>>35960>Representation of locals isn't even a factor while determining if something qualifies as a colony
Historically it was a colony, but the settlement occurred during the 1600s. It cannot be described by any means as a colony in modern standards: as compared to say the West Bank. Also worth noting that capitalist class dynamics developed well after the plantations occur so it cannot even fall under Marxian conceptualisations of imperialism. Northern Ireland is a colony of the UK in the same way that the Don Kuban is a colony of Russia or Novorossiya is a colony of Ukraine or Manchuria is a colony of China.
Also representation does matter as-per the UN definition, which was co-written by the Soviets and was supported by national liberation movements all around the globe to justify their self-emancipation.
From a Marxian perspective, we should analyse Northern Ireland not through the mechanics of imperialism but those of regular class conflict in a space with competing nationalisms: which dictates that sovereignty in either the UK or the RoI matters far less than autonomous rule by the proletariat. This is basically the stance PBP and Unite take: despite being from opposite sides constitutionally (one an All-Ireland organisation, the other a national subdivision of a UK trade union) they cooperate to promote trade unionism and socialism.
Also tbh Ireland prior to independence was ruled in a quasi-imperial manner, but this was due to the nature of its land ownership. Once partition occurred the conflict in teh north became less about one of imperialism (as Stormont had self-governance unparalleled at the time in the UK or Empire) but a class conflict between landowner protestants and the dispossessed catholic minority, in-which the bourgeois and petit-bourgeois protestants used nationalism to maintain a rigid class structure that discriminated against the catholic community. This is why the the NICRA had a lot of protestant support: because a decent chunk of working class protestants saw the liberation of their proletarian brothers as a common cause, through that civil rights movement. It's only when the troubles shifted from civil rights to national determination that this link was broken.