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Conflict in Ireland

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Modern World Study: Conflict in Ireland Ireland is to the west of Britain and is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, Irish Sea and the Celtic Sea. Today Ireland is divided into two parts, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. In 1921 the partition treaty was signed and was originally supposed to be temporary, it was an attempt to bring peace to Ireland. Currently there are mainly Unionists (Protestants) living in Northern Ireland and in the Republic of Ireland there are mainly Nationalists (Catholics) living in Northern Ireland. The unionists want to be governed by England's parliament however; the Nationalists in Northern Ireland do not. The Nationalists in the Republic are Independent and want a untied Ireland. Easter Rising, 1916 The Easter Rising took place in April 1916;it was one of many rebellions held by Nationalists in an attempt to get independence for Ireland. However, this rebellion was much more intense and violent that those before. Several events led up to the Easter Rising, all of which had an influence on what happened. Firstly groups formed such as the Irish Republican Brotherhood (I.R.B), groups like these formed as a result of centuries of oppression by the British landlords and increasing capitalism. Pearse joined the I.R.B in 1913, he was prepared to die in a 'blood sacrifice' to win independence for Ireland. Pearse was also among those in the Irish Volunteers (formed in 1913) who did not want to fight for England in the war with Germany in 1914. James Connolly also shared the same views as Pearse. Together the I.R.B and the Irish Citizen Army (led by James Connolly) planned to take over Dublin in 1916. 1916 was a good time to carry out the Easter Rising because of the outbreak of World War One; 1914. The I.R.B and the Irish Citizen Army realised this was the perfect opportunity and decided it would be the best time to take over Dublin and carry out their revolt; the aim being to get independence for Ireland and perhaps eve a united Ireland. ...read more.


The Catholics now hated the British government and the army more than before internment had been introduced. Internment had caused Catholic and Protestant communities to move further apart thus adding to the troubles and had put Britain into an even worse position as Catholics hatred increased. With the above in mind I would say that the deployment of troops was far from a turning point; although at first it appeared that they were succeeding in restoring some sort of peace this soon changed. The army only provoked the IRA and so the violence worsened. The troops then made a bad attempt at trying to unarm the IRA when they entered the catholic lower falls area of Belfast on July 3rd 1970. The troops took over the whole area and began searching for weapons and ammunition belonging to the IRA. During their search troops left a trail of destruction, smashing in doors and breaking furniture. Although they had found 106 weapons compared to the 100,00 licensed guns in Northern Ireland this wasn't very much at all. The efforts seemed to have been wasted and as a consequence the British Troops had upset and alienated the people of the Lower Falls area. Instead of being seen as an unbiased force there to protect both the Catholics and the Protestants, the British Army was seen as another weapon that the unionist government could use against the Catholics. The violence soon got worse, and then in February 1971 the first British Soldier to be killed since the Troops were sent in on August 1969 was shot by the IRA. So far the Troops had lost any trust that the Catholics may have had for them and had sparked an increase in violence destroying any peace that had came about when they first entered Northern Ireland, August 1969. As a further failure to aid Northern Ireland's situation internment was introduced and as I have previously explained it would appear that in my opinion it caused more disruption rather than helping to stop or at least hinder the IRA and bring peace to Northern Ireland. ...read more.


Peace talks were soon restarted in January 1998. The Good Friday Agreement involved setting up a North-South council; its members would to be from the south and North of Ireland and its aim was to make an attempt in aiding the restoration of peace between the people of Ireland. Talks were held and President Clinton of the USA, Mo Mowlam the Northern Ireland Secretary, David Trimble the unionist leader and Taoiseach Bertie Aherne all contributed. History was made when the Good Friday Agreement was accepted by the people of the North and South. It had been put to a referendum and the results were overwhelmingly in favour of the agreement 71.2% of people in north and 94.39% in the south voted yes to accepting the Agreement. However, the violence returned shortly after and with it came the Omagh b**b in august 1998. It was carried out by an extreme republican group known as The Real IRA; they set off a car b**b right in the centre of Omagh killing 29 people. As time went on it became apparent that the Good Friday agreement was failing. It was a cruel deception which promised peace to the communities of the Catholic and Protestants, but was unable to deliver. There had been some peace and for a brief moment it seemed the impossible had been done but that was not to last. The sectarian beatings and killings continued and communities' became increasingly divided. On Monday 14th October the Secretary of state for Northern Ireland announced that London would be once again imposing direct rule. At present peace has still not been restored in Ireland and violent attacks still happen although they are not as frequent as in the past and are on a smaller scale. The people of Ireland may never reach an agreement that suits everyone but for now, the key issue is decommissioning the IRA of weapons. It may only be after that step forward is taken that peace in Northern Ireland can become a more realistic and obtainable prospect. ...read more.

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