armagh, Derry, Down, Fermanagh and Tyrone the other 3 'southern' Irish ones being Donegal, Monaghan and Cavan). The area became known (wrongly) colloqually as Ulster and had its own parliament until this was dissolved during the height of the 'Troubles' and replaced by direct rule from London in 1972.
A scenic and very welcoming place, it is only emerging as a maintstream tourism spot as the peace process develops and the new Northern Ireland Assembly takes on the effective government of the territory.
The end of the civil conflict has brought north and south very close admniistratively with no permanent border security presence, it is possible to travel freely over the land border without papers. Home to the Giant's Causeway world heritage site and many fine museums, galleries and other attractions those visiting the island of Ireland are increasingly including a trip to the 'North'. Check it out!