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How Did Protestant Politicians Explain the Social, Economic and Political Differences Between the Way Catholics And Protestants in Northern Ireland were Treated?

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Question 2 How Did Protestant Politicians Explain the Social, Economic and Political Differences Between the Way Catholics And Protestants in Northern Ireland were Treated? There was a drastic difference in the way Protestants and Catholics were treated by the government of Northern Ireland. The parliament was Protestant and local governments often favoured Protestants over catholic, even when it was just an individual against a family, regarding the allocation of housing. As well as this, Catholic who applied to university or colleges stood a much chance of being rejected than Protestants because of this, Catholics found it much harder to get high paid jobs and were much less likely to be promoted to higher positions. Catholics found it difficult to change their status socially and often, whole generations families would be forced to live in one, small, house being forced with people not being able to afford to move out. Meaning that they had no chance to develop socially meaning that they were at the mercy of the Protestant government. Nearly all MPs were Protestant and because of they wanted to help their own people. Catholics had many difficulty in altering their situation because the Protestants held all political power and did their best to keep it from them. There has always been conflict between Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland. The two sides caused a lot of trouble as neither trusted the other. ...read more.


When O'Neill met with the Taoiseach in 1967, Paisley's supporters held demonstrations branding O'Neill the 'Ally of Popery' and demanding that he 'keep Ulster Protestant'. Paisley was a hard-line protestant, who was in opposition to Catholics and referred to the Pope the 'scarlet whore', he was renowned for his out spoken views about Catholics. 'The Roman Catholic Church has claimed the exclusive right to train the nation's children... Herein lies the secret of priestly power in Eire.' These sorts of remarks demonstrate Paisley's dislike for Roman Catholics and the fear that the faith was trying to dominate both the Republic and Northern Ireland. Paisley was suspicious of all Catholic, believing them all to be traitors to Ulster and spies. Paisley's views, and others like them caused tensions between the Catholics and Protestants to become even more intense. Catholic had begun to criticise O'Neill for placing the new University of Ulster in Coleraine instead of Derry, which was Ulster's second largest city. The extreme, hard line Protestants wholly agreed with the placing, believing that it was a preposterous idea placing the University where Catholics would easily be able to study. Basil Brooke, a future Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, was quoted to have said the following in an interview which took place in 1968 'How can you give somebody who is your enemy a higher position in order to allow him to come out and destroy you?' ...read more.


The new Prime Minister was James Chichester-Clark. Meanwhile Civil Rights marches began to get violent, fuelled by the anger at the violence that had met their earlier marches. As marchers clashed with police and loyalists, riots sprang up. In the summer of 1969 Clark called in the B-specials to help the police keep order. However, this only increased Catholic resentment and the situation began to get out of control. Protestants explained the discrimination towards Catholics in many ways and for many reasons. There were liberalists like Terence O'Neill who believed it was unnecessary and that some much simpler, more peaceful means could be used to come to the end of the conflict in Northern Ireland. Hardliners such as Ian Paisley explained the inequality in the country by insisting that Catholics ought to be treated unfairly to repress them and to diminish their power and hold on society. Paisley felt that if Catholics were left to their own devices, they would try to destroy Protestants and gain control throughout the world. Protestants like Basil Brooke attempted to mask the discrimination, passing it off as "resentment" - Brooke was the sort of person content with the system but knew that the reasons behind it would not be acceptable to others outside of Ulster. The Orange Order accepted the prejudice and openly admitted its existence, however it was adamant that the problems were mutual and both side suffered grievances as a result (although it naturally sought to make Protestants seem more victimised). It was in these many ways that Protestant politicians explained the social, economical and political differences, between Catholics and Protestants. Elizabeth Hicks ...read more.

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