Substantive Education

March 4, 2010

Blood on the Streets: Northern Ireland by Caleb Bagdanov

The following paper was written by one of my sons in 2008. He was a senior in high school at the time.    I’m putting it up here as an example of a research paper for my students, and their parents.   There is an annotated Bibliography on the end, it should provide examples of most things that need to be sited in a Bib.  It’s also a good summary of the conflicts over the past 50 years (or 400 years) in Ireland.  Let me know if it was helpful.

The people of Northern Ireland have endured a bloody and brutal conflict for centuries caused by religious, cultural and political prejudices. The Troubles, as the conflict is known in Ireland, has heightened the division between two different peoples, Catholics and Protestants. So, how is compromise found with the blood of over 3500 dead staining the streets and hearts of Northern Ireland? Where is peace in a community so divided? Is there a solution in a land where bigotry and hate dominate the political landscape? The heartbreaking complexity of the Northern Irish conflict is summed up in this account by Seamus Heaney in a lecture when he received the Nobel Prize for literature in 1995:

“One of the most harrowing moments in the whole history of the harrowing of the heart in Northern Ireland came when a minibus full of workers being driven home one January evening in 1976 was held up by armed and masked men and the occupants of the van ordered at gunpoint to line up at the side of the road. Then one of the masked executioners said to them, “Any Catholics among you, step out here”. As it happened, this particular group, with one exception, were all Protestants, so the presumption must have been that the masked men were Protestant paramilitaries about to carry out a tit-for-tat sectarian killing of the Catholic as the odd man out, the one who would have been presumed to be in sympathy with the IRA and all its actions. It was a terrible moment for him, caught between dread and witness, but he did make a motion to step forward. Then, the story goes, in that split second of decision, and in the relative cover of the winter evening darkness, he felt the hand of the Protestant worker next to him take his hand and squeeze it in a signal that said no, don’t move, we’ll not betray you, nobody need know what faith or party you belong to. All in vain, however, for the man stepped out of the line; but instead of finding a gun at his temple, he was thrown backward and away as the gunmen opened fire on those remaining in the line, for these were not Protestant terrorists, but members, presumably, of the Provisional IRA.”

The historical context of the conflict in Northern Ireland must be understood to comprehend the scope of the tragedies and appreciate the hard won compromises of recent years. After the bloody military conquest of a Catholic Ireland by the Protestant British in the 1600’s, order needed to be established in the region. The British monarchy’s solution, The Plantation of Ulster, gave much of the most fertile farm land in the Northeast region of Ireland to Scottish and English Protestant plantation owners, and other British settlers, thus driving native Irish Catholics from their homes. Injustice, combined with close proximity, differing cultures, ideologies, political allegiances, and religious beliefs created fierce hostilities. Alienated Catholics reacted with spurts of violence against the new migrating Protestants, and these conflicts would continue, unresolved, into the 1900’s.

In 1920 insurrection swept across the island of Ireland resulting in the The Northern Ireland Act. This compromise partitioned the island of Ireland into two distinct countries. The largely Catholic southern twenty-six counties, won their independence and formed the Republic of Ireland. Due to the early settlements of the British in the North, however, 65% of the population remained Protestant and loyal to Britain, thus Northern Ireland was established as a constituent country of the United Kingdom.

The government set up by the British in Northern Ireland after the partition was by no means bi-partisan but fully Unionist and Protestant as shown by this quote of Northern Ireland’s former Prime Minister Sir James Craig, “I have always said that I am an Orangemen first and a politician and a member of this parliament afterwards… All I boast is that we have a Protestant parliament and Protestant state.” This new Protestant government did everything it could to ensure Northern Ireland would remain a Protestant state, including controversial gerrymandering decisions that drew border lines that cut up Catholic areas and redrew district lines to ensure a prolonged Protestant majority in each district. Willingness to go to great lengths to keep the majority vote is illustrated by this quote at a Unionist convention by E.C. Ferguson. “I would ask the meeting to authorize their executive to adopt whatever plans and take whatever steps, however drastic, to wipe out this Nationalist (Catholic) majority.” In areas where gerrymandering would not work, the Unionist found other ways to retain control such as giving business and land owners multiple votes. The British confiscation of over three million acres in the 1600’s insured Protestants were the major land owners.

