Just got back from an enjoyable tour of Ireland and Northern Ireland (to those of you that answered my questions a few months ago, thanks!). The other current threads about crossing borders got me wondering about something.
When I landed in Dublin I got a stamp in my passport that says “Permitted to remain in Ireland until September 20 2006”. Now, Northern Ireland is a part of the United Kingdom, the rest of Ireland is not. However, there are no really obvious borders, at least on the roads we used (I knew I was in Northern Ireland when the signs switched to just English and the prices to Pounds rather than bilingual English/Irish and Euros).
So, given that Northern Ireland is separate from the Republic of Ireland, what was my status in Northern Ireland? Did I by law have the same right to remain in Northern Ireland as I did in the Republic of Ireland, or do the authorities just look the other way in circumstances like mine? How about if I hopped a ferry to Scotland?