Secretary of State for the Environment
The Secretary of State for the Environment was a UK cabinet position, responsible for the Department of the Environment. This was created by Edward Heath as a combination of the Ministry of Housing and Local Government, the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Public Building and Works on 15 October 1970, thus it managed a mixed portfolio of issues: housing and planning, local government, public buildings, environmental protection and transport - James Callaghan gave transport its own department again in 1976. It has been asserted that during the Thatcher government the DoE led the drive towards centralism, the undermining of local government; the concept of'inner cities policy' involving centrally negotiated public-private partnerships and centrally appointed development corporations, which moved control of many urban areas to the centre, away from their left-wing, local authorities. The department was based in Marsham Towers, three separate tower blocks built for the separate pre-merger ministries, in Westminster.
In 1997, when Labour came to power, the DoE was merged with the Department of Transport to form the Department of the Environment and the Regions, thus restoring the DoE to its initial 1970 portfolio. The titular mention of'the Regions' referred to the government's pledge to create regional government. In the wake of the 2001 foot and mouth crisis, the environmental protection elements of the DETR were split of and merged with the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, to form the Department for Environment and Rural Affairs. Meanwhile, the transport and planning, local and regional government aspects went to a new Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions. A year the DTLR split, with transport getting its own department and the rest going to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister
Northern Ireland is a part of the United Kingdom in the north-east of the island of Ireland, variously described as a country, province or region. Northern Ireland shares a border to the west with the Republic of Ireland. In 2011, its population was 1,810,863, constituting about 30% of the island's total population and about 3% of the UK's population. Established by the Northern Ireland Act 1998 as part of the Good Friday Agreement, the Northern Ireland Assembly holds responsibility for a range of devolved policy matters, while other areas are reserved for the British government. Northern Ireland co-operates with the Republic of Ireland in some areas, the Agreement granted the Republic the ability to "put forward views and proposals" with "determined efforts to resolve disagreements between the two governments". Northern Ireland was created in 1921, when Ireland was partitioned between Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland by the Government of Ireland Act 1920. Unlike Southern Ireland, which would become the Irish Free State in 1922, the majority of Northern Ireland's population were unionists, who wanted to remain within the United Kingdom.
Most of these were the Protestant descendants of colonists from Great Britain. However, a significant minority Catholics, were nationalists who wanted a united Ireland independent of British rule. Today, the former see themselves as British and the latter see themselves as Irish, while a distinct Northern Irish or Ulster identity is claimed both by a large minority of Catholics and Protestants and by many of those who are non-aligned. For most of the 20th century, when it came into existence, Northern Ireland was marked by discrimination and hostility between these two sides in what First Minister of Northern Ireland, David Trimble, called a "cold house" for Catholics. In the late 1960s, conflict between state forces and chiefly Protestant unionists on the one hand, chiefly Catholic nationalists on the other, erupted into three decades of violence known as the Troubles, which claimed over 3,500 lives and caused over 50,000 casualties; the 1998 Good Friday Agreement was a major step in the peace process, including the decommissioning of weapons, although sectarianism and religious segregation still remain major social problems, sporadic violence has continued.
Northern Ireland has been the most industrialised region of Ireland. After declining as a result of the political and social turmoil of the Troubles, its economy has grown since the late 1990s; the initial growth came from the "peace dividend" and the links which increased trade with the Republic of Ireland, continuing with a significant increase in tourism and business from around the world. Unemployment in Northern Ireland peaked at 17.2% in 1986, dropping to 6.1% for June–August 2014 and down by 1.2 percentage points over the year, similar to the UK figure of 6.2%. 58.2% of those unemployed had been unemployed for over a year. Prominent artists and sportspeople from Northern Ireland include Van Morrison, Rory McIlroy, Joey Dunlop, Wayne McCullough and George Best; some people from Northern Ireland prefer to identify as Irish while others prefer to identify as British. Cultural links between Northern Ireland, the rest of Ireland, the rest of the UK are complex, with Northern Ireland sharing both the culture of Ireland and the culture of the United Kingdom.
In many sports, the island of Ireland fields a single team, a notable exception being association football. Northern Ireland competes separately at the Commonwealth Games, people from Northern Ireland may compete for either Great Britain or Ireland at the Olympic Games; the region, now Northern Ireland was the bedrock of the Irish war of resistance against English programmes of colonialism in the late 16th century. The English-controlled Kingdom of Ireland had been declared by the English king Henry VIII in 1542, but Irish resistance made English control fragmentary. Following Irish defeat at the Battle of Kinsale, the region's Gaelic, Roman Catholic aristocracy fled to continental Europe in 1607 and the region became subject to major programmes of colonialism by Protestant English and Scottish settlers. A rebellion in 1641 by Irish aristocrats against English rule resulted in a massacre of settlers in Ulster in the context of a war breaking out between England and Ireland fuelled by religious intolerance in government.
