Northern Ireland in 1969
- Pages: 5
- Word count: 1053
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I have been given a number of sources. I intend to relate them to the question above, using my knowledge of the subject and other sources. All the sources are very useful. They give indications to the reasons for the hate and revenge culture between the Catholics and Protestants. The sufficiency of some of the sources however is limited, some of the sources are one sided, biased. Also some major events in the history of Ireland in regards to the conflicts of 1969 are not included, such as partition. Partition was a key factor in explaining the reasons behind the conflict.
The earliest source is a drawing taken from a protestant textbook. It shows the Catholics attacking the Protestants in 1641. It gives indications of the long rooted conflict between the two and the hate felt between them. This source however was drawn by a protestant and aimed at Protestants, it was drawn to incite anger towards Catholics. It comes from a book full of supposed “catholic atrocities. ” This source is therefore biased and is very likely to be exaggerated to some degree. This source does not give the reasons for the catholic attacks.
At this time, Catholics had been thrown off their land by the Protestants to make way for the plantations, Catholics were pushed out of their homes into the wild. Often on to poor farming land where they were left to starve. In one hundred and twenty five years the protestant landowners in Ireland had gone from seventy nine percent to just five percent. These events caused a revenge culture between the two groups. A few years later 1649 Oliver Cromwell committed his own massacres against the Catholics.
These were roots for friction and conflict between Protestants and Catholics in Ireland. The next source is a protestant cartoon showing Ireland tied up by the ropes of a Catholic priest. It was drawn in the nineteenth century. Its is supposed to show that Catholics were evil. At this time, the nineteenth century was an important and tense time after the bloody rebellion of 1798. It gives an insight into what the Protestants thought of the Catholics at this time. There was a great feeling of hate towards them, linked to events like the massacre of Protestant prisoners in Wexford in 1798.
This source was draw by a protestant, it was drawn to create the opinion that the Catholics were the scorn of Ireland. It was meant to incite bigotry, propaganda. Because of this it is not wholly reliable. But this source does demonstrate suspicion and malevolence on the behalf on the Protestants. This is a feeling that has stayed within the communities in Ireland to this day. This bigotry still fuels conflict. This source does not actually indicate the key reasons at that period for the attitude displayed by the Protestants in this cartoon.
Therefore I do not believe this source to be sufficient. The next source is a map showing the gerrymandering in Derry in 1966. It shows how the elections were rigged so there were fewer Nationalists elected. It gives us an insight into the reasons for strong feelings of anger towards the Protestants. It highlights the discrimination against the Catholics in Northern Ireland. They were treated as second class citizens. Priority for housing was given to Protestants, and without owing a home they could not vote. Thus Unionists prevailed in the elections.
Also the boundaries for constituaries were doctored to the needs of the Unionists. Catholics were stuck in a country they didn’t want to be in, stuck in a country total run by those who opposed them. This gerrymandering was one of the reasons for the civil rights movement. Which was the trigger to the conflict in 1969. I think this source is particularly reliable, it is simply displaying the facts, it has no noticeable bias, it is not propaganda, it speaks the truth and gives a just insight. My next source is a photograph taken on the 5th October 1968.
It shows RUC officers beating a civil rights marcher with their truncheons. This was during a civil rights march in Londonderry. The RUC officers had barricaded a bridge on the march route, causing violent confusion then the RUC attacked the marchers. Beating them with batons, and water cannons. These pictures were beamed around the world. These marches were the trigger for many problems in Northern Ireland. This source alone however does not give the reasons for the violence against the marchers. The government’s fear of the civil rights protesters.
This source is a photo, a primary source from the event. It is not bias in any way it speaking the truth. It was aimed at showing the violent oppression in Ireland. I think this source is highly reliable. I have looked at some other sources from a textbook, The Struggle For Peace In Northern Ireland by Ben Walsh, and from a CD ROM, A State Apart By BBC Northern Ireland. These sources have helped me attain a better understanding the problems in Northern Ireland. I have read about Oliver Cromwell’s massacre of Catholics in 1649, revenge for the rebellions in 1641 in the textbook.
This gave me a better understanding of why Source G, the protestant drawing of the 1641 massacres, was insufficient. It alone gives a one sided view of this period in Irish History and therefore gives a biased view of the Catholics. I have also studied the background of the civil rights movement and previous marches on the CD-ROM. Helping me assess the sufficiency of source H. This is the photo of RUC officer beating the civil rights marcher. I have found out why he was being beaten and I have found out about other marches and subsequent violence.
These sources have given me a wide understanding of the Problems in Northern Ireland. This knowledge that I have attained has allowed me to come to a conclusion in relation to my question. I do not think that there is sufficient information in these sources to explain the problems in Northern Ireland. Some important events in Irish history are not addressed by these sources. Such as the Protestants who kicked the Catholics off the land to build their plantations in the 1600s or Easter Rising in 1916, and the partition of Ireland, a vitally important event. Other sources are not too factually reliable.