What Is the Difference Between Ireland and Northern Ireland and Why Was There Conflict Between the Two?

Ireland has been home to the Republic of Ireland, an independent country, since 1921, when it broke away from the United Kingdom.

The Republic of Ireland occupies about 83 percent of the whole island, which is about the size of West Virginia, while Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom, takes up the rest.

Most people in Northern Ireland are Protestant, while most in Ireland are Roman Catholic.

Most people in Ireland would like to see Northern Ireland returned to the Republic of Ireland, but most people in Northern Ireland wish to remain part of the United Kingdom.

Violence and fighting over the idea of reunification along religious lines have been going on for many years.