Northern Ireland

Presentation / Essay (Pre-University), 2001

5 Pages, Grade: 14 Points

Free online reading

Northern Ireland

General facts

capital: Belfast

population: approximately 1.5 million people

size: 5,500 square miles equal to 14139 square kilometres

religion: 50,6 Protestants (mainly British by culture)

38.4 Roman Catholics (mainly Irish by culture)

- Catholics are associated with Irish Nationalism and the restoration of self government
- Protestants regard the Catholic's demands as a threat to their Protestant life and Northern Ireland


- highest number of unemployed people within the UK
- depend on government subsidy, public sector to provide jobs and social welfare as well as unemployment benefit

- use the British pound sterling, several banks print notes that are only can be used in Northern Ireland

- longest river Shannon (386 km)
- biggest sea Lough Neagh (382 square kilometres)
- along the border 450 kilometres several guards of the British Army


Northern Ireland consists of 6 counties1

The New Northern Ireland Assembly was established as part of the 'Good Friday Agreement'.

Under the Agreement , the Assembly has full legislative and executive authority in respect of those matters previously within the remit of 6 Northern Ireland government departments:

Department of Agriculture

Department of Economic Development

Department of Education

Department of the Environment

Department of Finance and Personnel

Department of Health and Social Services

Under the Northern Ireland Act of 74 the UK parliament approves all laws for NI and NI departments under the direction and control of a UK cabinet Minister, the Secretary of State for NI. Under the system of direct rule the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland has overall responsibility, through the Northern Ireland Office, for political and criminal justice, policy and community relations


16 Easter Rising Rebellion by Pro-home rule Irish

20/21 Partition 26 counties became Irish Free State 6 counties Northern Ireland

First Northern Ireland Parliament opens, reason: one might suppose it was because the north-east was the most wealthy part

49 Irish free State became a republic and left the Commonwealth

NI remained part of the UK but wasn't governed by Westminster (has devolved form of government based in Stormont) the Government is Protestant

68 Civil rights march was harshly treated by the police, which led to rioting and clashes between Catholics and Protestants, "the troubles" began

69 British troops were sent to protect Catholics and restore order

70 IRA reorganised and began its campaign of violence

72 "Bloody Sunday" devolved Stormont Parliament was replaced by direct rule from Westminster various attempts to find a solution failed (e.g. power sharing executive)

85 Anglo-Irish Agreement signed by Thatcher and Fitzgerald (opposed by many Ulster Unionists)

93 Downing Street Declaration signed by Major and Albert

94 IRA cessetation of military operations in order to help the democratic peace process

97 Sinn Fein affirm their commitment to democracy and non violence, Unionists remain unconvinced

98 the Good Friday Agreement

98 as IRA has not disarmed Sinn Féin should be denied their seats in the new Assembly (NI Secretary), Sinn Féin say they must be part of the executive first to hand over their weapons

99 Setback main Protestant politicians (Ulster Unionists) announce they won't share power with Sinn Féin as long as IRA refuses disarmament

Irish Nationalism

idea of independence or Home Rule (own decision making) these demands widely supported and associated with Catholics but opposed by Protestants

Historical background

- Easter Rising crushed after a week, sixteen of its leaders executed
- Irish nationalists sacrificed themselves in the belief of more home rule in WW1 whereby unionists were promised the opposite

Catholic minority was discriminated against treated as second class people:

- politically voting system was biased against them Government in Stormont was Protestant
- discrimination in employment,
- most were denied council houses
- Catholic community was victim of ethnic cleansing

Civil rights movement (started mid 60s)

- were mostly Catholic, but also a few liberal Protestants
- argued for change, end of discrimination, more politicos rights and integration in the political system of Great Britain and the adaptation of their standard in democracy and rights
- nationalism and reunification was of hardly any importance
- seen as a threat by Protestants
- Protestants saw themselves as being Ulster or British while Catholics saw themselves as Irish their actions became more violent as the British government was unable to meet with their demands and their military became more aggressive and prejudiced against the minority
- IRA campaign 56-60 relatively low levelled
- Violence came as peaceful Civil Rights Movement was answered with Protestant violence and Catholics turned to the IRA
- British government mostly ignored the Irish Problem
- 69 IRA split in two (official and provisional IRA Provos see themselves as defenders of catholic areas in NI
- summer 69 serious violence
- August British troops were sent in as a temporary peacekeeping measure (remained)
- seen positively first , but as they remained and no politically solution was found friction grew between the troops
- IRA was able to portray them as an army of occupation increase of violence led to suspension of Stormont and direct rule as a temporarily measure

Sinn Fein (We ourselves)

- Irish republican party founded in 1905 (leader Gerry Adams)
- fight for the breaking of the political connection between Ireland and Britain
- is also committed to socialism, nonacceptance of the British Parliament in Ireland and an autonomous Irish state
- campaigned British withdrawal and a 32-county Ireland
- won the 1918 general election set up Assembly of Ireland
- the party split in 1922 on the issue of the Treaty which partitioned Ireland
- little impact on politics throughout the 1920s and for the next two decades
- late 1950s and early 1960s they enjoyed some electoral success with the IRA's border campaign
- In the 1960s, Sinn Féin adopted a more radical stance on social and economic affairs and campaigned politically to gain support on issues other than partition
- to another split
- The Sinn Féin which emerged in 1970 - popularly known at the time as 'Provisional' Sinn Féin - was to evolve through the '70s and ' 80s to the party known today

Sinn Féin regrets the IRA's ending of the cessation. We remain totally committed to our peace strategy and to the need for the peace process to be rebuilt. Our goal is to make peace between all the people of this island. What is required is a meaningful process of dialogue and negotiations without preconditions. The British government must stop pursuing policies which have abused the process in the past and which continue to set back the goal of securing a real Irish consensus.

Marching season

demonstrations which take place between Easter and end of September results are political friction, tension and confrontation

the Parades Commission independent body ensures that disputes over parades are resolved 75% of annual parades organised by Protestant/Unionist community


Irish Republican Army, Terror organisation


- founded in 1919, fought for social revolutionary movement in 1919
- 21against England aiming for a united Irish state
- became illegal in 1936
- active since 1949 mostly in North Ireland
- split into "Officials" (moderate) and "Provisionals" (radical wing) responsible for several terrorist attacks
- 1994 proclaimed truce
- 1995 recall of the commitment
- 1997 dialogue between British and republican government and truce is renewed
- up to 93 the IRA was responsible for 17555 deaths 1006 of them security forces
- 376 killed "by accident" some civilians some IRA members killed by their own bombs


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Northern Ireland
14 Points
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
File size
373 KB
Northern, Ireland
Quote paper
Sabine Meisner (Author), 2001, Northern Ireland, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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