Conflict in Northern
Road to Peace
 1200
 1690
 17thC
 1800
 1846
 1921
 1949
 Conquered and colonised by England
 Battle of Boyne – William of Orange
(Protestant) defeated King James II (Catholic)
in N Ireland
 Many Protestants were brought into Northern
parts of Ireland. Local farmers were pushed
 Ireland became part of UK
 Potato Famine – 1 mil people out of 8 mil died
 Ireland divided into 2 – Northern Ireland
(Protestant majority) & Irish Free State
(Catholic majority)
 Irish Free State became Republic of Ireland
 Mid-1960s
 1968
 Aug 1969
 1969-1993
 1972
 Civil Rights Movement
 “Troubles”
 British Army units sent in to keep
 IRA fought for Irish Cause
 Bloody Sunday – led to direct rule from
Causes of Conflict
 Divided loyalties – intolerance
 Education system – differences perpetuated,
 Unfair treatment /discrimination/ sectarian
prejudice  Competition for jobs
 Housing
 Voting (Proportional Representation not
implemented / gerrymandering)
 Distrust!
Violent reaction to the civil
rights movement
 Working-class Protestant resentment
 Economic problems
Radicalism in the civil rights movement
Fear of IRA (extreme nationalists)
Marching and Confrontation
Media attention
O’Neill’s Failings (Unionist Party)
Bloody Sunday
On 30th January 1972, 13
Catholics were killed when
soldiers of a British paratroop
regiment opened fire during a
civil rights march in
Londonderry. The day became
known as Bloody Sunday. Its
impact led to a resurgence of
violent opposition to the
British presence in Northern
Ireland. Although the details
of what took place that day
remain controversial, many of
the basic facts are not
Bloody Sunday
 1450: The march begins
The demonstration was
held in protest at the policy
of internment without trial.
It was organised by the
Northern Ireland Civil
Rights Association. About
10,000 people gathered in
the Creggan Estate
planning to walk to
Guildhall Square in the
centre of the city, where a
rally would be held. The
march itself was illegal
because the Stormont
Parliament had banned all
such protests.
Bloody Sunday
 1540: Confrontation
Paratroopers had sealed off
the approaches to Guildhall
square. In order to avoid
trouble the march
organisers led most of the
demonstrators down
Rossville Street towards
Free Derry Corner. A group
of protesters stayed behind
to confront the soldiers at
the barricades. Stones and
other missiles were used to
bombard the soldiers who
responded with rubber
bullets, CS gas and a water
cannon. The gas forced
many of the remaining
protesters to take refuge in
the Bogside.
Bloody Sunday
 1610: Soldiers open fire
The paratroopers had orders to
move in and arrest as many of
the civil rights marchers as
possible. They advanced down
Rossville Street into the
Bogside. What exactly
happened next is not clear. The
soldiers say they were fired
upon from the Rossville flats as
they moved in to make arrests
and that they returned fire. The
Catholic community says
soldiers on the ground and
army snipers on the city walls
above the Bogside shot
unarmed civilians.
Bloody Sunday
 1640: Thirteen dead
After 25 minutes of shooting,
13 civil rights marchers were
dead. An inquiry by Lord
Widgery reported that the
paratroopers’ firing had
"bordered on the reckless". It
also concluded the soldiers
had been fired upon first and
some of the victims had
handled weapons. The
Catholic community rejected
these findings and began the
long campaign for another
inquiry. In 1998 a fresh inquiry
into the events of Bloody
Sunday was announced.
A slice of life
Republican Murals
Loyalist Murals
Hunger Strikes and Death
of Bobby Sands
 By March 1981 when Bobby Sands refused food, the
hunger strike became world news and the international
press was sympathetic to the prisoners' demands.
Pope John Paul II sent his Papal Envoy, Monsignor
John Magee, to persuade Sands to give up the hunger
 Three weeks after his election Sands fell into a coma
and died on 5 May. He had been on hunger strike for
66 days. A hundred thousand people attended his
funeral. His death provoked riots in Northern Ireland
and street protests in many cities around the world.
 By the time the hunger strike ended on 3 October 1981
ten men had starved themselves to death.
