10 things that tell you “Northern Ireland” is not in the UK

Peter Kearney

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In November 2013 a radio colleague (a student intern from Italy) interviewed Loyalists marchers (Orange men) at the stand off at Twaddell Avenue in north Belfast. Twaddell is an area in north Belfast where Loyalist marchers, loyal to the British Queen, have been camped since July 2013. They refuse to vacate this camp until they are allowed to march through an Irish Republican neighbourhood in whatever fashion they deem necessary. The Parades Commission in “Northern Ireland”, appointed to make decisions on such matters, refuse them permission to do so.

Among a number of points the protesters relayed to my colleague, was that they were “…I am born in part of the UK of Great Britain and Northern Ireland…I am as British as someone in Derby…”. (at 9 mins)

Riot police keep a watchful eye on Loyalists protesters in Twadell, north Belfast July 2013 (Photo Credit: Peter)
Riot police keep a watchful eye on Loyalists protesters in Twadell, north Belfast July 2013 (Photo Credit: Peter)

This Loyalist protestor may want to consider the list below which shows that, while this place called “Northern Ireland” may be a part of the UK to some, it is not in any way like Derby.

ONE – MONEY used in “Northern Ireland” cannot be automatically used in Derby because their bank notes are not legal tender in England.

TWO – IRISH GOVERNMENT BODIES from the south are directly involved and consulted on a number of regional, political, NAMA and business issues in “Northern Ireland”. The Irish Government is not involved in decision making in Derby or other parts of England.

THREE – CITIZENSHIP – Anybody born in “Northern Ireland” has the automatic right to be an Irish or British citizen – again this is not the case if you are born in Derby another part of England or any part of the world. The Irish passport also has a map of the full island of Ireland printed inside it.

Irish Passport (Photo Credit: The Merry Monk)
Irish Passport (Photo Credit: The Merry Monk)

FOUR – LAWS of Derby and the UK do not automatically apply in “Northern Ireland”.

FIVE – ABORTION – Women in “Northern Ireland” are not entitled to an abortion in the same way as women in Derby are. In fact their law is quite similar to that of the south of Ireland

SIX – SPORTING BODIES – Key sporting organisations in Ireland are united and organised on an all Ireland/island basis – GAA, IRFU, Hockey and Cricket. They do not, apart from the GAA, cover Derby.

SEVEN – GREEN The colour unites north and south in sport and more recently in St. Patrick’s day celebrations. Although…Derby also celebrates…so on this one they have a point…

City Hall Belfast on St. Patrick's Day (Photo Credit: Paul Mc Mahon)
City Hall Belfast on St. Patrick’s Day (Photo Credit: Paul Mc Mahon)

EIGHT – DEMOCRACY – The voting system in “Northern Ireland” assembly elections is the same as it is in the south. The north also uses a Proportional Representational STV. Not so in Derby.

NINE – TAX – The taxpayer in the south of Ireland contributes towards the funding of different bodies in “Northern Ireland”. Not sure if Derby has ever benefitted from the Irish taxpayer?!

TEN – BORDER & PASSPORT – No physical border or checkpoint between the south and north of Ireland and no need to carry a passport – if you travel to Derby by Ryanair you need one  – no border that is, apart from the “peace walls” (see cover image) that still divide the pro-British residents from their pro-Irish neighbours in “Northern Ireland”.

/ 10 Articles

Peter Kearney

Freelance Journalist