Do You Agree With This Portrayal Of The Reasons Why The Troubles Continued Into The 1990’s? Explain Your Answer Using The Source And Your own Knowledge.
The cartoon in source J drawn in 1991 is an accurate depiction of the reasons and troubles in Northern Ireland in the early 1990’s. Each of the characters in the picture represents a factor that helped continue the problems in Northern Ireland. The staircase continues in a vicious circle because all the factors are linked. However, the cartoon does not apply to the end of the 1990’s because the factors were beginning to be sorted out and the Good Friday Agreement was signed.
One of the main reasons for the trouble in Northern Ireland was that the politicians weren’t working together or listening to each other’s points and views. In the cartoon, the man holding ballot papers and wearing a large badge represents a politician of either a republican or unionist organization.
The unionists wanted to stay part of Great Britain and British Rule. The leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) Reverend Ian Paisley had a strong influence in the 1960’s 70’s and 80’s that caused violence.
The republicans wanted a split from Great Britain and become part of the republic of Ireland. Gerry Adams, the president of Sinn Fein and Pat Doherty, vice President both were strong advocates of this. Gerry Adams was involved with the Irish Republican Army in the seventies, along with Martin McGuinness.
The unionists and republicans didn’t want to work together even in the early and mid-90’s. In February 1995, the British and Irish Governments drew up the Joint Framework Document. This included a new assembly for Northern Ireland and North-south Council of Ministers, which have a say over a whole range of issues. 1995 saw Northern Irelands lowest death toll since the troubles began, but there were still problems. Unionists were sceptical about the plan for a North-South Council of ministers because they though there was a possible chance it would lead to a united Ireland. Then the IRS and Sinn Fein did not want to decommission their weapons because they did not trust the British Government.
David Trimble, the new Ulster Unionist Party leader, gave his total support to the peace process and US Senator George Mitchell worked to achieve a settlement that everyone would agree to.
By the late 1990’s most politicians were working together for peace and they signed the Good Friday Agreement in 1998.
In the cartoon there is a man holding a gun and walking in the opposite direction to the others on the staircase. He represents the terrorism and during the early 1990’s paramilitary groups such as the Irish Republican Army (IRA), the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) and the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), caused a great deal of destruction in Northern Ireland.
The IRA is a mainly Catholic organization who wanted to push the British Army out of Northern Ireland and for Northern Ireland to join the Republic. Gerry Adams (Sinn Fein) had a leading role in the organization of Bloody Friday, along with Seamus Twomey and Ivor Bell (senior Provisionals), which took place July 21st 1972. The IRA planted and exploded 22 bombs, which, in the space of 75 minutes, killed 9 people and seriously injured approximately 130 others.
Then on the 31st July 1972 the Claudy Bombing, also known as Bloody Monday, nine people were killed, (2 under 16 and four over 60). Although the IRA was suspected of planting the bombs, no proof was found or confession made.
Martin McGuinness, a senior figure of the IRA and the ‘number two’ at the time of Bloody Sunday Massacre on 30th January
The Protestant Paramilitary groups wanted to get rid of the IRA and protect the Protestant communities.
In 1966, a group of Shankill Road loyalists began to use the UVF name. UVF members and members of Ian Paisley’s Ulster Protestant Volunteers (UPU) carried out a series of explosions at public utilities and tried to blame them on the then nearly non-existent IRA. In 1972 Billy Hutchinson and two others brutally stabbed to death Social Democratic and Labour Party politician, Paddy Wilson. In this horrific attack Mr Wilson’s girlfriend Irene McDonald had her breasts cut off. It appears that the attackers were particularly angry because Irene McDonald was a Protestant.
Police believe that the Northern Ireland Paramilitary groups were responsible for 22 deaths, 251 shootings and 78 bombing all in 1997. Although this seems like a lot of violence, it was nowhere near as much as past performances and had become less active. 1994 saw ceasefires from the paramilitaries, but the IRA and Sinn Fein didn’t agree to it.
By the late 1990’s Paramilitaries had stopped most of their violent activities due to the initiative of the Good Friday agreement.
The man with a pipe in his mouth and the woman holding a small child may represent the social and economic situation and problems that were faced by many of the low working classes of both Protestant and Catholic backgrounds in Northern Ireland.
Unemployment was a big issue in Northern Ireland where a higher rate of unemployment amongst members of the Catholic community than the Protestant community has always been the case. In 1976, the first Fair Employment Act in Northern Ireland established a Fair Employment Agency in an attempt to prevent religious and political discrimination in Northern Ireland. The 1989 Fair Employment Act brought about the establishment of the Fair Employment Commission, which exists today to keep an eye on employment practices, and a Fair Employment Tribunal to hear complaints. In 1981 47% of Catholics in Northern Ireland were unemployed to the 22% of Protestantwho were unemployed. But by 1997 Catholics had 40% of the jobs available in Northern Ireland.
