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Unionism and nationalism

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The Loyalist/Unionists are mostly from the protestant community. They are names Loyalists because they see themselves being loyal to the British crown and they are called unionists because they want to stay in union with the United Kingdom. The group's main belief is that they are British and because this is their main belief they strive to remain part of the United Kingdom. Even thought they where born in Ireland they cannot identify themselves as Irish because once again they see themselves as being British. Their Irish culture or language bares no link to them and thus has very little meaning to them. This is due to the historical background from an early age. Loyalist/Unionists are taught within their community of the four hundred year old battle they have to endure to remain British, and this therefore makes them more determent to fight the "loyal" fight, chanting their cry made famous by the Rev Ian Paisley "No Surrender!" The Loyalist/Unionist main celebration takes place every eleventh evening and the twelfth day of July. ...read more.


Nationalists/Republicans are mainly from the Catholic community. They are united in their belief that partition (the dividing of Ireland) is wrong. This group believe themselves to be Irish and maintain this through practicing Irish culture like Irish dancing and music and Gaelic games; you will usually find Gaelic sports halls in all nationalist in Northern Ireland. Moreover, many within this community try to maintain the Irish language and evidence for this can be seen in the boost of Irish language schools all over the province within the last ten years. Although Nationalist and Republicans share this common belief that partition should be eliminated they believe in different ways of brining about the reunification of Ireland. Nationalists believe they can bring this about through negotiations and consent. However they understand, that consent is the key and that the Unionist's cannot be forced in to the idea of a United Ireland Nationalists have had some great level headed 'Civil Rights' politicians such as John Hume and Seamus Mallon and Mark Durkan of the S.D.L.P. ...read more.


Groups such as the I.R.A and the I.N.L.A spent twenty-four years killing British soldiers, members of the police force and civilians to get a United Ireland. Eventually Republican leaders such as Gerry Adams realized that the ending of military action in 1884 and beginning of negotiations was the best step forward. They were encouraged into taking part in the Good Friday agreement after success at the Westminster elections. Some Republicans believe that Sinn Fein have betrayed them and sold them out to the British, these groups are called the real I.R.A and the continuity I.R.A. They have continued the armed struggle. However, they have been responsible for the single worse atrocity against civilians in recent times. This happened in Omagh when 30 civilians were killed in 1998. In conclusion the majority of Republicans and Nationalists still share the hope that Ireland will be united. However the greatest change is that both now believe this can only be obtained through agreement with unionists. Nicola Mc Conville 12F Mrs Mallon ...read more.

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