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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The Doterel class was a Royal Navy class of screw-driven sloops. They were with wooden hulls over an iron frame, they were a revised version of an 1874 design by the Royal Navy's Chief Constructor, William Henry White, the Osprey-class sloop. Two of the class were lost, one to an explosion off Chile and one wrecked off Canada. Gannet is preserved at Chatham Historic Dockyard; the Nathaniel Barnaby design was a development of William Henry White's 1874 Osprey-class sloop. The graceful clipper bow of the Opsreys was replaced by a vertical stem and the engines were more powerful, they were with wooden hulls over an iron frame. Power was provided by three cylindrical boilers, which supplied steam at 60 pounds per square inch to a two-cylinder horizontal compound-expansion steam engine driving a single 13-foot-1-inch screw; this arrangement produced 900 to 1,128 indicated horsepower and a top speed of between 11 and 11.6 knots. They were armed with two 7-inch muzzle-loading rifled guns on pivoting mounts, four 64-pounder muzzle-loading rifled guns.
Four machine guns and one light gun completed the weaponry. All the ships of the class were provided with a barque rig, that is, square-rigged foremast and mainmast, fore-and aft sails only on the mizzen mast, they had a complement of 140 men. Media related to Doterel class sloop at Wikimedia Commons Winfield, R.. The Sail and Steam Navy List: All the Ships of the Royal Navy 1815–1889. London: Chatham Publishing. ISBN 978-1-86176-032-6. Preston, Antony. Send a Gunboat: The Victorian Navy and Supremacy at Sea, 1854–1904. London: Conway. ISBN 978-0-85177-923-2
HMS Gannet (stone frigate)
HMS Gannet is an establishment of the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm. The base hosted the only Fleet Air Arm Rescue Flight in Scotland; the SAR Flight was decommissioned in March 2016, leaving the base to operate as a FOB and support to UK military. Due to the Second World War the Air Ministry requisitioned the civilian Prestwick Airport for the Royal Air Force renaming it RAF Prestwick A number of units were here at some point: The ninth and present HMS Gannet was established in 1971 at Prestwick Airport in Ayrshire. Over the years Prestwick has hosted three Naval Air Squadrons: 814 NAS, 824 NAS and 819 NAS. 819 was decommissioned in November 2001 after being in residence for 30 years. RNAS Prestwick was added in January 1994 The SAR flight was the last flight based at RNAS Prestwick, it operated two from three Sea King HU.5 helicopters in the military and civilian Search and Rescue role across Scotland, Northern England and Northern Ireland. The crews covered an area from Ben Nevis in the north, the Isle of Man and the Lake District to the south, east to Edinburgh, the Firth of Forth and the Borders, west to Northern Ireland and extends 200 miles west of Ireland over the north Atlantic, giving an operational area of approx.
98,000 square miles. Personnel at the base consisted of 11 ratings, 28 civil servants and 50 civilian staff; the primary role is one of military Search and Rescue, with secondary roles in civilian Search and Rescue. Gannet provides an important medical evacuation service to the many island communities and remote areas of Scotland. To perform these roles, one of the helicopters was on 15 minutes notice to fly during the day, 45 minutes during the night, with a duty crew on call for 24 hours; this duty was maintained for 365 days of the year, with a second standby aircraft ready to assist should the emergency demand it. In 1998 Gannet was awarded the Wilkinson Sword of Peace for services to the local communities. One of the busiest SAR units in the UK, 2009 saw the SAR Flight break a new record when they were tasked to 447 call outs; this figure equated to 20% of the UK’s total military SAR call outs in that year. In 2011, the Flight was the busiest SAR unit for the fifth year in succession. In 2010, with 379 call outs. and 2011 with 298 call-outs and 240 people rescued.
In 2012 there were again 298 call-outs resulting in the rescue of 285 people. In 2014 Gannet SAR was tasked to 299 call-outs; this number made them the second busiest in the UK. RAF Valley in Wales was the busiest with 329 jobs. In 2015, the final year of dedicated military SAR in the UK, GANNET SAR Flight was again the busiest SAR unit with 313 rescues, with its running total being higher at the time of the other units decommissioning earlier. GANNET SAR Flight won the Prince Philip Helicopter Rescue Award in 2015 and 2016; as of 1 January 2016 at 9 am, they were replaced by civilians from Bristow Helicopters and HM Coastguard. The flight was disbanded on 5 February 2016; as one of only two commissioned units of the 10 that have operated within the Royal Navy in the dedicated Search and Rescue role, in 2013, Gannet SAR Flight was a core part of year-long celebrations to recognise 60 years of RN Helicopter Search and Rescue. Events took place throughout the country and media all year, with the RN SAR Force raising £60,000 for charity.
