1921 six of the nine counties which make up the province of Ulster
were divided off from the south of the country and became Northern
Ireland. This partition of the island between the predominantly Protestant
north and the Catholic south - the result of events
stretching back hundreds of years - would later in the century
lead to civil
unrest and violence.
Ireland then became known as the Irish Free State, later Eire and
now the Republic of Ireland.
Ireland is made up of the following six counties; Antrim, Armagh,
Down, Fermanagh, Londonderry (Derry) and Tyrone.
three-quarters of a million people can speak Irish
Gaelic in Ireland - mainly on the west coast
- although it is believed only 120,000 people use the language on
a regular basis. It is one of only four Celtic languages that are
still spoken today; Scottish Gaelic, Welsh and Breton being the other
three. In the 5th century Irish Gaelic spread to Scotland and developed
into Scottish Gaelic. It is also the root of the now extinct Manx
language which was once spoken on the Isle of Man.
|Areas of Outstanding
The riverbanks, meadows and woods which run alongside the River Lagan
just south of Belfast were designated the Lagan
Valley AONB in 1965.
The North Derry
AONB was designated in 1966 and in 2006 extended and redesignated
as the Binevagh
AONB. This mainly coastal area protects long stretches of beaches,
dune systems and cliffs which provide views north across to Scotland.
Coast and Glens were designated an AONB in 1989. Situated on the
north-east coastline the area stretches from Ballycastle in the north,
south along the coast to Larne and includes the Glens of Antrim and
Northern Ireland's only inhabited offshore island at Rathlin Island.
The geology of the area has led to a variety of landscapes ranging
from remote moorland to dramatic cliffs and gentle bays.
in 1989 the Causeway
Coast AONB reaches east along the coast from Ballycastle to include
Northern Ireland's only World Heritage Site, the Giant's
Causeway. The area protected includes spectacular cliffs, undulating
dunes and the inland landscape of the Bush valley.
In 2010 the Strangford
and Lecale AONB was created out of a
merger of the Lecale Coast AONB
(designated 1967) and the Strangford
Lough AONB (designated 1972). The area's
coves, headlands and beaches provide sanctuaries to large seal and
The inland Sperrin
AONB covers the mountainous heart of Northern Ireland. Designated
in 1968 the area stretches from the Strule Valley in the west to the
edge of the Lough Neath lowlands in the east and includes large areas
of moorland broken by valleys and glens together with inland waters
in the south.
AONB includes the 12 peaks of the Mourne Mountains and the nearby
coastline. Found in the south-east of Northern Ireland, the area stretches
from Carlingford Lough north-east along the coast and inland. It was
designated in 1986 to protect the mountain landscape as well as other
habitats leading down to the coastand including areas of moorland
of Gullion is a rare example of an unusual geological formation
known as a ring dyke with the Slieve Gullion mountain at its centre
surrounded by low-lying hills. The area was designated an AONB in
(Official repository of the coats of arms and pedigrees
for English, Welsh, Northern Irish and Commonwealth families)
the London and Edinburgh editions the UK's official newspapers
of record dating to 1665)
Walton died in Belfast in 1995. In 1951 he had shared the
Prize for Physics with the English scientist John Cockcroft
for their study of alpha particles.