Northern Ireland: British or Irish
Strictly speaking anyone from Northern Ireland (NI) are regarded as being British. Depending upon family circumstances you may have dual citizenship to the Republic of Ireland and Great Britain: A person from Northern Ireland may hold a British and an Irish passport. It is important to note that no matter what passport (British or Irish) a person from NI has they are regarded as British citizens in a court in Northern Ireland. Some laws are passed by Stormont (the NI assembly elected by the people of NI) but the majority have been passed by Parliament (thus the UK government) and all of these laws are enforced in any court in NI.
For religious reasons people in Northern Ireland may identify themselves as being either British or Irish. Most of the Protestant population would say they are British while most Catholics would say they were Irish.
I, however, would identify myself as being Northern Irish.
Northern Irish: Why?
Religion does not bother me in the slightest. At the end of the day that is your personal belief, not that of others. I try to avoid the topic of religion most times for this reason and only talk about it with close friends and family (if required !).
British people speak like British citizens, unsurprisingly, whereas Irish people speak like people from the Republic of Ireland.
I, however, speak like a person from Northern Ireland: I consider myself as Northern Irish because I do not speak 100% Irish or 100% British.
Northern Irish car registrations
If you buy a car from NI you will have a Northern Irish number plate. Not a British number plate, nor Republic of Ireland. Northern Irish is all over NI.
There are some things that are only produced in Northern Ireland. The Belfast Bap is one of them. What is a Belfast Bap? It is a piece of soft bread enclosed in a hard crust. They are quite round, almost the size of half a football. Neither British or Republic of Ireland have Belfast baps.
This adds to a cultural reason as to why I call myself Northern Irish.
Do other people from NI identify themselves as Northern Irish?
Yes. The number of people calling themselves Northern Irish is growing. In 2009 27% of people who live in NI said they regard themselves as Northern Irish.
Being Northern Irish is a happy medium so I like to say where I am from, literally. NI so Northern Irish.
- Life and Times. (2009) Which of these best describes the way you think of yourself? [Online] [Accessed on 10th April 2013] http://is.gd/N3zrLO