Victories by English forces in that war and further Protestant victories in the Williamite War in Ireland toward the close of the 17th century solidified Anglican rule in Ireland. In Northern Ireland, the victories of the Siege of Derry and the Battle of the Boyne in this latter war are still celebrated by some Protestants. Popes Innocent XI and Alexander VIII had supported William of Orange instead of his maternal uncle and father-in-law James II, despite William being Protestant and James a Catholic, due to William's participation in alliance with both Protesant and Catholic powers in Europe in wars against Louis XIV, the powerful King of France, in conflict with the papacy for decades. In 1693, Pope Innocent XII recognised James as continuing King of Great Britain and Ireland in place of William, after reconciliation with Louis. In 1695, contrary to the terms of the Treaty of Limerick, a series of penal laws were passed by the Anglican ruling class in Ireland in intense anger at the Pope's recognition of James over William, felt to be a betrayal.
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Augher is a small village in County Tyrone, Ireland. It is 18 miles southwest of Dungannon, on the A4 Dungannon to Enniskillen road, halfway between Ballygawley and Clogher, it is situated in the civil parish of Clogher. The 2001 Census recorded a population of 399; the town gives its name to the local Gaelic Football Club. The historic core of the village developed in linear form along Main Street and is intersected by the A4 road. Augher is a busy community in the Clogher Valley. In the village is the quaint old station house for the Clogher Valley Railway, which has since been converted to a coffee house. Once a year the famous Clogher Valley Show is held which displays the high quality farm produce of this rural area.'Clogher Valley Cheese', locally made is one of the region's food specialties. On the outskirts of the village is Fr. Hackett Park, home to Augher St. Macartan's GFC. By the time of the Nine Years' War Augher was important enough to be used as a garrison town by the forces of Lord Mountjoy, Elizabeth I's Lord Deputy of Ireland, to disrupt the army of the Earl of Tyrone.
In 1613, after the war and as part of the Plantation of Ulster an area of 315 acres around Augher was given to Sir Thomas Ridgway, the Treasurer at War for Ireland. The land grant was strict about what the Undertaker i.e. Ridgway, could do with the land in terms of who had to be settled there and what provisions had to be given to the settlers. Ridgway was successful in developing the town that within two years it awarded a borough charter by James I. By 1630 the ownership of Augher had passed to Sir James Erskine and during the Irish Rebellion of 1641 the castle was defended against rebel attack. In retaliation the rebels massacred all the English inhabitants in the area. On the death of Sir James Erskine, Augher Castle and the estate passed into the ownership of the Richardson family who retained the estate well into the 19th century; the castle itself burnt down in 1689 but was restored and extended in 1832. Spur Royal Castle stands to this day. Under the borough charter, Augher returned two members of parliament to the Irish Parliament, a practice that continued until the abolition of the parliament in 1801.
The borough was by the time of the abolition of parliament owned by John Hamilton, 1st Marquess of Abercorn and when the parliament was abolished he received £15,000 compensation for the loss of the electoral rights of Augher and Strabane – the other borough he owned. Abolished at the same time was the civil court established under the charter. To the west of Augher is Spur Royal Castle, a typical plantation tower house, it was built in 1615 by Lord Ridgeway on the site of an older fortress and was burnt in 1689 by the Jacobites as the Siege of Derry was underway. It was restored and extended in 1832 and a large and handsome mansion built adjoining it by Sir J. M. Richardson Bunbury, Bart; the tower house is three storeys high. The entrance is on the east wall with a machicolation above, it was flanked by four circular towers. The River Blackwater, on which the village is built, the lakes of Dunroe and Fymore amid the hills to the south of Augher make this a good fishing area. Just outside Augher on the Hill of Knockmany stands the famous cairn of Queen Anya, reputed to be over 2000 years old.
There are a number of forests in namely Knockmany and Favour Royal Forest. The former is remarkable for its huge stones with inscribed designs of the Bronze Age Tomb of Knockmany, it is arguably the finest example of Megalithic Art in Ulster. According to Irish Folklore Knockmany is the home of 52ft giant Fin M'Coul. St Patrick's Chair and Well, another ancient site, set in Altadavin, is reputed to have mystical powers. Augher Railway Station was opened on 2 May 1887 by the Clogher Valley Railway, it is a red brick single storey building built by James Harvey of Enniskillen. The railway closed on 1 January 1942; the original station building became a coffee shop known as Rosamunde's. After a period of being closed, the now Augher Station House Cafe came under new ownership, was refurbished and reopened once more. Eugene McKenna – former Tyrone Gaelic Football Captain in the 1980s and joint manager from 1999 to 2002 was from Augher, he collected three Ulster Senior Championship medals as a player, represented his province in the Irish Interprovincial Railway Cup Tournament on several occasions.
