In 1913 there was created a new national military
organization called “Irish Volunteers” which was the predecessor of
Irish Republican Army. In 1916 new uprising took place and the rebels
proclaimed Ireland as an independent state. Despite the fact that the rebellion
was suppressed Ireland was proclaimed independent for the second time in 1919.
Having understood the seriousness of the situation English government decided
to react immediately and sent troops there. Irish Republican Army which was
created recently became the power that resisted the English troops. As the
result of the conflict, the parties came to the agreement and on the territory
of 26 counties the independent Irish state was created while 6 counties
including Ulster still remained as a part of Britain. However, Ireland should
have remained as the dominion of Great Britain which did not satisfy the
members of Irish Republican Army. There were also supporters of remaining as
the dominion of Great Britain and the confrontation that was initiated between
these parts of Irish society ended with the victory of the supporters of Great
Britain.

            The
dependence of Ireland from Great Britain gradually decreased and in 1937
Ireland was proclaimed as a republic. Additionally, The Republic of Ireland quitted
the union with Great Britain in 1949 and therefore broke all the existing ties
between the states. On the contrary, the situation in Northern Ireland was
absolutely different and in fact, this region was governed directly from
London.

            Loyalists
most of who were predominantly Protestants made up the majority of the
population of Northern Ireland while Republicans who had Catholic views made up
its smaller part. According to Branham and Madias (2015), Loyalists used their
strong positions and dominated in controlling government affairs and policing.
Moreover, Catholics were exposed to discrimination by them in multifarious
spheres such as politics, employment, and public housing. Not being satisfied
with such situation Catholics began to struggle for their rights in the
beginning of 1960s. They started civil rights campaign that was peaceful to end
with discrimination and get equal rights with Protestants. It was not rare when
Loyalists attacked demonstrators but the proper reaction from the police was
absent as Royal Ulster Constabulary mainly consisted of Loyalists. The accident
that took place in Derry in 1968 was the glaring example that showed the way
police treated nationalists. The Northern Ireland government banned the marches
in order to be able to provide security. Nevertheless, despite the ban the
planned civil right demonstration took place. The reaction of the police was
unexpected as they started beating all the demonstrators though they did not
show any aggression. This accident provoked the outrage of nationalists and
poured the gasoline on a fire. As the number of riots and demonstrations
dramatically increased British government sent troops to restore order and stop
the skirmishes between Protestants and Catholics. The initial reaction of
nationalists to the arrival of British troops which promised to remain impartial
was positive but further, their relations deteriorated as the British army
supported Loyalists. Afterwards, the situation escalated and the number of
casualties increased in the 1970s. As to Todd (2009), one of the most prominent
events of the Troubles was “Bloody Sunday” that took place in 1972.
The members of British army shot and killed 13 citizens which were unarmed.
This accident enhanced the outrage of nationalists towards British Army and
Irish Republican Army became more active. Irish Republican Army (IRA) was
divided into Official and Provisional because of the discrepancy in their views.
In comparison with Official, Provisional IRA was more radical and used terror
as a means for the struggle. They bombed commercial targets of Loyalists in
order to undermine their power and gain the advantage over them. Taking all the
details of the situation into consideration the British government decided to
establish the direct rule from London as Irish government could not handle the
situation. In 1973 there were negotiations of the Sunningdale Agreement which
was directed to establish the political settlement and try to use power
sharing. The agreement stipulated the creation of Council of Ireland which is
deemed to consist of ministers from both Northern Ireland and the Republic of
Ireland. However, the parties of the conflict opposed the power-sharing as IRA
was decisive in their intention to end up with British ties and Loyalists
insisted that it would be impossible to share the power with Republicans.
Moreover, Loyalists did not want to have a minister from the Republic of
Ireland in Council.

            After
the Sunningdale Agreement, the military actions interchanged with temporary
ceasefires. As to Hopkins (2015), the IRA gained the ally in the face of Libya
that made large donations of weapons. The ruler of Libya Kaddafi had its
personal interests as he was outraged with the assistance of Thatcher to bomb
Tripoli. The military confrontation continued and the belligerents used
different methods including bombing and mortar attacks. According to Smith
(2002), periodically there were innocent people who became casualties of these
military actions. The first ceasefire that lasted long enough was declared in
1994 by the parties of the conflict. The US appointed a special envoy in to
order to establish a commission that would carry out the disarmament of
military groups. However, as to Jacob (2006), the ceasefire was revoked by the
IRA in 1996 when they bombed Docklands in London. Afterwards, there were some
more attacks, but they reinstated the ceasefire in 1997. By the time of the
start of the negotiations of Good Friday Agreement which began in 1998 all the
paramilitary groups had already declared the ceasefire. According to Good
Friday Agreement signed in 1998, the self-government of Northern Ireland was
restored and power-sharing was implemented. Moreover, there was also an
important reform in the police which provided that during the next ten years
half of the police officers should be Catholics in order to establish the
balance. Thus, three decades of confrontation ended up with the consensus to
govern the country together that was needed to stop the chaos and establish
peace.

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            Despite
the fact that Good Friday Agreement vested Northern Ireland considerable degree
of autonomy, some areas, namely taxation, defense, and immigration were still
under the control of Great Britain. However, as to Joost (1997), the maintenance
and development of other important spheres such as healthcare, education,
economics, agriculture, and social security were under the competence of
Northern Ireland. Loyalists and Protestants enjoyed autonomy in the fields of
culture and education. Moreover, according to Knobel (2011), the groups are
proportionally represented in the government and all the decisions are taken on
a joint basis. So, it can be concluded that Good Friday Agreement was full of
group guarantees and had the direct objective to establish the needed balance
between the groups.          

 

The analysis part

Consociationalism

            Consociationalism is the theory
which arose in order to establish peace in divided societies and solve the
existing conflicts. There are a lot of definitions of consociationalism as each
scholar has its own vision and its own requirements of consociationalism.
McGarry and O’leary (2004) define consociationalism as a system of compromise
and accommodation of the elite members of divided societies which are directed
to maintain political stability inside the country. Reilly (2014) considers it
as the system of government with the help of elite which target is to turn the
democracy with the shattered political culture into the stable democracy. In my
opinion, consociationalism can be deemed as the democratic policy when
different groups existing in the country come to the agreement in order to avoid
the possible menace which can be caused as the result of their struggle for
gaining the power and compromise with the help of the cooperation of elite
members of these groups. There are several peculiarities of consociationalism.
Firstly, this system is elitist, which means that the lower classes should have
respect towards the elite and rely on them as the decisions are taken by elite
mainly without consideration of the opinion of masses. There can be situations
when the groups came to an agreement that consensus is impossible. However,
they should make an appropriate decision that includes the interests of all the
groups in order to avoid chaos and anarchy. The other peculiarity of
consociationalism is that the interests of all the groups should be taken into 

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