Riots break out in Belfast each time a hunger striker
dies. As the Thatcher government dug in its heels and
refused to accede to the prisoners' demands, a
Dungannon priest, Fr Denis Faul, sought to end the
hunger strike by persuading the prisoners' families to
intervene. On 28 July as Kevin Lynch approached the
69th day of his fast, Fr Faul met some of the prisoners'
families. He told them he believed Thatcher would not
make any further concessions and that nothing could be
gained by more deaths.
Impact of the hunger strikes?
 Loyalists – Ulster Defence Association, Ulster
Defence Force,UVF….
 Nationalists – IRA, INLA (Irish National Liberation Army)
Economic factor
poverty, unemployment – easy target for
Fought for union with Rep. of Ireland
Provisional IRA (more violent) & IRA
Pro. IRA declared unconditional ceasefire
for peace talks, but failed (issue of
disarming the IRA) Followed by series of
 1997
ceasefire, Sinn Fein was allowed to join the
peace negotiations
 April 1998 Good Friday Agreement – power sharing
 May 1998 Referendum
 Aug 1998 Omagh bombing – Real IRA (formed after
1997 ceasefire)
 Loss of innocent lives
 Disillusionment and prejudice – difficult to
achieve peace despite peace agreement
in 1998 (Good Friday Agreement)
 Stagnant economy – fall in investments
and tourism
 Social implications of stagnant economy
Peace Efforts
1973 Power-sharing executive
1974 Defeated
1985 Anglo-Irish Agreement
Violence continued
1993 Downing Street Declaration
1994 Paramilitary ceasefires
1998 Good Friday Agreement
Peace Efforts
Peace Movements
Community Groups
Trade Unions
Education (Education for Mutual
Understanding) and Churches (Peace
Education Programme)
Go To:
For detailed study of the conflict
Variety of sources and commentaries
Art and music
The Orange Order
 Largest Protestant organisation in
Northern Ireland with at least 75,000
members, some of them in the
Republic of Ireland
 In 1795, "Battle of the Diamond"
led to some of those involved to swear
a new oath to uphold the Protestant
faith and be loyal to the King and his
heirs, giving birth to the Orange Order.
Parades on 12 July.
Causes of conflict
 Unhappiness may arise over the following factors :
Inability to keep their traditional way of life, instead forced to adopt a
different set of customs and traditions.
Anger unfair laws - languages/education policies that did not
consider their interests (real or perceived)
Fight for control of power by different racial or religious groups
Disagreement over how country should be ruled – management of
resources - job opportunities, economic resources
 these issues may lead to conflict if there are no peaceful solutions
to the problems.
Consequences of conflict
 law and order disrupted
 Violence, loss of lives, etc.
 Foreign intervention
 Could have affected international
relations with foreign countries
(depending on the nature of the conflict)
Consequences of conflict
 Disruption of the economy.
 Conflict would have led to the destruction of properties, factories,
warehouses, etc.  affected industrial growth.
 The instability in the country would result in the loss of confidence
amongst foreign investors.
 decrease in investments.
 Drop in revenue of the country
 Could result in unemployment.
 This could in turn affect the livelihood of the people  standard of
living dropped, etc.
 Effect on Tourism = with instability, no tourist would be willing to
visit the country.
Consequences of conflict
 Education could be disrupted eg. Schools might have
to close down.
 Hospitals might be affected too. Might be overcrowded
with injured people, etc. Might not be able to cope.
Expenses on hospital care would increase too.
 Standard of living dropped.
Health facilities might also not be upgraded in view of the
drop in revenue.
Ulster will remain part of the UK, governed by a Protestant
->The Catholics and the Nationalists who want to be joined to
Eire will not accept that.
Ulster will become part of a United Ireland, so the Protestants
will be minority in the new nation.
->Protestants who want to keep their links with Britain will not
accept that.
Ulster should become a small, independent state with no links
to any other country.
->It would be difficult to persuade people on both sides of the
argument to agree to that.
Whatever it is, the solution has to be acceptable to both sides, until
then, the killings and bombings will continue.
Being multi-racial,
 -Sensitive to one another’s needs.
 -Understanding and respect for the different ethnic,
racial and religious
 -Peace and unity is the best defence against foreign
interference and intervention

Conflict in Northern Ireland