Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland is a very beautiful place. It is a land of mountains, rivers and lakes. It has a rugged coastline and one is never more than half an hour away from the coast by car.

The history of Ireland is a tragic one. For centuries the English had tried to gain control of Ireland. Until the 16-th century, England controlled only a small area of Ireland around Dublin. English rulers, including King Henry VIII, Queen Elizabeth I and Oliver Cromwell gradually conquered, the whole of Ireland. The last area to resist the English was the province of Ulster, in the north of Ireland, but in the end the Irish were defeated.

In 1910 Home Rule was offered to Ireland. As a reaction the Irish patriots formed a military organizations of the Irish Volunteers. The Labour Party in Ireland set up the Irish Citizen Army. In 1916 the Volunteers and the Irish Citizen Army organized an uprising which although a failure, laid the foundation for another stage of the fight for freedom. In 1921, an independent Irish state was established, that is the Republic of Ireland.

The people of Ireland have always been known for their stories and myths. They say that giants used to live on the Antrim coast, north of Belfast. One giant, Finn McCool, the commander of the king of Ireland's army, fell in love with a woman giant in Scotland. He wanted her to come to Ulster so he started to build a bridge, the Giant's Causeway, so that she could walk across the sea.