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The Religious Conflicts of Ireland in the 20th Century

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Austin Smith

on 8 January 2014

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Transcript of The Religious Conflicts of Ireland in the 20th Century

The Religious Conflicts
of Ireland in the
20th Century

In 1922 Ireland was divided. Six, mostly protestant, counties in the north stayed a part of the UK. The rest of Ireland, mostly Catholic, became the Irish Free State and an independent republic in 1949.
Up to 1972 Northern Ireland was allowed to rule itself . During this time the Catholics, who lived in the Protestant province had no easy life. They did not have the same rights and opportunities that the Protestants had. They were discriminated against. They barely found jobs, got less money from the government and were often harassed by the police.




The Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association.
Formed in Belfast, Ireland on January 29, 1967. They demanded equal voting rights, better places to live, an end to discrimination in employment, and a repeal of the Special Powers Act.

The Civil Rights Movement called for a number of reforms one was for 'one man, one vote', meaning that every person be allowed the same number of votes. At the time there were requirements that allowed you to get more votes. Examples, owning property or having a college degree.
The Division of Ireland
Throughout the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century more and more Irish groups began fighting for their independence. But the Protestants who lived in the northern part of the Ireland wanted to stay with Great Britain.
Irish Republican Army (IRA)
In the late 1960s riots broke out between Protestants and Catholics in Belfast. The violent decades that followed became known as “The Troubles”.

Both religious groups started to build up paramilitary organizations. On the Catholic side the Irish Republican Army (IRA) carried out attacks on Protestants in the North. It wanted to force the British out of Northern Ireland and create a single Catholic state. On the Protestant side the Ulster Defence Association and others terrorized the Catholic population living in Ulster.
In the 1980s the IRA started attacking the British in England. They planted bombs in London, kidnapped and killed high-ranking officials. Activists were arrested and thrown into prison.
In the 1990s the British government started working on a peaceful solution to end the Troubles. In over 30 years of violence over 3,000 people were killed in the conflict.
The main points are:
• The future of Northern Ireland should be determined by the people.
• All political groups must share power in Northern Ireland
• All prisoners are to be released.
• All weapons from paramilitary groups must be given up within two years.
• The Republic of Ireland will not seek reunification with Northern Ireland

Historic Agreement Signed on Good Friday 1998
Special Powers Act
Was an Act passed by the Parliament of Northern Ireland shortly after the establishment of Northern Ireland. The Act was presented as being necessary to re-establish peace and law and order in Northern Ireland.

It allowed the government to take whatever steps necessary to maintain peace. Those who broke regulations could be put in jail, whipped or beaten with a stick.

The Act was eventually repealed by the Northern Ireland Emergency Provisions Act 1973, following getting rid of Northern Ireland's parliament and the direct rule by the British government.

The Parliament Building Stormont in Belfast
Video about The Troubles in Ireland
Full transcript