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Northern Ireland Question 3

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3. Previous attempts to bring peace to Northern Ireland have failed. What problems will need to be overcome if the peace talks are to succeed? In your answer you should consider: * Two previous attempts at peace in your lifetime; * The breakthroughs that have been made; * The problems that still exist. The current situation in Ireland is one of hostility, although there is a form of agreed peace. The Provisional IRA is in ceasefire, but some dissident Republican groups are continuing the violence. The Good Friday Agreement is the active peace initiative at present, but there are still many problems Irish Republicans and Unionist have to overcome before there can truly be peace in Ireland. There are still many past grievances that need to be amended and major problems such as the decommissioning of the Provisional IRA still stands in the way of peace. Although Ireland is still working towards peaceful resolution, there is still a long way to go before peace can be fully restored to the country. This can be seen in the way that some Republican extremists still do not agree that Northern Ireland should still be part of the UK, which can be seen through the message they spread through the use of violent protests. ...read more.


The Good Friday Agreement was a major political development in the Northern Ireland peace process. It was signed in Belfast on 10 April 1998 by the British and Irish governments and endorsed by most Northern Ireland political parties. On 23 May 1998 the voters of Northern Ireland in a referendum endorsed the Agreement. On the same day, voters in the Republic voted separately to change their constitution in line with the Agreement. The Democratic Unionist Party was the only large party that opposed the Agreement. The Agreement entered into agreement on 2 December 1999. The provisions that came about included anew Northern Ireland Assembly, which was set up with 108 members, with all key decisions requiring consent of both communities. There was also confirmation that the right to hold both British and Irish citizenship was accepted by both Governments and would not be affected by any future change in the status of Northern Ireland. The Good Friday Agreement has so far been the best solution to the problems in Ireland, due to the fact it involved members from both communities being able to have a fairer say over the affairs in Ireland. It also meant that Northern Ireland was free from having to become one with Ireland, which happened after Irish Government was told to remove all articles which claimed the North as part of its territory. ...read more.


This shows that despite a large majority of the communities supporting the Good Friday Agreement, there would have always been people opposed to it, and in this case they were extremists who prepared to use brutal violence in a protest to get what they want. However because of the Omagh bombings, it made people realise even more that if they want to prevent this from ever happening again, then strives towards peace must be made. This led to the IRA Ceasefire, which involved all of the IRA committing to laying down their weapons, and since then there hasn't been any violence, proving that Northern Ireland is slowly being restored to peace. To prove even further that Northern Ireland is working towards peace, the DUP and Sinn Fein have formed a government together, however there are still some protests from the Nationalists and Loyalists who still disagree with the agreements in place. In my opinion if peace is to be restored to Northern Ireland, I would ask for all of the communities to lay down their weapons, following on the success this move has had with the IRA, where there has been no violence since. I would also let everybody's voice be heard, so that their opinions are actually considered and only by taking them into account, can Northern Ireland be a place for everyone. Louis Austin History Coursework ...read more.

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