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Background Information on Northern Ireland Society

[Key_Events] [Key_Issues] [CONFLICT_BACKGROUND]
NI SOCIETY: [Agriculture] [Art_&_Literature] [Culture] [Economy] [Education] [Employment] [Geography] [Health_&_Social_Security] [History] [Housing] [Income] [Law_&_Order] [Maps] [Media] [Politics] [Population] [Religion] [Security] [Tourism] [Transportation]

Page Compiled: Martin Melaugh
Material is added to this site on a regular basis - information on this page may change


This section contains links to a range of material in the CAIN Archive which will provide users with background information on Northern Ireland society. The main intention is to provide a context within which users can consider the core material in the main sections on the Northern Ireland conflict.

The violence that occurred in Northern Ireland had a direct and obvious impact on certain aspects of life in the region most notably the security response and the conduct of politics. However 'the Troubles', and the underlying divisions in the community, had an impact to varying degrees on most aspects of life in the region. In addition the conflict has been reflected in things such as the arts and literature.

The material available at the links below includes, key facts and figures on demographic and socioeconomic aspects of the society in which 'the Troubles' occurred. This information has been gathered from official statistics as well as research reports. Most of the statistical information was compiled in 1996-1997 with the aim of indicating what society was like when the violence was on-going. Only some of the tables have been update; more up-dating may be done in the future. There are also links to articles on the particular topics, and images as in the case of murals. The main headings are listed in alphabetical order. [For current statistical information see: NI Statistics and Research Agency, NISRA]

  • Agriculture, Land, Forestry, Fisheries
  • The Arts and Literature
    This section will contain examples of the impact the conflict has had on the arts and literature.
  • Culture and Language
    The most obvious expression of British or Unionist culture in Northern Ireland are the 2,500 parades and marches organised by the Loyal Orders each year. Irish and Nationalist culture finds expression in music, dance, the arts, and Gaelic (the Irish language).
  • Economy, Finance, Industry, and Trade
  • Education
  • Employment
  • Geography and Environment
  • Health and Social Security
  • History
    Outline of historical events in Ireland for the period from 1603 to the outbreak of the current conflict.
    For information on the current conflict see the chronology for the years 1968 to the present and also key events.
    See also the background article 'Conflict in Northern Ireland: A Background Essay' by John Darby.
  • Housing
  • Incomes
  • Law and Order
  • Maps of Ireland and Northern Ireland
  • Media
  • Politics
    See information on Politics, Political Parties and the Electoral System and also the Peace Process.
  • Population and Vital Statistics
  • Religion
  • Security and Defence
  • Tourism
    The level of tourism during the period 1969 to 1994 was adversely affected by the conflict. The paramilitary ceasefires of 1994 encouraged people to visit Northern Ireland and 1995 proved to be a record year.

  • Transportation

  • CAIN contains information and source material on the conflict and politics in Northern Ireland.
    CAIN is based within Ulster University.

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