Time for a little update again, I think.. I don't intend to leave such huge breaks between updates but it just happens. Uh-oh... Anyway, today's first card is from my friend Tiphaine. She visited her brother in Northern Ireland earlier this year and was sweet enough to send me a postcard from her trip :) I don't have too many postcards from Northern Ireland so this was quite a treat as well!
Northern Ireland is a part of the United Kingdom in the north-east of the island of Ireland. As of 2011, its population was 1,810,863, constituting about 30% of the island's total population and about 3% of the population of the United Kingdom. Since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, Northern Ireland is largely self-governing. According to the agreement, Northern Ireland co-operates with the rest of Ireland – from which it was partitioned in 1921 – on some policy areas, while other areas are reserved for the Government of the United Kingdom, though the Republic of Ireland "may put forward views and proposals".
Northern Ireland was for many years the site of a violent and bitter inter-communal conflict – the Troubles – which was caused by divisions between nationalists, who see themselves as Irish and are predominantly Roman Catholic, and unionists, who see themselves as British and are predominantly Protestant. Additionally, some people from either side of the community describe themselves as Northern Irish. Unionists want Northern Ireland to remain as a part of the United Kingdom, while nationalists want reunification with the rest of Ireland, independent of British rule. Since 1998, most of the paramilitary groups involved in the Troubles have ceased their armed campaigns.
Northern Ireland has traditionally been the most industrialised region of the island. After declining as a result of political and social turmoil in the second half of the 20th century, it has grown significantly since the 1990s. This is in part due to a "peace dividend" and in part due to links and increased trade with the Republic of Ireland.
This card shows a few places in Northern Ireland: Belfast City, Glens of Antrim waterfalls, Dunluce Castle, the Giant's Causeway (which is also a Unesco site) and City of Derry.
You wouldn't actually need an international stamp to mail a postcard from Nothern Ireland to England.. which is why I don't see too many of these. It's a shame the stamp isn't cancelled, but that seems to happen a lot in the UK. :/