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Why Is It Proving So Difficult To Implement The Good Friday Agreement?

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Adam Richardson Y11 H6 Mrs. Johnson Why Is It Proving So Difficult To Implement The Good Friday Agreement? The history of the Irish Problem dates back almost half a century, to the reformation of England, under Henry VIII's rule. With this, there was a stream of protestant immigrants into Northern Island. Being a catholic country outside of King Henry's rule, and so escaping the reformation, there was an instant clash of very orthodox and strong religious opinions and beliefs, which triggered 500 years of ongoing problems in Northern Island. However, only is the 20th Century did these problems escalate to be so apparent and public, and we can now take a detailed look at all the major factors that make the introduction and operation of the Good Friday Agreement such a fragile and difficult task. Now, many more nations are involved. American Senator, George Mitchell was called into Northern Island to pick up pieces of the broke peace process, he is generally believed to have helped substancially in the peace talks. As part of the United Kingdom, British figures have often come into play. Following the Labour party's victory over John Major's Conservatives in the 1997 general election, Mo Mowlam was instated the Secretary of State in Northern Island. Soon, plans for talks with Sinn F�in were announced. ...read more.


More recently, 1998, explosive weapons devastated the peace process with the IRA's Omagh bombing, in which 28 nationalists were killed. This also gives us some idea of the sheer magnitude and military intelligence behind these attacks. The paramilitaries are not simply unskilled volunteers holding stolen weapons, they contain masterminds at explosives, weapons and many other technical aspects of violence. This can only pose a greater threat to the agreement's success. Following the Omagh bombing were the retaliation riots in Drumcree. In these riots, an RUC officer was killed, creating a reason for the Protestants to retaliate further. As we can see, this chain is virtually infinite. Unionists believe that as far as the peace process is concerned, the Republicans had not demonstrated an acceptable degree of peaceful progress. Unionists argue that talks will not hold place until Republicans decommission these weapons. However, Republicans disagree, saying that no decommissioning will take place prior to the talks, and any decommissioning would only happen after any settlements had taken place. Many cease-fires have been attempted. However, prior to the 4th of February 1996, the IRA felt that their ongoing decommissioning, and the lack in progress as a result of the cease-fires was too much to ask, and so on that date in February, powerful explosives planted by the IRA killed two people. ...read more.


We already know this is a major issue, as the trust of authority is the only way the Northern Irish of either origin can begin to show respect for laws and order, on which it would be assumed the agreement depends primarily upon. Segregation makes the waiting time until the two groups begin to learn about each other, live alongside each other and ultimately, accept each other, even longer, and is not an easy process to undo, and therefore it simply adds a colossal task onto the overall problem. Political issues are often hard to operate and maintain the stability of, partly because the individual Nationalist or Unionist parties will bias against the opposing community. A mixed assembly would also be much harder to operate, and provide little real satisfaction to one of the sides, since most people want a quick solution, and won't settle for compromises. With a mixed assembly, all decisions would contain points which half the assembly liked, and half didn't, assembly create compromise after compromise. Maybe compromises, however, is for now, the best anybody supporting the peace process can hope for, as it takes fairy steps onwards. There are many paradoxes that have caused the process much trouble, and will continue to do this. The cycle of attacks and revenge year after year, and the unmovable moral stance of each individual that has an opinion on the matter. It is these paradoxes and factors, which are making the implementation of the Good Friday Agreement so difficult. ...read more.

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