There have been many peace initiatives that haven't succeeded due to
the long term causes i.e. the centuries of conflict in Ireland.
Therefore I am only going to look at the most recent reasons as to why
the attempts for peace have all failed. The peace initiatives first
came about after the period known as 'The Troubles' came prominent.
These were sparked off by marches made by Catholics, which clashed
with Protestants and escalated in violence. Things became so bad that
in 1969 the British government made the decision to deploy its Army to
act as a 'peace keeping force'. Eventually the situation became so
dire that in 1972 Westminster imposed 'direct rule' upon Northern
Ireland. Since then politicians have been constantly vying for peace
with four main peace initiatives proposed, the 1973 power sharing
Sunningdale Agreement, 1985 Anglo-Irish Agreement, 1993 Downing Street
Declaration and most recently the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. However,
all of the aims of these 'Agreements' were not accomplished, all due
to many factors.
One of the causes which sparked off the need for peace intiatives,
marches and protests, came back to haunt the initiatives later on.
Unionists refused some of the terms of the Sunningdale Power Sharing
Executive as it gave Catholics an equal say in the running of Northern
Ireland. They felt threatened, as they didn't want to risk the north
re-joining with the south because of Nationalist supremacy. Therefore
they held massive strikes across Ulster and practically brought the
country to a standstill; with economic paralysis the country couldn't
function. Naturally ...
... middle of paper ...
...lusion, all of these factors inter-relate creating a web of
causation. For example the division in the community mean people make
marches which in turn spark off violence and the divide in the
communities lead to division in politics. From my point of view there
seems to have been not enough major change or decisions made by the
Northern Ireland government, however, finally thanks to the Good
Friday Agreement some steps forward are beginning to happen, like the
decommissioning of arms by the IRA. On the other hands incidents such
as Holy Cross still show secretarian violence and highlight the need
for more education of the two communities and an attempt to break down
the wall between these groups. Politics can make major changes but
until the two groups can live and work aside or even together, peace
will be a far cry.
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