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[vox] [OT] (really OT) question about ireland
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[vox] [OT] (really OT) question about ireland

i understand why the irish catholics like king james II and why the
irish protestants like king william of orange.  but i was reading a news
article and came across a paragraph which i don't understand:

   At bonfires all over Belfast ushering in Friday's anniversary, huge
   [irish protestant] cheers went up as the flames tore into Irish
   tricolor flags and other symbols of Catholic nationalists who want to
   unite the province with the Irish Republic to the south.

never mind the fact that it seems strange that irish protestants would
burn the irish flag, whether they're loyalist or not...

unite?  unite with what?

this seems to say that the island just west of england is two countries:
north ireland (where the protestant/loyalist/orangemen bonfires were
lit) and south ireland.

i was under the impression that the whole thing was the same country and
part of the united kingdom.  that paragraph sounds like this is wrong.

what's the scoop?   if they're separate countries and one of them isn't
part of the UK, what happened?  AFAIK, william III soundly defeated
james II and won control over england and its territories.

totally confused,


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