With effect from 1 January 2016, the SAR function, performed by the Gannet SAR Flight was transferred to Bristow Helicopters, acting on behalf of Her Majesty's Coastguard, part of the UK's Maritime and Coastguard Agency. A number of units were here at some point: The SAR flight featured on the Channel 5 documentary series Highland Emergency and BBC's "Countryside Rescue"; when SAR duties were carried out by 771 NAS, the SAR aircraft and aircrew were filmed as part of the BBC drama series "Rockface" and TV series "Thousand Acres of Sky." Jefford MBE, Wg Cdr C G. RAF Squadrons. A comprehensive record of the movement and equipment of all RAF squadrons and their antecedents since 1912. Shrewsbury: Airlife. ISBN 1-85310-053-6. Sturtivant, R; the Squadrons of The Fleet Air Arm. Tonbridge, Kent, UK: Air-Britain Ltd. ISBN 0-85130-223-8. Royal Navy — HMS Gannet Search and Rescue Flight Royal Navy SAR 60 website Photographing North
A river gunboat is a type of gunboat adapted for river operations. River gunboats required shallow draft for river navigation, they would be armed with small caliber cannons, or a mix of cannons and machine guns. If they carried more than one cannon, one might be a howitzer, for shore bombardment, they were not armoured. The fictional USS San Pablo described in Richard McKenna's The Sand Pebbles is an example of this class of vessel, serving on the US Navy's Yangtze Patrol. Stronger river warships were river monitors. Various European powers, the USA, Japan, maintained flotillas of these shallow draft gunboats patrolling Chinese rivers; these gunboats were enforcing those nations' treaty rights under the treaties that China had started to sign following her defeat during the first Opium War with Britain. The advantages of steam power and shallow drafts meant that the new European vessels vastly outclassed anything available to the Chinese. Foreign powers had coerced concessions from China, like extraterritoriality for their citizens in China, the gunboats policed these rights.
Royal Navy gunboats, numbering on average 15 a year in Chinese waters, served as "station ships", assigned to specific ports, were designed for river functions. The RN maintained patrols and escorts up and down the Yangtze based in Shanghai until the end of the International Concessions in 1941; these boats were part of the Navy's China Station and vessels of various classes were deployed and moved to and from other major world rivers. The Navy had built a large number of gunboats for the Crimean war in the 1850s and several of these found their way to the China Station afterwards; as these boats were scrapped they were replaced by types purpose built for inshore and river service around the world, Beacon- and Frolic-class boats. The purpose built river vessels of the Insect and Fly classes which had seen service in the Mesopotamian Campaign in the Middle East and on the Danube during the First World War were deployed to China during the interbellum and took part in events of the period of the Japanese invasion of China and the beginning of the Pacific theatre of the Second World War.
Ladybird and Bee were involved in the USS Panay incident. The Insects were supplemented in 1937 by the Dragonfly-class boats, three of which, Dragonfly and Scorpion were involved in the fighting down the Malay Peninsula and Singapore. U. S. Navy craft were of varying age, design and utility; the earliest craft made brief excursions upriver between 1861 and 1901, but were assigned on permanent patrol. In 1901 two large gunboats, USS Helena and Wilmington, were assigned to the Asiatic Squadron's "Second Division" as permanent river patrol, although too large to patrol deep inland, until 1932 and 1923 respectively. In 1903 converted gunboats of the Spanish Navy captured in 1898, began patrols designed to take them further upriver toward Chungking. USS Elcano, a 620-ton craft with a crew of 103, USS Villalobos, a 350-ton ship with 50 men, served until 1928, when they were decommissioned and sunk. USS Callao and Quiros served until 1916 and 1923. In 1914 two 204-ton, 50-man patrol craft of British design and built at Mare Island Naval Shipyard were disassembled, shipped to China, reassembled in Shanghai.
