History of Ireland
Northern Ireland

What are 'The Troubles' in Ireland?

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2011-09-10 20:56:05

"The Troubles" is a euphemism for violence between Catholic and

Protestant factions in Northern Ireland, which remains part of the

United Kingdom. This stemmed mainly from competition for land and

jobs between the religions, and eventually became open fighting and

terrorism. This spanned roughly the period from 1969 to 1988, but

continues on a smaller scale to the present.

The British sent troops to the area to quell violence, but they

soon became targets of IRA nationalists, who also bombed targets in

Britain. Each side in the conflict accused the other, which was

used to justify inhumane treatment, terrorist attacks on civilians,

and many cases of killings in revenge.

From the Protestant viewpoint

The "Troubles" were created by Irish Nationalists who opposed

British rule, not acting on behalf of Irish people or the Irish

Government. Protestants formed organisations to defend themselves

against Nationalist attacks. Eventually the protestants starting

attacking catholics instead of defending attacks.

The British Army first started "Operation Banner" to defend the

Catholic minority from the Protestant majority. This was welcomed

at first but then the Nationalists turned on the British Army. The

British Army did not take sides during Operation Banner and adopted

a peacekeeping role between the two communities.

IRA personnel who were killed by the British Army were done so

in the act of terrorism. However, there were also mass detentions

of individuals without trial.

The bombing and shooting of innocent people (both protestant and

catholic) that the IRA/PIRA/CIRA/RIRA/INLA (different names, same

organisation) carried out was an act of terrorism and, as such,

makes these people terrorists.

From the IRA viewpoint

The troubles in Ireland were in Northern Ireland and started in

1969 and ended in the mid '90s. The Troubles started when the

Catholics (nationalists) of the north were terrorized and burned

out of their homes by the Protestants (unionists). The north was

controlled by the British, but they did little to help the

Catholics, because they were Irish and the unionists were happy to

live under British rule. So the IRA began to act to defend their

fellow countrymen, which they did. They started attacking the

unionist population and the RUC, who were the police force of

northern Ireland and were made up of British anti-Irish people.

They attacked the British army more than anyone else. There was

nothing much said or done by anyone until the IRA extended its

campaign to mainland England and bombed it for years, just to give

the English population a taste of what their government had caused

in Ireland, so the Brits could not ignore it anymore, so then they

branded the Irish "terrorists." Then the British army started

shooting innocent civilians and unarmed IRA members on numerous


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