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"Since 1972 the British Government has tried a number of solutions to the crisis in Northern Ireland." How successful has this process been?

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Introduction

Stephen Hall Northern Ireland Coursework Question 1: "Since 1972 the British Government has tried a number of solutions to the crisis in Northern Ireland." How successful has this process been? The crisis in Northern Ireland is about two sides trying to get their point across in whatever way they can. On one side you have the Catholics (Nationalists or Republicans), one religion that wants a united Ireland free of British rule. But there are many different categories of this side and they each have different ways of achieving their goal. Sinn Fein is the political wing of the IRA, a paramilitary organisation that has used violence on many occasions to cease the British rule in Northern Ireland. Another political party is the SDLP (Social Democratic Labour Party), they too want a united Ireland but are opposed to IRA violence. On the other side of this argument we have the Protestants (Unionists or Loyalists), who want to continue being ruled by Britain. Two Protestant political parties are the UUP (Ulster Unionist Party) and the DUP (Democratic Unionist Party). The UUP are the most powerful Protestant party. ...read more.

Middle

The Sunningdale Agreement was the first step to a power-sharing executive in Northern Ireland between the warring sides. Both the British and Irish governments and also the leaders of the power-sharing parties signed this agreement. It was quite close to peace as the Catholics were pleased at the prospect of equality in Parliament but the Protestants opposed it because they didn't want a power share. The agreement ended when the Ulster Workers Council called a general strike until the agreement was lifted as a result, this peace attempt collapsed so therefore wasn't very close to peace. In 1985 the British and Irish governments signed the Anglo-Irish agreement. It said that both governments would meet on a regular basis to discuss matters concerning Northern Ireland. The Catholics thought this was a good idea as they were still aiming for equality but the Protestants became seriously opposed to the move and to Britain's cooperation with Ireland as it meant they had little or no control over their own affairs, even though others thought it as a stepping stone to a more permanent solution. In 1993, John Major the British Prime Minister and Albert Reynolds the Irish President issued the Downing Street Declaration. ...read more.

Conclusion

d) David Trimble is referring to the IRA as a "fully armed terrorist organisation" e) The connection between the events of 1999 and 1974 is that they are both years a power sharing agreement should have been set up in Northern Ireland. Both of these attempts failed because on both occasions the Ulster Workers Council called a general strike because they were unhappy with the prospect of sharing power with the Catholics. f) When the Rev. Ian Paisley said the IRA would live the rest of their lives in shame I think he was referring to the Omagh bombing. This happened on 15th August 1998. 29 people were killed and 220 injured when the IRA gave a warning they were to detonate a bomb but gave incorrect directions so the police led evacuees straight into the bombsite, it was a needless tragedy that touched so many people's lives so Ian Paisley condemned it as his view throughout the troubles was the Catholics were responsible for everything. The Catholics would be in two minds about the bombing, peace-loving Catholics would be mortified at the atrocity but the IRA wouldn't feel guilty as they regarded the conflict as a war, and in war there are needless casualties. ...read more.

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