Why did violence erupt in Northern Ireland in October 1968 Essay Example
Why did violence erupt in Northern Ireland in October 1968 Essay Example

Why did violence erupt in Northern Ireland in October 1968 Essay Example

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  • Pages: 3 (804 words)
  • Published: November 10, 2017
  • Type: Essay
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English involvement can be traced back to the Norman English invading in the 12th century. Although there was some conflict by 1500 nearly all the people in Ireland shared a common culture, spoke the same language (Gaelic) and were all Catholics.

During the reformation in the 16th century England became a protestant country while Ireland remained Catholic. The English government decided to "plant" colonies of loyal Protestants and give land to them in order to keep control. This policy is known as Plantation.The Catholics were not happy with the plantation and rebelled against the protestant settlers in Ulster, which was brutally stopped by Oliver Cromwell.

Land was taken from the Catholic protestors and given to the loyal Protestants. This angered the Catholics. In 1960 Catholic James II was defeated by the Protestant William of Orange at the battl


e of Boyne, from this point onwards Catholics were discriminated against and were given second class status. In1845-49 a potato famine occurred.

This caused widespread starvation.Many Irish emigrated to America and Australia, the English government was blamed and criticised for not doing more to help. During the 19th century there were attempts to achieve independence of some form to Ireland. These nationalists' struggles culminated in the demand for Home Rule towards the end of the 19th century. This however was postponed due to the breakout of world war one.

This was known as the Easter rebellion. After the end of the war the Nationalists set up heir own government in Dublin and soon after followed years of guerrilla warfare between the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and the British forces (Black and Tans).The British government decided to split Ireland

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into two parts (partition) - a solution that neither side wanted. The Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921 marked the South's acceptance of the partition. Southern Ireland's 26 counties were to be known as the Irish Free State, it was to have its own parliament, government and army but an oath of allegiance was taken to the British king, Ireland was to remain part of the British empire.

In 1937 a new constitution was introduced in the south calling for a united Ireland and which said that N.Ireland had no right to exist. An Irish president as head of state replaced the British king. In 1949 the Irish republic was proclaimed and the country left the British Commonwealth. I am now going to investigate what social and economic factors led to the growth of protests in the 1960's.

Firstly I am going to look at employment. Many Catholics believed that they were victims of discrimination, especially during the depression of the 1930's and 60's, when Northern Ireland faced far higher unemployment than England. Statements of Lord Brookborough.Prime minister of Ulster. " I recommend those people that are loyalists not to employ Roman Catholics.

99% of whom are disloyal (1934)". "They say why aren't we given more higher positions? But how can you give someone who is your enemy a higher position in order to allow him to come out and destroy you"? (1968) These statements from Lord Brookborough clearly show discrimination against Catholics in the employment sense. This case is further evident if we look at the aim of the Ulster Protestant Action, formed by Ian Paisley (1959).It reads and I quote, To keep Protestants and loyal

workers in employment in times of depression in preference to their fellow Catholic workers" Again this clearly shows favouritism towards Protestants in the employment world. To further my case more another piece of evidence that holds deep significance is from the Sunday Times. It reads, In Derry in 1966 the heads of all city council departments were Protestant.

Of 177 salaried employees, 145 earning i?? 124,424 were Protestant and only 32 earning i?? 20,420 were Catholic. Of 10,000 workers in the Belfast shipyard- the biggest source of employment in the city- just 400 were Catholic.This source along with the two above clearly show discrimination against Catholics in employment. Statistics show that 36% of male Catholics were unemployed, compared to 14% of male Protestants.

As I have mentioned in the source above the vast majority of council city workers were Protestant, this fact leads me into my next topic of discussion Council houses. The discrimination of Catholic employment left many local city councils Protestant as shown above. This gave the local councils power to further discriminate against Catholics.There are several ways in which Protestant councils have discriminated against Catholics. One has been to put Protestants in better homes than Catholics, but charge the same rent. In Dungannon for an identical rate, you got 42 square feet of space less on the mainly Catholic Ballymurphy Estate than you got on the exclusively Protestant Cunningham Lane Estate.

Another way has simply been to house more Protestants than Catholics. Of 1589 houses built by Fermanagh County Council between the end of the second world war and 1969, 1021 went to protestant families.

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