St. Brigid's Primary School Augher Central Primary School St. Patrick's Primary School Augher St. Macartan's Gaelic Athletic Association Club Augher Stars Football Club List of towns and villages in Ireland Augher Augher – Lewis's Topographical Dictionary, 1842 Spur Royal/Augher Castle – The Castles of Ireland
The United Kingdom the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world; the Irish Sea lies between Great Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world, it is the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017. The UK is constitutional monarchy; the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state.
The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire conurbations, Greater Glasgow and the Liverpool Built-up Area; the United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers, but such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution; the nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language and political systems of many of its former colonies; the United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world, it was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally, it is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.
It has been a leading member state of the European Union and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization; the 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was "Great Britain"; the Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
Although the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, Scotland and Northern Ireland are widely referred to as countries. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom; some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom refer to Scotland and Northern Ireland as "regions". Northern Ireland is referred to as a "province". With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice revealing one's political preferences"; the term "Great Britain" conventionally refers to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England and Wales in combination. However, it is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole; the term "Britain" is used both as a synonym for Great Britain, as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Usage is mixed, with the BBC preferring to use Britain as shorthand only for Great Britain and the UK Government, while accepting that both terms refer to the United K
Ulster Scots dialects
Ulster Scots or Ulster-Scots known as Ulster Scotch, Scots-Irish and Ullans, is the Scots language as spoken in parts of Ulster in Ireland. It is considered a dialect or group of dialects of Scots, although groups such as the Ulster-Scots Language Society and Ulster-Scots Academy consider it a language in its own right, the Ulster-Scots Agency and former Department of Culture and Leisure have used the terminology Ulster-Scots language; some definitions of Ulster Scots may include Standard English spoken with an Ulster Scots accent. This is a situation like that of Lowland Scots and Scottish Standard English with words pronounced using the Ulster Scots phonemes closest to those of Standard English. Ulster Scots has been influenced by Hiberno-English Mid-Ulster English, by Ulster Irish; as a result of the competing influences of English and Scots, varieties of Ulster Scots can be described as "more English" or "more Scots". The Scots language arrived in Ulster during the early 17th century, when large numbers of Scots speakers arrived from Lowland Scotland during the Hamilton and Montgomery Settlements and the Ulster Plantation.
The earliest Scots writing in Ulster dates from that time, until the late 20th century, written Scots from Ulster was identical with that of Scotland. However, since the revival of interest in the Ulster dialects of Scots in Ulster in the 1990s, new orthographies have been created, according to Irish language activist Aodán Mac Póilin, seek "to be as different to English as possible." While once referred to as Scotch-Irish by several researchers, that has now been superseded by the term Ulster Scots. Speakers refer to their vernacular as'Braid Scots','Scotch' or'the hamely tongue'. Since the 1980s Ullans, a portmanteau neologism popularized by the physician, amateur historian and politician Ian Adamson, merging Ulster and Lallans, the Scots for Lowlands, but an acronym for “Ulster-Scots language in literature and native speech” and Ulstèr-Scotch, the preferred revivalist parlance, have been used; the term Hiberno-Scots is used, but it is used for the ethnic group rather than the vernacular.
During the middle of the 20th century, the linguist R. J. Gregg established the geographical boundaries of Ulster's Scots-speaking areas based on information gathered from native speakers. Ulster Scots is spoken in mid and east Antrim, north Down, north-east County Londonderry, in the fishing villages of the Mourne coast, it is spoken in the Laggan district and parts of the Finn Valley in east Donegal and in the south of Inishowen in north Donegal. The 1999 Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey found that 2% of Northern Ireland residents claimed to speak Ulster Scots, which would mean a total speech community of 30,000 in the territory. Other estimates range from 35,000 in Northern Ireland, to an "optimistic" total of 100,000 including the Republic of Ireland. Speaking at a seminar on 9 September 2004, Ian Sloan of the Northern Ireland Department of Culture and Leisure accepted that the 1999 Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey "did not indicate that unionists or nationalists were any more or less to speak Ulster Scots, although in absolute terms there were more unionists who spoke Ulster Scots than nationalists".
