Asked in History of the United StatesNorthern IrelandHistory of Central AmericaDecade - 1960sCivil Rights Movement
Why did the civil rights movement happen in northern Ireland?
October 31, 2009 2:02PM
The Civil Rights movement in Northern Ireland, inspired by
events in the USA and France, was founded because many indigenous
Irish people (including protestant and catholic) were being
discriminated against with a form of apartheid that was supported
and maintained by the British and Unionists in Northern
The Northern Irish Civil Rights Association (NICRA) demands
- one man, one vote which meant extension of the local government franchise from ratepayers to all those over 21
- an end to gerrymandering which meant Unionists were elected even in districts with Catholic majorities
- an end to discrimination in housing
- an end to discrimination in jobs
- the disbandment of the B-Specials, a Protestant special constabulary, which many viewed as sectarian.
Following a peaceful civil rights march in 1972, which included protestants and catholics, the British army shot dead innocent men, women and children taking part and the civil rights movement turned more militant, bolstering support and membership for the Provisional IRA who were also fighting for civil rights and an end to British involvement on the Island of Ireland.