Conflict in Ireland - Impact of the easter rising.
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CONFLICT IN IRELAND QUESTION 1: WHAT IMPACT DID EACH OF THE FOLLOWING EVENTS HAVE ON THE HISTORY OF THE CONFLICT IN IRELAND? THE EASTER RISING In 1916 a Fenian group known as the Irish Republican Brotherhood Revolutionary knew the war for Britain was going badly, so they thought now was a good opportunity to strike for independence, and lead an armed uprising against the British troops. The rising started on Easter Monday, the rebels seized control over the general post office in the centre of Dublin and announced that Ireland was an independent republic. But they got very little support from the public who were Catholics; they were appalled by the damage and atrocities. On person who was present at the time recalled, "If Ireland as a whole could of got hold of Tom Clarke and his Fenians during that week it would have torn them to pieces." The rebels were soon outnumbered and sent to prison. They executed 15 of the rebel leaders. The Catholics were horrified and angered by this and turned those people into martyrs. This led to more people joining Sinn Fein and helping them; and favoured complete independence.
The troops claimed that they were fired at first by terrorists, although people knew that the troops had open fire without thinking first and then panicked. The event became a festering wound and for the Catholics and became known as "Bloody Sunday." What happened that day is still being investigated and looked into today. There was bewilderment and people were furious. The situation became worse after the atrocity. One IRA man quoted, "Our military orders after Bloody Sunday were to kill every British soldier we could." This was the amount of tension that was present. The Stormont government were unable to calm the situation, so the British government only had one option and that was to close Stormont rule in Northern Ireland and rule it directly from Britain. This then led to the British government in 1974 to try a political solution to the problems. A power sharing government was set up. This gave both Catholics and Protestants a say in running the government and for the first time Catholics were included too. But the Protestants opposed this and a general strike was called, after two weeks power sharing was abolished.
However not everyone agreed with this, the protestants were against an agreement that was designed to get rid of the IRA because it could lead to a United Ireland. A 'day of action' took place against the agreement by the Protestants, however this had no affect. It led to an increase in Protestant paramilitary groups and heightened tension between Catholics and Protestants. But it did lead to a better border security and more success against the IRA, particularly weapons being found. It resulted in a decrease of support for Sinn Fein and gave a Catholic moderate, peaceful party the SDLP power. One of the recent reforms was the Good Friday agreement in 1997. The main aims were: * To inform people of any changes. * Changes can only happen with consent of majority of people. * The right of people to hold British and Irish citizenship. * New bodies are to be set, selected by the community. * A new agreement will establish a new British Irish conference. A referendum was held to decide on the agreement. It was held in the republic and the result was overwhelming 94% were in favour of it. In Northern Ireland over 71% of voters approved the agreement. The decommissioning of weapons is to be overseen by an International Commission On Arms.
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