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The Troubles, violent conflict from about to in Northern Ireland between the overwhelmingly Protestant unionists (loyalists), who desired the province.


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News about Northern Ireland, including commentary and archival articles published in The New York Times.


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Read the latest Northern Ireland headlines, on NewsNow: the one-stop shop for We travelled from England to Belfast by air and this is what happened Belfast.


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With events and festivals all over Northern Ireland for all the family, there is always fun to be found.


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The Troubles (Irish: Na Trioblóidí) were an ethno-nationalist conflict in Northern Ireland during the late 20th century. Also known internationally as the Northern.


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Read the latest Northern Ireland headlines, on NewsNow: the one-stop shop for We travelled from England to Belfast by air and this is what happened Belfast.


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It thus became the focus for the longest major campaign in the history of the British Army. On 1 January , People's Democracy began a four-day march from Belfast to Derry, which was repeatedly harassed and attacked by loyalists. He died of his injuries the next day. It was led by Gusty Spence , a former British soldier. The marchers claimed that police did nothing to protect them and that some officers helped the attackers. After the Irish Civil War of —, this part of the treaty was given less priority by the new Dublin government led by W. Home Rule, although passed in the British Parliament with Royal Assent , was suspended for the duration of the war. The government of Northern Ireland passed the Special Powers Act in , giving sweeping powers to the government and police to intern suspects without trial and to administer corporal punishment such as flogging to re-establish or preserve law and order. Although O'Neill was a unionist, they viewed him as being too 'soft' on the civil rights movement and opposed his policies. After the IRA called off its campaign in , Northern Ireland became relatively stable for a brief period. Unionist governments ignored Edward Carson 's warning in that alienating Catholics would make Northern Ireland inherently unstable. In , unionists led by Edward Carson signed the Ulster Covenant and pledged to resist Home Rule by force if necessary. The British government 's position is that its forces were neutral in the conflict, trying to uphold law and order in Northern Ireland and the right of the people of Northern Ireland to democratic self-determination. The outbreak of the First World War in , and Ireland's involvement in the war , temporarily averted possible civil war in Ireland and delayed the resolution of the question of Irish independence. Republican paramilitaries carried out a guerrilla campaign against British security forces as well as a bombing campaign against infrastructural, commercial and political targets. In the mids, a non-violent civil rights campaign began in Northern Ireland. Loyalists especially members of the UPV attacked some of the marches and held counter-demonstrations in a bid to get the marches banned. The Orange Order founded , with its stated goal of upholding the Protestant faith and loyalty to the heirs of William of Orange , dates from this period and remains active to this day. In response to the campaign for Home Rule which started in the s, unionists, mostly Protestant and largely concentrated in Ulster, had resisted both self-government and independence for Ireland, fearing for their future in an overwhelmingly Catholic country dominated by the Roman Catholic Church. The conflict was primarily political and nationalistic , fuelled by historical events. Nationalists regarded the state forces as forces of occupation or partisan combatants in the conflict, while Unionists tended to support the locally recruited RUC. A group of about 30 IRA members was involved in the fighting in Belfast. The incident invigorated the civil rights movement. There were some incidents of collusion between British security forces and loyalist paramilitaries. At Burntollet Bridge the marchers were attacked by about loyalists, including some off-duty police officers, armed with iron bars, bricks and bottles in a planned ambush. These included severe rioting in Belfast in the s and s, and the IRA's brief Northern Campaign in the s and Border Campaign between and , which did not enjoy broad popular support among nationalists. This created polarisation between the communities and a dramatic reduction in reformers among Protestants, many of whom had been growing more receptive to democratic reform. Cosgrave , and was quietly dropped. By the second decade of the 20th century, Home Rule, or limited Irish self-government, was on the brink of being conceded due to the agitation of the Irish Parliamentary Party. Taunts and missiles were exchanged between the