The brief history of

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					         The brief history of
           Northern Ireland


                      Civil rights in the Orange state

In 1920 Ireland is divided in two. Most of the island becomes a state with limited homerule.
The north of the island (Ulster) becomes a province in the United Kingdom (the three most
Catholic counties in Ulster are left out of the new state to ensure a Protestant majority).


A year later Sinn Fein makes a treaty with the United Kingdom and Britain withdraws from
the new Irish Free State. The IRA leader Michael Collins also signs up but a yearlong civil
war follows between pro-treaty and anti-treaty forces. Collins is assassinated but his side wins
the day. Northern Ireland is now a province of the UK but is ruled by its own parliament,
Stormont, which is dominated by Protestants not just because the border was designed to
leave them in a two-to-one majority but also because they use every means to increase their
power at the Catholics' expense. Catholics suffer systematic discrimination in employment
and housing.


In the 1960s the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association is formed, inspired by Martin
Luther King and the black battle for civil rights in the US. Its demands for one person one
vote and freedom from discrimination meet with widespread support but also with violence
from extreme loyalists, who attack civil-rights marches and relaunch the paramilitary UVF.
Pro-civil-rights feeling in working-class Catholic areas runs ever higher and when rioting
breaks out in Derry and Belfast the British Government sends in troops as a temporary
measure to restore order.




                                            - page 1 -
        The brief history of
          Northern Ireland

                                   Bloody Sunday
The British tries to end discrimination in housing and local elections but the rioting increases
during 1970 and 1971, not least because loyalist persecution against Catholics lead to the re-
emergence of the IRA. Catholics' welcome for British troops soon disappears as the Army
cracks down hard on civil-rights protest. When imprisonment without trial is introduced in
1971 nearly all prisoners are Catholic and even the few Protestants are civil-rights activists.


Imprisonment sparks further protests and at a march in Derry in January 1972 13 civilians are
shot dead by British soldiers from the Parachute Regiment – the incident infamous as Bloody
Sunday. Two months later Stormont is suspended and direct rule from Westminster is
imposed. This is seen as a short-term measure but Northern Ireland will be governed in this
way through to the 1990s.




                     Hunger strikes and handshakes
Britain's first attempt to restore local rule – shared between Protestants and Catholics – is
brought down by a loyalist workers' strike in 1974. For the next decade Britain sees the
problem as one of law and order rather than politics: local security forces are strengthened
and IRA and loyalist paramilitaries are treated as common criminals. The policy backfires in
1981 when republican prisoners go on hunger strike to demand 'political' status. As ten men
starve to death without the Thatcher Government giving ground, the republican cause wins
significant support world-wide; two of the hunger strikers are elected to the Irish Parliament
and one, Bobby Sands, to the British Parliament.




                                            - page 2 -
       The brief history of
          Northern Ireland

The IRA's political wing, Sinn Fein, takes renewed interest in democratic politics. Partly to
counter this new republican threat Britain sets up another elected assembly in 1982 – but this
time nationalist members refuse to take their seats. In 1985 the Anglo-Irish Agreement sees
the British Government for the first time conceding a special role for the Irish Republic while
the Irish Government agrees that the country can be reunited only if the majority in the North
wants it. The Agreement is reached without consulting unionists: their sense of betrayal
increases, as does loyalist paramilitary violence.


Talks between the Protestants and the Catholics seems useless – until talks between
nationalist leaders David Trimble, John Hume and Gerry Adams, followed by the Downing
Street Declaration at the end of 1993, reawaken hopes that the conflict can be solved. In 1998
David Trimble and John Hume is awarded with the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts. The
Catholics and Prostestants is still trying to reach an agreement, but until this day they have not
succeeded completely. The Protestants refuse to accept or even talk to the Catholic party Sinn
Fein until the IRA have laid down their weapons. Sinn Fein on the other side will not/cannot
make the IRA lay down their weapon until the Protestants accept Sinn Fein as a legal Party
(and not a terror-organisation!). A ceasefire has been more or less succesful though and bit by
bit the Catholics and the Protestants are moving closer to each other.




 Gerry Adams, Sinn Fein            John Hume, Catholic Labour             David Trimble, UUP


                                            - page 3 -
                                     Gloses:
                     Civil rights in the Orange state
divided            delt                           means              midler
limited homerule   begrænset hjemmestyre          expense            bekostning
counties           amter                          relaunch           genstarter
ensure             sikre                          paramilitary       halvmilitær
majority           flertal                        rioting            optøjer
treaty             traktat, lov                   temporary measure midlertidig foranstaltning
withdraws          trækker sig tilbage            restore order      genindføre orden
ruled              regeret



                                   Bloody Sunday
elections          valg                             incident            begivenhed
persecution        forfølgelse                      infamous            berygtet
re-emergence       gøre nødvendig igen              suspended           opløst, ophævet
imprisonment       fængsling                        imposed             indført, påtvunget
without trial      uden dom                         short-term measure kortvarig foranstaltning
sparks             antænder, fører til              governed            regeret
Parachute          faldskærm



                     Hunger strikes and handshakes
attempt            forsøg                           counter             imødegå, modarbejde
restore            genindføre                       conceding           indrømme
strike             strejke                          consulting          spørge om råd
decade             årti                             betrayal            forræderi
strengthened       forstærket                       reawaken            genopvække
giving ground      give plads                       solved              løst
cause              sag                              awarded             tildelt
significant        betydningsfuld, vigtig           efforts             indsats
elected            valgt                            legal               lovlig
renewed            fornyet                          ceasefire           våbenhvile



                                            - page 4 -
                                      Vocabulary

The British:
Called:          Protestants, Colonists, Loyalists, Unionists, Prods
Organisations: Orange Order (a lodge, arranges marches e.g. the famous 12th May March)
                 UVF, Ulster Volunteer Force (violent, terrorist organisation)
                 UUP, Ulster Unionist Party (political party)
Hero:            King William of Orange (King Billy)
Politician:      David Trimble (Ulster Unionist Party)
Anniversary:     12 July, Orange day (in remembrance of the battle of Aughrim)


The Irish:
Called:          Catholics, Republicans, Taigs, Micks (insulting), Fenians, Rebels, Patriots
Organisations: IRA, Irish Republican Army (violent, terrorist organisation)
                 Sinn Fein (IRA’s political wing)
                 Provisionals, Provos (splinter group from IRA, even more violent)
                 Catholic Socialdemocrates and Labour Party (political party)
Heroes:          King Henry II
Politicians:     John Hume (Catholic Socialdemocrates and Labour Party)
                 Gerry Adams (Sinn Fein, IRA’s political wing)
Anniversary:     Bloody Sunday. A massacre in Derry in 1971, where inexperienced British
                 soldiers killed 13 innocent people peacefully demonstrating for civil rights


(Northern) Irish terms:
Ulster:                Originally the name of largest county in Northern Ireland, today a
                       popular name for all the 6 counties of Northern Ireland
Yes, what about ye?: Hello, hi
Cherioh:               Goodbye
Slàinte [slarn’cha]:   Cheers (Gaelic?!!)
Aye:                   Yes



                                            - page 5 -

				
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