The conflict in Ireland

This is an essay on the conflict in Ireland. These are the events that have caused the conflict, the main one is that the Catholics wanted a united Ireland where they had Home Rule while the Protestants wanted the British involved to have British Rule, the other thing that caused the conflict was when Henry VIII made himself head of the Church of England, this then caused the three events that are written in this essay they are the Battle of the Boyne, Civil Rights Movement and the Good Friday Agreement.

The Battle of the Boyne was caused because King James tries to use Catholic troops to win the throne back off of William of Orange. James attacks the city of Londonderry and is held back by the apprentice boys of the city. The food was running out so they had to eat cats, dogs, candles and leather so they could stay alive. Thousands died of disease. This then gives time for the British ships to sail up the River Foule to help William to defeat James in the battle in July 1699. After the battle James fled to France.

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The Protestants are now dominant because of this; they own most of the land and there is no serious challenge to Protestant hegemony for over 100 years. In 1695 the Penal Laws are made and are very severe on the Catholics. Contemporaries referred to laws restricting the rights of Catholics as ‘popery laws’, and may not have viewed the legislation spread over three decades as a systematic code. The Irish Parliament after 1691 almost exclusively represented the landed interest of the Church of Ireland – that is, the Established or Anglican Church.

The Protestant elite was convinced that the fruits of victories won between 1689 and 1691 could only be enjoyed if Catholics were kept in subjection. The Irish Parliament began the Penal Code in 1695 by preventing Catholics from bearing arms, educating their children and owning any horse above i?? 5 in value. William III, anxious not to alienate Catholic allies in the wars against France, viewed the demand for further legislation along these lines with some distaste, and it was in Queen Anne’s reign that some of the most comprehensive laws were passed, particularly the Act to Prevent the Further Growth of Popery in 1704.

The last penal law, which deprived Catholics of the vote, did not enter the statute book until 1728. Catholics could not buy land, estates had to be divided equally amongst sons, and Catholics could not have leases running for more than 31 years. The legal profession, the army and all public offices were closed to Catholics, and Catholics could not be Members of Parliament or of municipal corporations, nor could they sit on grand juries. The most unworkable clauses of the Penal Laws were those concerned with worship.

At first there seemed to be some success as Jesuits, monks and friars were expelled in 1698. Catholic churches could not have bells or steeples, and clerical garb could not be worn in public. However, Catholic worship was not forbidden and legislation against pilgrimages proved impossible to enforce. Catholics could not have their own schools and could not send their sons abroad to be educated, but ‘hedge schools’ (classes in the open) soon emerged, and ways were found by the better off to educate their sons in Belgium, France and Spain.

The Orange order and the apprentice boys who are both Protestant orginisations go on marches every year to celebrate William of Orange’s victory over the Catholics. These marches cause trouble at places like Drumcree and the Gavachy Road. The Protestants still celebrate this event because it is a victory over their rivals. The Catholics would regard this event as pointless and would like to get that out of their memory even though they killed some Protestants. Civil Rights Movement was made in July 1968 and marches began which were encouraged by the American Civil Rights Movement lead by Martin Luther King.

The causes are that the Catholics were discriminated in many ways they were on jobs, they were not allowed many votes, most of the businesses were Protestant owned and the employees they had were Protestant, the local councils gave most houses to Protestants and the new houses were normally built in Protestant areas, most of the Police Force were Protestant and most of the judges and magistrates were too and the RUC could call out a Special Force called the B Specials who were known for violence against the Catholics.

They formed the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association in 1967 where they went on marches, they had demands that they wanted to achieve these where to end the B Specials, to have fair access to houses, a repeal of the Special Powers Act, a law against discrimination by the local government and the end of gerrymandered boundaries and the one person one vote in local elections. There is then increased violence at Civil Right demonstrations. The consequences are that British Troops are brought in August 1969. A provisional I. R.

A. is formed in December and they then start a bombing campaign. Catholic and Protestant relations have got worse since this, the I. R. A. have had bombs and car bombs in the capital of England, Manchester and places in Ireland like Belfast and Derry. One of the biggest was the Omagh bomb on the 15 August 1998 that killed 28 people which was planted by the real I. R. A. There have been attacks on each other. An example of attacks on each other, is in 1987 eleven people were killed before the Ennis Killen Remembrance Day Service.

There is then more violence between Protestants and Catholics and the protestors have bad relationships with Police and then with the army. The Good Friday Agreement was an agreement between the Catholics and Protestants to have peace and that the I. R. A. would give in all their weapons and to have a permanent cease-fire. It was formed because the I. R. A. had a cease-fire but it only lasts a year. The Northern Ireland Forum then has to be elected to begin party talks in June 1996 even though the Sinn Fein party couldn’t be involved because of their links to the I.

R. A. An election is then held in May. The Forum was seen by the two governments as a pool from which they could start negotiating terms. The Secretary of State then invites the parties that are in the Forum who agreed to the Mitchell principles. The marching season vexed the subject of Northern Ireland because it was threatening to be explosive. In May 1997 a general election in the U. K. brings in a new government and so a new Secretary of State who was called Mo Mowlam. Sinn Fein’s votes increase and then the I. R. A. nnounce a new cease-fire in July. So in September Sinn Fein are allowed back into the talks. Mo Mowlam then sets the end of May 1998 for the referendum in Northern Ireland and the Republic on the outcome even though an outcome had not been agreed yet. There is then intensive talks between American, British and Irish as well as party leaders from Northern Ireland, which then results in the Good Friday Agreement. They then have a referenda on the agreement on the 22nd of May which both the Irish and Northern Irish public agree on.

This slows down the violence for a little while and then the violence escalates again but is not as bad as before apart from the Omagh Bomb. There is still violence between Catholics and Protestants so there is still no permanent solution to the violence up to this very day but the violence has died down a bit. So they are at a stalemate. Conclusion The violence was caused because of the split thoughts on Home Rule because the Catholics wanted a united Ireland while the Protestants wanted the United Kingdom to be involved so in the end this has brought on the violence between them.

They are not near to a final solution because there still is violence between the two sides up to this very day. The Battle of the Boyne had the biggest impact on the violence in Ireland because it started off the violence even though there had been arguments between the two sides before this, like when Henry VIII made himself the head of the Church of England, when the English sent Plantations over to Ireland, there was arguments between them on which religion people in Ireland should follow either Catholic or Protestant and it was the first big event that happened.

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