Contemporary Europe HIS 328
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Date Created: 10/20/15
January 1967 Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association NICRA Formed The Northern Ireland Government was dominated by the Unionist party and as a part of the United Kingdom anti Catholic laws that had been passed in the nineteenth century were still in force The NICRA was largely based on the US Civil Rights Movement that fought for equality for black Americans and wanted to see the antiCatholic measures abolished and equality for Catholics in Northern Ireland 1 1968 Civil Rights Protests The rst Civil Rights protest march took place in March The second took place in Derry in October despite it being banned by the Minister for Home Affairs William Craig claiming that the movement was a front for the IRA The Royal Ulster Constabulary were sent in to break up the march They used excessive force much of which was televised and broadcast worldwide The tactics of the RUC left Catholics fearful and untrusting of them The British government could no longer take a back seat and forced the Stormont to make reforms however the changes were minimal and in no way met the demands of the Civil Rights Movement 2 1969 Tension between Catholics and Protestants Catholic demands were no nearer being met and with the approach of the two main Unionist marches the march of the Orangemen on July 12th and the march on August 12th to commemorate the siege of Derry in 1689 when apprentice boys closed the gates on King James tension between Catholics and Protestants was high 3 August 12th 15th 1969 Battle of Bogside As the Apprentice Boys marched past Catholic Bogside there were clashes which forced the intervention of the RUC However the rioting escalated and the police were stoned and petrolbombed The NICRA called on Catholics to take the pressure off Catholics in Bogside by mounting demonstrations in Belfast Consequently there was rioting in Belfast as well and the RUC were unable to cope The Northern Ireland government had no choice but to call for British troops to be sent in to put down the riots The first British troops arrived on the 15th August In the Bogside area of Derry barricades were put up and neither the RUC nor British troops were permitted access to the Catholic area In order to avoid further bloodshed the British troops allowed the 39no go39 areas to stand 5 August 9th 1971 Internment Introduced The Civil Rights Movement continued to protest despite a ban being placed on all marches and the IRA continued to make attacks on British troops resulting in the death of a British soldier In the face of increasing calls for internment for IRA members it is introduced on 9th August 1971 and around 350people were immediately arrested and interned The following 48 hours saw violence and protests against internment that left 17 dead including 10 civilians 6 1971 Protests Against Internment Throughout the remainder of the year protests against internment continued The protests included violence withholding of council rents strikes and resignations by officials 7 30th January 1972 Bloody Sunday A march organized by the NICRA against Internment and the ban on marches took place in Derry In order to ensure that the march was peaceful the IRA had promised to stay away British soldiers had put up barricades to prevent the marchers entering the city centre square A section of the marchers and some observers confronted soldiers manning the barricade British paratroopers opened fire killing 14 and injuring 13 others 8 1972 Direct Rule imposed Following Bloody Sunday there was a rise in support for the Provisional IRA In February the British Embassy in Dublin was burnt It was clear that the British government had to do something to try to quieten the situation As a result in March the Northern Ireland government was suspended Northern Ireland was to be directly ruled from Westminster One of the first actions by Westminster was to order the dismantling of the nogo areas set up in 1969 The IRA responded by using increasing violence 9 29th November 1974 Prevention of Terrorism Act With the British becoming increasingly active in Northern Ireland the IRA launched a bombing campaign which targeted public areas both in Ireland and on the British mainland Bombs exploded in Dublin Monaghan Guildford Woolwich and Birmingham killing and injuring civilians The government responded by introducing the Prevention of Terrorism Act which allowed suspects to be detained without charge for up to seven days 10 19805 Hunger Strikes In 1976 the British government had removed 39special prisoner status39 for those imprisoned for political acts The prisoners had campaigned for 39political prisoner status39 since 1976 by using both the 39blanket protest39 refusing to wear prison clothes and donning a blanket instead and the 39dirty protest39 where prisoners refused to clean their cells and smeared excrement on the walls When these had failed prisoners began going on hunger strikes Bobby Sands was the first hunger striker in 1981 He and nine others died as a result of the hunger strike They were considered martyrs around 100000 people attended Bobby Sands39 funeral Although no concessions were won from the British government support for the Political wing of the Provisional IRA increased considerably 11 15th November 1985 Anglo Irish Agreement Leaders of Britain and Ireland met to discuss the situation The resulting AngloIrish agreement gave Dublin some control over Northern Ireland affairs Unionists were outraged and the agreement was never fully implemented 12 15th December 1993 Downing Street Declaration Following talks between the British Prime Minister and the Irish leader this declaration was issued It stated that the people of Northern Ireland should be free to decide their own future and those representatives of various groups should meet to discuss a solution Sinn Fein was offered a seat provided that IRA violence was ended As a result the IRA declared a cease re in August 1994 and were followed a month later by a cease re declaration from Loyalist groups 13 1996 Peace Talks Multiparty peace talks began chaired by US senator George Mitchell Mitchell proposed that disarmament should begin but this led to a stalling of the talks and the IRA broke its cease re and violence resumed Mitchell Report 14 10th April 1998 Belfast Good Friday Agreement In 1997 the British government proposed a resumption of peace talks Once again Sinn Fein were invited on condition that a sixweek cease re had been observed In July 1997 the IRA announced the cease re After months of discussion a settlement is reached on Good Friday 1998 Terms in Brief Ireland shall not be one united country without the consent of a majority in Northern Ireland The people of Northem Ireland have the right to call themselves either Irish or British Amulti party assembly will be elected to govern the community A northsouth council be set up to consider areas of mutual interest An AngloIrish council be set up to consider areas of mutual interest All people shall have basic human rights civil rights and equality Linguistic diversity to be recognised Irish to be taught in all schools Paramilitary groups to be decommissioned within two years A gradual reduction in the number of security forces deployed in Northern Ireland To work towards having an unarmed police force Political prisoners to be released providing the cease re is maintained A referendum held on 23rd May 1998 showed an overwhelming majority of the people of Ireland supporting the Good Friday Agreement The Sunningdale Agreement 1973 Ulster Workers Council Strike 1974 Om agh Bombing 1998 Power Sharing Government 2007