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Northern Ireland Q2

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(b) There has been great progress towards a lasting peace settlement in Northern Ireland in recent years. However, as recent events have shown, there is still a great deal of mistrust among the people of the province. Choose two events from the last 400 years, which are particularly important in the shaping the views of: a. The Loyalists/Unionists/Protestants b. The Republicans/Nationalists/Catholics Explain your answer carefully. (8 marks) There are many examples in Ireland's turbulent history that have been significant in shaping the views of the people who live there. A key turning point in relations between the Protestants and the Catholics came about in the late 17th Century following the Battle of the Boyne. After the success of William of Orange at the Battle in 1690, the Protestants in Ireland followed deliberate policies to ensure that the Catholics were treated as inferior citizens. ...read more.


To this day, every summer, thousands of Protestants take part in marches and carry banners with images of William of Orange on them. Most of these marches are organised by The Orange Order, which is named after him. As a result the majority of Protestants in Northern Ireland would not find it hard to tell you a few important things about William of Orange. For example, he is seen as a hero to Protestants as he rescued them from their Catholic enemies. His victory at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690 made Protestant control of Ireland secure. People today remember this victory when William safeguarded Irish Protestantism and gained political freedom for them; which fuels mistrust between the two communities. A more recent event highlights the great progress towards a lasting peace that was made by the start of the Twentieth Century. ...read more.


Nearly a century later, Nationalists still remember the harsh treatment that was inflicted on their ancestors by the British Army and this still causes a great deal of mistrust to remain between the two communities. On the other hand, to Unionists The Easter Rising seemed proof that Nationalists were traitors who could not be trusted. Modern Unionists also look back as the year when thousands of Ulster men were killed during the Battle of the Somme on the Western Front. In stark contrast to the Easter Rising, the "Sacrifice of the Somme" seemed proof of the loyalty of the Unionist community. Unionists today still view the Nationalists with suspicion as a result of their actions at a time when they should have been fighting for the greater good serving their King and their Country. Such events have only served to heighten the mistrust between the two communities in Northern Ireland and go some way towards explaining why a lasting peace still seems a long way off. Word Count: 714 ...read more.

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