Conflict In Northern Ireland Essay

1475 words - 6 pages

Conflict in Northern Ireland

For centuries there has been conflict in Northern Ireland. The
disagreement
between Irish Catholics and the Irish Protestants still continues to
this
day. In this assessment I am going to examine why soldiers were sent
into
Ireland in 1969.

Between 1921 and the mid 1960s Catholics in Northern Ireland faced
many
problems. After the War Of Independence, in 1919, the country of
Ireland was
divided into two parts; The North, here there was a large Protestant
Majority, each of the six Ulster counties had their own parliament and
their
own government. The South, largely occupied by Irish Catholics, most
opposed
the idea of dividing Ireland. But in 1921 a group of Sinn Fein, and
IRA
members signed an treaty with the British, accepting the division of
Ireland. This was when what's known as 'Northern Ireland' was created,
dominated by Protestants. However, Catholics had wanted a united and
Independent Ireland, so resentment grew. "After partition, it was
hardline
Unionists who held power in the North, they were determined to keep
Ulster
British and Protestant. They tended to see all Northern Catholics as
possible traitors. As a result Catholics were discriminated against"
(1)
In the 1930s there was a worldwide economic depression, due to the
'Wall
Street Crash' in America. Both Irish Catholics and Protestants were
affected
very seriously, the economic depression lasted 20 years.
Irish Catholics faced another problem, when it came round to election
time,
most Catholics would probably vote a Catholic representative to speak
on
behalf of the Catholic people, however, Protestants 'fixed' the
elections to
favour the Protestants, it was made sure that no Catholics could be
voted
into Parliament to speak up for their fellow people. This was known as
'Gerrymandering', the process by which constituency boundaries were
redrawn
to favour the Protestant population. The Unionists controlled the
Catholic
areas, this was a huge disadvantage to the Catholic people, they had
no
political power. Catholics were not given job opportunities, if a
Protestant
and a Catholic applied for the same job, no matter how qualified the
Catholic was, the Protestant would always get the job. This meant that
many
Catholics were unemployed and could often not afford to feed their
families.
Catholic children were put in the worst schools, whilst the Protestant
children were put in the very best schools. Catholic children were not
taught anything about Catholicism, they were only taught about
Protestant
history. Children grew up believing that Catholics were evil and the
Protestant religion was the way forward. "We knew nothing of the
Catholic
world. That Catholics were allowed to live in London with our
...

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