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Previous attempts to bring peace to Northern Ireland have failed. What problems need to be overcome if the current peace initiative is to succeed?

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Introduction

Ireland Coursework 3. Previous attempts to bring peace to Northern Ireland have failed. What problems need to be overcome if the current peace initiative is to succeed? You should refer to: Two previous attempts at peace 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 both sides can be happy with any agreement made. Throughout the years there have been many attempts at peace, most of which have failed, or gave way to a newer agreement. The first failed attempt at peace in Northern Ireland was William Whitelaw's "Power Sharing Executive". William Whitelaw was the Northern Ireland Secretary in 1972, and proposed Power Sharing as a solution to the problems that arose from "Bloody Sunday". ...read more.

Middle

Another problem was that the Unionists and Nationalists found it difficult to work with each other because to past differences. Power Sharing finally collapsed in May 1974 after a general strike was announced by a group calling themselves the "Ulster Workers Council". The strike was to protest about the Council of Ireland, and at first it did not have much support. Loyalist Paramilitaries stepped in and "convinced" people to join the strike. The next couple of weeks saw Northern Ireland grind to a halt as the intimidatory tactics of the Loyalist Paramilitaries came into full effect and the support for the strike increased. On the 27th of May 1974, the house of cards that was William Whitelaw's Power Sharing collapsed, as the Power Sharing Executive resigned. Northern Ireland returned to direct rule. The second failed attempt at peace in Northern Ireland was the "Joint Framework Document". This followed the ceasefires in August and October of 1994. The Joint Framework Document was published in February 1995, and thought it failed to bring peace to Northern Ireland; it was the ground work for the "Good Friday Agreement". The Joint Framework Document included another "new" Assembly for Northern Ireland, a north-South Council of Ministers who had influence over a range of issues, and the most controversial point of the Joint Framework Document was the early release of paramilitaries. ...read more.

Conclusion

The second key point was that a Northern Ireland Assembly was to be created. It was to have 108 elected members and was to be run by a 12 member committee made up of members of various parties. The third key point was a North-South ministerial council was to be set up by the assembly to direct co-operation between Ulster and Ireland. The fourth key point was a Council of the Isles was to be set up with members from each Parliament in the UK & Ireland. The fifth and final key point was that all participants were committed to disarmament of paramilitary organisations. This is still the current peace initiative, but there are still ongoing problems, and the Good Friday Agreement did not bring total resolution. The current problems are built up suspicion, loyalist opposition to Eire's and Sinn Fein's involvement, the release of paramilitaries, the marching traditions, and the biggest problem, decommissioning. There are still many problems in Northern Ireland, and work is still being done to secure peace between Unionists and Republicans. Although there are many obstacles concerning the Provisional IRA, Sinn Fein, the Marches and other party related problem, there are also outside threat from groups such as the "Real Continuity IRA". Peace is a long way off in Ireland, but is something that is being worked towards, by current negotiators learning from past mistakes and basing new peace attempts upon past experiences. ...read more.

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