Conflict in Northern Ireland

6980 Words28 Pages
For many years there has been a tense conflict in Northern Ireland between the Unionists and the Nationalists. The disagreement is over whether Ireland should be one nation ruled by its own government or whether Northern Ireland should be separate and governed by the British. Both of these groups have beliefs that they fight for passionately and the opinions that they hold have been formed from events in history and of the recent decades. Currently, the Republic of Ireland is an independent country which has its own parliament and government in Dublin and the north of Ireland is part of the United Kingdom and ruled by the British government. However, the way Ireland has been ruled over the past centuries has changed numerously. The Unionists and Nationalists have both had periods of control and they have been in constant conflict about the situation in Ireland, which has sometimes led to violence in both Ireland and Britain. The Unionists, who consist mainly of Protestants, believe that Northern Ireland should be part of the UK and are happy to be governed by the British, who say that they will not withdraw from Northern Ireland as long as the majority living there want to remain British. Most Unionists will also choose to follow another smaller organisation, which despite all sharing the same main Unionist views, tend to have slightly different methods and beliefs. The first of these organisations is the UUP, which stands for Ulster Unionist Party. The party was set up in the late 19th century to defend the interests of the Northern Protestants. It can also be known as the “official unionist party”. The UUP ruled Northern Ireland between 1920 and 1971. The Democratic Unionist Party, or DUP, is the second most powerful Unionist organisation, set up in 1971 by Ian Paisley. The DUP has taken much working-class support away from the UUP. It has taken a
Open Document