EN3604 Week 6: "No surrender"? Conflicts within and Beyond
Writing Ireland Week 6: “No Surrender”?: Conflicts within and Beyond
Bernard MacLaverty Read more at: http://www.bernardmaclaverty.com/index. htm. http://literature.bureau-va.com/bernard- maclaverty http://www.bbc.co.uk/northernireland/lea rning/getwritingni/wh_maclaverty.shtml
Setting the scene1919British prime minister Lloyd George outlines the governments proposals for home rule inIreland.1922Partition. Six counties in the north of the island opt to stay in the United Kingdom when the restof Ireland becomes independent and later a republic. Many of the inhabitants are descendedfrom Protestant settlers brought in by James I in the 17th century, although there is still a largeCatholic minority, just as there continues to be a significant Protestant minority in the Republic. http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/mar/08/northern-ireland-timeline/print
1968The civil rights movement. Catholics complain of unfair treatment at the hands of a largely Protestant politicalestablishment, saying among other things that electoral boundaries are gerrymandered to ensure Protestant majorities. On5 October, a civil rights march is stopped by the RUC. Rioting follows and the provinces government agrees to undertakereforms.1969The battle of the Bogside. A loyalist parade passing through the nationalist Bogside area of Derry on 12 August sparks twodays of rioting. As sporadic violence spreads across the province, troops are called in. At first they are welcomed by theCatholic community, but sectarian violence continues. The Provisional IRA becomes more active, and the army increasinglyconcentrates on fighting it.1971-75Internment. Nearly 2,000 people are arrested and held without trial on suspicion of involvement in terrorism.1972Bloody Sunday. A protest against internment in Derry on 30 January is fired upon by British troops. Thirteen people are shotdead and another dies later. Troops say they were fired upon first.Direct rule. Edward Heath suspends the Northern Ireland parliament on 24 March and introduces direct rule fromWestminster
1993It becomes apparent that the British government has been in secret contact with the IRA for years. In a Downing Streetstatement on 15 December, the British prime minister and Irish Taoiseach, agree in principle on talks on the future ofNorthern Ireland. Any party that "renounces violence" is invited to take part, opening the way for Sinn Fein if it can provethe IRA is committed to giving up its weapons.1994IRA announces a ceasefire in August and loyalist groups follow suit in October. The first formal talks betweenthe British government and Sinn Féin begin in December.1996The IRA declares an end to its ceasefire at about 7am on 9 February, after the Majorgovernment insists on decommissioning as a condition of talks. A few moments later the IRAexplodes a bomb at Canary Wharf, killing two people and causing millions of pounds worth ofdamage.1997The IRA announces a second ceasefire in July. Tony Blair, now British prime minister, announcesthat decommissioning will take place in parallel with talks from September. Talks begin atStormont, but it takes until 7 October to convince the unionists to sit down at the table withSinn Féin. The talks are hampered by paramilitary killings on both sides. At one point the UlsterDemocratic party walks out rather than be suspended for its links to the Ulster FreedomFighters; at another Sinn Féin is suspended for a month. But talks continue until April 1998.
1998Good Friday agreement 10 April. The deal includes the restoration of a devolved assembly atStormont and a role for the Republic of Ireland in the affairs of the north. A referendum laterapproves the deal.On 15 August a car bomb kills 29 people in Omagh, County Tyrone. The Real IRA, a breakawaygroup, claims responsibility.2000The devolved assembly is suspended on 11 February when the IRA refuses to prove itscommitment to decommissioning. The assembly is restored in May when the IRA agrees to putsits weapons "verifiably beyond use".2001David Trimble, the first minister and leader of the Ulster Unionist party, resigns on 1 July overlack of progress on the arms issue. In the following months, General John de Chastelain, thehead of the body set up to oversee arms decommissioning, says the IRA has given him adisarmament plan. This fails to convince the unionists, and John Reid, the new Northern Irelandsecretary, twice suspends the assembly to give time for talks. By October, De Chastelain says hehas seen decommissioning taking place. The institutions are restored in November.
2002Sinn Féins offices at Stormont are raided by police who suspect they are being used by the IRAto spy on the government. Ten days later devolution is again suspended.2004Attempts in December to reconcile Sinn Féin and the DUP fail when the unionists again refuse toaccept the lack of transparency in the IRAs commitment to disarm.On 21 December more than £26m is stolen from a bank in Belfast city centre. The IRA issuspected.2005Robert McCartney, a former bouncer, is killed outside a bar in Belfast city centre on 30 January.His family blames the IRA, which later announces that it has suspended some of its members.On 6 April the Sinn Féin leader, Gerry Adams, challenges the IRA to "fully embrace" democraticmeans and give up its arms.On 28 July the IRA makes a detailed statement in which it declares its armed campaign over. Itpromises to resume disarmament and pursue its aims through politics.On 26 September, De Chastelain announces inspectors confirmation that all the IRAs weaponshave been put beyond use. The IRA confirms that all its weapons have been taken out of action.
2006On 15 May, the Stormont assembly sits for first time since its suspension in 2002. However,hopes of a political breakthrough remain with disputes over policing and power-sharing.On 4 October, the Independent Monitoring Commission says the Provisional IRA has undergonea "transformation", disbanding military structures, standing down volunteers and followingthrough on its political strategy of renouncing terrorism and crime.On 24 November, the loyalist murderer Michael Stone forces the suspension of the inauguralmeeting of Northern Irelands transitional assembly when he storms into the entrance hall ofthe parliament building armed with a knife, a handgun and what police said was a "viable"bomb. He is later sentenced to 16 years in prison.2007On 7 March, Ian Paisleys Democratic Unionist party wins in the assembly elections but comesunder intense pressure to enter a power-sharing government with Sinn Féin. Paisley and Adamshold their first face-to-face meeting and agree to start sharing power on 8 May, with Paisley asfirst minister and Sinn Féins Martin McGuinness as his deputy.
2008On 4 March, Paisley announces he will step down as first minister and as leader of hisDemocratic Unionist party in May. He is replaced by Peter Robinson.On 3 September the IRAs ruling body, the army council, no longer has an army to command andcontrol, the Northern Ireland secretary, Shaun Woodward, declares. The latest IMC report saysthe IRAs seven-man army council has fallen into "disuse".On 10 November, the IMC reports that IRA dissidents were behind a more concentrated periodof attacks than at any time since 2004.2009On 31 January, police destroy a bomb packed with 300lb of explosive in Castlewellan, south ofBelfast. A splinter republican group claims responsibility.On 4 March, Northern Irelands most senior policeman, Sir Hugh Orde, confirms that the levelof threat from dissident republican terrorism is at its highest since he became chief constableseven years ago.On 7 March, dissident republican paramilitaries shoot dead two British soldiers outside theirbarracks near Antrim and wound four other people, two of them pizza delivery men. The deadmen are the first British troops killed in Northern Ireland by terrorists since 1997.On 9 March, Stephen Carroll, 48, a PSNI police officer from Banbridge, County Down, is shotdead as he responds to an emergency call to the nationalist Drumbeg housing estate inCraigavon, County Armagh, 26 miles south-west of Belfast. He is the first police officer murderedin Northern Ireland since 1997, when two community constables were shot dead.
Symbolism of sacrifice DifferencesCal and patterns Religion and guilt Violence and desire