Northern Ireland: Location, Size, Population, & Government

About the location, size, population, and government of the country Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland

Size--5,452 sq. mi. (14,121 sq. km.).

Population--1,500,000: almost 100% Irish except for British troops and other English. 34.9% Roman Catholic, 29% Presbyterian, 24.2% Church of Ireland, 5% Methodist, 6.9% other.

Who Rules--By provision of the Ireland Act of 1920, Northern Ireland has its own Parliament which is composed of the governor, the Senate, and the House of Commons. The governor is appointed by the British Monarch for a 6-year term, and he represents the Crown. The Senate has 24 members elected by the House of Commons, and 2 members who are government officials. The House of Commons has 52 members elected by universal suffrage (over 18). Northern Ireland also has representatives in the House of Commons at Westminster in London.

Who REALLY Rules--Although Northern Ireland has a Parliament, a wide range of legislative and fiscal powers are reserved to the Parliament of the United Kingdom--those relating to foreign policy, trade, war, armed forces, and most matters of taxation. Most important, the British can suspend the Government of Northern Ireland, as they did in 1972.

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