loyalists and nationalist residents. As the Penal Laws started to be phased out in the latter part of the 18th century, there was more competition for land, as restrictions were lifted on the Irish Catholic ability to rent. At times, there were bouts of sectarian tit-for-tat violence, as well as feuds within and between paramilitary groups of the same stripe. A firebomb killed an elderly Protestant widow, Matilda Gould. Anglican dominance in Ireland was ensured by the passage of the Penal Laws that curtailed the religious, legal, and political rights of anyone including both Catholics and Protestant Dissenters, such as Presbyterians who did not conform to the state church, the Anglican Church of Ireland. On 24 August , the civil rights movement held its first civil rights march, from Coalisland to Dungannon. As counties Fermanagh and Tyrone and border areas of Londonderry , Armagh , and Down were mainly nationalist, the Irish Boundary Commission could reduce Northern Ireland to four counties or less. Although the number of active participants was relatively small, the Troubles affected many in Northern Ireland on a daily basis; their impact sometimes spread to England and the Republic of Ireland, and, occasionally, to parts of mainland Europe. In March and April , loyalists bombed water and electricity installations in Northern Ireland, blaming them on the dormant IRA and elements of the civil rights movement. The Troubles were brought to an uneasy end by a peace process that included the declaration of ceasefires by most paramilitary organisations, the complete decommissioning of the IRA's weapons, the reform of the police, and the withdrawal of the British Army from the streets and sensitive Irish border areas such as South Armagh and County Fermanagh , as agreed by the signatories to the Belfast Agreement commonly known as the "Good Friday Agreement". These include the formation of the modern Ulster Volunteer Force in , [64] the civil rights march in Derry on 5 October , the beginning of the ' Battle of the Bogside ' on 12 August or the deployment of British troops on 14 August At the time, the IRA was weak and not engaged in armed action, but some unionists warned it was about to be revived to launch another campaign against Northern Ireland. On 12 August, the loyalist Apprentice Boys of Derry were allowed to march along the edge of the Bogside. Although the IRA was proscribed on both sides of the new Irish border , it remained ideologically committed to overthrowing both the Northern Ireland and the Free State governments by force of arms to unify Ireland. In , Scottish and English settlers , known as planters , were given land escheated from the native Irish in the Plantation of Ulster. This partition of Ireland was confirmed when the Parliament of Northern Ireland exercised its right in December under the Anglo-Irish Treaty of to "opt out" of the newly established Irish Free State. The Irish Volunteers split, with a majority, known as the National Volunteers , supporting the war effort, and some of them joining Irish regiments of the New British Army. In the late 19th century, the Home Rule movement was created and served to define the divide between most nationalists usually Catholics , who sought the restoration of an Irish Parliament, and most unionists usually Protestants , who were afraid of being a minority under a Catholic-dominated Irish Parliament and who tended to support continuing union with Britain. While this arrangement met the desires of unionists to remain part of the United Kingdom, nationalists largely viewed the partition of Ireland as an illegal and arbitrary division of the island against the will of the majority of its people. The British security forces undertook both a policing and counter-insurgency role, primarily against republicans. He condemned the RUC and said that the Irish Government "can no longer stand by and see innocent people injured and perhaps worse". The local council had allocated the house to an unmarried year-old Protestant Emily Beattie, the secretary of a local UUP politician instead of either of two large Catholic families with children. One part of the Agreement is that Northern Ireland will remain within the United Kingdom unless a majority of the Northern Irish electorate vote otherwise. The RUC used CS gas , armoured vehicles and water cannons, but were kept at bay by hundreds of nationalists. RUC officers entered the house of Samuel Devenny 42 , an uninvolved Catholic civilian, and beat him along with two of his teenage daughters and a family friend. Their victory was aided by the threat of conscription for First World War service. Some Catholics initially welcomed the British Army as a more neutral force than the RUC, but it soon came to be seen as hostile and biased, particularly after Bloody Sunday in The security forces of the Republic of Ireland played a smaller role. With the Acts of Union which came into force on 1 January , a new political framework was formed with the abolition of the Irish Parliament and incorporation of Ireland into the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. They argued that the Northern