• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Describe and explain Unionist reactions to the Good Friday Agreement of 1998

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

e) Describe and explain Unionist reactions to the Good Friday Agreement of 1998 During the 1880's, the Catholic Church tried to make Sinn Fein look for a peaceful settlement. In the late 1980's, the SDLP and Sinn Fein tried to find a way forward by starting talks. At this time, the British government decided that peace could only be accomplished by getting all political parties and interests involved. The Northern Ireland Secretary, Peter Brooke, tried to involve the IRA and its political voice, Sinn Fein, in the talks. Peter Brooke also said that Northern Ireland had no economic or strategic value to Britain. If at any time the majority of people in the north wanted to be part of a united Ireland, Britain would not stand in their way. At the same time, the President of the USA, Bill Clinton, was also very supportive of a way forward to a peaceful solution. During all these events the violence in Northern Ireland continued. Talks between the Southern Irish and the British governments led to the Downing Street Declaration in 1993, where both sides showed a motivation to look for a peaceful solution to the problems. ...read more.

Middle

said 'you are talking and getting nowhere, you have until Good Friday to sort something out' and so progress began to take place. This is where the title for the agreement came from. The Unionists wanted their own parliament (Stormont) but Sinn Fein wanted a whole parliament so that Dublin could have a say in the running of Northern Ireland. The Unionists were not happy with this idea, if Dublin had a say in the running of their country, they may be treated unfairly and thought it was unfair that any one county should have a say in the running of another. The Irish Government were unimpressed with the British offers in the talks and the Unionists were furious when a document was drawn up with Tony Blair and Southern Ireland so that the Republic had a say in the North. The Unionists felt betrayed by Britain, who was meant to be fighting on their side. The Republic then offered to drop the subject of becoming a united Ireland on the condition that Northern and Southern bodies got together to run Northern Ireland. The Unionists were mad and rejected the proposal, saying they wanted Southern Ireland to have no say in their country. ...read more.

Conclusion

However, the anti-agreement Unionists won as many seats as Trimble's supporters. In the first two weeks of July, Loyalists opposed to the agreement set up roadblocks and carried out attacks on Catholic homes across the province. One house was even petrol-bombed by Loyalist paramilitaries during the night - three children were burned to death in the blaze. There was also opposition to the agreement among Republicans. The IRA refused to even think about decommissioning their weapons. Some IRA members went further. Feeling that the Republican cause had been betrayed, a splinter group calling itself the 'Real IRA' began carrying out car-bombings in an attempt to disrupt the peace process. The 1998 Nobel Peace prize was awarded jointly to John Hume of the SDLP and David Trimble of the Ulster Unionists. However, it remained very difficult to apply the Good Friday Agreement. For the agreement to work, the Unionists had to sit with Sinn Fein members in a Northern Ireland executive. Pro-agreement Unionists accepted to do this, but on the condition that the IRA disarmed. The IRA, however, refused to give up their weapons, although they eventually agreed to allow weapons dumps to be inspected. After further lengthy negotiations, a power-sharing executive at last began an uncertain on-off existence in December 1999, but the Unionists were reluctant participants. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Northern Ireland 1965-85 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Northern Ireland 1965-85 essays

  1. What are the main differences between Republicans / Nationalists and Unionists / Loyalists?

    All new training programmes and qualifications will be ordered by recruitment agencies, supposedly reforming and improving the police force and making the streets safer for everyone. However, some Unionists believe that by making such reforms it is only a matter of time before the police force becomes biased again, but opposing Protestants rather than Catholics.

  2. Why was it so hard to establish a regional police force in Northern Ireland ...

    The IRA didn't agree with this deal and split apart - this caused the Irish Civil War (1921-23). This created many problems for policing because protestants were always in a permanent majority, Northern Ireland was a protestant country with a protestant government and a likewise police force (RUC), and the

  1. What made the Good Friday Agreement possible in 1998?

    Now, here we have many parties on board, Sinn Fein, the SDLP, the Irish Government and the U.S.A and the links in the chain are getting much stronger, this shows how keen parties are to get to a peaceful stage.

  2. Prior to the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, all attempts to bring peace to ...

    These people arguably were martyrs, and not only did they achieve their special privileges for other paramilitary prisoners, but they raised awareness a great deal and also got support. If none had died, and the prisoners had been force-fed, it is probable that not many people would have been made

  1. Decommissioning has still not been achieved, despite the Good Friday agreement of 1998. Loyalist ...

    To the majority of nationalists the rising was a good thing, but the following war up to 1922 showed that Britain was unwilling to deliver its promises, and betrayed Ireland but partitioning it into two. Both groups feel that the partition was unjust and want Ireland to be wholly outside of the UK.

  2. Ireland - Describe the reported incident in your own words with explanation of the ...

    If the IRA don't hand in their weapons (decommissioning) then David Trimble the first minister will quit which will bring a fall to the entire group. If the IRA don't agree and Mr Trimble does resign then the Good Friday agreement will be partly a failure.

  1. Why was there a change in the levels of tension between Unionists and Nationalists ...

    This would have certainly made the IRA a stronger force and would have made the Unionists feel more threatened by the IRA so, in this way, the levels of tension between the Unionists and Nationalists must have increased. Another result of internment was the Bloody Sunday event in 1972.

  2. The Good Friday Agreement

    Personally, I feel that the Good Friday Agreement was a success, more than it was a failure, therefore I am going to prove that it did solve long standing issues within the Northern Ireland Community. Firstly, the Good Friday Agreement solved long standing issues over the ruling of Northern Ireland by introducing the Northern Ireland Assembly.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work