USS Palos patrolled until 1934, when she became the station boat at Chungking, Monocacy until 1939. The Yangtze Patrol was formally established in 1922 as a component of the Asiatic Fleet. Six new craft were built in 1928 in Shanghai, of three differing sizes. USS Guam and Tutuilla, 380 tons and a crew of 60, were able to ply the entire river year round. USS Panay and Oahu, 450 tons and a complement of 65. Except for Panay, sunk by Japanese aircraft in December 1937, the newer ships served in China until late 1941. USS Cairo Paraguayan War Steamboats on the Yangtze River 1928 River Gunboats PR-3. Brazilian Navy official website: Roraima Class gunboats
The Medina-class gunboat was a class of 12 Royal Navy Rendel gunboats mounting three 6.3-inch guns, built between 1876 and 1877. Flat-iron gunboats were built without masts or rigging, but the Medinas carried a full barquentine rig, their robust iron hulls meant that they lingered on as diving tenders and lighters, with five of them working into the 1920s. The hull of Medway is visible on satellite imagery; the Medina class were a development of the Rendel gunboat, a series of small vessels with low freeboards which mounted a small number of large guns. Although the Medinas were exceptionally provided with masts to extend their range and independence, in essence they were available for similar operations to their un-masted sisters, their ungainly appearance led them to be described by the naval historian Antony Preston as "the most grotesque craft seen". All 12 vessels of the class were built at Palmers Shipbuilding and Iron Company in Jarrow and were named after rivers, they were constructed of iron and were fitted with an unusual bow rudder.
As built, ships of the class mounted three 6.3-inch 64-pdr 64-cwt muzzle-loading rifles. By 1892 Trent had been fitted with a pair of 4.7-inch quick-firing guns. All the ships of the class were fitted with a pair of R and W Hawthorn 2-cylinder horizontal single-expansion steam engines of 60 nominal horsepower, they developed 310 indicated horsepower. All ships of the class were built with a barquentine rig of sails. Surviving members of the class had their sailing rig replaced by a pair of pole masts in the 1890s; some of the ships of the class were appointed as tenders to battleships as soon as they were built: Medina tender to Duke of Wellington and Medway to Excellent, the gunnery school at Portsmouth. Spey was fitted in 1900 with three 4.7-inch guns for service at the gunnery school. Dee and Don served in the Mediterranean in 1886 as part of an International squadron dominated by the Royal Navy, they both remained at Malta in various capacities for the rest of their lives. Tay had her armament reduced to a single 9-pounder gun and by 1914 was a tender to HMS Vivid, the Royal Navy barracks at Devonport.
Esk and Tweed both served in Hong Kong in the 1890s. In all cases the crews were not expected to live onboard their cramped ships when not at sea, with living space provided in accommodation hulks or the battleships to which the gunboats were tenders; the gunboats Dee and Don spent a number of years moored next to each other in Malta. This resulted in the Maltese expression id-di u d-do, which refers to two people who are seen together. Winfield, R.. The Sail and Steam Navy List: All the Ships of the Royal Navy 1815–1889. London: Chatham Publishing. ISBN 978-1-86176-032-6. Preston, Antony. Send a Gunboat: The Victorian Navy and Supremacy at Sea, 1854–1904. London: Conway. ISBN 978-0-85177-923-2
The Racer-class sloop was an 11-gun wooden screw sloop class of five ships built for the Royal Navy between 1855 and 1860. Built of a traditional wooden construction, the Racer class were a lengthened version of the Swallow-class sloop, which in turn had been intended as "type of screw vessel below the Cruizer"; the extra length gave greater speed, combined with a considerable increase in power, this gave a speed of about 10 knots, rather more than the 7 knots of the previous class. The class were armed with a single 32-pounder gun gun on a pivot mount and ten 32-pounder carronades on the broadside; these guns were all smoothbore muzzle-loading, were little changed from the standard guns of Nelson's era. Propulsion was provided by a two-cylinder horizontal single-expansion steam engine developing 461 indicated horsepower and driving a single screw. At maximum power under steam, top speed was about 10 knots. A barque rig of sails was carried, which meant the ships of the class had three masts with a square rig on the fore and main masts.
