‘Troubles’ in Northern Ireland

what were the ‘Troubles’ ?
domestic issue - cycle of violence 1960s-1990s + terrorist conflict between nationalists + unionists
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who was the violence carried out by ?
extremist groups - did not represent everyone's views
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who condemned the violence ?
mainstream nationalists + unionists always condemned the violence
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who were the nationalists?
nationalists/republicans = catholics. supported United Ireland - independent from UK
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who were the unionists?
Unionists/loyalists = protestants - supported union of UK
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background to Northern Ireland troubles ?
N.I. – created 1922 + partitioned Ireland between independent south , Irish Republic + NI (AKA Ulster) - remained part of UK. Ulster had own parliament Stormont – took responsibility for domestic affairs
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what was the issue in Northern Ireland ?
Irish nationalists claimed the treaty boundary had left NI with a predominantly Protestant population – of the 6 counties there were 1m Protestants + ½m Catholics
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who were the RUC?
Royal Ulster Constabulary – almost exclusively Protestant armed police force. Including B Specials – wholly Protestant reserve police.
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who were the IRA?
Irish Republican Army – originally fought for independence in Irish War - did not support partition of Ireland
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who was Ian Paisley ?
became leader of DUP
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who were the DUP?
DUP – extreme -  broke away from official unionist party
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who were the UVF?
Ulster Volunteer Force - Loyalist
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what were the mainstream parties who did not advocate violence ?
SDLP nationalist party in NI + Official Unionist Party
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what did the unionists do as tensions rose in 1960s?
set up their own paramilitary groups in fear of the re-emergence of the IRA
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how did the protestants use their majority to dominate storming + anger the catholics?
protestants used their majority to dominate Stormont + secured rights denied to the Catholic minority.
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what did the catholics accuse the protestants of?
By mid-1960s, Catholics in N.I. were discriminated against in employment, housing + jobs + accused of gerrymandering elections to ensure they remained majority
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how did the Catholics view the RUC?
The Royal Ulster Constabulary, RUC, (esp part-time 'B-Specials') were seen by Catholics as an organisation of repression.
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what was the NICRA in 1967?
A large no. of Catholics had entered higher education by 1960s – formed NICRA 1967 – demanded end to gerrymandering, disbanding of B specials + fairer distribution of resources across population -their protests came under attack from RUC
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what is seen as the start of Troubles - government were forced to take action?
AUG 1969 disorder in Bogside area of Londonderry, following march of loyalist Apprentice Boys who were attacked by nationalists in the Catholic area
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what were the labour government forced to do after the battle of bogside 1969?
Aug 1969 – Wilson govt sent in British troops in attempt to keep peace in return for abolition of B-Specials & other reforms
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what happened as result of labour govt. sending in troops?
led to the re-emergence of the IRA, it vowed to attack unionism, but also targeted the troops in NI as these represented the hated British government.
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what did HEATH first do as PM regarding NI?(Callaghan)
Callaghan as Labour foreign Sec had sent troops in August 1969, welcomed at first this soon soured and the violence continued.
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what did HEATH believe in regarding NI?
'internment' (locking up suspects with no trial) was only way to contain the situation – this remove violent men from their communities + thus reduce sectarian violence.
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what happened as consequence of internment ?
these were ineffective as security measures + alienated nationalists – 95% of those interned were Catholic
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what + why did labour have a reputation regarding NI?
labour had reputation as republican sympathisers - e.g. many Labour MPs opposed internment
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what happened in January 1972?
Jan 1972 Bloody Sunday - N.I. Civil Rights Association marched to protest against internment + To control march – British soldiers fired at them – 26 unarmed civilians shot
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what impact did Bloody Sunday have 1972?
This served to worsen tensions – British government appeared hostile, it also served to widen the gap between political parties + extreme groups on both sides. support for IRA grew + Heath suspended Stormont Parliament in March imposing direct rule
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what happened in 1973 under heath's government that showed willingness to negotiate?
1973 Willie Whitelaw – NI Sec negotiated the Sunningdale Agreement (1st time catholics offered share in govt.) – persuading SDLP and Official Unionists agreed to form a power-sharing executive
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impact of Sunningdale agreement ?
unionists frightened by this + as result - violence continued on both sides. Catholics continued to feel marginalised in slow progress of CR, unemployment etc.
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what did protestants fear from Sunningdale agreement ?
