Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

Bmc chapter4(b) conflict in multi-ethnic societies_northern_ireland


Published on

Published in: Education, News & Politics
  • Be the first to comment

Bmc chapter4(b) conflict in multi-ethnic societies_northern_ireland

  1. 1. Case Study 2: Northern Ireland
  2. 2.  By the end of the lesson, students should be able to:  Understand the background to the conflict in Northern Ireland  Appreciate the causes of tension between Catholics & Protestants  Appreciate the consequences for this conflict for Northern Ireland
  3. 3.  Before the 12th Century, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland were one country called Ireland.  In the 12th Century – England conquered Ireland. English allowed Scottish and English landowners to take over large tracts of land formerly owned by Irish inhabitants.  Most of these settlers were Protestants and they settled in the northern areas of Ireland (Northern Ireland)
  4. 4.  As a result, Northern Ireland had more Protestants. The English Kings were Protestants.  This meant that Protestants were able to gain complete control over Ireland through a series of laws that limited their freedom and rights.  In 1800 – The whole of Ireland was brought under the United Kingdom – Irish in southern Ireland, were unhappy with British rule and violently protested – British government eventually lost control of the south.
  5. 5.  In 1921 - Ireland divided into two separate parts based on the majority religion of each part.  Eventually, the South, known as the Irish Free State became an independent country with a largely Catholic government.  Both Northern Ireland and the Irish Free State had their own parliaments but continued to recognize the English monarchy and the laws regarding foreign affairs.  In 1949 – Irish Free State cut ties with the United Kingdom and renamed itself the Republic of Ireland
  6. 6.  Before 1972, Northern Ireland had its own parliament at Stormont, near Belfast.  Since 1972 – It has been ruled directly by the British Parliament in London.  Though a part of the UK, Northern Ireland takes charge of its own commerce, health and education, while Britain handles foreign affairs and defence matters. The majority of the ministers in the Northern Ireland government are Protestants.
  7. 7.  Divided Loyalties:  Differences in political beliefs between Catholics & Protestants contributed to the tension and conflict in Northern Ireland  Most Protestants see themselves as British and wish the country to remain as part of the UK – don’t want union with ROI – fear that Catholics would not be tolerant of Protestant beliefs.  Catholics - see themselves as Irish and want to be reunited with Republic of Ireland. Catholics also resent the history of English conquest - harsh treatment during Home Rule.  This loyalty to different countries make the Protestants and Catholics intolerant of each other.
  8. 8.  Unequal allocation of housing  The provision of public housing by N.I city councils was carried out unfairly. City councils consisted largely of Protestants decided on how to allocate the government’s public housing budget.  Before 1992 – Catholics found the allocation to be unfair. Very often, large Catholic families in need of housing had a long wait. In some towns, more housing - allocated for Protestants than the Catholics.  Catholics frustrated by this. Their living conditions were poor to begin with and they had no access to new housing – this raised tensions between the two groups which cultivated mistrust, hatred and eventually led to conflict
  9. 9.  Unequal employment opportunities  Another cause of conflict between Protestants & Catholics in Northern Ireland is the competition for jobs.  It is generally more difficult for Catholics in N.I to find jobs, especially the more stable government jobs.  The Catholics feel that although they may be as academically qualified as the Protestants they do not have the same opportunities in getting the jobs that they want.  This raises tensions & mistrust bet. Catholics & Protestants as Catholics are not able to enjoy a higher standard of living because they do not have access to the same jobs as Protestants. Protestants are unwilling accept equal employment terms as they fear competition from Catholics.
  10. 10.  Lack of voting rights  Before 1969 – voting rights was an issue bet. Catholics & Protestants. Then, only those who owned houses & businesses were entitled to vote in the local elections.  Each household = two votes and companies more votes depending on their size. Protestant owned most of the companies and owned their houses. Poorer Catholics did not own businesses and some were tenants (did not own their own homes)  Catholics were most unhappy that voting districts were often drawn up to include a larger proportion of Protestants – Catholic protested against the voting system.
  11. 11.  Lack of Voting Rights – Con’td  Since 1969 – everyone is entitled to one vote as long as he/she is a British citizen above 18 years of age. He/she has to be born in N.I or has to have lived in the U.K for seven (7) years.  Voting districts were also re-drawn to ensure fairness.  Despite the changes after 1969 – there still remains quite a bit of mistrust of Protestants by Catholics. Many Catholics are fearful that as long as their remains a cloze connection between the U.K government and the Protestants in N.I – their rights may not be always protected.
  12. 12.  Lack of opportunities for social interaction  Separate education system & Residential areas – In N.I, there are fully funded public schools that cater for Protestants only, and private schools that cater to Catholics only – these private schools are only partly funded by the government.  In public schools – Protestant children were taught British history and played British games such as rugby, hockey and cricket.  On the other hand, Catholic children learnt Irish history and took up Irish games such as hurling, and were taught the Irish language and culture.
