New Ireland, volcanic island (1990 pop. 64,615), c.3,340 sq mi (8,650 sq km), SW Pacific, in the Bismarck Archipelago , part of Papua New Guinea. New Ireland is largely mountainous, rising to c.4,000 ft (1,220 m). Much of the island is under cultivation, especially the east coast. Kavieng is the chief town and port. The island was first sighted in 1616 but until 1797 was thought to be part of New Britain, from which it is separated by a 20-mi (32-km) channel. The island was a German protectorate from 1884 to 1914 and was called Neu Mecklenburg (New Mecklenburg) by the Germans.
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