Protestants feared Sunnigdale Agreement was a sell-out of unionist Ireland
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Why did the mainstream ulster union party withdraw support for Sunningdale agreement?
New NI Sec Merlyn Rees refused to negotiate with UWC
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what did Wilson do in 1974 to try to find solution to end of sunningdale agreement?
1974 created Constitutional Convention – to reintroduce the idea of power-sharing. First election to Convention in 1975 had 66% turnout – still support for poitical path to end troubles.
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why was the convention a complete failure + dissolved in 1976?
83 convention members returned to partisan positions once they met. DUP presented a resolution declaring they did not accept rights of republicans to take part in any future NI cabinet – this was passed by a majority of 3 which left SDLP powerless
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what did govt. do to maintain hard-line policy on terrorism in 1976?
govt withdrew 'special category status' for imprisoned  terrorists.
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what was the turning point for the IRA in 1974?
IRA began attacks on mainland. 1974 Oct – Guildford pub bombing kills 5. 1974 Nov - Birmingham pub bombing kills 9 – this made it harder for govt to give political concessions to nationalists without appearing to be giving in to terrorism
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what did labour govt. do in response to the IRA attacking mainland in 1974?
Prevention of Terrorism Act – extended police powers of search and arrest
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why could the labour govt. not afford to antagonise the ulster unionists?
because Labour majority was so small 1974-79 - Ulster Unionists support might be needed - they did not take stronger action.
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what did this mean for labour govt?
wilson was constrained by wider issues to promote any more eace negotiations
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what was response to removal of SCS in 1976?
'blanket protest' begun – IRA + INLA prisoners only wore blankets/were naked
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what escalated after 'blanket protests'?
Later escalated into the 'dirty protest' – prisoners smeared cell walls with their excrement. • 1979 – +250 prisoners taken part in these protests + demand growing for them to regain their political protest
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how successful were labour in handling of troubles ?
violence esceualted bUT was not entirely Wilson to blame as he was constrained by wider issues (small majority) + he did try under the convention, which failed because of unionists unwillingness, NOT Wlson
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what was THATCHER's personal opinion on the troubles?
unionist supporter + intransigence towards terrorism BUT also a willingness to negotiate and cooperate with Dublin
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what happened in 1979 regarding thatchers close friend + NI?
1979 - 2 months before winning election, Aiery Neave killed by a car bomb planted by INLA (Irish National Liberation Army), an extreme breakaway group from IRA.
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what happened as consequence of SCS + hunger strikes in 1980?
1980 hunger strikes over SCS gained attention – Bobby Sands – won Sinn Fein a seat in South Tyrone. He died a few weeks after winnig the seat and 9 more died
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why did thatcher become a hate figure?
Thatcher refused to reinstate SCS and claimed the hunger srtikes failed – her tough stance made her a hate figure for republicans whilst Bobby Sands became a hero.
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what was most significant outcome after SCS + hunger strikes?
Sinn Fein began to pick up votes in other elections – Gerry Adams 'ballot box and the gun' was an advantageous strategy and showed violence was not the only strategy to assert authority.
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what was Sinn Fein ?
IRA political front
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what bombing happened in 1984 ?
1984 – Brighton bombing – (target = Thatcher) IRA killed 5 + injured 30 – Thatcher gave speech declaring 'democracy would never bow to terrorism' - good to show her unwavering hard line stance.
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What did thatcher negotiate regarding NI in 1985?
1985 Anglo-Irish Agreement: Republic recoginsed NI as part of UK, British government assured it supported CR for all in NI, the two govts committed to close cooperation over cross-border security.
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why did the unionists oppose the anglo-irish agreement ?
Unionists objected to involvement of Irish govt. In northern affairs – Paisley 'We say never, never, never'
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why did the republicans oppose the anglo-irish agreement?
the terms confirmed the very thing they were fighting against  - the continuation of the union.
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what happened in govt. as result of agreement ?
some resigned as felt thatcher was allowing IRA too much say
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what happened in Nov 1987?
1987 11th Nov" Enniskillen Massacre showed IRA's commitment to 'armed struggle' killing 11 and injuring 60 – but brought doubt from both Protestants and Catholics about what could be achieved by such violence
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was public opinion turning after November 1987?
Nobody could condone this as children + innocent civilians killed in Enniskillen Massacre
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any change after Enniskillen Massacre 1987?
NO - *** for Tat killings continued...
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what did thatcher do to try and bring the 2 sides together in 1987?
1987: Central Community Relations Unit – to foster greater contact and understanding between Catholics and Protestants – perhaps after Enniskillen more would be willing to explore this
