The Troubles, North Ireland

Ryan Kylie Shubham

What are The Troubles?

The Troubles were a period of conflict between the Catholics and Protestants of Northern Ireland. The Catholic population had been oppressed ever since North Ireland split from Ireland in 1922. Finally violence broke out in 1969 and lasted about 30 years before a peace treaty was finally reached.

Experiencing the Troubles

Here, Michael Fassenbender briefly speaks on growing up in Southern Ireland, and visiting other parts of his family in Northern Ireland. He compares experiencing the two radically different parts of Ireland and describes The Troubles effect on his childhood.
Michael Fassbender on the Troubles in Ireland

The Begining

The conflict was the result of the discrimination against the Nationalist/Catholic minority by Unionist/Protestant majority. Many Catholics considered themselves to be Irish and are Nationalists in political outlook, which means they would like to see the whole nation of Ireland reunited and independent from Britain. Most protestants considered themselves to be British and are Unionist in political outlook, which means they want Ireland to stay part of the UK. The main conflict was basically the English vs the Irish but many people called it Catholics vs Protestants because most of the Irish were Catholics and majority of the English were protestants. Catholic areas also received less government investment than their Protestant neighbors. In 1916 or so the IRA (Irish Republican Army) was formed . This was an army of Irish people fighting for Independence from England.

Major Events

1916 Easter Sunday uprising

A few Irish Patriots took over the General Post Office in Dublin and declared Ireland an independent country. They were tried and hanged. The passage of the National Service Act in January 1916 which threatened conscription in Ireland was one of the causes of the Easter Rising. The 1916 Rising represented the first major demonstration of force since the United Irishmen Rising of 1798. The insurrections of 1803, 1848 and 1867 had been small in comparison.

The I.R.A. (Irish Republican Army)

1916- was an Irish republican revolutionary military organization. It was descended from the Irish Volunteers, an organization established on 25 November 1913 that staged the Easter Rising in April 1916.[2] In 1919, the Irish Republic that had been proclaimed during the Easter Rising was formally established by an elected assembly and the Irish Volunteers were recognized by Dáil ÉireAnn as its legitimate army. Thereafter, the IRA waged a guerrilla campaign against British rule in Ireland in the 1919–21 Irish War of Independence. Following the signing in 1921 of the Anglo-Irish Treaty, which ended the War of Independence, a split occurred within the IRA.

Anglo-Irish Agreement

The Anglo-Irish agreement awas an agreement between the leaders of Britain and Ireland to allow Dublin more control over northern Ireland. Unionists were outraged by this action and the actions entailed by the agreement never fully occured. Despite that, the agreement was the first major step towrad peace in Ireland.

Downing Street Declaration

This declaration was a massive step in the progress towards peace in Ireland. The leaders of Ireland and England released this stating that Northern Ireland would be free to deceide its own fate and that the leaders of the various groups in the area should meet to discuss options for the future.

Belfast Agreement

The Belfast Agreement ultimatley ended the large scale violence taking place in northern Ireland. It took place on good friday 1998, which was very symbolic as a time of peace for both sides of the conflict. It allowed a general equality of citzens, guarenteed basic human rigths to all individuals in Northern Ireland and stated that Northern Ireland shall always remain independent to Ireland as long as a majority of citzens wish for that. among this many other plans were stated to provide a stable government and begin to rebuild after the 30 years of conflict.


Northern Ireland is still very unstable and much conflict is still present. In the summer months especially, there are many protests than sometimes lead to violence and riots throughout many cities in Northern Ireland. Because the government initially supported the oppression of the Catiolic population in northern ireland the civillian population still distrusts the Irish government. This has led the IRA into becoming more like a terrorist group in northern ireland than an organized military with an honorable purpose for their fighting.



How does the state sponsored discrimination of a minority group impact the development of a society ?