The Troubles of Northen Ireland
When people think of Ireland, they usually think of little red-haired leprechaun drinking beer and dancing in a green field full of four leaf clovers, or at least one aspect of that description. When asked about Northern Ireland specifically, one usually doesn't know that there are two separate countries on the island of Ireland. When asked about the Troubles of Northern Ireland, people usually just shrug their shoulders and say that they have no idea what I'm talking about.
I am researching The Troubles of Northern Ireland for a paper in my English class. The Troubles are both a historic and current problem in Northern Ireland. They stem from the tension between the Catholic and Protestant people who are continuously getting into fights, both verbal and violent. This tension stems from way back in 1600's when the Irish Catholic people were conquered by the Protestant English and Scottish. The relationship between the two peoples became much worse after the Special Powers Act (SPA) of 1922 was passed. This act gave the police, who were basically all Protestant, almost unlimited power. The police abused their power and used it to oppress the Catholics. There have been many more acts and events that have further created a divide between the Protestants and Catholics. Bombings from both the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and Unionists that support the British (AKA the Catholics and Protestants) have killed thousands of people over the years.
The most famous event of The Troubles is known as Bloody Sunday, now internationally known because of the band U2. On January 30, 1972, a march took place in Londonderry to protest the attainment of suspected Catholic terrorists who were being held without a trail. During this march, British troops open fired into a crowd killing 13 and wounding 12. This event caused a chain of events that resulted in many more deaths.
Northern Ireland may be pretty peaceful on the surface today, but the tension and hate for the opposing religions is still very much alive. I hope that in time, all of Ireland will become a peaceful land where one doesn't have to worry about which religion their their neighbor is. Until then, I will continue to research this topic.