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What disadvantages did Catholics face in Northern Ireland in the mid 60's.

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Introduction

What disadvantages did Catholics face in Northern Ireland in the mid 60's. In Northern Ireland during the 60's Catholics faced a lot of disadvantages, in areas of Employment, Education, Housing, and Politics; there is evidence that even the Police Force was biased in favour of the Protestant community. Employment was a major area in which Catholics faced discrimination. Protestants held most of the civil service, government and local government posts in Northern Ireland and even if a catholic did get employment, many would simply feel too uncomfortable in the midst of all the Protestants. The main companies were privately owned and although anti-catholic prejudice was often suspected among foremen or personal managers, it was a hard thing to prove. One fact that can be confirmed however is that, of 10,000 workers in a Belfast shipyard (the biggest single source of employment in the city), just 400 were Catholic. ...read more.

Middle

"....you learned very quickly from the other children at school that Catholics couldn't get jobs in a whole range of occupations." In the 1960's the government built a new city called Craigavon in the county of Derry, but only built 5 Catholic schools, despite the fact that 48% of children in Northern Ireland were Catholics. This discouraged Catholics from moving there. This would cause them to move elsewhere where there was less prejudice and they could start building foundations. However this had a dreadful affect on the housing and living conditions. In some cases, Catholic families were bunched up, 3 families to a house. Following a massive slum clearance effort in the post-war years, when N. Ireland was experiencing a genuine period of economic prosperity, Catholics believed that council houses were being unfairly allotted to Protestant families rather than on the basis of need. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Police in Northern Ireland were 99.9% Protestant and extremely biased and violent towards Catholics, they would attack innocent Catholics for no reason. The 'B-Specials' were created - this was a Protestant unit within the police. They were called in by the Unionists, to act like a police force/army. Catholic marches were banned. Student demonstrations ended up in violence. They treated Catholic civilians harshly which increased hatred between the two religious groups. Only 14.5% of Catholics were in the police force but they formed 40% of Northern Ireland's population. In conclusion there were many differences between Catholics and Protestants in the 1960s. Most of these differences were in opinion and in Politics. Nationalist politicians were always out numbered by Unionist politicians in large Nationalist areas. Therefore, Catholics could not have their views expressed and always lost out if it came to a majority vote. This unfair treatment halted progress to achieve peace in Northern Ireland and they are still trying to achieve peace to this day. ...read more.

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