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Реферат на тему:

 

Northern Ireland

 

Northern Ireland is the smallest of the Home Nations of the United

Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland lies in

the north-east of the island of Ireland. It covers 14,139 square

kilometres (5,459 square miles), and has a population of 1,685,000

(April 2001). The capital is Belfast.

 

Northern Ireland was created in 1921 as a home-rule political entity,

under the Government of Ireland Act, 1920, along with the nominal state

of Southern Ireland, which was superseded almost immediately after its

creation by the Irish Free State. When the latter achieved independence,

Northern Ireland – under the procedures laid out in the Anglo-Irish

Treaty, 1921 – declined to join, and so remained part of the United

Kingdom. The majority of the population is unionist and wishes to remain

part of the United Kingdom, but a significant minority, known as the

nationalists, want a united Ireland. The clashes between both sets of

identity, and allegations of discrimination against nationalists by

unionists, produced a violent struggle by minorities within both

communities that ran from the late 1960s to the early 1990s and was

known as The Troubles. As a consequence, self-government for Northern

Ireland was suspended in 1972. Since the mid-1990s, the main

paramilitary groups have observed an uneasy ceasefire. Following

negotiations, the Belfast Agreement of 1998 provides for an elected

Northern Ireland Assembly and a 'power-sharing' Northern Ireland

Executive comprising representaives of all the main parties.

 

There is no longer any official Flag of Northern Ireland, as the 'Red

Hand Flag' was abolished along with the Parliament of Northern Ireland

in 1972. Unionists tend to use the Union flag and sometimes the Red Hand

Flag, while Nationalists typically use the Flag of Ireland. Both sides

also occasionally use the flags belonging to their political parties and

other secular and religious organizations they belong to.[1]

(http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/images/symbols/flags.htm) Some groups, including

the Irish Rugby Football Union have used the Flag of St. Patrick as a

symbol of Ireland which lacks the same nationalist or unionist

connotations, but even this is felt by some to be a loyalist flag, and

no universally acceptable symbol has yet been found. Similarly, there is

no longer a national anthem; A Londonderry Air was the national anthem.

 

With its improved international reputation, Northern Ireland has

recently witnessed rising numbers of tourists who come to appreciate the

area's unique heritage. Attractions include cultural festivals, musical

and artistic traditions, countryside and geographical sites of interest,

pubs, welcoming hospitality and sports (especially golf and fishing).

 

Northern Ireland was covered by the ice sheet for most of the last ice

age and on numerous previous occasions, the legacy of which can be seen

in the extensive coverage of drumlins in Counties Fermanagh, Armagh,

Antrim and particularly Down. The centrepiece of Northern Ireland's

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