Partition came about 1n 1920 in Ireland it was called the government of Ireland act. This was an act passed by Lloyd George which intended to set up two home rule parliaments one ruled from Dublin and the other to be 6 of the nine counties of Ulster where unionist opposition to home rule was the greatest. The 6 counties included in this new state where Down, Antrim, Derry, Tyrone, Fermanagh and Armagh. Only the first three states out of these 6 had a protestant/unionist majority but even so the state was set up with boundaries especially selected as to permanently guarantee a protestant/unionist dominance over the Catholics/Nationalists.
Both of the new state’s powers would be limited, they would link together in a council of Ireland and only when both states agreed would partition be broken. The Dublin parliament died as soon as it was created with only Sinn Feign contesting in the elections. The Northern Ireland parliament was opened in May 1921. Soon after this a truce was called and negotiations went underway between Sinn Feign and the British government, the Anglo-Irish Treaty was signed which gave Southern Ireland like Canada Dominion status under the crown.
The Irish Free State was born. Northern Ireland remained a province of Great Britain. Let Erin remember the days of old, Ere her faithless sons betray’d her; When Malachy wore the collar of gold, Which he won from her proud invader, When her kings, with standards of green unfurl’d, Led the red branch knights to danger; Ere the emerald gem of the western world Was set in the crown of a stranger. This poem/song was written by Thomas Moore a romantic lyricist (1779-1852).
It shows the deep passion the people of Ireland have for there culture and history, this passion runs too with the Scottish and the welsh and has came from many years of being subjected to foreign tyranny and the suppression of there own culture by the English crown (stranger). So you can see by just the power of this poem where the seed has grown for the fight for an independent Ireland and you can see how easy it is for the Irish to resent the English crown. Bearing all that in mind when we see the great protestant catholic divide a lot of people would be willing to blame religion for all the friction in Ireland.
The label of protestant and catholic is just that a label the native Irish being the Catholics and the settlers from Britain being the protestants. It all stems back to Tudor times reformation and plantation where King Henry viii started to dissolve the catholic monasteries. This was taking place in Ireland at the same time as an intensified campaign to promote Protestantism, so you can see why reformation made slow progress there. The monarchy were afraid that catholic Ireland would be used as a platform for invasion so they started a program of plantation were English and Scottish Lords would be planted/given land in Ireland.
The Irish/Catholics sore these intruders as Protestants and a symbol of Irish/catholic suppression as they were given the good land in the west and the native Irish had to make do with the poor land in the east. Some of the most important plantations, the plantation of Ulster was carried out under James the first. I think this stage of events and period in history set out the whole list of problems to come and was the prime cause of the solution of partition that came out of it. As a direct reaction to this during 1641-49 a rebellion takes place in Ireland the Irish take advantage of a civil war in England and regain control.
In 1649 Oliver Cromwell uses brutality and force to regain control of Ireland this just increases the Irish resentment of the English. In 1688 the Glorious revolution takes place, after catholic Ireland have enjoyed a period of comfort under catholic king, James ii he is overthrown by his protestant daughter Mary and her husband William. James retreats to France where he gets French troops from Louis xv he then lands in southern Ireland hoping to gain support from all the Catholics.
James goes on to gain control of all of Ireland except Londonderry were an act of heroism takes place, 13 apprentice boys close the city gates and therefore against all odds keep of the catholic forces. William of orange then musters up a force to go and defeat James at the battle of the Boyne July 1690. As a result of this a treaty of limerick is signed in October 1961 and although the Catholics have just been defeated it is very generous towards them and it upsets many Protestants. Protestants celebrate the orange order and the apprentice boys of Londonderry up to this day with marches that still cause sectarian tension.
The next stage in the suppression of the Catholics and the greatening of the divide between Catholics and protestants in Ireland was the Penal laws which were passed in 1695 and bard Catholics from gaining wealth and power. Examples of some of these were that Catholics were not allowed to vote in an election or go to university. There were ten in all and as their name suggests they all penalised. Ireland in the 1800s had many problems including political economic and religious discontents.
In 1801 there was an act of union between Great Britain and Ireland but it failed to incorporate Ireland into the British political system. Although there was success for Ireland in 1829 when catholic emancipation occurred (this was when they were allowed in parliament), Catholics stayed economically disadvantaged. Ireland hadn’t really industrialised except from in and around Belfast. The Irish land system was not at all organised and was seen as inefficient. After the great potato famine of 1845-51 population went into a great decline.
