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Chapter 4 Conflict in Multi-ethnic Societies

(B)Case Study of Northern Ireland

Chapter Breakdown
Introduction on N. Ireland and Conflict 4.1 Causes of Conflict in Northern Ireland 4.2 Consequences of Conflict in Northern Ireland

Introduction
You have looked at the case study of Sri Lanka where the Tamils and Sinhalese were in conflict for decades due to the differences in ethnic groups. In the case-study of N. Ireland, you will be looking at another example of conflicts between two groups of people the Protestants and Catholics. They were in conflict for over 30 years due to the differences in religious beliefs.

Introduction
The war in Northern Ireland is another example of a civil war (war between groups of people within a country) that lasted for over 30 years. Over 3600 people died and more than 40 000 people have been injured due to this conflict.

Where is Northern Ireland?

History of Northern Ireland


Movement of British Protestants into N. Ireland, 1654-1801

Before 12thC : 1 country Ireland 12thC : Ireland conquered by England but no full control. 15th C: English Protestant settlers started Northern part of Ireland mainly Protestant

History of Northern Ireland


Protestants implemented Penal Laws against Catholics
Cannot buy land Cannot vote Cannot join the army No access to higher education

1800 : Ireland became part of UK Local Irish Catholics sought limited selfgovernment, did not want to be part of UK

History of Northern Ireland


1900s : British government lost control of Southern Ireland 1921 : Ireland divided into 2 South Irish Free state largely Catholic North largely Protestant Catholics still treated unfairly 1949 : Irish Free State Republic of Ireland

Northern Ireland
Capital at Belfast Protestants 58.8%, Catholics 41.2% Part of the UK Britain handles foreign affairs & defence matters N.Ireland handles commerce, health & education Majority of ministers are Protestants

Conflict in Northern Ireland


The Protestants are mostly Scottish and English while the Catholics are mostly descendents of the local Irish inhabitants. This lack of common identity has prevented understanding and cooperation between the Protestants and Catholics. The religious differences between the two groups have also created tension between them.

4.3 Causes of Conflict in N. Ireland


1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Divided Loyalties Unequal allocation of housing Unequal employment opportunities Lack of voting rights Lack of opportunities for social interaction

1. Divided Loyalties
The difference in political beliefs between the Protestants and Catholics has contributed to the conflict in N. Ireland. Most Protestants see themselves as British and wish to see the country remain as part of UK. Many of them do not want a union with the Republic of Ireland, a Catholic country. They fear that a Catholic government may not be tolerant of their Protestant beliefs.

1. Divided Loyalties
The Catholics see themselves as Irish, and want to be reunited with the Republic of Ireland. They still resent the history of English conquest where Catholics were either killed or treated harshly. This loyalty to different countries makes the Protestants and Catholics intolerant of each other.

2. Unequal allocation of housing


The unfair allocation of public housing by the city councils has contributed to the conflict in N. Ireland. The city councils consist largely of Protestants. The Catholics find the allocation of public housing by the government to be unfair. Very often, the large Catholics families in need of housing have to wait a long time to get the house. In some towns, more houses would be given to the Protestants than the Catholics.

3. Unequal employment opportunities


Another cause of conflict between the Protestants and Catholics in N. Ireland is the competition for jobs. It is generally more difficult for Catholics in N. Ireland to find jobs, especially in the government sector. The Catholics feel that although they may have the same qualifications as the Protestants, they do not have the same opportunities in getting the job they want.

4. Lack of voting rights


Before 1969, voting rights was an issue between the Protestants and the Catholic. At that time, only those who owned houses and businesses were entitled to vote in the local government elections. Each household is entitled 2 votes while companies were entitled to more votes depending on their size. Since many companies were owned by the richer Protestants, they ended up with more votes.

4. Lack of voting rights


The voting system was unfair to the poorer Catholics. Since 1969, everyone is entitled to one vote as long as he/she is a British citizen above 18 years old. He/she has to be born in N. Ireland or has lived in the UK for 7 years.

5. Lack of Opportunities for Social Interaction


In the education system of N. Ireland, the Protestants and Catholics do not study together in the same schools. Protestants attend the fully-funded public schools while the Catholics attend the private schools. The private schools for the Catholics are partly funded by the government.

5. Lack of Opportunities for Social Interaction


Since the 17th century, the Protestants and Catholics have been living in separate residential areas. The 1991 census showed that in Belfast, 63% of the population lived in areas that are either mainly Protestants or Catholics. By 2001, this has risen to 66% (worsening the segregation). This has greatly reduced the opportunity for social interaction.

How conflicts lead to violence in N. Ireland?


