Ulster is one of the 4 provinces that make up the island of Ireland. It is mainly located in Northern Ireland, and is itself subdivided into 9 counties. Famous for its history, its landscapes, and the warmth of its inhabitants, Ulster is a place of choice for anyone wishing to discover the Northern part of Ireland!

History of Ulster

A Province existing since the 4th century

The origins of Ulster would go back to the time of the Kings and the chiefs of Irish clans, around the 4th century. From then on, many writings testify to the existence of a region in the North of Ireland known as Ulster. Numerous kings succeeded one another in power in this region.

It is in the 6th century that an official flag was born. This one presents a red palm-open hand, standing out strongly on a white background. The meanings are diverse and varied, and many theories try to explain this symbolism.

Among the different theses, a legend tells that this flag would testify to a history which would have taken place at the time of the Milesians. At that time, the throne of Ulster would have been deprived of a king, provoking a real race among many applicants for the throne. In order to decide between them, it would be agreed that the first one to touch the Ulster shore would be crowned. One of the aspirants to the throne would then have the idea to cut his hand, to throw it above his competitors, and make him reach the bank.

A Province under British Belonging

This symbol of the red hand will moreover be taken again to symbolize Northern Ireland in 1922, when Ireland is divided in 2. It is at this time that 6 of the 9 counties of Ulster become officially British regions: a place with a predominantly Protestant tendency, and particularly frightened by Anglo-Irish tensions.

These counties are not detached from Ulster, but are nevertheless subject to rules other than those established by the Republic of Ireland. From now on, the counties of Antrim, Armagh, Derry, Down, Fermanagh and Tyrone are under English governance, belonging to Northern Ireland. Meanwhile, Cavan, Donegal and Monaghan are the only 3 counties to escape the rule.

Visit Ulster

The landscapes of Ulster are so beautiful that every year, millions of visitors come to invade the province to discover all its wonders! The tourist sites are as numerous as they are unmissable, starting with the famous Giant’s Causeway, the Dunluce Castle, the Prehistoric Circular Forts (called “ringforts“) which punctuate the province, without forgetting the fabulous coastlines of Ulster, with Cliffs which culminate at heights that will quickly make you dizzy!