The potato famine was seen as a failure on behalf of the way the British government dealt with the problem because they offered minimal relief to the starving not wishing to interfere, as they stated “in the operation of natural causes”. About 1 million people died and 1. 5 million people emigrated manly to the USA. All this lead to a nationalist rising supported by Catholics some movements such as the Irish republican Brotherhood (IRB) sort self government by the use of force where as others sort more limited self rule through the path of peaceful protests one of these being the home rule party.
There were 3 attempts to pass home rule the first bill was rejected in 1886 and the second was defeated in 1893. The third push for Home Rule started in 1912 by a new liberal government, but the protestants/ Ulster Unionists threatened to resist it by force. From 1912 a private army was formed called the ‘Ulster volunteer force’. In 1913, nationalists set up the ‘Irish volunteers’ as a counter to the UVF. The ‘Irish volunteers’ were a branch of Sinn Fein. Shin Fein was created in 1905 and had already expressed great ideals of separatism.
There was much sectarian tension now and civil war seemed inevitable. The only thing that stopped civil war was the beginning of the First World War. During this Redmond said that he would give full Irish support for the British war effort if home rule would be passed in to law. This split the ‘Irish Volunteers’ into a majority who went with Redmond and called them selves the ‘Nationalist Volunteers’ and then those who sore Britain as a bigger threat to Irish liberties than Germany the ‘Irish Volunteers’.
A section of the later then went on to take part along with the left wing ‘Citizen army’ in the Easter Rising in 1916. As a result of this 16 of the leaders were made into martyrs when executed two of the most significant being Padraig Pearce and James Connolly. During the rising the people of Ireland thought it stupid but after the executions of their leaders they too wanted an independent Ireland more than ever before. Therefore in the 1918 elections the home rule party which had previously been greatly in power were almost wiped out by Sinn Fein under Eamon de Valera. n 1919 Sinn Fein set up its own Parliament the Dail Eireann, and the Volunteers now called them selves the ‘Irish Republican army’ under Michael Collins the former president of the IRB.
A declaration of independence was passed ‘whereas the Irish people is by right a free people, and whereas for seven hundred years the Irish people has never ceased to repudiate and has repeatedly protested in arms against foreign usurpation, and whereas English rule in this country is, and always has been, based upon force and fraud and maintained by military occupation against the declared will of the people … e, the elected representatives of the ancient Irish people in national parliament assembled, do in the name of the Irish nation, ratify the establishment of the Irish Republic and pledged ourselves and our people to make this declaration effective by every means at our command’. This follows from what I was saying at the start and summarises well the heart-felt feelings for an independent Ireland. Now a war started called the Anglo-Irish war this involved guerrilla warfare from the IRA and special police units from the British government called the black and tans.
A stalemate occurred and it was up to Lloyd George to find a solution to the problem. After passing the government of Ireland act in 1920 he started negotiations in 1921 but at first with de Valera as Prime minister of the Dail no agreement was reached only a truce for the moment. De Valera wanted full independence and could not accept the state of Northern Ireland. It was only when de Valera was president of the republic and when he decided not to be at the negotiations himself that a treaty was reached The Anglo-Irish treaty. Instead of partition Lloyd George could have: Reached no agreement and the Anglo-Irish war would have carried on in vain. * Made the whole of Ireland a free state and then the protestants/unionists in Northern Ireland would have been greatly discriminated against.
* Made the north-eastern state only the 3 counties of Ulster with protestant majority. This would have created an uneconomically viable state with very little power or self-efficiency. But would have made fairer the situation for all the Catholics in the other counties of Ulster and made unfairer the situation for the protestants in those same states. Made all 9 counties of Ulster a separate state of Northern Ireland. This would have created a very economically viable state but in the end it would have been a death sentence for the unionists as a nationalist majority would have meant a nationalist majority in parliament and eventually a vote to become part of the free state. The solution of partition was a perfect solution for Lloyd George because it kept happy the majority In Northern Ireland: the unionists.
It gave them their own state that was still in union with Britain. It kept happy the majority in Ireland: the nationalists, who had their own Ireland, a free state. And it kept happy the majority in Britain, who felt happy knowing that Ireland was still paying allegiance to the British monarchy. But this solution was only a solution for the moment and Lloyd George’s attitude was ‘I’ve sorted it out for me any other problems are not mine and are for them to sort out between them selves’.
