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Ulster is made up of nine counties; the northeastern six constitute Northern Ireland.
Hoping to regain some of their property, the Catholic Irish sided with the Catholic James II of England but their fortunes further declined when James was defeated by William of Orange at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690.
An important legacy of the Viking invasion was the establishment of such cities as Dublin, Cork, Waterford, Limerick, and Wexford.
In the second half of the twelfth century King Henry II began the English Lordship of Ireland and the challenge of the Anglo-Norman Conquest commenced.
The country is divided into four provinces: Leinster, Munster, Connaught, and Ulster.
All of the first three and part of the fourth are situated within the Republic of Ireland.
Due to the great famine caused by the crop failure of Ireland's staple food—the potato—millions died or emigrated.