The Divided People of Ireland Ireland is a country with two very different peoples living there,
Nationalists (or Catholics) and Unionists (or Protestants). There are
many differences between the beliefs of the Nationalists and the
Unionists. The main one being that Nationalists want a united Ireland
and see themselves as Irish whereas Unionists want to be part of
Britain and see themselves as British. Before partition this caused
many problems because Nationalists resented being ruled from London,
where the politicians there probably had never even been to Ireland
and so, in their opinion could not know what would be best for the
people of Ireland. So, although they do not like partition and would
prefer Ireland was one country ruled from Dublin, they prefer
partition to how it used to be as at least they get to rule their own
affairs. Unionists also dislike partition however they like being part
of Britain and having their affairs ruled from London. So to them,
partition is preferable to a united Ireland ruled from Dublin.
One of the reasons for this clash of beliefs is the differences in
their culture. Catholics speak Gaelic and play Gaelic football while
Protestants speak English and play British football. These differences
in culture provide a wall between the two groups, which means they are
alien to each other. This divide increases mistrust and hate between
Catholics and Protestants and as this increases, the divide widens
even more. The larger the divide becomes, the less likely there will
be an end to the problems between the groups.
Children in Ireland are taught a hatred of whichever religion isn't
their own. They learn nothing about the other's belief and worship
system. This gives them prejudiced views and means they judge each
other on their religion. This comes from generations of dislike which
over the years has been distorted into hate. Protestants believe that
Rome, the Pope and the whole of the Catholic Church have a huge say in
the running of Eire. Catholics however deny this and say that although
many Catholics will live their life around the Church and the beliefs
of the Catholic Church, the British government allow the Church of
England a much greater say in the running of the country.
Stemming from this lack of knowledge about each other's religion is
the problem that Protestants believe Catholics have no personal
freedom. The Catholic Church does not allow divorce or abortion as
they believe marriage is sacred; as is life, so to kill a child or end
a marriage is to go against God. As most Catholics want to lead "good"
lives and follow the teachings of the Bible and religious leaders,
then they agree that divorce and abortion are wrong and so, the fact
that the Irish government says...