He underestimated the Minority in Northern Ireland, the Catholics whom were done out of there wishes. For Ireland (the free state) partition was a long-term solution and faced problems in the short-term. For Northern Ireland partition was scene as a solution for the short-term but turned out to be no solution at all and there was to be great problems in the long-term. In the free state of Ireland (Saorstat Eireann) shortly after partition the president de Valera rejected it out rightly.
Many people followed him on the anti treaty side they would not accept making a pledge to the British monarchy or the fact that the 6 counties of Ulster were to stay part of Britain. A vote in 1922 over the treaty debate voted de Valera out of the Dail, he took his supporters with him and civil war was inevitable. The horrible thing about this civil war was that both sides were fighting for almost the same cause and previously they had fought side by side against a common enemy. Eventually the free state stabilised under a new more cautious leader.
Proportional representation was kept so unionists in the north had representatives in the Dail. De Valera came back with a new party called Fianna Fail and after regaining some power in 1932 in a coalition government with Labour he came up with a new constitution in 1937. The constitution aimed to protect the Irish language, the name Ireland becoming Eire instead of Saorstat Eireann and to not accept sovereignty to the British government or the 6 counties of N. Ireland. After the war Eire dropped out of the commonwealth and became the republic of Ireland.
Since then they have joined the European Economic Community and in a recent referendum the public of Eire showed little interest in keeping hold of their claim to the north. For the minority in Eire, the protestants/unionists, time has come were they all play an equal role in the republic and give their loyalty like the Nationalists to the new country. In Northern Ireland it was and is a different story. In the short term an immediate reaction came about in 1922 when in Belfast nationalists rose up with a sense of betrayal.
By May 236 people were dead and from then on the protestant discrimination of the Catholics began. Firstly the government passed the special powers act which allowed for detention without trial. This in its self isn’t an act of discrimination but if you take in to account that the people who are enforcing the law are nearly all protestant then it looks rather different. The two groups of law enforcement were the Royal Ulster Constabulary who intended to have a third of its membership catholic but this didn’t happen, and the B-specials who were a part time armed back up force recruited from protestant vigilantes.
In 1929 Prime Minister Craig abolished proportional representation and went for the British first past the post system that favoured majorities. This was against the Anglo-Irish treaty but the British government didn’t do anything about it and therefor worsened the situation for the Catholics. If you add to this the fact that the IRA were becoming active with terrorist attacks and that there was massive unemployment with Catholics and protestants going for the same jobs, then you can see why partition was not going to work in Northern Ireland.
Although all this was in place during the 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s no major conflict happened until 1968 and the start of the northern crisis. It starts with civil rights marches which all escalated into violence. One of the most significant conflicts was bloody Sunday were during a civil rights movement of Catholics who were crying out against there unfair position in society, a group of youths broke away from the march and started venting there anger on the British troops who had been posted in Northern Ireland to control the violence.
Then a conflict escalated between the British troops and the marchers, 13 people were killed and still today nothing has came of it, debates about the actions of the army still run fierce with another enquiry coming up soon. Up to this day conflict in Northern Ireland has carried on even though people are becoming more adamant for peace with a cease fire in 1997 and the multi party talks leading to the good Friday agreement in 1998. Never the less the peace process has been met with difficulty, in January 1999 punishment beatings and shootings by republicans and loyalists rose to a rate of almost 1 a day.
And even more recently in 2001 determined catholic parents took their children to school through a protestant area causing great sectarian dispute but doing it as a protest against segregation. In Northern Ireland there are still many small groups from both sides who remain opposed to any form of agreement. It is only for us to hope now that the future for Northern Ireland will hold more than just conflict; it is only the determination of the people for peace that will win through. Erin, thy silent tear never shall cease, Erin, thy languid smile ne’er shall increase,
Till, like the rainbow’s light, Thy various tints unite, And form in heavens sight One arch of peace! Question 2: why has the Good Friday Agreement of 1998 not yet resulted in a lasting peace. The Good Friday Agreement (GFA) was reached on Good Friday, 10th April 1998. It was a solution that ended direct rule from Britain and reinstated a devolved parliament in Northern Ireland, which was run with the co-operation of all parties, a solution that hoped to create peace. Other wise known as the Belfast Agreement it stated that: Northern Ireland would remain part of the United Kingdom unless a majority voted other wise. * A new Northern Ireland assembly with 108 members would be set up, using proportional representation. All key decisions would require cross-community consensus.
