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: What are the main differences between the views of the Nationalists and the Unionists in Ireland today?

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Irish Coursework Q1 Q.1: What are the main differences between the views of the Nationalists and the Unionists in Ireland today? One of the most basic differences between the nationalists and unionists are their religious beliefs. On the one hand the Nationalists are Catholic and have very strong, strict religious rules. They have one central religious leader, the Pope in Rome, who decides all the matters of worship for every single Catholic in the world. They want their churches to be beautiful and be decorated with rich ornaments and statues. For the Catholics the Virgin Mary is a central figure of worship. Also the Catholics continue to attend Mass in which Jesus Christ is remembered, as the worshippers drink wine and eat wafer. The wine represents the blood of Christ and the wafer represents his flesh. Catholics believe they should not eat meat on Fridays and also believe the priests and nuns should not marry, as they should preserve their chastity. This is because Catholics believe people close to God should remain pure and untouched. ...read more.


Since having an abortion is the lesser of two evils. They also believe methods of birth controlled are allowed in certain circumstances. Their religious differences do not normally result in violence, compared to their political differences. Both sides have peaceful political parties that do not use violence to get across their points. But both sides also have paramilitary groups that believe word will never solve their problems, so violence is the only way to get their message across. There are four main Nationalist political parties, these include: Fianna Fail - This is Irelands most successful political party. It was founded in 1926 and was first elected to power in 1932. The party's current leader is Bertie Ahern and has been the Prime Minister of the Republic of Ireland since 1997. Fianna Fail is represented by; 77 Teachta Dala, 28 Senators, 4 Members of European Parliament and 301 national councillors. Fine Gael - This is the second largest party in Ireland and was formed when two smaller parties merged together under a treaty in 1933. ...read more.


It is led by Ian Paisley and is the fourth largest party in the British House of Commons. Many of its leading members include Members of Parliament Nigel Dodds, David Simpson and Gregory Campbell. The main Paramilitary group in Northern Ireland is the Red Hand Defenders. This is a extreme terrorist organisation formed in 1998 and has members from other paramilitary organisations like the Ulster Defence Association and the Loyalists Volunteer Force. In January 2002 it claimed that catholic school staff and postal workers in Belfast were legitimate targets and continued to claim responsibility on several attacks and bombings. Up to 2001 the Red Hand Defenders were responsible for 8 deaths. 6 of its victims have been civilians, 1 was a member of the Ulster Defence Association loyalist paramilitaries and 1 was a member of the Royal Ulster Constabulary. The group seem to take verses from the Bible to justify their actions - "And the Lord thy God shall have delivered them to thee: thou shalt utterly destroy them. Thou shalt make no league with them, nor show mercy to them...neither shalt thou make marriages with them." Ateeb Wahid 10G-Hi1 Mr. Cheetham History Coursework ...read more.

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