4G on O2’s getting bigger. We’ve just brought it over the Irish Sea to Northern Ireland with Belfast and Lisburn the first to be switched on which means we now reach 21 million people with our 4G network. Now’s as good a time as any to get up to speed on the latest recruits to #O24G – here are nine facts about these two great Northern Irish cities (thanks, internet) to wow your friends with.
1. Belfast – the phrase ‘Last Chance Saloon’ is said to originally come from the Whites Tavern. Back in the day, Henry Joy McCracken, stopped off for an ale here while being taken to face his punishment after getting found guilty of treason. Poor chap…
2. Lisburn – Northern Ireland’s third largest city’s also one of its youngest. It was granted ‘metropolis status’ in the Queen’s Golden Jubilee celebrations of 2002, an occasion it shared with Preston, Newry, Stirling and Newport.
3. Belfast – Everyone’s favourite bad-guy chaser, Liam Neeson, first made his grand stage debut at Belfast’s Lyric Theatre. We couldn’t find out if his first outing was as intense as Taken, or as bad as Taken 2.
4. Lisburn – Ireland’s linen industry was apparently born in the city back in 1698. There’s even a fancy exhibition in town celebrating it to this day.
5. Belfast – One of the city’s most famous landmarks, the Albert Memorial Clock, is Northern Ireland’s very own leaning Tower of Pisa. Given it was built on wooden piles in marshland, it’s no surprise that it leans four feet away from upright.
6. Lisburn – 2013 saw Lisburn crowned European City of Sport for that year. The city’s most famous sporting resident might be Mary Peters, who represented Northern Ireland at every Commonwealth Games between 1958 and 1974, taking home golds in the pentathlon and shot-put.
7. Belfast – The Ulster Hall on Bedford Street was the live birthplace to one of music’s greatest tracks. This is where Led Zeppelin unveiled Stairway to Heaven on stage for the first time. Ever.
8. Lisburn – The local football club sports one of the more unusual names in the beautiful game. ‘Lisburn Distillery’ were formed back in 1880 by employees of the Royal Irish Distillery. They won 1-0 in their first every game on 11 December 1880 against Dundela and were the first team in Irish football to play under floodlights in 1952.
9. Belfast – This one’s a bit more well-known but the city’s shipbuilding heritage is celebrated at the Titanic Quarter. In building the ill-fated RMS Titanic and her sister ships, pioneering shipbuilders, Harland & Wolff, pulled off one of the greatest feats of engineering at the time. And Leo DiCaprio never would’ve gotten his big break without them.
So that’s that. 9 facts about Belfast and Lisburn, the lastest cities to have #O24G switched on in the UK. We’re rolling out the network to one million people every month until it reaches 98% of the population – pay & go, pay monthly, all your options are here. And if you want an update when #O24G comes to you, that’s here. And good news for people in Londonderry, you’ll have #O24G by the end of the year.