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Tags Current Affairs

Unrest in Northern Ireland

Date: 12 April 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous


Large number of people are indulging in protests in Northern Ireland. They have resorted to hurling fireworks, bricks at police.



The situation has reminded the people of Catholic-Protestant conflict, known as “The Troubles”. A 1998 peace deal reduced these tensions.



  • Northern Ireland is part of the island of Ireland but politically it is part of United Kingdom. The Republic of Ireland became free after years of colonisation by the British.

  • Roman Catholic majority areas became free from control and formed independent Ireland. Protestant areas in North remained part of UK as Northern Island.

  • The Roman Catholic minority started conflict with the government through an armed insurgency that resulted in bombings and violence.

  • The British army was deployed to maintain peace but were opposed by Irish Republican army that aimed to merge north and the south of Ireland.

  • The conflict resulted in large number of civilian deaths in Northern Ireland mostly through bombings. There were also sign of violence in London and other parts.


End of conflict

  • The Good Friday accord of 1998 made paramilitary forces lay down their arms. It also established a power sharing agreement between Protestants and Catholics for governing Northern Ireland.

  • Northern Ireland would remain part of United Kingdom until the majority wish. There were no details on referendum of reunification.


Eruption of violence

  • The violence has been majorly observed in protestant areas but has since spread to Catholic majority areas.

  • The major concern is regarding Brexit where protestant unionists are in favour whereas catholic nationalists are against it.

  • The move to open border for movement of people and goods between Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland is opposed by Union supporters.

  • There is a belief that this move will create fissures in politics of Northern Ireland and issue of referendum may arise soon.

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