* There would be a North-South Ministerial Council involving ministers from the new assembly and ministers from the republic, who would meet over matters of mutual interest. * There would also be a British-Irish Council with representatives from both governments including those from the northern assembly, Welsh Assembly and the Scottish Parliament. The Irish government agreed to hold a referendum over articles 2 and 3 of their constitution, which claimed the north as part of its territory. * A review of policing in Northern Ireland would be undertaken. * Early release of paramilitaries was promised. The agreement included as many conditions as possible to protect the interests of all sides but it could never please the extremists. Yet in referenda held on the same day, 2nd may both the north and south voted for this agreement with a majority of 71. 2% in the north and over 90% in the south.
The parliamentary leaders who signed the Good Friday Agreement were Tony Blair and Mo Molem (British government), Bertie Aherne (Irish government), David Trimble (Ulster Unionists), John Hume and Seamus Malon (SDLP), Gerry Adams and Martin Mcguinis (Sinn Fein) and a former US senator George Mitchell signed as the independent chairman. No paramilitaries signed the agreement. In the assembly elections on the 25th June pro-Agreement parties faired well but anti-Agreement unionists almost clinched majorities in certain areas this would have been a problem because all major decisions needed a cross-community majority.
David Trimble of the Ulster Unionists was elected first minister and Seamus Malon of the Social Democratic Labour Party became his deputy. The problems that have led up to the Good Friday Agreement are embedded deep in Irelands history. It is a long chain of events starting with reformation and plantation as I talked about in the last question. In brief from the point that the two different communities met in Ireland (Catholics and Protestants) events have occurred which have caused great Friction and hatred between the two.
The Protestants/unionists from Britain have used their power to try and get their own way and live a life as part of Britain, a life that they believe is rightfully theirs. The Catholics/Nationalists or native Irish have used their power to try and get their own way and live a life in a separate Ireland, a life that they believe is rightfully theirs. Although there has always been a catholic/nationalist majority in Ireland the Protestants/unionists have had a biger hand behind them in the form of the British.
Through time the British government and people have begun to see the futility of the conflict between the people in Ireland and they have slowly changed roles from being the safe guard’s of the unionists to being the central role in the bringing together of the two. Partition was there first major answer to the problems and yes in the republic it eventually worked but in Northern Ireland it never has and unless the government was to try again it looked like it never would. Now Britain has become much more neutral, especially with a Labour government and Tony Blair as Prime minister.
Now, also many people in Northern Ireland are beginning to see the futility of their conflict. So it was and still is the best time ever to try and pass some sort of peace agreement, as now so many people are willing and in most cases yearning for the conflict to end. The more recent events running up to the GFA were very significant in its formation and the problems that it had to address and the problems that are still around today. Firstly one of the main ideas of the GFA was to use the restoring of the Devolved Northern Ireland assembly as a basis to create peace through fair Ideals and motivations (a carrot in the talks).
The reason that Northern Ireland had been governed by direct rule from Britain for the previous 25/26 years stems back to internment and Bloody Sunday 1971/72. Internment was passed by the unionist government in 1971 it is were suspected criminals can be interned/kept in prison without trial. On august 9th 342 nationalists and republicans were arrested in dawn raids, only a hundred of these were released the next day, the rest were interned without trial. As protest to this SDLP and Nationalist MP’s withdrew from Stormont and made official complaints to the UN about the brutal treatment of the Catholics.
To show the problems Internment caused during the four months before it 8 people died during the four months afterwards 114 were killed. Civil rights marches organised by NICRA marched against internment; one of these was the civil rights march on bloody Sunday 30th January 1972, 13 Catholics were shot dead. IRA bombs and arson attacks followed killing British civilians and soldiers. After Brian Faulkner (Ulster Unionists) rejected a package of reforms from Downing Street the Prime Minister Edward Heath postponed the Stormont parliament initially for 12 months but therefore ended 50 years of a one party rule forever.
The proroguing of the Stormont parliament marked the beginning of the long road to peace, 25 gruelling years of trying to find an agreement acceptable to all sides. The first attempt was conducted the following year in 1973; the Sunningdalle Conference sought a solution with a power sharing executive at Stormont and a council of Ireland to incorporate the Irish ideas. Successful only for a short while the executive fell with loyalist scrutiny and objections over the all Ireland Council. And during a workers strike too the labour government failed to keep things up.
