• Topic 4: Northern Ireland

     Topic 4: Northern Ireland


    Acts of union: Ireland

    • Colonisation -> 12th C; 16th - 17th C -> Catholic VS Protestant (dominant)

    • 1801: Act of Union -> UK.

    • 19th C – 20th C. “Home Rule for Ireland” (like a Devolution). 1914 act “Third Bill”, finally became a law for the British. But 1914 is the start of the WWI, it's not the good time for it so the law is abandoned.

    • 1916: Easter Rising. Group of Irish nationalist rebels. “We will take our freedom by force”. They failed: the insurrection last for only a few day. 16 martyrs for the Rebellion: shooted by the British (it's the Bloody Sunday).

    • 1918: General Election. Sinn Féin (Irish votes for it) and their slogan “Ourselves alone in gaellic”. They don't recognize the UK Parliament. Irish Republican Army (IRA) leads a guerrilla, it's a clandestine army (not official), with volunteers. They fight against the police and the British Army. In these condititons a law is passed in 1920: the Partition. Northern Ireland stay with the UK, and the rest of Ireland become a free state with its own Parliament.

    • 1960s :

      > The North is still part of the UK but it's the first devolved state: it has its own parlimant: Stormont. There is a Catholic minority, Protestant dominate the Parliament, the police, the business,... Catholics are excluded, it's hard to be a Catholic in N.I. -> Huge discrimination.

      > A Civil Right is asked for equal rights and end the discrimination. Violent desmontration are repressed by the police (Civil Rights March). Sense of crises are leads in 1969 to segragate Catholics and Protestant because they can't cohabitate. They are separated by high walls -> community violence. The British sent its army.

      > Provisionnal IRA (clandestine army), citizens rise.

      > The Troubles -> IRA attack first British Army. They also target symbols of British rules and any person suspected of helping British.

      > Loyalist or Unionist forces attack the IRA back. Situation of constant violence: called the Troubles, keep going for 30 years. That seemes difficult to resolve.

    • Peace process:

      > 1985 Anglo-Irish Agreement: self-determination. Both governement recognize N.I.'s decisions should be determined by N.I. Inhabitants.

      > 1993 IRA cease fire (cessez-le-feu).

      > 1998 Good Friday Agreement. Same time than Devolution in UK. They propose to re-open the N.I. Assembly. Particular condition: Power-sharing executive (inforced coalition, members of each community, between Protestants (Unionists) and Catholics (Nationalists). The problem is almost immediatly they can't cooperate.

      > IRA decommissioning: making sure the IRA never fight again and destroy all weapons. By 2006 is declared they finally did it.

      > Sinn Féin (Nationalist) and DUP (Unionist) allow a positive development when they decide to work together, in 2007.

      > Some small groupes doesn't accept the Good Friday, there is a new IRA since 2010.


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