From the picture in source N we can acknowledge that there are 5 people on top of a building. We can see that, the pope, the politician, a poor catholic man and the woman hiding her child are all going in one direction except the terrorist with a gun and dynamites is going the opposite way trying to create problems. Furthermore there’s like a staircase on top of the building and the people are going round and round to reach peace, but the stairs aren’t going no where and so due to that this gives us a hint that the peace process might not work. In addition another possible hint of the peace process diminishing is that there is a big hole in the building and if any person falls in the hole the peace process might not succeed.
On the sides of the building it says:
“REM 1690 ULSTERS”
This is when the battle of Boyne took place. And on the other side is the date, “1916”, when the Easter Rising took place.
There have been a few attempts at peace in Northern Ireland and all have been unsuccessful, such as the Sunningdale Agreement (1973-1974), The Anglo-Irish Agreement (1985), The Downing Street Declaration (1993), but the present agreement, The Good Friday Agreement (1998) has so far to the present time has been successful.
One of the reasons why violence kicks off between the Catholics and the Protestants is that in July and August known as the “marching season” creates a lot of tension between the two. This makes peace talk impossible due to the violence as some of the orange marches angers the Catholics as they cannot forget the history and so therefore violence erupts between the two, just making it even difficult for peace discussions.
According to some views, the agreement will be successful and believe that the Orange Marches will not be a threat:
The Orangemen persist on going through the Catholic Garvaghy Road, which was once mainly Protestant. There are thousands of “peaceful Orange marches” and only about 50 are disputed. Furthermore in July 1998, the Orange Organisation called off another of the big controversial marches.
But on the other hand the Orange Marches are considered as a threat to the Agreement:
There is a “core of loyalist hardliners” associated with the Orange Order. They killed an officer in riots and furthermore in December 1998, they brought Portadown to a halt with a demonstration. 384 out breaks of disorder took place within 24 hours; 115 attacks on security forces – 19 were injured and one had a fractured skull, 57 homes and businesses damaged, 27 vehicles hijacked and 89 were damaged. Petrol bombs were thrown on 96 occasions and 403 were sized from the police.
For the peace process to work, this idea of releasing the prisoners early was considered so that they could be involved with it. But then also terrorist groups, such as the loyalists, who did not de-commission anything and there was a possibility that prisoners would go back to where they came from and continue on with their violence. This could have been the danger that the peace agreement might not succeed.
IRA destroyed many weapons without involving other groups to de-commission as well. The IRA leadership put a “varied and substantial” quantity of ammunition, arms and explosive material beyond use. Although it was said that the IRA only de-commissioned so that Sinn Fein could get more votes and win the general elections.
In addition David Trimble also wanted the Loyalist Paramilitaries to start their own process of de-commissioning.
According to a source it was said that unless a fair trial is done for the events of Bloody Sunday there would “never be peace”. In addition some of the weapons have gone missing which were a significant part of the investigation and could have helped to find out who shot first. Also Reverend Ian Paisley now is refusing to attend the court about the situations of Bloody Sunday.
Another threat to the peace process are the splinter groups, according to sources they would not be a threat:
There will be peace; the agreement will work reason being that although the Omagh bombing in August 1998 was horrific and inexcusable, but since then there is not one “shred of sympathy left for violent republicanism”. The extremists have nowhere to hide. “Their time is over”.
Although from this source the extremists could still be a threat:
There are still plenty of fundamentalists in the republican organisation, “who will never accept anything but a 32 county Irish Republican”. These “extremists” really believe they’re right.
There was the bombing of Omagh, Canary Wharf and outside the BBC studio and therefore we can learn from this that there are still some hardcore radicals who are not prepared to have peace.
In the recent events there have been extremists who just don’t want to stop the violence and don’t want the peace process to work.
On March 17, a special high security police station was robbed and files were taken that had the names of the informers. When the police raided some houses of well-known IRA members, they found documents with the names of the Conservative MPs and attacks were suspected on them. Furthermore there were reports that the IRA targeted Tony Blair for assassination.
Also there were 3 IRA members caught in Columbia for terrorist activities and in addition 3 other IRA members were convicted of making a weapons deal with the Iraqi officials and to a ï¿½1 million deal. But they were caught when Mi:5 agents met the IRA members in a restaurant dressed up as the Iraqi officials and were then arrested.
In conclusion we can learn that although many peace processes have taken place, except for the Good Friday Agreement, which so far has been successful, the rest have been relatively ineffective, although there has been the use of violence during the agreement, which was a great threat to the peace process.
From my point of view I agree with what the cartoon in source N is trying to say because the way things are going now in Northern Ireland there’s not much hope for the Agreement to be successfully succeeded in the future reason being that from the terrorist groups, members aren’t prepared to give in, they want their own ways; such as the weapons deal and for terrorist activities, there’s not much compromising taking place with the extremist groups.
For instance in the picture in source N, the terrorist is going the opposite way trying to blow something up and that’s what’s happening these days or the recent months. Fanatical groups are trying to gain these weapons to get their own way.