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Ireland coursework-Part AIreland has had a lot of trouble over the years for many reasons causing major publicity internationally

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Introduction

Vicky Shreeve Ireland coursework- Part A Ireland has had a lot of trouble over the years for many reasons causing major publicity internationally. The problems have led to the current situation in Northern Ireland. In this coursework I will be examining what has led to these troubles and what is going on in the present day. Today Ireland is split in half; the South, Eire, is an independent country with its own government, the North, Ulster, is part of the United Kingdom and is ruled by the British government in London. Northern Ireland has suffered much political violence since 1968. The problems are between the Protestants or Unionists who want N.Ireland to remain part of the UK, and the Catholics or Nationalists who want an independent united Ireland. The Catholics are outnumbered in N.Ireland so were discriminated against and so had a general dislike for protestants, to get their views heard they set up the IRA. This is a terrorist organisation that uses violence to protest for what they want; they have killed hundreds of soldiers, police and civilians. Protestants have also set up terror gangs and carried out many killings. In 1994 a ceasefire was agreed on both sides but in 1996 there were IRA bombings in London and Manchester. Despite this in 1998 more talks were held and agreements were made to stop using terrorism to express their views and start using politics by setting up a devolved government to do so. The first article I am looking at was printed around the time of the 2005 election. It is about a speech Gerry Adams, the leader of Sinn Fein a nationalist political group, made. He was urging the IRA, a nationalist terrorist group said to be linked with Sinn Fein, to end its "armed struggle" and embrace politics. He said that "in the past I have defended the right of the IRA to engage in armed struggle", this is why he is said to be linked to them. ...read more.

Middle

The visit was very controversial, but luckily it was a success. She persuaded loyalist inmates to give the peace talks another chance. Another problem was when the Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble insisted that Tony Blair made sure the agreement said that no one who had links to paramilitary groups still engaged in violence could be part of the proposed Northern Ireland assembly. Tony Blair refused to do this but promised that politicians linked to paramilitaries who refused to hand over weapons would not be part of a Northern Ireland government. He also assured decommissioning would have to begin immediately after they set up the Assembly. The final Agreement was posted to every household in Northern Ireland and a referendum was held on May 22nd 1998, there was also one held in the Irish Republic. The result was in favour of the Agreement: 71.2% of people in Northern Ireland and 94.39% in the Republic voted yes to the Agreement. An Assembly was also elected in September that year. The Ulster Unionists won the most votes taking 28 seats. The SDLP took 24 and Sinn Fein won 18. When the assembly first met on the 1st July 1998 Lord Alderdice was appointed speaker, David Trimble as first minister and SDLP's Seamus Mallon as his deputy. It was a historic breakthrough, nationalist and unionist politicians were in the same room discussing the troubles. But it was soon clear that some paramilitaries were set to disrupt the peace process. Four months after the Good Friday Agreement, in August, a car bomb ripped through the town of Omagh killing 29 people. It was the worst act of violence in the history of the Troubles. Two baby girls, five other children, 14 women and five men were among the victims. A splinter group of the IRA called the "Real IRA", led by a former member of the Provisional IRA were behind the bombings. ...read more.

Conclusion

Protestants were annoyed because of the violent clashes at their march, they were carrying them out peacefully, although they should know which areas not to march through. They felt Sinn Fein was using the IRA to keep tensions calm on the streets and remind people that there are some things the IRA are needed for. This enraged them because they felt that Sinn Fein were using violence to win back support. Acts of violence like these are still going on in N. Ireland today and must be stopped because they are just building up more anger and distrust on both sides. The peace agreement is failing because neither side is sticking to it. Also the public do not appear to want it to happen, if they do they need to stop using violence and try to be peaceful. They need to have the right attitude and to try and make the peace agreement work before it can. So at the moment it looks like the peace agreement is in real trouble because neither Unionists nor Nationalists are sticking to it. There is still an awful lot of anger which has built up and is still doing so. Only when this stops can things start to really change. The lack of trust that has built up is also a problem because it is still growing. Neither side is sticking to what they say and Sinn Fein is being especially untrustworthy. The troubles in Ireland go so far back that trust may never be rebuilt and anger may never be forgotten. There are so many problems that perhaps there is just to much anger there to heal, if it is going to work it will take a lot of work and time. Both sides will have to try and forgive and forget but both are far too angry. There is still a lot of conflict going on and a lot of anger and distrust in N. Ireland making the prospect of peace very far away. ...read more.

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