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The British Government Essay

1708 words - 7 pages

The British Government

This essay is going to be about whether or not the British government
succeeded when dealing with the trouble since 1972.

On Sunday 30th January 1972, Bloody Sunday took place. The events of
this day provoked more violence and social unrest. This is because
Bloody Sunday provided a recruitment boost for the IRA who stepped up
their bombing campaign. All of this forced Britain to take
responsibility of the trouble which soon followed.

Direct rule meant that the province (Northern Ireland) was run by a
British government minister, the Northern Ireland secretary. The
British government brought in direct rule because it was a ...view middle of the document...

The key ideas
behind power sharing were that a new assembly and council would be set
up in Northern Ireland. This was a positive consequence as it meant
that the assembly and council gave the chance for Belfast, Dublin and
London to sit down and discuss issues of concern that each of them
had. It gave them a chance to work together instead of bickering. The
details of this council were discussed and worked out between Northern
Ireland parties and British and Irish governments in the Sunningdale
agreement of December 9th` 1973. That meant that the main parties were
at the ‘table’. It gave them the opportunity to see each others point
of view and take it on board. When the Sunningdale agreement was
announced, The Nationalists were extremely happy. They liked the idea
of a council of Ireland and hoped that it would give the republic some
say in how Northern Ireland was run. However, there were two groups
that were unhappy and disagreed with the agreement. These were
unionists and the SDLP. On a positive note, Britain was now aware of
the need to share power between both sides. They saw that the
nationalist community should be given a chance to have a say in how
Northern Ireland was run. This was a positive consequence in the long
term as they could have a say in what happened in the future. That was
dealt with very well by the British government. However, on the
negative side, power sharing began to fail. Many people saw power
sharing as unstable from the very start and agreed that it was bound
to fail. It failed because Unionist suspicion of the council of
Ireland brought it down. The unionists felt they had been ‘sold out’
by the British. Support for a peace strike increased among the
unionist population. Much of this was because people were being forced
into striking by the Loyalist paramilitary. This brought Northern
Ireland to a halt. Because of this, unionist leader, Brian Faulkner,
resigned on the 27th May after Power Sharing had been defeated.
Northern Ireland was now back to Direct Rule. This was a major
negative consequence, as Ireland had now taken a step back, and it
would now take even longer for violence to diminish.

The next problem Ireland faced was the Anglo-Irish treaty of 1985. The
Anglo-Irish treaty was agreed between Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
and Irish Taoiseach Garret Fitzgerald. It set up an intergovernmental
conference where the Northern Ireland secretary and the Irish Foreign
Minister would meet regularly. The British government accepted that
there might one day be a united Ireland, but only with the consent of
the majority in Northern Ireland. The Irish government then accepted
the existence of partition, and also the principle of consent. The
British felt the need for this agreement because they were concerned
about, again, the increase in IRA...

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