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What are the main differences between the beliefs of the Republicans / Nationalists and the Loyalists / Unionists?

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1) What are the main differences between the beliefs of the Republicans/Nationalists and the Loyalists/Unionists? The Republicans believe that Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland should be united. This would become an Irish Republic. Hard-line Nationalists are also known as Republicans, and are mostly Catholics. The Unionists believe that the North should be kept as a part of the UK. Some of the hard-line Unionists are known as Loyalists and are mostly members of the protestant church, which originated from England into Ireland unlike Catholic Christianity. Although most people in N.Ireland disagree with the violence, a small number/minority of loyalists and republicans are so determined to get there own way that they commit crime, violence and even murder. The two religions/groups are also split into different parties and political groups due to differences from within the major group/religion. The Nationalists can be split into 3 segments; The SDLP or Social Democratic and Labour Party, Sinn Fein and the IRA or Irish Republican Army. ...read more.


It now has taken much working class support away from the UVP. It has called for the destruction of the IRA. The Orange Order was established to protect Protestants and is the largest protestant party. It organises regular marches to express the tradition of the Protestant Community. The UDA/UVF was established in 1970 in order to fight the IRA. They are both illegal and are responsible for many murders, including that of innocent Catholics During the last 400 years there has been much shaping of the views of both the Unionists and Nationalists. The Easter Rising for example, where many moderate Nationalists were prepared to join the British Army and revolutionary Nationalists saw the WW1 as a chance to stage an uprising. The war was going badly for Britain by 1916 and they wee not helped by the Easter Rising, when on Easter Monday in Dublin, Fenians organised a rebellion. They took over the General Post Office and proclaimed Ireland and Independent Republic. ...read more.


During the mid 1960s there was a new optimistic mood throughout N.Ireland. This was due to a change in leadership in the North. In 1963 Hard-line Unionist prime-minister Lord Brookeborough (Basil Brooke) was replaced by Terrance O'Neil who wanted to end the unfair treatment. But after much unrest and opposition from Ian Paisley and the IRA O'Neil resigned after he found it impossible to prevent violence between the Catholics and Protestants. The south became home to mostly Catholics. The SDLP and IRA made up most of the Republic Of Ireland before 1981. The IRA used bombs in N. Ireland and mainland Britain to try and get there own way. This failed. IN 1981 some of the younger IRA men and Gerry Adams built a new political party for Revolutionary Nationalists in Ireland. Adams argued for MPs from the IRA and local councillors and showed people it was not all criminal. This was after an attempt at a hunger strike (which failed). After 1988 Gerry Adams tried to change Sinn Fein and decided to end the arms struggle and use peaceful negotiations to get a United Ireland. ...read more.

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