In the 2011 census of Northern Ireland, 16,373 people stated that they can speak, read and understand Ulster Scots and 140,204 people reported having some ability in Ulster Scots. Enthusiasts such as Philip Robinson, the Ulster-Scots Language Society and supporters of an Ulster-Scots Academy are of the opinion that Ulster Scots is a language in its own right; that position has been criticised by the Ulster-Scots Agency, a BBC report stating: " accused the academy of wrongly promoting Ulster-Scots as a language distinct from Scots." This position is reflected in many of the Academic responses to the "Public Consultation on Proposals for an Ulster-Scots Academy" Some linguists, such as Raymond Hickey, treat Ulster Scots as a dialect of English. Other linguists treat it as a variety of the Scots language; the Concise Ulster Dictionary writes that "Ulster Scots is one dialect of Lowland Scots, now regarded as a language by the European Bureau for Lesser-Used Languages." The Northern Ireland Department of Culture and Leisure considers Ulster Scots to be "the local variety of the Scots language."
It has been said that its "status varies between dialect and language". Ulster Scots is defined in an Agreement between the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Government of Ireland establishing implementation bodies done at Dublin on the 8th day of March 1999 in the following terms: "Ullans" is to be understood as the variety of the Scots language traditionally found in parts of Northern Ireland and Donegal; the North/South Co-operation Northern Ireland Order 1999, which gave effect to the implementation bodies incorporated the text of the agreement in its Schedule 1. The declaration made by the United Kingdom Government regarding the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages reads as follows: The United Kingdom declares, in accordance with Article 2, paragraph 1 of the Charter that it recognises that Scots and Ulster Scots meet the Charter's definition of a regional or minority language for the purposes of Part II of the Charter; this recognition differed signif
Coalisland is a small town in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, with a population of 5,700 in 2011. Four miles from Lough Neagh, it was a centre for coal mining. In the late 17th century coal deposits were discovered in East Tyrone. While it was possible to exploit these resources, the difficulty was getting the coal to market in Dublin. In 1744 work began on the Coalisland Canal linking the coalfields to Lough Neagh; the town grew up around the canal workings. On 24 August 1968, the Campaign for Social Justice, the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association, other groups, held the first civil rights march in Northern Ireland, from Coalisland to Dungannon; the rally was banned, but took place and passed off without incident. The publicity surrounding the march encouraged other protesting groups to form branches of the NICRA; the town has traditionally been viewed as an IRA stronghold throughout the Twentieth Century, with deep and enduring links to republicanism in the vicinity. From 1969 to 2001, a total of 20 people were shot near Coalisland during the Troubles.
The British Army killed a total of eight people, seven of whom were Provisional Irish Republican Army members and one a Catholic civilian, the IRA in turn killed five British soldiers, three Royal Ulster Constabulary policemen, one ex-Ulster Defence Regiment soldier, two Catholic civilians, all in separate incidents. The Ulster Volunteer Force was responsible for the murder of a Catholic civilian in the nearby town of Aughamullan; the town was served by a canal. A campaign for its restoration is underway. Coalisland railway station was opened on 28 July 1897, closed for passenger traffic on 16 January 1956 and for goods traffic on 5 October 1959 closing altogether on 1 April 1965. There are no remains of the railway other than the bridge on the Derry Road and an old goods shed and grown over platforms. Daily bus services operated by Ulsterbus go through the town every 15–60 days: 80 Dungannon–Cookstown via Coalisland 80A Dungannon–Coalisland 80B Dungannon–Coalisland via Newmills 80C Dungannon–Killen 80D Stewartsown Carpark via Brocagh The Craic Theatre and Arts Centre is a performing arts venue built on the site of an old weaving factory.
Each year it provides opportunities and entertainment for people of the area, through its in-house company Craic Players. It has a youth theatre programme for children and young people aged 4 – 18, it offers professional touring companies the opportunity to stage shows and workshops. Gaelscoil Uí Néill Primate Dixon Primary School St. John's Primary School St Joseph's High School Coalisland Na Fianna is the local Gaelic Athletic Association club; the population of the village increased during the 19th century: Coalisland is classified by the NI Statistics and Research Agency as a small town. On Census day there were 4,917 people living in Coalisland. Of these: 29.6% were aged under 16 years and 12.4% were aged 60 and over 48.2% of the population were male and 51.8% were female 95.8% were from a Catholic background and 3.8% were from a Protestant background 4.6% of people aged 16–74 were unemployed. Austin Currie - politician, founding member of SDLP, Fine Gael TD. Denis Haughey - politician, founding member of SDLP.
