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

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Introduction

Previous attempts to bring peace to Northern Ireland have failed. What problems will need to be overcome if the current peace talks are to succeed? The Downing Street Declaration was an agreement between the Prime Minister and the Taoiseach, which laid down fundamental principles to try and solve the growing crisis as in the early 90's violence, was on the increase. These principles which would reappear in the Good Friday Agreement, are that only parties which rejected violence could take part, both British and Irish Governments agreed to the principle of self determination for the province and that the Irish government would seek to remove clauses 2 and 3 from the constitution (These are the ones that claimed Northern Ireland as part of a united Ireland). The Irish government also set up a Forum for Peace and Reconciliation. ...read more.

Middle

In October the Loyalist Paramilitaries also declared a ceasefire.. 1995 managed to have the lowest death toll of the troubles and this leads me to believe that the JFD was generally welcomed. However the problems that seemed to bedevil Irelands recent history still were there, Unionist were suspicious of the Council Of Ministers (Could lead to a united Ireland?), the decommissioning of weapons by the IRA was still a major sticking point and there were many Republican and Unionist paramilitary prisoners who would probably have to be released which was good news to their supporters but not good news to the families of victims of the troubles. To conclude I think that although attempts have been made to bring peace to Northern Ireland there are still obstacles that need to be overcome. The various attempts leading up to the Good Friday Agreement and the elections to the Assembly have gradually created a much more peaceful province. ...read more.

Conclusion

The reformed Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC), which has changed from a sectarian protestant organisation into a well disciplined and professional modern police force, which has gained some credit with the catholic community especially over handling such events as the Drumcree marches, but there are still many nationalist who wish to get rid of at least the title RUC which they see as a symbol of Unionist power and many Unionist who wish to keep it for much the same reasons. Ireland has many deep and varied problems that often reach back into its turbulent history, but considering the level of violence over the past 30 years, although he present situation is still very finely balanced as to whether everybody will agree to a peaceful solution, remarkable progress has been made, and with luck peoples appreciation of living in a peaceful province, with a healthy economy, and their memories of recent violence will persuade them to continue to talk rather than fight. Luke Buckley-Johnstone ...read more.

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