Northern Ireland was a British protectorate for most of the 19th century and was an integral part of the British Empire until the First World War.
In 1854 the British government declared the island a British Protectorate and declared the whole country an Irish Free State.
The British Government then withdrew from Northern Ireland after the First and Second World Wars, but not before its people had been forcibly removed by the British.
The island remained part of Great Britain for more than 100 years and it remains part of Ireland.
In 2014, the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence announced that it was planning to deploy an Irish Army unit to Northern Ireland, following decades of British withdrawal from the province.
The announcement sparked protests by some Irish political parties and unionists, with the Sinn Fein party and Sinn Fein MLA in the National Assembly, Michael Healy, saying that the decision was an act of genocide.