Housing was an even bigger issue. Overcrowding was a huge problem in 1960’s. For a house to be overcrowded if there was more than two people live there per room excluding the bathroom and kitchen. In the area of South Ward in Londonderry, a predominantly Catholic area, there was over 6 000 people living overcrowded accommodation.
In the early 1970’s, much of the housing provision in Northern Ireland was inadequate. In 1971, only 63% of Catholic homes in Northern Ireland had hot water, a fixed bath or shower, and an inside toilet, as opposed to 72% of Protestant homes. This gap has however been narrowed over the past 25 years, with almost all homes in Northern Ireland (98%), both Catholic and Protestant being furnished with these facilities and since 1971, the Government has invested over ï¿½9 000 million in public housing in Northern Ireland.
By the late 1990’s the economic situation had dramatically improved with grants, money from America and peace.
On the walls of the staircase, two years are mentioned that represent both Catholic and Protestant successes. These past events have helped people remember their differences and this has led to violence.
1690 was the battle of Boyne. This was when William of Orange (Protestant) defeated the Catholic King of England, James the second. This came after James had been overthrown and his daughter Mary and her husband William of Orange were asked to rule. James fled immediately to France where he found support from the French King. Louis the fourteenth gave him troops and ship to help him retain his title. James set sail for Ireland where he would gather support from the Catholics. All went well for James and soon Ulster was in desperate need of help from William. James attacked Londonderry and the siege lasted long enough for William to form an army and bring them to Ireland. Then in July of 1960 William killed James but it wasn’t until the next year that the Jacobite forces (James supporters) were defeated.
This is a very important event for the Protestants and every July they march through Dumcree to commemorate the event.
The second date on the staircase is 1916 and in this year bought the battle of Somme, where the 36th Ulster division sent men across the cannel and began to disembark in France. They fought with other troops and there bravery was awarded with medals in 1918. This is also very important to the protestant today and they remember it accordingly.
In the same year, on 17th April the Irish Citizen Army, together with the Irish Volunteers, rose up in arms against the might of the British Empire to strike a blow for Irish freedom and for the setting up of an Irish Republic.
James Connolly, the General Secretary of the Irish Transport and General Workers Union and founder of the Irish Socialist Revolutionary Party, was one of the main leaders in the struggle for national freedom. 1000 volunteers and workers’ troops stayed put in the centre of Dublin in battle with the British army. After a week of fighting which destroyed the city centre, the volunteers were forced to surrender British troops succeeded although suffering great loses. Connolly was arrested and Arthur Henderson, the secretary of the
Labour Party signed for hi death, which took place on 12th May.
Catholics remember this as one of the first steps to their independence.
However, unlike other causes of violence the remembrance of these events in the forms of the marching seasons of both Catholics and Protestants bought tension that led to violence and still saw problems in the late 1990’s.
The man holing a bible is either a priest or minister and represents the problems religion caused in Northern Ireland.
Ever since the sixteenth century when Henry VIII started to meddle in the way that Ireland was ruled and changing the Church of England there have been problems but it wasn’t until James II started plantations to balance the Catholic majority in Ireland so they couldn’t attack England. The Protestants pushed in and took the Catholics land and money and violence really started.
The segregation of Catholics and Protestants meant that living arrangements, education and employment were affected. People of different religions were forced to live in separate areas and a person of a different religion found in the others area was often attacked. Children were also forced to attended segregated schools. They were taught that the other religion was bad and as they grew older that found problems created by prejudice. Some people had hardly any contact with another religion because catholic companies employed Catholics and Protestant companies employed Protestants. This caused many problems because when contact was made it would not be good because neither had been educated about the other and new nothing of each other.
Many religious leaders have worked hard to find peace in the late 1990’s.
Reverend Ian Paisley (Protestant leader in Northern Ireland), was ordained in the Reformed Presbyterian Church in 1946, co founded a new sect, the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster in 1951, which soon grew to over 30 churches. He fought and protested for many years.
Although religion still divides many areas in Northern Ireland religious leaders are fully behind the Good Friday Agreement.
The cartoon drawn in 1991 shows an accurate portrayal of the reasons for the troubles in Northern Ireland up until the early 1990’s. However in the late 1990’s the troubles were beginning to be resolved and the Good Friday Agreement had a strong impact. The agreement saw better housing, more employment, education and political opportunities, the end to the majority of the violence and politicians working together.
The Good Friday Agreement has not eliminated all the problems as there is still violence going on today, for example, the Northern Irish police found explosives that had been dumped that were linked to the IRA.