British Troops in Northern Ireland in 1969

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British Troops in Northern Ireland in 1969

In August of 1969 British Troops were sent to Northern Irelandunder

the order of Harold Wilson, the British Prime Minister. This action

was due, to growing tensions between the Catholic and Protestant

communities all over Ireland since the turn of the 20th Century.

There had always been long term problems between the Catholics and

Protestants of Northern Ireland which are rooted deep in the histories

of England and Ireland. There were also many short-term factors and

triggers which caused Prime Minister Wilson to take the action that he


There are many elements to these factors and they built up over many

years. Some of them even stem back to the 12th Century! From the 12th

Century up until the 1900's the tensions between the Catholics and

Protestants continued to grow. In 1969 the R.U.C (Royal Ulster

Constabulary) lost control of the riots, started when peaceful

Catholic Civil Rights protests and marches came under attack from the

Protestants. On the 13th August 1969Jack Lynch, the Prime Minister of

the Irish Republic, made a speech on National Television criticising

the Northern Ireland Government.

This Speech caused Harold Wilson to send members of the British Army

over to the streets of Ireland to restore order.

The long term causes of the problems between the Catholics and

Protestants of Northern Ireland are rooted in the histories of England

and Ireland. Since the 12th Century and the invasion of Henry 2nd in

Ireland. Where English settlers were given land that belonged to the

conquered Irish. These settlers had more power and privileges than the

native Irish. From t...

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...t Term Factors and Triggers.

Included in these factors were Bloody Sunday, the Easter Rising of

1916 and the growth in support for the political party of Sinn Fein. I

think that the main reason that Harold Wilson sent troops onto Ireland

was when the Battle of Bogside began. Mr Wilson knew that the

situation in Ireland was out of control, but he still trusted in the

Irish Government to sort it out. When the Battle of the Bogside began,

Wilson knew that something had to be done before Ireland turned into

one huge blood bath. The Catholics had already barricaded themselves

into the Bogside area and were prepared to do whatever necessary to

keep the Protestants and R.U.C out. Mr Wilson could also see that

necessary action needed to be taken before Ireland broke out into

Civil War. This is why he sent troops in to Ireland.
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