Dennis Taylor - 1985 Snooker World Champion. Michelle O'Neill - Sinn Féin politician. Northern Ireland Neighbourhood Information Service
County Armagh is one of the traditional counties of Ireland and one of six counties that form Northern Ireland. Adjoined to the southern shore of Lough Neagh, the county covers an area of 1,326 km² and has a population of about 174,792. County Armagh is known as the "Orchard County" because of its many apple orchards; the county is part of the historic province of Ulster. The name "Armagh" derives from the Irish word Ard meaning Macha. Macha is mentioned in The Book of the Taking of Ireland, is said to have been responsible for the construction of the hill site of Emain Macha to serve as the capital of the Ulaid kings thought to be Macha's height. From its highest point at Slieve Gullion, in the south of the County, Armagh's land falls away from its rugged south with Carrigatuke and Camlough mountains, to rolling drumlin country in the middle and west of the county and flatlands in the north where rolling flats and small hills reach sea level at Lough Neagh. County Armagh's boundary with Louth is marked by the rugged Ring of Gullion rising in the south of the county whilst much of its boundary with Monaghan and Down goes unnoticed with seamless continuance of drumlins and small lakes.
The River Blackwater marks the border with County Tyrone and Lough Neagh otherwise marks out the County's northern boundary. There are a number of uninhabited islands in the county's section of Lough Neagh: Coney Island Flat, Croaghan Flat, Phil Roe's Flat and the Shallow Flat. Despite lying in the east of Ireland, Armagh enjoys an oceanic climate influenced by the Gulf Stream with damp mild winters, temperate, wet summers. Overall temperatures drop below freezing during daylight hours, though frost is not infrequent in the months November to February. Snow lies for longer than a few hours in the elevated south-east of the County. Summers are mild and wet and although with sunshine interspersed with showers, daylight lasts for 18 hours during high-summer. Ancient Armagh was the territory of the Ulaid before the fourth century AD, it was ruled by the Red Branch. The site, subsequently the city, were named after the goddess Macha; the Red Branch play an important role in the Ulster Cycle, as well as the Cattle Raid of Cooley.
However, they were driven out of the area by the Three Collas, who invaded in the 4th century and held power until the 12th. The Clan Colla ruled the area known as Oriel for these 800 years; the chief Irish septs of the county were descendants of the Collas, the O'Hanlons and MacCanns, the Uí Néill, the O'Neills of Fews. Armagh was divided into several baronies: Armagh was held by the O'Rogans, Lower Fews was held by O'Neill of the Fews, Upper Fews were under governance of the O'Larkins, who were displaced by the MacCanns. Oneilland East was the territory of the O'Garveys, who were displaced by the MacCanns. Oneilland West, like Oneilland East, was once O'Neill territory, until it was held by the MacCanns, who were Lords of Clanbrassil. Upper and Lower Orior were O'Hanlon territory. Tiranny was ruled by Ronaghan. Miscellaneous tracts of land were ruled by O'Kelaghan; the area around the base of Slieve Guillion near Newry became home to a large number of the McGuinness clan as they were dispossessed of hereditary lands held in the County Down.
Armagh was the seat of St. Patrick, the Catholic Church continues to be his see. County Armagh is presently one of four counties of Northern Ireland to have a majority of the population from a Catholic background, according to the 2011 census; the southern part of the County has been a stronghold of support for the IRA, earning it the nickname "Bandit Country" though this is regarded as an untrue media label that has resulted in the vilification and demonisation of the local community. South Armagh is predominantly nationalist, with most of the population being opposed to any form of British presence that of a military nature; the most prominent opposition to British rule was the Provisional IRA South Armagh Brigade. On 10 March 2009, the CIRA claimed responsibility for the fatal shooting of a PSNI officer in Craigavon, County Armagh—the first police fatality in Northern Ireland since 1998; the officer was fatally shot by a sniper as he and a colleague investigated "suspicious activity" at a house nearby when a window was smashed by youths causing the occupant to phone the police.
The PSNI officers responded to the emergency call, giving a CIRA sniper the chance to shoot and kill officer Stephen Carroll. County Armagh is no longer used as an administrative district for local Government purposes. County Armagh ceased to serve as a local government unit in 1973; the county is covered for local government purposes by four district councils, namely Armagh City and District Council, most of Craigavon Borough Council the western third of Newry and Mourne District Council and a part of Dungannon and South Tyrone Borough Council, centred around Peatlands Park. With the proposed reform of local government in Northern Ireland in 2011, County Armagh would have comprised part of two new council areas, Armagh City and Bann District, Newry City and Down. Armagh ceased to serve as an electoral constituency in 1983, but remains the core of the Newry and Armagh constituency represented at Westminster and