Ireland state was neither legitimate nor democratic, but created with a deliberately gerrymandered unionist majority. The Government of Ireland Act partitioned the island of Ireland into two separate jurisdictions, Southern Ireland and Northern Ireland, both devolved regions of the United Kingdom. The word "troubles" has been used as a synonym for violent conflict for centuries. Peace lines, which were built in Northern Ireland during the early years of the Troubles, remain in place. The Shorlands twice opened fire on a block of flats in a nationalist district, killing a nine-year-old boy, Patrick Rooney. Northern Ireland remained a part of the United Kingdom, albeit under a separate system of government whereby it was given its own parliament and devolved government. After being bombarded with stones and petrol bombs from nationalists, the RUC, backed by loyalists, tried to storm the Bogside. More than people were injured, including a number of nationalist politicians. There is little agreement on the exact date of the start of the Troubles. Unionists and Home Rule advocates were the main political factions in late 19th- and early 20th-century Ireland. The Troubles also involved numerous riots, mass protests and acts of civil disobedience , and led to increased segregation and the creation of no-go areas. There were gun battles between nationalists and the RUC, and between nationalists and loyalists. Following the foundation of the republican Society of the United Irishmen by Presbyterians, Catholics, and liberal Anglicans, and the resulting failed Irish Rebellion of , sectarian violence between Catholics and Protestants continued. Some attacks left much of Belfast without power and water. With Roman Catholics allowed to buy land and enter trades from which they had formerly been banned, tensions arose resulting in the Protestant " Peep O'Day Boys " [52] and Catholic " Defenders ". In Belfast, loyalists responded by invading nationalist districts, burning houses and businesses. Lynch added that Irish re-unification would be the only permanent solution.{/INSERTKEYS}{/PARAGRAPH} The Act continued to be used against nationalists long after the violence of this period had come to an end. This threat was seen as justifying preferential treatment of unionists in housing, employment and other fields. In response, in the new unionist government re-drew the electoral boundaries to give its supporters a majority and abolished proportional representation in favour of first past the post voting. Different writers have suggested different dates. Many of those who stayed were radical nationalists, among them Irish Republican Brotherhood infiltrators. {PARAGRAPH}{INSERTKEYS}Also known internationally as the Northern Ireland conflict [17] [18] [19] [20] it is sometimes described as an " irregular war " [21] [22] [23] or " low-level war ". The British security forces focused on republican paramilitaries and activists, and the "Ballast" investigation by the Police Ombudsman confirmed that certain British officers colluded on several occasions with loyalist paramilitaries, were involved in murder, and furthermore obstructed the course of justice when claims of collusion and murder were investigated. From a unionist perspective, Northern Ireland's nationalists were inherently disloyal and determined to force unionists into a united Ireland. After the early s, there were occasional incidents of sectarian unrest in Northern Ireland. A few days later, a student civil rights group, People's Democracy , was formed in Belfast. Although republicans and some members of the IRA then led by Cathal Goulding and pursuing a non-violent agenda helped to create and drive the movement, they did not control it and were not a dominant faction within it. Many more marches were held over the following year. The prevalence of larger families and thus the potential for a more rapid population growth among Catholics was seen as a threat. During the riots, on 13 August, Taoiseach Jack Lynch made a television address. Increasing tensions led to severe violence in August and the deployment of British troops , in what became the British Army 's longest ever operation. This would come to have a major impact on Northern Ireland. A month later it shot three Catholic civilians as they left a pub, killing Peter Ward, a Catholic from the Falls Road. The Irish War for Independence followed, leading to eventual independence in for the Irish Free State , which comprised 26 of the 32 Irish counties. On 20 June , civil rights activists including Austin Currie , a nationalist MP protested against housing discrimination by squatting in a house in Caledon. Loyalists hoped the bombings would force O'Neill to resign and bring an end to any concessions to nationalists. This resulted in unionist control of areas such as Derry City, Fermanagh, and Tyrone where they were actually a minority of voters. The two sides' positions became strictly defined following this period. The result was a closer tie between Anglicans and the formerly republican Presbyterians as part of a "loyal" Protestant community. When the march reached Derry City it was again attacked.