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what did thatcher do to try + deny IRA terrorists of publicity?
1988: broadcast ban on IRA to deny the terrorists 'the oxygen of publicity' - not successful as the substitution of voices (used actors) meant the message could still be heard
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what was the Northern Ireland community relations council ?
1990 - extended support + resources from 1987 legislation. legislation showed the govt was not consumed with the fight against terrorism and that it was willing to make small improvements BUT as killings continued, a bigger political solution needed
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How effective was Thatcher in her handling of the Troubles?
on a local level - she improved relations etc. BUT her character did heighten opposition + anglo-irish agreement was opposed by both sides
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how did major's time as PM start regarding NI?
1991: Major in office for 2 months before Downing St bombing
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what was consequence of warrington bombing?
March 1993: Warrington bombing killed a boy of 3 and a boy of 12 + 12 others - Led to peace demonstrations in London, Belfast and Dublin – public opinion turning against cause 
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what did major negotiate in 1993 ?
1993: Albert Reynolds (Irish PM) + Major negotiated Downing Street Declaration
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what did the downing street deceleration declare?
purpose was to ensure democratically expressed wishes of people upheld, N + S to bring about united Ireland if they wanted, Republic accepted right of majority in NI to decide its future + might lead to S dropping its claim that NI part of republican
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what was so significant about Downing Street Declaration ?
1st sign of peace agreed between sides since 1969 ! showed majors diplomacy + character had effect
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what was impact of Balkans on NI troubles?
people were afraid that this CW would lead to something similar of the balkans - afraid
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ceasefire in 1994?
1994 Aug: Unofficial contact between govt and Sinn Fein convinced IRA that the declaration recognised republican positions and therefore agreed to a ceasefire
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what did major do to get the loyalists to announce a joint ceasefire ?
Major persuaded unionists that Brit had no intention of forcing NI into a united Ireland – and loyalist units too announced a ceasefire
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what shows that it was a fragile peace ?
1996-1998 further outbreaks of violence 1996 IRA Manchester bombing
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what did the Mitchell report show?
Despite renewed violence, Mitchell Report + diplomatic contributions of USA helped to further peace + Major was accepting of American involvement (thatcher would not have been)
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what did the Mitchell report do?
concl. progress only poss w/ decommissioning - Mitchell Report laid down guidelines for a peace process: Total disarmament of all paramilitary groups The agreement of all parties to accept as binding any agreement reached in an all-party negotiation
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How successful was Major in his handling of the Troubles?
VERY SUCCESSFUL - laid groundwork for future peace progress made
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what did Blair inherit regarding NI?
Inherited the benefits of Majors diplomacy
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how did Blair use the Mitchell report to his advantage ?
Used the Mitchell Report to gain Sinn Fein's agreement to persuade the IRA to accept decommissioning. Sinn Fein leaders invited to 10 Downing St – never would have happened in the past as associated w/ IRA terrorists
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what was The Good Friday Agreement?
biggest constitutional advance since 1969
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how did Blair's personality etc help?
Blair still had work to do & his own personal perseverance along with Irish counter-part Bertie Ahern played a part
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was agreement accepted ?
The agreement was accepted by all major parties apart from DUP.
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consequences of GFA?
NI's union W/ Brit guaranteed for as long as people of NI wanted it. Irish republic withdrew claim to NI, a NI Assembly w/ new power-sharing executive govt created, all terrorist prisoners would be released within 2 years.
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what did the Referendum show regarding GFA?
large majority - Republic 95% Yes, NI 71% Yes
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peace completed after GFA?
republican and loyal extremists rejected the agreement 1998 IRA Omagh bombing killed 28 and injured 200 – but extremists becoming isolated e.g. Gerry Adams condemned the atrocity 'violence must be a thing of the past.' Growth in support DUP who rejec
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what happened in 2007 elections + why so significant ?
2007: Elections made Paisley first minister (DUP) and Martin McGuiness deputy minister (Sinn Fein) - both completely against beforehand (e.g.'never never never')
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what did British govt do in 2007?
July 2007: British government announced end of its mission in NI, which it had been operating since Wilson sent troops in 1969
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Card 2


who was the violence carried out by ?


extremist groups - did not represent everyone's views

Card 3


who condemned the violence ?


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


who were the nationalists?


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


who were the unionists?


Preview of the front of card 5
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