Conflict In Northern Ireland Essay

3499 words - 14 pages

Conflict in Northern Ireland

For over three decades there has been conflict in Ireland. The
disagreement
between the Republicans/Nationalist and Loyalist/unionists sill
continues to this
day. The key issue remains should the North stay part of the United
Kingdom with its own developed assembly or should it join the south as
part of a united and independent Ireland?

Ireland is a small country and has a population of 1.5 million. Yet
despite this small number, the north and south of Ireland have been in
bitter conflict with each other which has been going on for decades.
This is mainly due to the main difference in the beliefs of the
people. The two main groups in Ireland are the Republicans and
Unionists. The Republicans/ Nationalist mostly made up of Catholics in
the south belief that Ireland should be free of British rule and that
the North and south of Ireland should be united within itself and have
no connections with Britain. These people want to see an independent
Ireland with its own laws, government and sense of ownership. However
the Loyalist/Unionists mostly made up of Protestants in the north
believe that the North should maintain the union of United Kingdom.
This group believes in being loyal to the crown and abiding by the
laws and rules of Britain. Because of these different beliefs within
the people there has been much hatred between the two groups in
Northern Ireland and as a result of this up to 3000 innocent people
have been killed over the last 36 years.

There are many different political groups within the two sides, which
have many different views on how the problems should be solved. In
Northern Ireland (Ulster) the majority of the population is
Nationalist, however a small minority are loyalist. The three main
political groups for the nationalists are the SDLP (Social Democrats
and Labour party), Sinn Fein and IRA (Irish republican army).

The IRA is an extreme paramilitary group which beliefs that peace can
only be obtained by violence and killing. This group has mainly been
responsible for the killing of thousands of civilians. This group
believes that the only way to stop British presence in Ireland and get
their views across is to use force and aggression. After the Peace
process of 1998 a small splinter group known as the ‘Real IRA’ was
made. These were members of the IRA which were opposed to the Good
Friday agreement and so split and formed there own group.

Sinn Fein is one of the political parties that agree with the use of
violence and what the IRA do. This group however does not get involved
in the killing but elects candidates such as Gerry Adams to represent
and put forward there views on what they believe to be right.

The other main Nationalist party is the SDLP. Their main objective is
also to have a united Ireland however...

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