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The Easter Rising.

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Britain and Ireland Since 1916 Rough Copy The Easter Rising The Easter Rising of 1916 started because the issue of Home Rule for Ireland had not properly been resolved. The Ulster Unionists wanted Ireland to remain part of England and the Irish Volunteers and Irish Citizen Army were committed to the overthrow of British power, because they wanted to set up an Irish Republic free from British rule. This conflict was due to the fact that when England turned Protestant in 1534, Irishmen stayed loyal to the Catholic Church and the Pope. Since the 1800's Ireland was ruled from London therefore Ireland had not been allowed their own parliament. After 1590, the English Government had encouraged Scottish and English Protestants to settle in Ireland which caused Irish Protestants to have supremacy over the Irish Catholics. Although, during the 19th century Nationalists made many attempts to get the British Parliament to vote for Irish Home Rule, unfortunately each attempt failed. However when the Third Home Rule was introduced in 1912 it was finally passed as law in 1914, but the outbreak of the First World War on the 4th August (Britain declared war on Germany), postponed the Home Rule from being put into effect until the end of the war with Germany. Most Irishmen volunteered for the British Army but some Nationalists felt it was time to rebel against Britain, and thought that they should take advantage of Britain's distraction from the Irish affairs to rise up in armed revolt. A meeting was held three weeks after the war had started and eight or nine people attended including Patrick Pearse, Arthur Griffith, Thomas Clarke, Sean MacDermott, Eamonn Ceannt, Thomas MacDonagh and Joseph Plunkett. They discussed plans to seize control of Dublin at Easter. Despite all their efforts their plans were sabotaged when the British Navy discovered a German ship carrying 20,000 rifles and ammunition for the volunteers; the ship was captured a long with Sir Roger Casement, a leading Irish Nationalist. ...read more.


Therefore Protestants were given better jobs and homes meaning Catholics found it difficult to get a council house, decent jobs or education. The health services and transport in Catholic areas were worse than in Protestant areas too. Many Catholics in the North felt like second-class citizens. In 1963, the Homeless Citizens' League was formed to end the injustices done to Catholics which later became known as the Campaign for Social Justice. Terence O'Neil, the new Unionist Prime Minister of N. Ireland, promised reforms to help Catholics but these reforms were slow to come so the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (NICRA) was formed in 1967. They organised protests and marches to complain about their treatment. The first Civil Rights march took place in August 1968, and it was a peaceful rally but on the 5th October 1968 violence broke out in the march in Londonderry between the marchers and outraged Protestant Orangemen. The march was broken up by the RUC who beat the marchers with their batons as they charged into the crowd. In early 1969, the Catholics built barricades to protect themselves from all the violence and riots because they now felt that they could expect no protection from the police (RUC) who were seen to be biased to Protestants. The Ulster Protestant Volunteers (UPV) tried to discredit Catholics by blaming the IRA for some terrorist explosions which damaged electricity and water supplies to Belfast. In reality they were the work of the UPV who were making the Catholics appear to be vandals and terrorists. In 1969, the Provisional IRA split from the official IRA because they were committed to military action to drive out the British and the other IRA wished to re-unite Ireland by peaceful means. In the beginning there were about 30 Provisionals in Belfast but they soon grew in numbers and became the main force behind Irish Nationalism. Marches held by the Protestant Orange Order and the Apprentice Boys increased the violence in Derry in August 1969 because riots broke out and the police became involved in the riots again. ...read more.


The IRA and the main Unionist terrorist groups called a ceasefire in 1994. The British then began to demand that the Provisional IRA give up their weapons. The IRA felt they were being pushed too far, too fast. They broke the ceasefire in 1996, bombing Canary Wharf, and then Manchester City centre. Sinn Fein was now excluded from the peace talks. In 1997, the Labour won the May British General Election and Tony Blair wanted peace talks. The IRA declared a new ceasefire and talks began again between Britain, Eire, and political parties from Northern Ireland. The talks were chaired by US Senator George Mitchell. However the talks ended on 9th April 1998. On that day, it was announced that a new power-sharing assembly would be set up in Northern Ireland, and Eire would give up the idea of a united Ireland. This was called the Good Friday Agreement. All the people of Ireland, North and South, voted on the Agreement in a referendum. 71% of people in the North were for it, and 94% in the South. There were elections in June 1998 for the new assembly, and Stormont reopened for business in July. Part of the Good Friday Agreement said all sides should give up their weapons. This was called 'decommissioning'. The Canadian General, John de Chastelain, held talks with the different terrorist groups to work out how to do this in practice. He reported on 30th June 1999. Unionists didn't believe that the IRA would give up their weapons. At first they refused to join talks on setting up an actual Government for Northern Ireland, but after long negotiations Direct Rule was handed over to Northern Ireland on 1st December 1999. The First Minister was the Unionist David Trimble. Since then all sides have worked at finding a permanent peaceful settlement- but decommissioning has continued to be a major issue. The answer to the Irish problem has not yet been found but attempts are still being made even today. BY FATIMA MIR 10CE ...read more.

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