Northern Ireland

In Northern Ireland, made up of the six Irish counties still claimed by Britain, a majority voted to remain in the European Union in Britain’s 2016 referendum. But “Brexit” is threatening to take it out of the EU regardless — threatening progress in a statelet historically wracked by discrimination, inequality and violence.

Brexit is a threat to Northern Ireland in several ways. Key aspects of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, which formally ended decades of armed conflict, underpinned by European law and funds.

In Northern Ireland — the partitioned statelet made up of the six Irish counties still claimed by Britain — the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) is the largest unionist party (supporters of an ongoing “union” with Britain).

"Grief turned to pride for Sinn Fein this week as tens of thousands paid their respects to a leader who came to symbolise peace in Ireland and the process through which the Provisional IRA gave birth to a political powerhouse," Irish Republican News said of the March 23 funeral of Irish republican leader Martin McGuinness, who died on March 20 aged 66, in his beloved Bigside neighbourhood in Derry in the six counties of Northern Ireland still claimed by Britain.

Irish republican leader Martin McGuinness, who was Sinn Fein leader in Northern Ireland until stepping down due to ill health earlier this year, passed away on March 20 aged 66.

Born in 1950 in Derry in the six counties occupied by Britain, he came face to face with the discrimination and sectarian bigotry against Irish nationalists and Catholics that marked the partitioned statelet.

For the first time since Ireland was partitioned in 1921 as part of a treaty to end Ireland’s War of Independence, supporters of Northern Ireland’s “union” with the British state no longer hold a majority in the Northern Ireland Assembly.

Irish Republican party Sinn Fein attained its highest ever share of the vote in the six counties that make up the Northern Ireland statelet still claimed by Britain, in emergency assembly elections on March 2.

Elections were called after power-sharing between Sinn Fein and the pro-British Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) collapsed over a corruption scandal involving the public energy program. When DUP leader and Northern Ireland First Minister Arlene Foster had refused to resign over her role in the scandal, Sinn Fein withdrew from the administration.

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams, writing for his Leargas blog, has warned that the 1998 Good Friday Agreement that formally ended more than two decades of armed conflict in the six counties in Ireland's north still claimed by Britain, “hangs by a thread”.

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