Northern Ireland: The Troubles Essay

842 words - 4 pages

There were extreme and moderate politicians. Some politicians supported the idea of segregation, discrimination and a protestant rule. Others stated that the differences were the choice of Catholics or they tried to improve rights for Catholics.Some protestant politicians thought that the majority should rule. Two thirds of Northern Ireland's population was Protestant and one third were Catholic. Ian Paisley formed the Ulster Protestant Action group. He claimed that because Catholics were not loyal to the union, they shouldn't deserve the rights that were given to Protestants. He also set up a newspaper, the protestant telegraph to encourage many Protestants that the Catholic Church was a threat to Ulster's Protestant heritage. He encouraged Protestants to keep only protestant workers and not Catholic workers, "keep protestant and loyal workers in employment in times of depression in preference to their fellow Catholic workers", he thought that Protestants should only keep their jobs and be economically better of. He also thought that if Catholics were more powerful then Protestants there would be a Rome rule, as he thought Catholics were loyal to the Pope. Basil Brooke the Northern Ireland prime minister from 1943-1963 also shared similar views to Ian Paisley. He thought Catholics had different loyalties, if Catholics had power in Northern Ireland, the Pope would run Northern Ireland. He also thought that Protestants should be economically stronger then Catholics, "There a great number of Protestants and Orangemen who employ Roman Catholics. I would point out that Roman Catholics are trying to get in everywhere ... I would appeal to Loyalists therefore, wherever possible to employ Protestant lads and lassies". Basil Brooke thought Catholics were disloyal and he didn't approve of any seats in Stormont going to Nationalist parties. Influential Irish Conservative MP Edward Carson said that "home rule meant Rome rule", he thought that if Catholics were to get any dominance in Northern Ireland it would be a Rome rule. Other MP's such as Roy Guilespie of the DUP (democratic unionist party) thought the Roman Catholic Church is a problem and that the Catholic churches aim is to destroy Protestantism, "The Roman Catholic Church is the problem in our province.... Rome's aim is to destroy Protestantism". Some extreme politicians saw that Protestants worked more harder, they saw most protestants as hard working investors, working more harder and relaxing less. They viewed Catholics as people who had bigger families they would get more benefits so therefore they would live of the state so all they would do is go to the pub and have drinks and socialise. Some Protestants politicians were angered by the idea that only Catholics suffered hardships while a privileged Protestant community looked down on them. They felt that Protestants also had to deal with poor living conditions and hardship.The moderate politicians thought that Catholics deliberately chose not to mix with the Protestants. For example, take the education area. Catholic parents were allowed to send their children state schools but they chose to send their children to special schools only for Catholics. They also thought that Catholics were not employed in the public service because it was their decision not to, take the police force, Catholics did not want to swear allegiance to the union, so therefore were not part of the police force, there was no public policy in not employing Catholics in the police force. The Ulster Unionist party argued that Nationalists had not played a constructive role in Northern Irelands politics, so it was their fault that they did not have much of a say in Northern Ireland. William Smith the chairman of a progressive unionist party said that Protestants and Catholics were to blame for the misrule of Stormont "There was an elite grouping within the Unionist party who were the aristocracy, the landowners, the rich, and they manipulated the situation in Stormont for 70 years. So when people talk about misrule in Stormont I would agree with them. But it was misrule of Catholics and Protestants not just Catholics". Other politicians saw no difference between Catholics and Protestants, they thought the press exaggerated the differences. Terrence O'Neill attempted to make reforms, he wanted a unity between Catholics and Protestants. He didn't spend his time only on Protestants but also Catholics. He wanted the Protestants and Catholics united in economic factors. He invited the Taoiseach Sean Lemass to Belfast in 1965. In 1967 a new Taoiseach, Jack Lynch was elected in the Republic. O'Neill met him as well and made the point of shaking his hand publicly. To the watching world, the prospect that Catholics and Protestants can bond socially and peacefully was greater then ever.

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