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NorthernIRELAND

Northern Ireland is a country born out of violence. A country with a troubled past. Namely by volcanoes ferociously erupting creating the geometric pillars of The Giant’s Causeway. During the last ice age Northern Ireland was covered in a thick layer of ice. Which you can still see in the drumlins or little ridges in Counties Fermanagh, Armagh, Antrim and particularly Down. The glaciers surged and forcibly created the Glens, all culminating in Lough Neagh the largest freshwater lake in the whole of the British Isles. It is these unique and dramatic scenes that gave Game of Thrones its backdrop.

It is not only the scenery that has been explosive. Northern Irish scientists and scholars have unearthed some world changing discoveries. William Thompson or as he is better known Lord Kelvin determined Absolute Zero. Ernest Thomas Sinton Walton split the atom. Dr Steve Myers is credited at making the Large Hadron Collider work. And Dr Wallace Dinsmore grabbed the world’s attention in 1999 when he published the side effects of an angina drug, that went on to become the smile inducing Viagra.

When it came to industry Londonderry or just Derry had a prominent textile industry but the true driving force was Belfast, nicknamed ‘Linenopolis’ as it was the global centre for linen. Northern Irish linen is still famed around the world for being the finest linen. But that wasn’t Belfast’s only claim to fame. It was also one of the world centres for shipbuilding. Especially renowned was the Harland & Wolff Shipyards which at its height employed 35,000 people and built the fateful RMS Titanic with its sister ships RMS Olympic and RMS Britannic plus HMS Belfast that still sits on the South Bank in London.

When the locals call Northern Ireland 'Norn Iron’ this could, in part, come from the ship building materials that helped create a nation.

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