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History of Ireland

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Introduction

Question 1 The Nationalist marching season, sometimes known as 'the twelfth', 'Orangemen's Day' and 'Boyne celebrations', takes place on the 12th July throughout Northern Ireland, but why does it take place? The first reason I will be investigating is the Battle of the Boyne. This event took place in July 1690 when William of Orange claimed victory over the catholic King James II after James' attempt to reclaim his English thrown by invading Ireland in an effort to build support for his cause. Despite William of Orange's apparently perfect 'Protestant hero qualities', their reasons for the march may not be entirely accurate. For example, William did not defeat James in the aid of the struggling Protestants but to eliminate James' threat on his path to defeating Louis XIV. The fact that Protestants choose to ignore this is called selective history because they are choosing bits of history that suit their cause. Having said this, the event inspired Protestants and Unionists and made William of Orange, or King Billy, their hero because he rescued them from being driven out by the Catholics, it also has a direct impact on the formation of groups such as the Orange Order who are the organizers of the marches during the marching season and the main body of the Unionist and Protestant faith. ...read more.

Middle

Question 2 Bloody Sunday took place on Sunday 30th January 1972, when a civil rights march of over 15,000 people gathered in Londonderry city centre. The area was sealed off by the British Parachute regiment, 1 Para. This action was met with stones being thrown at them from some of the marchers, soon after this 1 Para opened fire on the marchers, killing 14 of them all of whom were unarmed and many of whom were shot in the back. The soldiers claimed that they were shot at first by paramilitaries, and they were simply returning fire but reports from the marchers deny this. This event created tension because according to almost all of the demonstrators 1 Para were not provoked in any way, 'there was no provocation whatsoever, they just seemed to fire in all directions', this quotation is from Father Daly who was an eyewitness to the event, the way they 'seemed to fire in all directions' could suggest that they weren't trying resist an attack but merely shooting randomly, this makes it look to the Irish that the British troops were killing innocent Irishmen for the sake of it. This source could be seen as reliable because he is a priest and is probably honest and truthful, but on the other hand the fact that he is a ...read more.

Conclusion

The enquiry into bloody Sunday was reopened in April 1998 by newly elected English Prime Minister Tony Blair. This is an important event in the Bloody Sunday time line because it suggests that the English government itself is aware of the fact that the previous enquiry by Lord Widgery may not have been accurate or objective. This could increase the tension between Ireland and England because the Nationalists could perceive this to be England admitting to the murder of the 14 innocent marchers and therefore confirming their doubts and mistrust, adding to the resentment felt towards England. Having said this, the new enquiry also reduced tension because the fact it was re-opened shows that the British government was prepared to accept their mistakes in an attempt to reunite the two countries. This could have been the first step in a peace process as England would hope that this act of acceptance would encourage Irish Nationalists to do the same and in doing so start a new, clean and peaceful slate. The enquiry could also have helped ease tension because it would take away many extreme Nationalists reasons to use violence because they could no longer justify aggression towards a new, reformed England which recognized its past mistakes. ...read more.

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