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Coleraine University Controversy

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Hope was further raised that he was heralding a change of direction when he proposed the Lemmas- O'Neil talks. However, his rhetoric was soon seen as empty promises when he appeared to maintain Storming perceived west of the Ban policy with his failure to site in the second university in the Nationalist dominated Deere. During this time in IN, Unionists had majority rule. The Nationalist community was small and often felt mistreated by the unionist government. Since most Nationalists were Catholic and most Unionists were Protestant, religious and political divisions went concurrently.

The flirts prime minister In IN (Sir James Craig) boasted that IN was a 'protestant state for a Protestant people', which Just shows how biased the government often was against the Nationalists. This political and religious discrimination started when partition was introduced in Ireland. The six counties in IN remained a part of Great Britain, and the rest of the country became independent. Nationalists longed for a united Ireland whereas Unionists were pleased to be a part of the United Kingdom. This was the main cause towards the political strife at hand. When Lord

Breakthrough was prime minister he only managed to further Increase the Dillon between the two communities. Even though the Welfare state had Improved their living standards, the Nationalists still felt distant and separate from the rest of the IN community. This is why they became optimistic when O'Neill announced his plan to unite the two traditions in IN. He showed how willing he was to break away from the past by playing a key role in attracting foreign industries to N', which increased employment levels, and by recognizing the IN section of the Irish Congress of Trade unions.

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This raised the hopes of the Catholic community that more equal treatment might follow O'Neill had a quite a modernizing outlook which was proved when he arranged to meet with the Republic of Ireland's prime minister, Sean Lemmas. It was a historic meeting that involved political risks for both men. Unionists were outraged at their leader as they felt opposed to any connections with the Republic. This meeting held a great deal of significance as not only did it explore the possibility of future cooperation; It enlightened O'Neil to the fact that the unionist community was resistant o any changes that threatened their majority rule.

I feel the Unloosens community acted brashly and undemocratically as they were adamant to being left unattached to the republic mainly due to the reason that they were worried that Nationalists would get more civil rights if the North formed stronger ties with the Nationalist Dominated South. The Ban River (the longest river in Ulster) was often used as a dividing line between the Eastern and Western areas of N'. To the East of the Ban the population had a substantial amount of Unionists, whereas to the West lay a ere usually seen as having less investment and government spending than those of the east.

The East side also held the financial and industrial capital Belfast. This sparked arguments from the Catholics that the government was one-sided, especially when proportional representation was scrapped back in the sass and what is known as gerrymandering took place instead. This happened in particular in Deere, the voting wards in the city were split to preserve majority representation for Protestants in terms of seats on the Deere Corporation despite the large Catholic voting majority.

The Nationalist community felt as though they were not accepted in the IN society, their voting privileges were mistreated and they were overlooked in the areas of Jobs and housing. When they heard a decision to establish a second university in IN had been arranged, the Catholics in Deere worked alongside the Protestants there to ensure their city was chosen as the new location. This provided the long a waited for link between the two communities. However, bitter public controversy quickly arose.

As a result from the newly introduced welfare state, the massive increase in second level pupils led the government to assume that there loud shortly be an amplified demand for places at third level universities. The Robbins Report on Higher Education then advised a second university be constructed in N'. The Nationalist and Unionist politicians in Deere were quick to recommend their city as the site. In November 1963 an advisory committee was appointed under the chairmanship of Sir John Lockwood who was the Master of Bribers College in London.

However no Catholics or Nationalist were included in this committee and this triggered the first bout of controversy over the new university. The people in Deere were determined to acquire a new university as it would be a major source of employment and would attract new industries. The Catholics were also eager to obtain the university as it would possibly lead to a larger population of Catholics in the city, meaning gerrymandering would no longer be an issue. The Lockwood committee investigated a number of locations for the university and it became a sixteen month long process.

They took into particular consideration the availability of the site, the proximity of the town and regional planning needs. Eventually Clearing was decided as the new position for the university. The people of Deere and Armada (who had also recommended their city as the location) were outraged by the committee's decision. However the committee members remained firm with their decision as they believed Clearing had presented a better case and also had all the necessary facilities needed for a new school.

A 'University for Deere campaign was set up under the chairmanship of local school teacher John Home. This was his first role in IN politics and he later became a leading political figure. The campaign led a delegation to Storming and more than 20,000 people took part in this protest. They pooped to prove to the government that Deere was the clear choice for the location of this new university. Although the majority of Deere was insistent on attaining the university, a group of Unionists known as faceless men' from Deere met with O'Neill stating Just the opposite.

They feared that a new university in Deere would lead to an increase of Catholics which would threaten Unionist control of the city. This showed just how discriminated against the Catholics of IN were and how prejudiced the Protestant community could be. The actions of these men caused further distrust of going to be handed to them; they had to fight for it. It can be surmised from the above that O'Neill failed to implement his pledge on taking office. While he took some steps towards bridging North South relations with his meetings with Lemmas, he did little to bridge the divide between the Nationalists and Unionists in N'.

The Nationalist hopes were dashed as they felt as though their previously seen 'unbiased' leader had failed them. It can be argued that the controversy surrounding the sitting of INN'S second university in Clearing only proceeded to heighten the tension between the two communities. It is also well documented that this action, which was en as a West of the Ban' policy, ignited the more radical nationalists and encouraged the Nationalist community to stop waiting and bring about change themselves.

Coleraine University Controversy essay

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