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Describe the disadvantages faced by the Catholics in Northern Ireland in the mid-1960s

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Introduction

Describe the disadvantages faced by the Catholics in Northern Ireland in the mid-1960s In the 1960s Catholics in Northern Ireland faced a lot of disadvantages. The Catholics were unfairly treated and were discriminated against mainly by Protestants. Firstly, Catholics were discriminated against in the employment market. With most jobs going to Protestants. Fermanagh County Council itself employed 370 people: 322 of the posts, including the top ones were filled by Protestants. Within the Education Authority the most sought after jobs were bus drivers, because of the long rest and holidays. Of about 75 school bus drivers in Fermanagh, all but seven were Protestant. The population of Fermanagh was more than half Catholic. This proves that discrimination occurred even in counties where Catholics were the majority. Unionists dominated local and county councils. Likewise Unionists dominated the trade unions, which would control entry into many workplaces. Skilled jobs and apprenticeships were given to Protestants, while unskilled and casual employment was given to Catholics. ...read more.

Middle

He kicks with the wrong foot". This example is typical of the situation that Catholics found themselves in. Merely because the boy attends a school that has Saint in the name he is no longer good enough. Education was divided upon sectarian grounds with Catholics favouring sports which reflected their Irish identity e.g. Gaelic football and hurling while Protestants favoured sports like football and rugby. Moreover, Protestants were also the majority when it came to Government and Political Representation. Catholics found themselves not being able to vote because of the property qualification law. In one famous case a Protestant man had 34 votes. In other instances electoral boundaries were gerrymandered (fixed) to ensure a Protestant majority. Sources E and F provide statistical evidence of the discrimination against Catholics. It illustrates the fact that even though Nationalists received more votes compared to their Unionist counterparts; however they still earned fewer seats. Political discrimination was also at high levels, this is proved by the fact that there were no Catholics in the Northern Ireland Cabinet. ...read more.

Conclusion

A founder of Northern Ireland talked about a "Protestant Parliament for a Protestant people". Unionists controlled Stormont, the Northern Ireland Parliament and reinforced control by gerrymandering. Unionist control was further reinforced by the Special Powers Act, which gave the RUC the right to arrest without trial transforming Northern Ireland in some respects into a police state. In some cases, discrimination reached unimaginable levels. The main motorway was not built between the two major cities of Northern Ireland, Belfast and Derry and the new University of Ulster was built at Coleraine and not in Derry, the obvious choice. This was the case because Derry was primarily a Nationalist city. In conclusion, Protestants dominated employment, housing, education and Government and Political Representation. Catholics did not have a political voice and lived in poor slum like conditions. In addition property qualification deprived many Catholics of a vote. Moreover, their education was under funded compared to that of Protestants. Catholics were treated with little respect and were forced to live in poverty and deprivation in many cases. ?? ?? ?? ?? Dominic Sambrook History Coursework Mr. Logue ...read more.

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