a way of referring to Northern Ireland, used especially by people who want the whole of Ireland to be one country Culture The six counties are Antrim, Armagh, Down, Fermanagh, Londonderry and Tyrone. Historically, the ancient Irish kingdom of Ulster was divided into nine counties. Six of these counties remained part of the United Kingdom in 1921. Because of this, some people, mostly Nationalists (= people who want the whole of Ireland to be one country) refer to Northern Ireland as 'the Six Counties'. In 1973, the six counties were replaced by 26 local-government areas known as ‘districts’, each with its own ‘district council’.