The first three ships were ordered on 3 April 1854, although both Cordelia and Gannet were ordered as Swallow-class sloops, with the design being changed before construction. Icarus was ordered on 3 February 1855 and Pantaloon was ordered on 1 April 1857. Bastock, Ships on the Australia Station, Child & Associates Publishing Pty Ltd. ISBN 0-86777-348-0 Winfield, R.. The Sail and Steam Navy List: All the Ships of the Royal Navy 1815–1889. London: Chatham Publishing. ISBN 978-1-86176-032-6
The Cruizer class was an 18-gun class of brig-sloops of the Royal Navy. Brig-sloops were the same as ship-sloops except for their rigging. A ship-sloop was rigged with three masts whereas a brig-sloop was rigged as a brig with only a fore mast and a main mast; the Cruizer class was the most numerous class of warships built by the British during the Napoleonic wars, with 110 vessels built to this design, the second most numerous class of sailing warship built to a single design for any navy at any time, after the smaller 10-gun Cherokee-class brig-sloops. Of the vessels in the class, eight were destroyed or taken. Another was retaken. Fourteen were wrecked while in British service. Lastly, four foundered while in British service. In all cases of foundering and in many cases of wrecking all the crew was lost. Many of the vessels in the class were sold, some into mercantile service. One at least was wrecked; the fate of the others is unknown. In December 1796, the Navy Board placed new orders for four flush-decked sloops, to differing designs by the two Surveyors of the Navy — Sir William Rule and Sir John Henslow.
In order to compare the qualities of ship-rigged and brig-rigged vessels, one vessel to each design was to be completed as a ship-sloop and the other as a brig-sloop. While the Henslow-designed vessels would see no further sister ships built, the Rule-designed vessels would each have a single sister ship ordered in the following March, Rule's Cruizer design would subsequently see 106 constructed during the Napoleonic War; the hull design was exceeding fine, with a noted deadrise amidships and a sharp sheer, giving away the design that had origins in the smaller cutter-type designs. The order placed in March 1797 for the first sister ship to Cruizer was subsequently cancelled, but new orders were placed from 1802 up to 1813. A final order in 1815 was cancelled in 1820; the Cruizer-class brig-sloops proved to be fast sailers and seaworthy, the 32-pounder carronade armament gave them enormous short-range firepower, exceeding the nominal broadside of a standard 36-gun 18-pounder frigate. To a Royal Navy desperate for manpower, the great attraction of the design was that — thanks to the two-masted rig and the use of carronades with their small gun crews — this firepower could be delivered by a crew only a third the size of a frigate's.
The Dutch built three 18 gun-brigs — Zwaluw and Kemphaan — to a similar design. The Russian brig Olymp was built to the same lines; the naval historian C. S. Forester commented in relation to the smaller gun-brigs that The type was a necessary one but represented the inevitable unsatisfactory compromise when a vessel has to be designed to fight, to be seaworthy and to have a long endurance, all on a minimum displacement and at minimum expense. Few men in the Royal Navy had a good word to say for the gun-brigs, which rolled and were over-crowded, but they had to be employed. In the same book he was more complimentary as regards the larger brigs such as the Cruizer class HMS Penguin; the most salient aspect of his statement is that the Cruizer class and its smaller sister class, the Cherokee class, highlight the huge expansion of the Royal Navy. Whatever else one may say of the class, the Cruizer-class brig-sloops were both fast and provided serious firepower for minimal crewing, characteristics that appealed to a Navy suffering serious and increasing staffing shortages.
The class proved to be ideal for many of the shallow water commitments in the Baltic and Ionian Seas, as well as around Danish waters. Prior to 1808, the complement of officers and boys for a Cruizer-class brig-sloop included 15 Royal Marines. After 1808, the vessels carried 20 marines comprising 1 corporal and 18 privates. During the Anglo-American War of 1812, several ships of the class fell victim to larger American ship-rigged sloops of war of nominally the same class; the American vessels enjoyed an advantage in weight of number of crew. The ship-rigged sloops enjoyed the ability to back sail, their rigging proved more resistant to damage. In many cases, the American advantage was in the quality of their crews, as the American sloops had hand-picked volunteer crews, while the brigs belonging to the overstretched Royal Navy had to make do with crews filled out with landsmen picked up by the press gang. During a battle with the equivalently armed and crewed American brig Hornet, HMS Penguin was unable to land a single shot from her cannons, with the only American losses being incured by Royal Marines aboard the British ship.
The comparison was made in the London press unfavorably and was not fair. The American ship-rigged sloops were bigger vessels; the crew sizes were disproportionate at 175 to 120, at least some of the Cruizer class in these combats were outfitted with 24-pounder carronades vice the normal 32-pounders. The rigging was the deciding factor as the USS Peacock vs. HMS Epervier combat would highlight; when HMS Epervier lost her main topmast and had her foremast damaged she was disabled. USS Wasp, in another combat, would retain control despite the loss of her gaff, main topmast, the mizzen topgallant. USS Wasp vs. HMS Avon provides another example. Despite being fought