The Conflict in Northern Ireland – Issues in 2013

For centuries in Northern Ireland there has been conflicts, mainly as a result of religious and political tension. More recently, dispute and conflict has occurred as a result of disagreement over the nature of Northern Ireland’s relationship with the UK and whether they should remain part of it. The Protestant Unionist community feel it should remain part of it whilst other, mainly being the National Catholic community want to leave the UK and become part of the Republic of Ireland.

The Troubles

In 1969 there was a lot of unrest and violence as a result of Catholic civil rights marches and counter-protests by Protestant loyalists – loyalists meaning those being ‘loyal’ to the british crown and the UK. This conflict meant that help was needed, so British troops were sent over to Northern Ireland. Unfortunately, these troops soon came into conflict with the Provisional IRA (Irish Republican Army). As the situation worsened, Northern Ireland’s parliament was suspended and direct rule imposed from London.


Further Violence

As the years went by, right into the early 1990s, paramilitary groups waged violent campaigns to pursue their goals. The IRA carried out deadly bomb and gun attacks in Britain and Northern Ireland that targeted police, soldiers, politicians and civilians. Loyalist paramilitaries targeted Catholics in “tit-for-tat” killings. Police and British forces tried to keep order, sometimes amid controversy, such as the alleged co-operation of some undercover units with loyalist groups.


After a lot of negotiation and discussion, IRA and loyalist ceasefires held and in 1998 the “Good Friday” agreement was signed. This agreement was to set up a power-sharing executive as to neutralise the chance of a dictatorship and prevent further violence. A referendum vote, by the people of Northern Ireland, made the agreement legitimate as it had the public support to go ahead.


Problems remain as devolution has been suspended several times since it began and violence seems to exist, although not as often as it had been in the past. On January 5th 2013 disruption and violence has occurred in Belfast over the decision to fly the union flag only on designated days. About 100 loyalists attacked officers with bricks, bottles, fireworks and smoke canisters and a 38-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder. Some loyalist even claimed that the attacks were provoked by republicans. To date, more than 40 police officers have been hurt, several politicians have received death threats and homes and property have been damaged.

When the issues in Northern Ireland end? Or are the troubles already over? Leave your opinion below.

Thanks for reading,

Digestible Politics


11 comments on “The Conflict in Northern Ireland – Issues in 2013

  1. candidobservation says:

    Thanks for following me!

  2. Thanks for liking and following my journal posts

  3. bilwal says:

    Thanks for the like and following my blog, Washington Freak Show.

  4. lewismerdler says:

    Hey, great blog, v interesting. Thanks for following my at lewisinchile

  5. Mr Rose says:

    I would bet as the economy continues to tighten you’ll see a resurgence of those dividing lines. This is the first I’ve heard in a while on N. Ireland and UK relations, thanks

  6. […]… I didn’t hear about this when it happened, but stuff has been getting crazier exponentially. This is just one more unstable fault line likely to let loose as the coming economic pressures continue to increase. […]

  7. cricketmuse says:

    I had no idea troubles were beginning again. How sad that this beautiful is so marred by violence.

  8. I was still living in the UK when ‘the Troubles” started in the 60s. As I remember it, British troops were originally sent in to protect the Catholic population from violence at the hands of the Protestants, in the wake of rabid incitement by the (not very) Reverend Ian Paisley.How did it all go so wrong, that the British army became “the enemy” in the eyes of the Catholics?

  9. Jack Curtis says:

    Well, bless my sainted great grandmother Brigid of Cork! Here’s my version, to clarify things:
    1. The damn sassenach (Brits) are the cause of all the Troubles; they won the Battle of the Boyne (1690) but failed to kill all the Irishmen. Everyone knows an Irishman is not beaten until he is dead and on occasion, not then.
    2. The conquering Brits urinated (see how nice?) on the locals in approved fashion which the locals for some reason, resented. There was an Easter Uprising in 1916, followed by an Irish Civil War through the 1920’s. Lots of British troops.
    3. After the end of WWII restored what passed for normalcy, the two sides restored their conflict. The Catholic side is still fighting the Battle of the Boyne and the Brits are getting tired Neither side really remembers exactly why they are fighting any more, seems to me, just that it’s what they do. And neither the Brits nor the Republic of Ireland are above providing a poke now and then.

    This must be correct; my great grandmother explained it to me!

  10. marioch303 says:

    Firstly thanks for following Freemasonry Facts. Secondly, an interesting summation of the lead up to the current state of Northern Ireland. I grew up in a mainland seaside town that suffered a IRA attack and that still bears the memories to this day so the subject holds a great deal of interest for me. As a counterpoint to the loyalist rioting, in 2009 there was the shooting of two off duty soldiers at Massereene Barracks. From what I’ve been able to gather it seems to be that the previous generation of malcontents on both sides trying to stir up the younger generation to carry the torch on. But most of the IRA factions appeared to have devolved from any serious intention of splitting Northern Ireland away from the UK to using it as a pretext to keep their smuggling going (See Thomas ‘Slab’ Murphy).

  11. irishroverpei says:

    The unending struggle that makes no sense at all. I was born in N.Ireland and I’m a protestant! However I prefer to call myself Irish not British. I have no quarrel with the Brits and indeed have many good friends from there. Flying a flag any flag will cause trouble in the North!!as will wearing your football team colours. Like I said makes no sense. The major problem as I see it is education, the public school system in Ulster teaches British history, it should be teaching Irish history. Just ask some skin head prod on the Shankill road what he knows about James Connolly or Michael Collins etc etc. Would he have any idea how or why De Valera kept the Republic neutral during the 2nd WW. Would he know the Fire depts from the South came to the aid of Belfast during the blitz. Would he have any idea of the risk they ran in doing so. The answer to these question would all be No. Not a wining situation at present and unfortunately probably not in my lifetime. However Ireland needs to be unified.
    Sorry I have run on a wee bit!!!! thanks for visiting my blog

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