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Capital, largest city, and major port of Northern Ireland.
Note: For centuries the city has been the site of violent conflict between Protestant and Roman Catholic residents.
Note: Northern Ireland was created in 1920, when Britain established separate parliaments for the parts of Ireland dominated by Protestants and by Roman Catholics. The Protestant portion remained in union with Britain.
Note: Demands for equal civil and economic rights by the Catholic minority, beginning in the late 1960s, led to a renewal of violence between Catholics and Protestants.
Note: The Irish Republican Army (IRA), a nationalist organization dedicated to the unification of Ireland, has staged terrorist attacks on British troops in Northern Ireland, as well as other random terrorist attacks in Britain.
Note: A peace accord reached on Good Friday, 1998, provided for the restoration of home rule, which Britain had suspended in 1972 when it assumed direct control of Northern Ireland. By the terms of this accord, both Britain and the Republic of Ireland agreed to give up their constitutional claims on Northern Ireland. Voters in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland approved the accord later in 1998. The failure of the IRA to disarm threw this accord into jeopardy until recently. There is now reasonable hope for a settlement.