The main cause of this ill feeling and suspicion between the two groups dates back only to Partition in 1920

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Last updated: November 15, 2019

It is inaccurate to day that the main cause of this ill feeling and suspicion between the Protestants and Catholics of Northern Ireland dates only back to partition in 1920. This is because there were many events before 1920 that caused or led up to partition. Partition was introduced so another ‘march’ wouldn’t occur. However it increased the hardship and distrust between the two religions. Partition created the divide between Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland. Northern Ireland was under British rule whilst Southern Ireland was under Catholic.However for the few Protestants or Catholics left in each others rule their time was extremely hard.

Protestants introduced ‘The Special Powers Act. ‘ This was a discrimination act against Catholics saying that they couldn’t have the best jobs or they couldn’t have good land. Whilst the Protestants received the good land for the same price as the Catholics had to pay for the poor land. All of this led to discrimination between the two religions led to the civil rights movement. This occurred because the Catholics got tired of being discriminated.

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The rights included the same treatment to be given to all religions, race or background. The civil rights marches occurred more frequently whilst more people got involved. This stirred more hatred between the two religions.

The marchers were sometimes attacked but the police either did nothing or simply joined in. this was very un-professional. One of the civil rights marches was held against interment; this meant imprisoning someone without trial. This march was illegal so the Protestant army decided to take matters in their own hands.They put up barricades up to prevent the riot between the two religions.

However there were several shootings which the protestant army claimed that they were shot at first and simply shot back in defence. Many local people said that the army shot at anyone and everyone that got in their way. To his day the events of Bloody Sunday is still unclear, but people still have their views. Short term effects of this event were that innocent people lost their lives and the devastation of it all. The long term effect was the hatred between the two religions grew worse and so did the violence.To this day the IRA members still cause trouble even thought they have supposedly given up their weapons.

Another example is The Great Potato Famine. (1845 to 1848). During this tragedy Protestant Britain did very little to assist and support Catholic Ireland, because they didn’t trust them enough. A million people died roughly during this time and some Catholic has blamed this all on the British Government. Some Catholics now a days still would feel threatened by British Rule. This shows the ill feeling very clearly.

A short term effect of this event is that roughly one million innocent Irish people died due to the little help they received form the British Government. A long term effect if this event is that they are extremely angry at Protestant Britain which will not go away easily and it’s still around to day. Emma Burkitt The Easter Rising (1916) is another example. This was when two Pearse and Connolly marched to the general post office, invaded and captured it for their head quarters. This march was arranged to gain independence in Ireland.The short term effect of this march was that the rebels were arrested and brutally murdered. The long term effect was that they demanded home rule.

It is very hard to say why all the trouble, hatred and suspicion and ill feeling between the two religions have resulted due to Bloody Sunday because many event before and after partition has added to the hatred. Without such events like, The Easter Rising and The Great Potato Famine, then partition would have never been thought up. Life in Ireland could be so much different today between the two religions.

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