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The Northern-Irish conflict

Kort om konflikten i Nord-Irland.

The Northern-Irish conflict dates back to not only one, but probably several historical incidents.


In 1170, Henry 2 of England attempted to attach Ireland to his kingdom. He did not succeed, but established control in a small area outside Dublin. For the remaining Irish clans, England now became their major enemy and threat, against their customs and way of life.


By the end of Queen Elisabeth's reign, military conquests had established control in most parts of Ireland, with the exception of the northern province of Ulster. The Ulster clans had succeeded in creating an effective alliance against Queen Elisabeth's armies, but was eventually defeated and brought under English rule. English colonists settled in these areas and by 1703 less then 5 per cent of the land of Ulster belonged to Catholics Irish. The native people of Ulster remained in the conquered areas, but were gradually expelled from the land that they used to own. The result of the settling of Ulster was the introduction of a foreign community, which spoke a different language, represented another culture and way of life. In addition, most of the newcomers were Protestants, while the native Irish were Catholic. This probably added a new dimension to the conflict.

The next two centuries, differences between Protestants and Catholics increased. The Irish monarchy, parliament and government based in Dublin, enforced several new laws against Catholics. In 1801, in an attempt to increase the direct control of Ireland, the Irish government were abolished and it's responsibilities taken over by England. During the 19th century several movements tried overthrowing the new government. Some using legal measures and some uses physical force to achieve their goal.

During Easter week an armed rising attempted to overthrow the government, but failed. Their leaders were killed, creating sympathy for the IRA and Sinn Fein, its political wing. In the 1918 election, Sinn Fein replaced the old Irish parliamentary parties, and established its own Irish parliament. The following War of Independence between Britain and the IRA was eventually ended by a treaty signed in 1920. The treaty also confirmed the northern counties of Ulster as protestant land. Now, roughly speaking, the Catholics lived in the southern parts of the country and the Protestants in the northern.


By the 1950s there were growing signs that some Catholics



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