Northern Ireland, also known as Ulster, is still a part of
the United Kingdom. It is made up of six countries: Antrim,
Armagh, Down, Fermanagh, Londonderry, Tyrone. One third
of the population lives in and around the capital, Belfast.
Belfast is also the most important port and commercial and
industrial centre. Some parts of the territory, those that are
not close to the capital, have remained mainly rural.
The Irish population is divided into two groups:
the Protestants and the Catholics. The Protestants are of British
origin. They are descendants of British settlers who came to
Ireland in the XVI-th and XVII-th centuries, during and after
the Reformation. The Catholics are mostly natives of Ireland.
The Protestants were the majority and dominated the
Catholics with strong discrimination. In 1968 the Catholics
began the movement for equal civil rights.
The fightings between the two groups of the population
continue to this day.
Northern Ireland has a strong cultural tradition: songs,
dances, literature and festivals.
It has its own Art Council, and there are orchestras, theatres,
ballet and opera companies.
1. How many countries are there in Northern Ireland?
2. What is the capital of Northern Ireland?
3. Into what parts is the Irish population divided?
4. Who are the Catholics?
5. Who are the Protestants?
6. Has the Catholics-Protestants problem been solved?
7. Does Northern Ireland have strong cultural traditions?