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Northern Ireland 

Key Facts on Northern Ireland

Here are some key facts and information to note about Northern Ireland in general. 

The Name

Northern Ireland is technically a part of the country named the ‘United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland’ however the fact that it remains a part of the United Kingdom is what is the root cause of the problems with Northern Ireland (known as the ‘Troubles’).  Northern Ireland is situated on the northeast quarter of the island of Ireland, however the most northerly part of the island of Ireland is not in Northern Ireland but is in the Republic of Ireland.  This is just one of the curiosities that the visitor will no doubt discover for themselves about this island.

Cities and Counties

There are five cities in Northern Ireland:  Armagh, Belfast, Derry, Lisburn and Newry. Belfast is by far the largest city and is the capital of Northern Ireland and is where the headquarters is for the Northern Irish government Stormont is.  Northern Ireland consists of 6 of the 9 counties of Ulster; the counties are Armagh, Fermanagh, Down, Antrim, Londonderry and Tyrone.  The other three counties of Ulster (Donegal, x,x) still remain a part of the Republic of Ireland. 

Quick History Lesson

Northern Ireland was separated from the rest of Ireland by the Government of Ireland Act 1920 (although the separation occurred 3 May 1921).  Northern Ireland is six of the nine counties that make up the province of Ulster (there are four provinces on the island of Ireland).  The counties included in Northern Ireland are Armagh, Fermanagh, Down, Antrim, Londonderry and Tyrone.  This separation was the result of centuries of conflict between Ireland and the rest of the UK however there has not been peace after the separation, either.  More detail about the history of Northern Ireland is included under History.




  In the 2001 UK census, the population of Northern Ireland was just shy of 1.7 million inhabitants; this is forecasted to increase to 1.8 million by 2011. 


 Northern Ireland has a temperate climate with the jet stream having a large impact on the weather for the region.  Northern Ireland does have seasons, but they are less distinct and pronounced than compared to North America and middle Europe.  The lowest temperature in the winter months does not usually get below freezing whereas the highest temperature in the summer months does not usually go above 25 degrees Celsius.  Tourists have said in the past that you can get four seasons of weather in one day in Northern Ireland, so you should be prepared; dress in layers and always have an umbrella with you!


The currency in Northern Ireland is the British pounds sterling.  It is affectionately called "quid" and if you have made money on something the phrase is "quids in".  The currency in the Republic of Ireland is the Euro.  Therefore, if you are flying into Dublin and coming up to Northern Ireland sometime after that, then you need to keep this in mind.  Some stores in Northern Ireland will accept the Euro currency, but the majority of stores do not.  Please click here for a currency converter calculator so that you are aware of the most recent exchange rates for all major currencies against your home currency.    


There are three major airports and two major sea ports in Northern Ireland.  Please see How to Get to NI for more information on transportation links in Northern Ireland.    

Where would you like to go now?  Back to the TOP or visit other pages about Northern Ireland such as:

Travel Guides to Belfast, Lisburn, Londonderry, Armagh, Causeway Coastal Route, Mourne Mountains, Sperrin Mountains, Fermanagh Lakelands, Nine Glens of Antrim, Strangford Lough and Donegal


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