The Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland

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  • Přidal/a: anonymous
  • Datum přidání: 01. července 2007
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The Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland

Ireland is divided into two countries, the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland, which is a province of the United Kingdom.

Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland (known also as Ulster) occupies the northern fifth of Ireland. It is a part of Great Britain. The boundary was established in 1921. It is 412 kilometres long and cuts through many farms, houses, settlements and about 180 roads. Its origins go back to the 17th century. At that time much of Ireland was controlled from Britain, and during the century many Scottish farming families were settled in the northern part of Ireland known as Ulster. They were protestant by religion and so had a different religious and cultural background to the Catholic Irish. Catholics were not allowed to build churches, to vote, to hold public office or to own land ("Penal Laws"). Quite understandably the Irish people hated being ruled from London, and finally fighting broke out between them and the British. As a result of the rebellion the Irish people gained their independence and formed their own state with its government in Dublin. As the Protestants in the North did not want to become a minority in a Catholic country, it was agreed between the British and the Irish Governments that the Island would be divided.

Today there are serious social, political, and religious problems. The Catholics want a united Ireland: the Protestants, holding the best jobs and the most important political positions want to keep up the union with Great Britain. The fighting of radical organizations on both sides, especially of the IRA (Irish Republican Army), has led to terrorism and terrible bloodshed.

The Republic of Ireland (Poblacht na h'Éireann)
The Irish language (Erse) belongs to a branch of Celtic language. Historical circumstances have led to the decline of the Irish language, and its replacement in common speech by English. In the Republic of Ireland it is the first language, and in 1922 became compulsory in schools. In many national schools, all subjects are taught in Irish, though the number of children whose home language is Irish is less than 2%. Literature: Ireland has produced some of the greatest writers of the English language. Jonathan Swift (Gulliver's Travels; age of reason), George Bernard Shaw (finder of modern drama), James Joyce and W. B.

Yeats (poet, he took opium), O.Wilde - Irish contribution to British literature.
Economy: Chiefly agricultural; industry is being developed (textiles, machinery, chemicals, mining, oil). In 1972 the Irish Republic, along with Great Britain, negotiated entry to the European Community.
Irish pound, parliamentary democracy, Council of state (ex VIP), the national flag - tricolour (white, green, orange in vertical stripes).

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