Source J is a cartoon drawn in 1991 by a Northern Irish Political cartoonist. It was used to illustrate the front cover of a book called ‘Troubled Times’, about the troubles in Northern Ireland from 1970 to 1991.
This caricature (cartoon) is clever in the way it mentions the most influential groups of the civil rights movements whilst bringing there environment to the same area, therefore confining them to one area that will need to be solved or else they will achieve nothing; Hence the use of a cycle.
The cycle used represents that they are going around in circles. The use of the characters is also very important because these are the topics, which, have been raised but not solved. All the characters manage to do is avoid each other or confront each other through the process of violence. Therefore, the same issues are being repeated and the same problems keeping on arising.
Another way that this cartoon works in so many ways is that there is no middle ground. There will be no way in which the characters can co-exist when they are repeating the same events by following the same routes regardless of the direction that they are going. Sooner or later, the problem will be brought up and ignored. Then the consequences will arise.
The character located at the bottom of the square is a terrorist.
Terrorism in Northern Ireland was a huge problem, which had to be faced virtually every day. Not by only Catholics but also by Protestant people.
The main terrorist groups situated in Ireland were the IRA (Irish republican army), UVF (Ulster volunteer force), UFF (Ulster freedom fighter) UDA (Ulster defence association).
All of the groups apart from the IRA were Protestant. All of these terrorist groups were very powerful; the reason that they never decided to join their forces was because
Each terrorist group wanted domination over the drug flow throughout Northern Ireland. This meant that they would not wanted to be joined and share in the riches of the drug market, but they would want to the most successful organisation in Ireland.
The IRA has launched a campaign of violence from 1970 onwards. Unionist paramilitary groups (UVF ; UFF) have opposed them. The political situation had reached a stalemate.
By 1990 loyalist killers were carrying out an increasing number of random attacks on Catholics. In January 1992 the IRA killed eight Protestant building workers at Tee bane, because of work done for security services. In February the UFF responded by killing five Catholics at a betting shop in Belfast. Later, in November after an IRA bomb had demolished a shopping centre in a Protestant town called Colerain. Later, three more Catholics were killed by the UFF in another Belfast betting shop. By March 1993, four more Catholics building workers were killed by the UFF as they turned up for work at Castlerock. Later on the same day the UFF killed a Catholic teenager in Belfast.
Here we can infer that the violence used by Terrorist groups were serious, and they were ruthless upon the other organisations or people. We can refer back to the cartoon and infer that, situations just got more serious as the characters (elements) increased there pace. Therefore the same situations were brought up, and nothing was solved. People continued to suffer and die.
Violence like this wasn’t always organised by terrorist groups. Religious backgrounds or religious leaders such as Ian Paisley led some violence. ‘Ian Paisley paraded 500 men from a private Protestant army today. He said, “These men are ready to fight and die rather than accept an all- Ireland Republic. They are prepared to defend their province in the same way as Lord Carson and the men of the Ulster Volunteer Force!”
Religion in Ireland was a huge issue. Religion is perceived as your belief. Catholics felt that they have been dramatically discriminated in a number of ways such as ‘housing’. Religious leaders also are to blame for the increase in tension. E.g. supporting single faith education, which keeps two communities, divided.
Leaders such as Ian Paisley believe that ‘Catholics don’t want to share in the government of Northern Ireland. They want Northern Ireland to be destroyed, and to have a united Ireland. Even if they were to join a government its only until such time as they can destroy government and the state’ Here we can clearly see Ian Paisley being biased and trying to wave the opinion of some of the more higher protestants. He is basically trying to say things that the Protestants don’t want to hear so they will be motivated to fight.
Discrimination was a very big topic that was covered by Northern Ireland. They believed that that there had not been much improvement in this discrimination by 1990.
Discrimination was found in places such as jobs, and sport.
For example if you were Catholic. “You kicked funny with you left leg”. This was an extract taken from a Linfield FC scout.
In terms of employment the Protestant would be favoured over the Catholic regardless of educational background. This was usually down to ‘internment’. A report from the Sunday times in 1972 said “Special powers act- virtually all of them were Catholic”.
This was hopefully so that theCatholics would receive a better percentage of the vote so that they would have more power.
Historical elements have been cleverly represented as graffiti, which has ‘stained’ Ireland. Historical backgrounds prove to be an element, which keeps on arising through out the history of Ireland. There are mainly two groups who have been in conflict for centuries. One group are the Unionists (protestants), and the other the Nationalist (mainly Catholics). The unionists are prepared to use violence and the political system in times of desperation. Whereas the Nationalist would like to assemble a ‘United- Ireland’
The two communities have become more polarised in recent years. Segregation in terms of housing, education, sport and culture.
For example ‘The battle of the Boyne’ where in 1960 the arrival of 17th century Protestants have felt threatened by the greater number of Irish Catholics. Some Protestants still have a defensive stereotype towards Catholics. Today there are more than 100,000 members of the orange order. Protestants believe that William of Orange led them to victory. Another example of historical elements is the ‘Easter rising’ where A Fenian group felt that the Irish Republican Brotherhood decided that war was a good way to stage an armed uprising on the British.
Another problem illustrated by this cartoon by a character, were social problems. Ordinary people in Northern Ireland have not attempted to try and solver their social problems. The Catholics and Protestants have too many historical differences and many people (working class) were unwilling to co- operate with the other side.
The amount of suspicion had dramatically risen because of events involving politicians on both sides. The involvement of the politicians eventually led to an increase in violence in Northern Ireland. Therefore solving nothing.
In sources J, we can see ordinary people following the steps of a politician, which shows that ordinary people were unable of thinking for themselves. They followed the beliefs of politicians and tension was increased by paramilitary or terrorist activity. The IRA had started a campaign of violence from 1970 onwards. Unionist paramilitary groups such as the UVF and the UFF have rejected them.
To conclude, I agree with the portrayal of the reasons why the troubles continued into the 1990’s.
Events such as general strikes, which took place from May 1974 onwards, lead Northern Ireland to a stalemate. A cycle was eventually gathered, and no problems were solved.
Work done by politicians did not help the events. Events such as the Anglo- Irish showed that no peace would come, even through the use of violence. “This agreement will not bring peace, but a sword. I have to say honestly and truthfully that I have never known what I can only describe as a universal cold fury” here we can see that the frustration increased throughout the years as nothing got solved.
Work done by Terrorist groups such as the IRA, often lead to a paramilitary violence, which again did not help, solve anything. Mass amounts of Catholics and Protestants were getting killed due to religious background.
Religion was another problem which was not solved either. The work of biased leaders such as Ian Paisley; were blamed for the increase in tension, for example single faith schools which kept the two communities apart.
This diagram in the way also represented historical tension, that the foundation of Ireland has been ‘stained’ with graffiti therefore making the problem worse.
Historical events such as ‘the battle of the Boyne 1690’ had always been an element surrounding the Irish.
Tradition had usually played a part; songs would be made to create tension and increase moral.
Perhaps, the largest reason why the troubles continued in Northern Ireland was socially related. Ordinary people would not think for themselves and would rely on the thinking and thoughts of Politicians.
There had also been a great deal of mistrust and suspicion between the two groups which meant, they were not able to settle there differences.