In Northern Ireland there are two main groups of people with different views and opinions on Ireland and its future.

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In Northern Ireland there are two main groups of people with different views and opinions on Ireland and its future. The two main groups are the Republican/Nationalists and the Loyalist/ Unionists. Within these groups there are a wide range of views, some extreme and some moderate.

The republicans are a mainly Catholic majority and wish to see a united Ireland in the future. One of the republican political parties is Sinn Fein. Sinn Fein is an extreme party who has been linked with the IRA (Irish Republican Army). The IRA is an illegal paramilitary organisation who uses violence to oppose British presence in Ireland to make their views clear. From the IRA the splinter group called the Real IRA has formed and they continue to use illegal weapons even now. A more moderate Republican Party is the Social Democratic and Labour Party, who do not use violence to show their views.

The Loyalists have a mainly Protestant majority and wish Northern Ireland to remain part of the UK. The Ulster Unionists (UUP) is a non-violent unionist party, which was set up in the late 19th century to defend the interests of Northern Protestants. The Ulster Defence Association/ Ulster Volunteer Force (UDA/UVF) are on the other hand violent Loyalist groups who were set up to fight back against the IRA, like the IRA the UDA and the UVF are both illegal paramilitary groups.

Part 2

There have been many events in Irelands history, which have helped to shape the views and opinions of those who live there. The two events which I have chosen to illustrate this are the Plantations of the 17th century and the Partition of Ireland, 1920-21.

The plantations of the 17th century helped towards shaping the views, mainly of the Catholics in Ireland. The plantations gave English Protestants land that had belonged to the Catholics. The native Catholics were forced to leave their land as the Protestants came. The Protestants were "planted" mainly into the county of Ulster, which makes up Northern Ireland. In the county of Ulster the Protestants and Catholics remained strongly separated. Both sides kept their religions, the Protestants kept their English language and from the very beginning of the conflict between republicans it has not been purely about religion. It has been about political and economic power as well, which has helped to add to the problem that we see in Ireland today.

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The partitioning of Ireland was another turning point in its history. Ireland was separated into Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland being ruled by Britain.

Ireland was partitioned after the start of The War of Irish Independence in 1919. The fighting intensified in 1920 and the British government lost control over much of southern Ireland, although in the north the Ulster Protestants still gave their full support to the British. The British government decided that the only solution would be to partition Ireland. The six most Protestant counties of Ulster were given their own government (Stormont), which ...

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