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[12:50:30] Raffi : Northern Ireland With Special Attention To The Northern Ireland Conflict

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1 Introduction

2 Country

3 Map of Ireland

4 Economy

5 Actual political groups in Northern Ireland

5.1. Unionists

5.2. Nationalists

6 Historical background

6.1. First settlements

6.2. St. Patrick

6.3. The Vikings

6.4. The Normans

6.5. The “Plantations” of English and Scottish

6.6. Elizabethan wars

6.7. The Battle of Boyne

6.8. The Great famine

6.9. The Fenians

6.10. Easter Rising 1916

7 The Northern Ireland conflict

7.1. The Birth of the conflict

7.2. Bloody Sunday

7.3. Bloody Friday

7.4. The hunger strikes

7.5. The Good Friday Agreement

7.6. The long “peace”

8 Sources

1. Introduction “Die Presse”, Friday 7th of April 2006

“Despite the murdering of a British agent in Ireland one week ago the English Premier Tony Blair and his Irish counterpart Bertie Ahern are talking about a new plan for peace in Northern Ireland. They tried to make clear for the arguing parties, that this would be their last chance. If they would not establish a new regional parliament for the Province of Ulster until May 15th 2006, the administration of Northern Ireland will be made by the English for indefinite time”.

The Northern Ireland Conflict is a long lasting story. If British and Irish governments are talking about “The long peace” they only mean a policy of limiting the conflict to an “acceptable level of violence” in the last years. The only aim, a peaceful living of all Irish population, is not reached until 2006.

I will try to illuminate the background of the politics of Northern Ireland by dealing with the following points:

 The Country

 The actual political groups of Northern Ireland

 The historical background of Ireland

 The Northern Ireland Conflict

 Religion or English / Irish identity - reason for the Northern Ireland Conflict?

2. Country

Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom or rather one of its four constituent countries. To its territory belong Rathlin Island in the Northcanal and a lot of smaller islands. The total area of Northern Ireland is about a sixth of the total area of the island. Northern Ireland has a population of 1,685,000 (April 2001). Northern Ireland is also called “Ulster”, as it consists of six out of nine counties, which formed the Province of Ulster in former times.

 County Antrim

 County Armagh

 County Down

 County Fermanagh

 County Londonderry (or County Derry)

 County Tyrone

These counties are not used for local government purposes, instead of this there are twenty-six districts of Northern Ireland which have different geographical extents.

The centrepiece of Northern Ireland's geography is Lough Neagh, with 392 kmÐ'І the largest freshwater lake in the British Isles.

There are substantial uplands in the Sperrin Mountains with extensive gold deposits, granite Mourne Mountains and basalt Antrim Plateau. None of the hills are especially high, with Slieve Donard in the dramatic Mournes reaching 848 m, Northern Ireland's highest point. The volcanic activity which created the Antrim Plateau also formed the Giant's Causeway which is an impressing sight at the Northcoast, a stone formation of thousands of densely side by side standing hexagonal piers out of black basalt that plunges down in amazing cliffs.

The coast is heavily jagged and has an overall length of about 530 kilometres.

The capital just as the largest city of Northern Ireland is Belfast with 282 500 inhabitants (2000). In addition to that Belfast is the second largest city on the whole island of Ireland. Londonderry is another big town which has above all due to its harbour a significant economic importance

3. Map of Ireland

4. Economy

Northern Ireland’s economy is based upon agriculture, textiles and engineering. The jewel in the crown was Harland & Wolff shipyard, the largest in the world, where the Titanic was built. The Depression in the 1920s hit Northern Ireland hard, with rates of employment approaching 25%. The Second World War briefly restored the fortunes of traditionally industries, but in the post-war period Northern Ireland’s unemployment was some 5% higher than in Great Britain. In the 1980s Northern Ireland had the most substantial health and education provision in the UK, while also having the highest level of unemployment and the lowest level of income. Catholics, perhaps due to their historic concentration in areas of high unemployment and low grades within jobs, were disproportionately affected. Protestants enjoyed almost all the economic advantages of 20 000 well-paid jobs connected to the security forces. Nevertheless in 1990 standards of living were still around 40% higher in the north than in the Republic of Ireland. The picture changed in the 1990s as the Republic



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