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Northern Ireland

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Northern Ireland Coursework Question 1 Northern Ireland is part of Ireland which is the most western part in Europe. It is a small place with a population of 1.5 million and is no larger than Yorkshire. It has been the centre of media attention because of a conflict between the people of the province. Many people have been killed there and in the years 1968-1994 over three thousand died. Northern Ireland is ruled by the British parliament in London where as the republic of Ireland has its own government and parliament in Dublin. Unionists are made up of Protestants wanting Northern Ireland to be a part of the UK. They think that British troops in Northern Ireland should stay and help fight terrorism. Unionists have four main groups they are; UUP (Ulster Unionist Party) Established in the late 19th Century, DUP (Democratic Unionist Party) Established in 1971 by Ian Paisley, UDA/UDF (Ulster Defence Association and the Ulster Volunteer Force) Established in early 1970's and the Orange Order. The Orange Order takes a frontal approach by organising regular marches to celebrate traditions of the protestant community. Although this isn't a violent approach it would cause violence if they came into contact with Nationalists and they made sure they did. The UUP defends the interests of Northern Protestants. The DUP and UDA/UDF all use violence to get there own way and what they want and the UDA/UDF is illegal. ...read more.


Ireland has always been run from London for most of the last forty years and not by the country itself. Since 1968 British troops have been stationed in Northern Ireland so it shows that Ireland has always been connected with Britain and has been national with the running of the country. The people in Ireland have always been against each other though making arguments about what they believe for example religion Catholic against protestant. Political views are also very important with Nationalists against Unionists. Despite all these problems there have been many attempts at finding a peaceful solution. I am now going to look at some of the peace agreements that were tried to make Ireland peaceful. The Sunningdale agreement was signed on 9th December 1973. It was the first attempt to find a peaceful solution in Northern Ireland. The details of the agreement were as follows. Major decisions would include both the views of the nationalists and unionists to make a 'power sharing executive'. A council of Ireland would be created including representatives from the republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. They would meet regularly to discuss any issues of concern. In May 1974 increasing hatred of both the power sharing executive and the council or Ireland amongst the unionist communities led to a general strike, lasting two weeks. ...read more.


Worse was to follow and the so called 'real IRA' exploded a bomb killing twenty four innocent people. Between February and June the Northern Ireland assembly was temporarily suspended. The IRA then stated that they would begin 'a process that will completely and verifiably put the IRA arms beyond use'. David Trimble and the UUP agreed to return to the Northern Ireland assembly. On the 19th January 1999 the Patten report was published. It suggested many changes of the RUC and recommended minimum quotas of Roman Catholics within the force. However the report was rejected by the Northern Ireland assembly and it remained an unsolved issue. The power sharing was stopped in October 2003 because of an IRA spy ring. Also a recent major bank robbery was alleged to be carried out by the IRA. Ian Paisleys DUP is now the main unionist party in Ireland and is against the agreement therefore this makes it hard for the agreement to go ahead. Throughout this piece of coursework it is clear that there have been several attempts at finding a peaceful solution for Northern Ireland. I have identified the details of the peace agreements and explained why some of these agreements failed. I have also identified problems that Northern Ireland still faces. It is clear that until Northern Ireland solves these problems and the people talk about important issues like education and health there will never be a lasting peace there. By Gemma Scopes ...read more.

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