In 1967, the Catholics set up N. Ireland Civil Rights Association (NICRA) to bring about changes within N. Ireland. It was formed by a group of well-educated, middle-class Catholics in N. Ireland who wanted to end discrimination against Catholics. NICRA adopts non-violent methods to protest against discrimination against Catholics.

Civil Rights Marches to Violence


1968 marked the beginning of a period known as The Troubles in N. Ireland. It was during these peaceful marches that fighting first broke out between the Protestants, Catholics and police. In 1969, the British government sent troops to keep order, welcome by Catholics initially.

Civil rights marches and violence


In 1971, the N. Ireland government introduced the Internment Laws. This gave the British army the power to arrest, interrogate and detain anyone without trial. The Catholics lost faith in the British Army when the army began searching their homes and arresting those suspected of terrorist activities.

Take out foolscap paper and copy these questions now. Answer these questions as you watch the video on Bloody Sunday.
1. Describe the protest at the start. 2. Who started the violence first? Describe what was done. 3. How did the Catholics feel? 4. How did the British Army feel?

Bloody Sunday
On 30 January 1972 Bloody Sunday 15 000 people participated in an illegal, peaceful civil rights march in the Catholic-dominated area of Londonderry. The march was organized by NICRA and was a protest against internment & the ban on the right to march. The British soldiers shot at protestors, leaving 13 civilians dead and many wounded. This day became known as Bloody Sunday, resulting in a great outburst of Catholic anger. This resulted in more violence.

Victims. http://www.bbc .co.uk/news/10 138851

More Violence
After 1972, the country saw more violence between Protestants, Catholics and British Army. Catholic homes & businesses are targeted by Protestants & British army. The Catholics turned to Irish Republican Army (IRA) for help. The IRA attacked British soldiers and bombed Protestants properties. Between 1969 and 1993, more than 3500 people were killed in the conflict in the country. The IRA was responsible for two-thirds of the deaths.

4.4 Consequences of Conflict in Northern Ireland


Beside human casualties, the violence in N.Ireland has also affected the country socially economically and politically.

1. Social Consequence: Social Segregation 2. Economic Consequences: Declining Economy 3. Political Consequences: Political Reform

1. Social Consequences: Social Segregation


The Protestants and Catholics have been segregated socially, in the way they live, work and play. This has led to the lack of understanding between the two groups. In the education system of N. Ireland, the Protestants and Catholics do not study together in the same schools. Protestants attend the fully-funded public schools while the Catholics attend the private schools.

1. Social Consequences: Social Segregation


Since the 17th century, the Protestants and Catholics have been living in separate residential areas. The 1991 census showed that in Belfast, 63% of the population lived in areas that are either mainly Protestants or Catholics. By 2001, this has risen to 66% (worsening the segregation). This social segregation results in the lack of social interaction and hence the lack of understanding between the two groups.

2. Economic Consequences: Declining Economy


The economy of N. Ireland has been affected by the conflict. It has also discouraged domestic and foreign investments in the country. The foreign owned factories closed down when violence increased the operating costs in N. Ireland. The constant threat of bombings and high cost of security drove away large manufacturers in great numbers.

3. Political Consequences: Political Reform


The civil rights marches put pressure on the N. Ireland government to pass anti-discrimination measures in N. Ireland. Following further civil rights demonstrations and pressure from Britain, the government announced sweeping reforms of local government in N. Ireland:

3. Political Consequences: Political Reform


1972: Following Bloody Sunday in January, the N. Ireland government was suspended in March. 1973: An agreement was reached to introduce power sharing (means spreading the power to govern the country) between the Protestants and Catholics. 1974: The agreement on power sharing was removed through a Protestant workers strike. 1988: Another agreement was reached to reintroduce power sharing but has not been fully implemented as the different political parties refused to share power.

Hope For Peace


From the 1970s to 1990s, the British government had made attempts to bring peace back to N. Ireland. However, the Protestants and Catholics failed to come to an agreement. In the late 1990s, the British government, the government of the Irish Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland community leaders actively discussed the Northern Ireland peace process. The Good Friday Peace Agreement was reached in 1998. However, the peace agreement was not successful.

Hope For Peace


Since the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, many problems still remain. Violence has flared up again and again. However, steps towards arms decommissioning and increased sensitivity are positive developments. It seems clear that the majority of people are ready to take on the challenge in return for peace.

As you listen to this song about Bloody Sunday, what feelings are evoked?

Why do you think this mural was painted?

Who do you think painted this mural?

Homework
__________________ was a serious consequence of the Northern Ireland conflict. -- social segregation --declining economy --political reform Follow PEER. Write all 3 paragraphs. Test next Wed