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With what success has the British government tried to deal with the Irish Troubles in the years since 1972?

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Introduction

Conflict in Ireland With what success has the British government tried to deal with the Irish Troubles in the years since 1972? In March 1972 the British response to increasing violence in Northern Ireland was direct rule this meant that the province was run by the British prime minister and actually lasted over 25 years. Power Sharing In 1974 it power sharing was proposed by William Whitelaw and a new assembly was elected to govern Northern Ireland. The main parties in the assembly were represented on a power-sharing executive this meant that nationalist and unionists share power. The aim of power sharing was to undermine the IRA's support in the nationalist communities. It consisted of six unionist ministers, four SDLP ministers and one from the alliance party. The executive was elected in 1973 and began governing in 1974. The SDLP's agreed to take part but were unhappy that internment was still active but they were happier with a council of Ireland as they felt it would help the republic have a say in the running of Northern Ireland. This worried most unionists and give a say in how Northern Ireland is run to the republic and is the same as letting France have a say in how an English state like Kent is run. ...read more.

Middle

They help the following government by showing them they will not back down if they strike against their views so this made it easier. It also helped as it also gave them a step forward to combating the IRA. The late 1980s and the early 1990s saw great violence as loyalists and republicans matched the amount of killings carried out. The population of Northern Ireland started to long for peace and there were many peace rallies with many followers. Catholics and Protestants started to vote for peaceful methods in the SDLP's with Sinn Fein support falling. Major Government In 1993 Prime Minister John Major and Taoiseach Albert Reynolds introduced the Downing Street Declaration which was to respect all traditions in Northern Ireland. It only allowed parties which rejected violence as there was a long for peace in Northern Ireland and this would reduce the parties' support of violent methods. The British government stated that they had no interest in the economic side of Northern Ireland but only in the well being of the population. They also said that Irish Unity was possible but only with the consent of the majority of Northern Ireland which the Irish government accepted. ...read more.

Conclusion

Apart from splinter cells in the paramilitaries which did not accept it and carried out shootings and bombings but with constant talks with Blair they started to accept it. It was less effective as loyalist prisoners came close to withdrawing support the peace process. They were helped by the previous government because the loyalist paramilitaries had created a ceasefire and stopped those killing people. But Major did not stop the IRA killing people and made it harded but they had stopped fighting once so they will not be so reluctant to do it again. Conclusion I feel the Major government was the most effective because they were the government who first gained the ceasefire from both the paramilitaries and stopped most of the violence. And peace was the most needed factor to be stopped in Northern Ireland. I also feel that he finally got the two communities to reason with each other rather than just using violent methods to resolve disputes. I feel that the Power Sharing government was the worst as they only strengthen relations with the nationalists and not the unionist and nothing else. So they did not really have in impact on peace in Northern Ireland or an impact on the way it was run. It also did not bring the two communities any closer ...read more.

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