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

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Introduction

Northern Ireland Coursework 1. Describe the disadvantages faced by the Catholics in Northern Ireland in the mid-1960s. Ireland was partitioned in 1922. The North became Northern Ireland and the south Republic of Ireland. It was not really an event, for decades Britain had resisted Home rule but by 1919 the attitudes were altering. A majority of Northern Ireland were Protestants, the Catholics only made up 33% of the population, and the 66% left were Protestants. The Protestants wanted to remain a part of Britain but the Catholics wanted to become independent and separate form Ireland. This abhorrence between Catholics and Protestants resulted in the Catholics having a number of disadvantages, since they were the minority of the population and because of their religion. The political disadvantages faced by Catholics were caused mainly by the structure of the Stormont Parliament. The Stormont Parliament was meant to look after not only the interests of the Protestants but of the Catholics as well. But as the Protestants were a majority of the population, the Catholics were neglected. ...read more.

Middle

It was common for highly educated Catholics to find that they lost their interview to not very educational Protestants. The reason for this was because they were Catholic. Protestant organizations like the Orange Order, favoured this discrimination. Civil Liberties was the area in which Catholics faced personal disadvantages. Protestants saw Catholics as being disloyal. The law enforcement agencies such as the RUC (Royal Ulster Constabulary) was made up of mostly Protestant majority, because of this they tended to disregard the Catholics rights on arrest and in the dispensation of justice in the court. A special powers act was passed in April 1922, which gave the RUC more power than any other police force in the United Kingdom. Even though this law was to be applied to the Catholics and Protestants equally, to the Catholics this law seemed to be used more against them than against Protestants. The majority of judges and magistrates were Protestant; they tended to apply the law more harshly on the Catholics so even if they went on trial, and the Catholics knew that the judges would be biased. ...read more.

Conclusion

Most Catholic and Protestant youngsters played different sports, and went to different scout troops, youth clubs or other organisations. Nowadays Catholic schools are generally named Saint something and school leavers who indicate that they are from Catholic schools find it difficult to find jobs. Secondary, representing Northern Ireland at sports at school levels is mainly for Protestant students. Catholic people, no matter how good they are at the sport, are never selected. This kind of discrimination can be seen in source B; it states that when Protestants see a lad who is talented in a sport, the third or fourth question is "What school did you go to son?" if the answer is Saint something then suddenly the boy is no longer talented. Since 1974 many teachers have tried to bring pupils from separate schools together. It is clear that Catholics were treated unfairly by Protestants and faced many disadvantages. Not all Catholics faced these disadvantages; there were some who had very good jobs, good homes and no problems with the RUC. The Catholics who faced the greatest disadvantages were concentrated in the run-down working class areas of Northern Ireland. ...read more.

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