In 1981 Bobby Sands an IRA prisoner began a hunger strike, he won the Fermanagh and south Tyrone by-election on April 11th. He died on the 5th of May and riots followed. A 100,000 people attended his funeral. The hunger strikes finished on October 3rd after ten republican deaths. This and the hard line stance that the then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher took stirred up a new generation of young Nationalists who supported Sinn Fein instead of the moderate SDLP. This urged Margaret Thatcher in to something called the Anglo-Irish agreement (1985), which for the first time involved the republic in consultations over the north.
This wasn’t a direct solution and it outraged some unionists but it helped later when deeper negotiations went under way. What really started the peace process off was SDLP’s leader John Hume’s decision to begin talks with Sinn Fein’s Gerry Adams. This persuaded Peter Brook the British secretary of state for Northern Ireland to admit that the IRA could not be defeated by force and that the British had no selfish, economic or strategic reason to stay in Northern Ireland, quite a turning point in British attitude.
Between 1991 and 92 multiparty talks begin but Sinn Fein were left out because of their continuing paramilitary involvement. John Hume led the talks but without Sinn Fein’s participation they were going no where. An increased effort after the Warrington bomb in 93 where two small children were killed was made by many parties to get the IRA to begin a cease-fire the Downing Street Declaration came out of it. Eventually in 1994 the IRA declared a complete cessation of military operations and later that year Loyalist paramilitaries made a similar declaration.
This seamed a perfect time for a peace agreement to be reached but there were problems. The Taoiseact of Finna Fail in the republic fell from power and was replaced by one not welcome in the eyes of the unionists. John Major insisted that all paramilitary weapons are decommissioned in advance of any talks. And the last straw came about in the summer of 95 when orange men at Drumcree forced their way through a nationalist housing estate lead by Ian paisley and David Trimble.
Furthermore John Major infuriated the nationalists when he decided to undergo elections to a new Northern Ireland forum ahead of any talks. On the 9th of February 1996 the IRA therefore ended its 17-month cease-fire with an explosion in London killing two people. It took until Tony Blair came into power in 1997 for the peace process to move forward from this point. Tony Blair a gifted and very intelligent politician and his very understanding Northern Ireland secretary Mo Mowlem soon rebooted talks in northern Ireland.
John Hume, David Trimble and Bertie Aherne were also deeply involved, Hume and Trimble got the Nobel Peace Prize. Blair said, “the settlement train is leaving with or without Sinn Fein” and sure enough the IRA cease-fire was restored on July the 20th. Blair tried to avoid John Majors mistakes with decommissioning and took a more moderate approach by stating that decommissioning should go on during the peace talks from September until May 98. After Discussions with Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams, Mo Molem said that Sinn Fein would be admitted to the peace talks.
On September the 15th Sinn Fein entered the talks and although initially the unionists staid away by October all sides sat down at Stormont to talks for the first time in 25 years. Mo Molem saved the peace talks, when unionist paramilitaries voted for their representatives to walk out she paid them a personal visit and they decided to reverse their decision. The talks grew to a stage were Sinn Fein who had been previously very unwilling to enter peace talks felt hard done by when they were suspended for being linked to an IRA attack. All parties regrouped and eventually the agreement was signed.
It was a very difficult process which needed intricate political practice because any small event or anything out of place would have a very large knock on effect and would constantly threaten to brake up the whole thing. An example of the careful political tactics played in the GFA was; that when a devolved Northern Ireland parliament was going to be reinstated in some Unionists eyes this was a close step to Britain getting rid of Northern Ireland. But at that same time Blair also introduced devolved powers into Scotland and Wales making the unionists all together much happier about the situation.
From the point of the signing of the GFA there are two ways in which you can look at future peace. One; because their are so many people to please and to please one of these is to displease another how can one agreement that has taken so long to produce hold together. And two; because their has been so much put into this agreement and for the first time an agreement has been reached it must mean that there is no possible other agreement and this one must be right. I think there are elements of truth in both those statements.
The problems left over or not solved from the Good Friday Agreement were and in most cases still are: Sectarianism; this is embedded deep in Irelands history and has been the norm for so many years yet Northern Ireland can not be united when sectors of the public not only don’t mix but in a lot of cases hate each other to death. A recent example of sectarianism in its full horror and belligerence was when the parents of catholic children and the children them selves were verbally and in some cases physically attacked when walking to school through a protestant estate.
It was done as protest against sectarianism and was to the public a very eye opening and emotive scene. Paramilitaries; in the GFA an incentive was put in to place for all the paramilitaries, which was that paramilitary prisoners would be released early. What was demanded of the paramilitaries was to decommission all their weapons. It was scene that this would be a slow process but out of it would come some sort of lasting peace and the various compromises such as Amnesty would ensure this.
