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Why were British troops sent into N Ireland in 1969?

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Introduction

Why were British troops sent into N Ireland in 1969? Before 1969 there had been no British troops in N Ireland since 1920. There are several reasons why the troops where sent into Ireland, some are resent causes and others are problems that had been occurring a long time before 1969. The short-term reasons where mainly the resent increase of violence in N Ireland and the hostile situation between the Catholics and the Protestants. The long-term reasons were the events leading up to civil rights protests since the division of Ireland in 1921, Political disagreements and religious prejudice. Ireland demanded home rule and Britain promised that they would give them home rule but were disturbed by the 1st world war, but after the war Britain failed in grant them their own government. In 1916 a group of catholic extremists took part in the Easter rising to try to bring about home rule, this failed. The IRA assassinated the rebels who took part in the Easter Rising. The Black and tans who were ex-British troops drove into a football match and started to shoot the spectators because they were trying to get their own back on their losses at the bombings of the Easter Rising. After this, civil war begins and this leads into Ireland being divided into Northern Ireland and Eire in 1921, Eire being a Catholic country and N Ireland ruled mainly by a Protestant government. ...read more.

Middle

Because of their higher education they were able to get better jobs and started to have their 'chance to be heard'. In 1966 a Civil Rights Movement was being prepared, like by Martin Luther King and the black citizens of the United States and Ghandi in India had done before them. There were two main Civil Rights groups; they were the People's Democracy and The Derry Citizens' Action Committee. They prepared marches and protests for Civil rights because they were fed up with unemployment, not having the right to vote, poor housing and Civil Rights in general. They started their marches and protests peacefully and intended for no violence but this provoked Protestants because of people like the Protestant religious leader Reverent Ian Paisley who enjoyed Provoking violence and chaos between the two groups. In 1969 the Civil Rights group the Peoples Democracy planned a long march from Belfast to Londonderry, the marchers where attacked at Burntollet bridge which lead to violence by the police. When the marchers arrived at Derry a riot starts and there is conflict between the protestors and the R.U.C (Royal Ulster Constabulary). After this incident there were other protests that turned in to violence that lead to a lot of Civil Rights marchers being injured. ...read more.

Conclusion

These riots were known as the 'Battle of the Bogside', which happened in August 1969. After 2 days of riots Chichester-Clark, the new prime minister of N Ireland asked the British Government to send in troops to restore order. A request had already been sent but the British government did not want to rush into it and believed that the situation would get better. Bernadette Devlin got hold of the Ministry of Defence who were looking after the matter and said, "Unless troops were out of their barracks and into Derry city by mid-afternoon, Catholics would be slaughtered". With Bernadette Devlin's agreement they thought it was time to send in troops so they did. The Catholics welcomed the British Troops because they saw that there was no link between the Protestants and the British army like there was with the B-Specials. The main reason why the British troops where sent in is because of the breakdown of law and order. Captain O'Neill expected the situation to resolve itself that's why he did not request the British troops but Chichester-Clark and Bernadette Devlin were the people in charge of getting the troops sent into Ireland. There was a lot of hatred towards the British because of home rule and that might be one of the main reasons that they did not ask for the British troops earlier. ...read more.

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