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Northern Ireland Coursework Question 1

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Introduction

GSCE Northern Ireland Coursework (a) What are the main differences between the beliefs of Republicans/Nationalists and the Loyalists/Unionists? (5 Marks) To make sense of the conflict in Ireland it is necessary to look at the way the different parts of Ireland are governed. Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom and is ruled by the British Parliament in London. The Republic of Ireland is an independent country, with its own government and parliament in Dublin. The recent violence in Northern Ireland is not a conflict concerned with religion as many would believe but centres around one simple question - should the North stay part of the United Kingdom or should it join the South as part of a united and independent Ireland? The people of Northern Ireland disagree about the future of Ireland. One side wants to stay part of the UK. ...read more.

Middle

The IRA are the main Republican paramilitaries who use violence to achieve their aims and have done so on many occasions in the past. To Nationalists they are freedom fighters. To their opponents, they are terrorists and criminal thugs. Not surprisingly, the two groups in Northern Ireland are suspicious of each other and often live in separate communities where their children attend different schools. Some people are very determined to get their own way. Although most people in Northern Ireland do not support violence, a minority of Loyalists and Republicans have used murder to show how strongly they feel about the future of Ireland. Both communities have illegal paramilitary organisations associated with them and are not afraid to turn to violent means to achieve their goals. There is still a huge gulf that exists between the two sides that creates a great deal of mistrust in Northern Ireland. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Unionists are generally Protestants who believe in maintaining the union between Britain and Northern Ireland, therefore sharing government. The Unionists, or Loyalists also have political representation. The strongest views are presented by the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) which is strongly opposed to the use of violence in the Province. They are the main voice of parliamentary Unionism. Another political party, which has a large following, is the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) this is more hard-line, but still a democratic party. Both sides are very determined to get their own way. Although most people in Northern Ireland do not support violence, a minority of Loyalists and Republicans have used violence to show how strongly they feel about the future of Ireland. Both sides have paramilitary organisations attached to them and are not afraid to resort to violence to achieve their ends. Not surprisingly, the two groups in Northern Ireland are wary of each other and often live in separate communities where their children attend separate schools. ...read more.

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