• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Describe and explain the reactions of unionist groups to the influence of the Catholic Church on life in Ireland since 1921.

Extracts from this document...


b) Describe and explain the reactions of unionist groups to the influence of the Catholic Church on life in Ireland since 1921. The church had made its political decision clear my condemning the anti-treaty IRA in 1922, and remained hostile towards Fianna F�il and De Valera until the1930's. However, in comparison to the Northern Irish State, the Cosgrave government was not sectarian, and gave the Protestant minority in the Free State (less than one-tenth of the population) a considerable role in affairs. There was no specific reference to Catholicism in the constitution, and the Senate (Seaned Eireann) was deliberately designed to cater for the minority interests. It was in the area of public morality that Catholic influence was not strongly felt in the period, with severe censorship of films and a ban on publications about contraception. ...read more.


The upturn in the Irish economy in the 1960's and 70's led to an increase in the number of women working outside the home, and combined with the Irish women's movement, led to a slight weakening in the church's position. The Free State government and the weak Irish ruling class fell into the power of the church. The Bishops recognised the "legitimate government" and attacked republicans for "causing criminal damage". After the civil war, both the anti-treaty and pro were in the palm of its hand. The Censorship of Films act was passed in 1923, in 1924 the Intoxicating Liquor Act, and in 1925 divorce was outlawed. Edward de Valera made the Catholic rules. He made laws in the Irish Free State i.e. ...read more.


1937 - The new constitution recognises the 'special position' of the Catholic Church, which was withdrawn in 1932 as a concession to Protestants. 1951 - Bishops stopped the new health care system for mothers and babies. 1979 - Contraceptives were legalised, but only for married couples with a doctors' prescription. All these laws would apply to the Unionists if they were to be part of a united Ireland. This made the unionists petrified of being ruled by the South. The Catholic Church was a dominant force in the South after the partition. In the republic, only catholic schools were allowed government funding, non-catholic schools had to raise their own money. This also scared the unionists. If they had to become part of a united Ireland, they would also have to raise their own money without government funding within schools. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Northern Ireland 1965-85 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Northern Ireland 1965-85 essays

  1. Catholic and Protestant, Nationalist and Unionist, Republican and

    After a period of political and social stagnancy and stalemate in the 1950s, social disorder was ready to boil over. By the 1960s, the seeds of violence had already been placed.

  2. How Effectively did Irish Catholic and Nationalist Leaders advance their Cause in the years ...

    This emerging movement was, in effect, a campaign for a restored Irish Parliament in Dublin. The Repeal Campaign was funded in the same way as the Emancipation Campaign with a Repeal 'rent', with the Roman Catholic Church providing backing. O'Connell also had the support of 'Young Ireland', a group of young nationalist middle class intellectuals.

  1. The History of Conflict in Ireland.

    They're not looking after the destiny of the Irish people for which several thousand, down the centuries, had given their lives. They were part of an historic movement, the IRA was, and they had to continue it. They were emboldened by the imposition of direct rule.

  2. Describe and explain the reactions of Unionist groups to: a. The Partition Treaty of ...

    In the Irish Free State (The South) the situation was not much better with the Nationalists holding the top jobs in the new government and not attempting to win over the Unionist and the Protestants. This situation was causing the build up of tensions and distrust. The Partition treaty divided the IRA between those who accepted it and those who fiercely rejected it.

  1. A Reflection on the Films

    The process made her acquire the culture, the habits and the beliefs of her new mother. Even though nurtured in another way, she represented the natives who "owned" their identity as a people. Her eyes were opened, or at least she thought of it that way, by Communism and the need for independence.

  2. Why is there violence within both Unionist and Nationalist groups in Northern Ireland?

    The main terrorist groups are the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF), the Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF), the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) and the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF). The LVF are a splinter group off the UVF. All of these parties are against the Good Friday agreement because they want Northern Ireland

  1. Explain why Unionist fears have grown since 1921.

    The Unionists were against the way in which De Valera used his power. In 1937 he introduced a new constitution saying Northern Ireland had no right to exist. This was a very eccentric view and constitution and disgusted the Unionists (mainly living in the north).

  2. Describe and explain the reactions of Unionists groups to the Partition Treaty of 1921

    These attacks helped to create and then strengthen local support for the IRA. Despite the conflict, in 1920 the British parliament passed the Government of Ireland Act, which attempted to set up a home rule parliament/government in both north and south.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work