What are 'The Troubles' in Ireland?
"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