The problem was that there was no more decommissioning after the talks had ended and beatings in local areas had not fallen. The families of the victims of paramilitary tyranny felt it was an insult to have their killers set free. It is now interesting to see that since September the 11th and President Bush’s declaration of war against terrorism that the IRA in all its splinter groups have decide to start decommissioning for the first time since 1998. This is an example of the impact and importance of the US government in Northern Ireland.
Northern Ireland Assembly; Although this had made good progress in the appointing of a well respected speaker (lord Alderdice) and the appointment of David Trimble as first minister with Seamus Mallon as his deputy, the assembly made slow progress. By 1999 it had still not appointed a cabinet, and the whole process was halted by the fact the IRA hadn’t decommissioned there weapons. Since then the assembly has been stalled twice and although just recently Gerry Adams and Sinn Fein have taken up their offices in London they will not take up their seats in the Houses Parliament, as they will not swear an oath to the queen.
RUC; in the GFA an incentive for the Catholics was that there would be a review and reform of policing in Northern Ireland. Since partition in 1921 the RUC or Royal Ulster Constabulary have been the primary keepers of the law and along with the B-specials (an armed back up force) they have been scene from the catholic point of view as being solely against them. The reason for this is that the B-specials and RUC are made up of nearly all Protestants and they carry out the law set by a protestant government.
Although now it is said that the RUC have become totally professional and have reformed from their past ways the nationalists still see the RUC as a symbol of catholic repression related with Internment and Human rights allegations. It is and has always been difficult for Catholics to get involved with the RUC as Nationalist paramilitaries intimidate them so what is needed is a total turn over and a new beginning. Amnesty; Another Problem with the paramilitaries was amnesty and haw far it should stretch.
Early release from prison was promised but should amnesty also go as far as to pardon fugitives and re-offenders. To some people such as the Paramilitaries them selves ‘yes’ was the answer but to others namely the victims the answer was ‘defiantly not’. Another problem was that once these people were set free what power did the legislation have to convict them again if there paramilitary groups became active. The Republican Movement; most Republicans were set on a non violent approach this was due a lot to Gerry Adams but in august 1999 the horrific Qmagh bomb was set of outside a children’s clothes shop. 1 people died, 2 of these were unborn babies. This Inexcusable event was scene as appalling by everyone and no sympathy was left for violent republicanism. Although a great wound in the peace process it solidified everyone’s resolve to overcome all odds and secure the peace process. But still there are many hard-liners in the republican movement who believe fully in their cause and they will not be quashed so easily. The Loyalist Movement; more recently there has been an increase in hard line loyalist movements.
In 1999 7 people died as result of paramilitary groups in 2000 that had more than doubled to 18 and then last year 17 were killed. It is said that although in Northern Ireland at the moment there is a time of unprecedented peace, people in the streets of Belfast have noticed no change. Hundreds of young protestant men have been recruited and they are aspiring to something, which I think shows the depth of the hatred that flows through the void in the peace process. Those who they aspire to are men whom on April 14th 1984 attempted to assassinate Gerry Adams, who survived after being shot four times.
To think if he’d died what would things in Ireland be like today, I feel that many Loyalists believe things would have been better for them, that really disturbs me because that is true hatred. As you can see the deep history of Northern Ireland is greatly involved in the reason that the Good Friday agreement has not yet resulted in a lasting peace. And there is a whole load of new problems, which will always be the legacy of the GFA. The Good Friday Agreement has put into place all the right structures and ideals needed for a lasting peace it is now for the people working with this to want to progress.
There has always been and will always be much support from other countries. The USA has always made Ireland one of their highest foreign priorities. And now with the European Economic Community Northern Ireland is receiving financial help to eradicate poverty, improving many peoples lifestyle, Which has improved attitudes and has therefore improved the chance for peace. Foreign policy, attitudes and involvement are very important in the bringing together of Northern Ireland and although some people living there will say that it is nothing to do with anyone else things are greatly influenced.
An example of which is something I mentioned earlier about the IRA’s Decision to start decommissioning after America’s declaration of war on terrorism. I think lasting peace can be attained in Northern Ireland it is up to a younger generation who are not hung up on old ways and can break forward in forgetting and forgiving the past. It should therefore be our job at the moment to protect the views of these people becase they are the ones who will be running the country in years to come. They are the ones who’ll give peace a chance.