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Why was the Battle of the Boyne an important event in Irish history? Why does it still cause conflict now?

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Introduction

Part 1 Northern Ireland coursework Why was the Battle of the Boyne an important event in Irish history? Why does it still cause conflict now? The Battle of the Boyne occurred at the river Boyne in Northern Ireland in 1690. This battle and consequent events form the basis for the somewhat confused conflict in Northern Ireland today. The problem stemmed from the fact that Catholic James II became deposed after continued fear that a catholic invasion was prominent, being replaced by the protestant William of Orange. William of Orange continued to rule Britain until James II threatened to take back his throne and so gathered troops from Ireland. King Louis of France, sworn enemy of William, also helped James. The Catholic Pope supported William and he sent troops to acknowledge William's presence in Ireland. As there were Catholic troops on both sides it becomes more difficult to determine the motives for war and whether it was more associated with power and rule and not religion as more commonly is presented with the Irish problem. James was defeated and the Treaty of Limerick 1691 was compiled. The treaty's aim was merely to disperse the catholic invasion but many Protestants were not satisfied. Problems were to follow the treaty as pressure grew from the Protestant side to put an end to the threat of another catholic invasion, William must enforce stronger penalties on the Catholics. ...read more.

Middle

Such minor issues becoming focal points will inevitably hinder the wider aspects of the peace process. The Orange Order has made attempts to concession there is only one remaining march from an original nine. Although the Orangemen were reluctant to back down after what the march stood for they have voluntary re routed one march to stress the need to initiate negotiation. It was mentioned that the nature of the band evokes rebellion with the loud drums, eventually it was agreed that the parade would go down in silence. These compromises were met with doubts and found Brendan McKenna (now a member of the SDLP but was jailed for his involvement in the bombing a the ex- servicemen centre) demeaning their efforts, reinforcing the feeling that either side should not negotiate with terrorists. "We have shown our willingness to deal with the situation but every time we are knocked back" David Jones (spokesman for the Orange Order) The 1996 Orange Order parade was banned in light of being a threat to the peace. The police caved in after protestant pressure but the residents were not consulted. A one-week violent stream ensued leaving the Catholics feeling betrayal and even more confidence had been lost in the police service. ...read more.

Conclusion

"We live in fear" "Why should we make concessions to the people responsible for all the bigotry against us" People must have someone to blame this is what causes part of the resentment towards Britain and the opposing side. There is a constant labelling of people and the compulsion to know whether a person is a Catholic or Protestant whether they are with you or against you. This is never more evident than in Portadown living on the imaginary fault line dividing communities, every lamppost and pavement stone denotes the residents' denomination. Religion is but a mask over the underlying cause of the conflict in Ireland the controversial marches to the extreme acts of violence for the good of their cause benefit no one. They cover a more significant truth as people struggle to make their viewpoint heard in the fear that otherwise their culture will fade and disappear, this constant need to reinstate their mark on society has taken it's toll on Northern Ireland. I feel that time is the only cure and as groups try even greater and more drastic measures to hold on to what they call 'tradition', as everyone is afraid of change. Let us hope a new generation will gradually see it as old fashioned and the feeling in Northern Ireland should change for the better. 1 ...read more.

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