and Scottish settlers, designed to establish English rule and suppress the Irish. Land was taken fromthe native Catholic population and redistributed to settlers, often as a reward for services renderedto the Crown.During the Plantation of Ulster some 30,000 Scottish people, mainly of Presbyterian faith, and asubstantial number of English colonists, arrived in Ulster and were given land previously owned byCatholics. The result of the Plantation left thousands of Irish Catholics dispossessed and, as aresult, very resentful. This in turn, led in 1641, to an armed rebellion by Catholics. In the uprising,and in the ten year civil war that followed, many Protestants were massacred. These events profoundly shaped Protestant popular opinions of Catholics as being untrustworthy and hostile. Theresult was that the Protestant community in Ireland began to develop a siege mentality and toequate Protestantism with being English and Catholicism with being Irish.Furthermore, the 17th century English civil war between Charles I and the English Parliament alsohad far reaching consequences in Ireland. Oliver Cromwell, leader of the victorious parliamentaryforces, maintained the English presence in Ireland and consolidated his success in Britain byquashing ensuing Irish rebellions. Following Cromwell’s military success, the 1653 Act of Settlement involved further large-scale confiscation of Irish lands and their transfer from Catholicto Protestant ownership. This served to fuel a further legacy of hatred and bitterness by Catholicstowards the English and indeed towards Protestantism. Now allow me fast-forward to 1685 when the accession of the Catholic Stuart King, James II, tothe British throne sparked a new wave of discord in Ireland.The Protestant aristocracy in Britain vehemently opposed their Catholic King who sought toexpand his power at their expense. On being deposed, James fled to Ireland, where, with theexception of the Protestant community in Northern Ireland, he found many willing and sympatheticsupporters. During this time, the British throne had been offered to a Protestant Dutch Prince,William of Orange, as part of a pan-European coalition supported by the Pope, against thedominant French King, Louis XIV. William of Orange and his supporters followed the deposedJames II to Ireland and defeated him at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. This victory effectivelycrushed the hopes of the Catholic political nation. 20,000 of the gentry went into exile on theContinent in what is known as the Flight of the Earls. In Europe the victory was celebrated as animportant one for those who were opposed to the French Alliance. William’s defeat of James at theBattle of the Boyne continues to be celebrated annually by the Orange Order on the 12th of July.The association of Orange Marches with this victory and the subsequent domination of Catholicsstill play a significant part in the reaction of Catholics to the issue of Orange Parades. For IrishProtestants who had supported William, this war had been a great success. It was followed bysevere penal laws, which decreed that only Protestants could sit in Parliament, hold office under theCrown or take part in local government. And this too left its own bitter legacy. It was seen as afurther injustice in a course of gradual domination, firstly political – with the removal of the IrishParliament; secondly economic – with the Plantation of the land and thirdly religious – with theanti-Catholic Penal laws.British Rule of all of Ireland continued until 1920. Then, after the 1916 Rising and the Civil War that followed, Ireland was partitioned. Two parliaments were set up, one in Dublin for the 26Counties and one in Belfast for the six counties of Ulster which now make up the entity we knowas Northern Ireland. For Protestants the validity of the Northern Ireland State as an integral part of the UK, resided in a morally justified and legally binding agreement between two sovereignnations. For Northern Catholics, however, Northern Ireland was a gerrymandered and unworkableentity, to which they had not given their consent and which had been conceded by Britain in directresponse to the threat of violence from the Protestant community.