  13. 13.  Lack of opportunities for social interaction  Separate residential areas – Since the 17th Century, Catholics and Protestants have been living in separate residential areas.  The 1991 census showed that in Belfast, 63% of the population lived in areas that were either mainly Catholic or mainly Protestant.  By 2001, this had risen to 66% - reducing the opportunity for social interaction.  Without any means of interacting with each other, each group began to developed very fixed notions and misconceptions of the other group. This fuelled mistrust and in some cases hatred between them. If a more concerted effort had been encouraged to allow Protestants and Catholics to mingle with each other informally – the reasons for tensions between them may very well have been reduced.
  14. 14. Tension – Mistrust – Hatred - Conflict
  15. 15.  The Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association was formed in February 1967. Formed by a group of well educated middle class Catholics. Aims:  …to bring political changes within Northern Ireland  …end discrimination against Catholics  Adopted non-violent methods to protest against discrimination against Catholics – people involved included individuals from trade unions and political parties  Catholic & Protestant Students from N.I universities  NICRA organized peaceful marches to raise awareness of the discrimination faced by Catholics – during these marches violence occurred.
  16. 16.  In August 1969 – British government sent in troops to help keep order.  The troops were initially welcomed by the Catholics as protectors as they were seen as a neutral force…however good relations did not last long.
  17. 17.  Aug 1971 – Northern Ireland government introduced the “Internment Laws” – gave British Army the power to:  Arrest, interrogate & detain without trial anyone suspected of being involved in any acts of to weaken the State.  Catholics lost faith in the British Army when the army began conducting searches of their homes and arresting those suspected of terrorist activities.
  18. 18.  15,000 people participated in an illegal, peaceful civil rights march in the Catholic dominated area of Londonderry.  The march was organized by NICRA and was both a protest against the internment laws and the ban on the right to march.  Tensions before and during the march were rising – British Army & government - unsure if there were violent groups who might make use of the march to launch attacks against soldiers and government officials –
  19. 19.  Nervous British troops suspected that some people in the march were carrying weapons and were about to use them – soldiers fired into the crowd leaving 13 civilians dead and many more injured  Led to a great outburst of anger – turned to more radical and violent means of protest.
  20. 20.  After Bloody Sunday – more violence erupted bet. Catholics and Protestants. Catholic homes were petrol- bombed by Protestant mobs –  Shops and pubs which belonged to Catholics were also burnt and bombed – Although the local police witnessed this violence – they did not do anything to stop it.  In addition, British Army continued to search and detain Catholics and in the process injured many Catholics and destroyed their property.
  21. 21.  Feeling desperate – Catholics turned to the Irish Republic Army (IRA) for help.  The IRA attacked the British soldiers and bombed businesses and shops belonging to the Protestants  At first, the Catholics were “looked after” by the IRA as they provided protection from Protestant mobs – however as the IRA began to employ increasingly violent measures they began to target Catholics who were working for a peaceful resolution of the conflict as well as those working with the British Army – this created fear among the Catholics towards the IRA  Between 1969 to 1993 – more than 3500 people were killed in the conflict in the country
  22. 22.  The IRA was responsible for two-thirds of the deaths  Within a few months after the British Army arrived – the IRA split into two factions – the official IRA and the Provisional IRA – PIRA was more radical and was more willing to use terrorist tactics to force the British to withdraw completely from N.I
  23. 23.  Social Segregation (Negative)  People in N.I have grown up in an atmosphere of tension – Protestants and Catholics have also been segregated socially in the way they live, work and play.  It is sometimes possible for young people in N.I to grow up not having met someone from the other community.  This has led to the lack of understanding between the two groups
  24. 24.  Declining economy (Negative)  The economy of Northern Ireland has been affected by the conflict. It has also discouraged domestic and foreign investments in the country.  Foreign owned factories and businesses closed down when the violence increased operating costs in Northern Ireland. The constant threat of bombings and high costs of security drove away large manufacturers in great numbers.
  25. 25.  Political Reform (Positive)  The civil rights marches of the 1960s and 70s – put pressure on the N.I government to pass anti-discrimination laws and measures in the country.  Following further civil rights marches and demonstrations and pressure from Britain – the Northern Ireland government announced sweeping reforms of local government in N.I  Civil rights campaigns of 1968 successfully forced through some reforms – after two marches the N.I government agreed to abolish the unfair voting system and promised to review the schemes for allocating government-owned houses.
  26. 26.  Lessons Learnt for Singapore:  Conflict between people of different religions and races destroys lives, homes and property – everyone suffers  In a country with people of different races and religions there is a need to be sensitive to one another’s needs. Failure to understand and respect this could result in the destruction of the country.  It weakens the development of the country and provides an excuse for powerful neighbours to interfere in the affairs of the divided country.