The Unionist Protestant government used their majority to set up a system where Protestants were given every advantage to succeed while Catholics suffered in terms of civil rights much like African Americans did in the 50’s and 60’s in the Southern United States. Police brutality and the burning of many Catholic neighborhoods in the 20’s and 30’s were only part of the abuse. Catholics could not acquire government jobs or public housing, leaving much of the Catholic population in poverty.

Playing a significant role within this prejudicial political climate are multiple moderate and extreme political parties and paramilitary groups. On the Catholic side there is the more moderate Nationalists and the extremist Republicans. The Social Democratic and Labor Party (SDLP) represents the views of the Nationalist, with their main objective of setting up a bi-partisan government in which Catholics have the same political power as Protestants. The extremist Republicans are represented by the political party, Sinn Fein, but their true allegiance is to the paramilitary group the Irish Republican Army (IRA), and then the Provisional IRA (PIRA), which is a splinter of the IRA. Republicans, believing in the necessity of a military revolution, have the ultimate goal of expelling all British influence and oppression from Northern Ireland and forming a united Ireland.

On the Protestant side there are also two main groups, moderate Unionist and extreme Unionist, commonly known as Loyalist. More moderate Unionist are represented by the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), also known as the official Unionist Party. The Loyalist are represented in the political realm by the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and in the paramilitary realm, they are mainly supported by the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF). While both Parties were closely related in political terms with their first allegiance given to the United Kingdom, they differed in their methods. Loyalists openly engaged in terrorist acts while the more moderate Unionist violence was mostly contained within police brutality and indifference. These two Protestant groups maintained complete power in Northern Ireland from the Partition right up until Direct rule was reinstated in 1972.

By the late sixties Northern Ireland was teetering on the of edge of full scale civil war. The Unionist government refused demands of Catholic’s for civil rights and equality. On January 1, 1969 civil rights activists set out on a march from Belfast to Derry. Before the march could reach its destination it was attacked by Loyalist and Unionist supporters.

“A curtain of bricks and boulders and bottles brought the march to a halt. From the lanes burst hordes of screaming people wielding planks of wood, bottles, laths, iron bar, crowbars, cudgels studded with nails, and they waded into the march beating the hell out of everybody”

This description of the beginning of the attack is told by Bernadette Devlin, a student at Queens University. She was hit by a cudgel studded with nails that pierced her hand. The police in the area did not attempt to stop the attack. While not joining in the violence they were completely indifferent to the plight of the marchers. Miraculously, no one was killed, however 87 people were hospitalized, many seriously injured.

This was the spark Catholic paramilitary groups needed to gain public support and turn their spontaneous acts of terrorism into full blown warfare. Riots broke out in the streets of Belfast. Whole sections of the city were barricaded. Catholics feared that the practice in the 20’s of burning Catholic neighborhoods to the ground to quell Nationalist rioting would be reinstated. The violence escalated throughout the early months of 1969. The Unionist police force and Loyalist paramilitary groups responded with attacks on the rioters resulting in a combined 180 deaths. Finally the British army was called in to ‘keep the peace’. Some Nationalists first believed the British forces were there to protect them from the out of control Unionist Police. Unfortunately, the British forces were unable to maintain a neutral peacemaking role. The Republicans saw the British force in Northern Ireland as a symbol of the original oppressors of the Irish Catholic people who returned to continue their oppression. By 1970 the PIRA had started a crusade against the British forces killing 46 British soldiers by 1971. 702 British soldiers would lose their lives to Republican shootings and bombings by the end of 1999.

In 1971, in a desperate attempt to lower Republican morale, the government of Northern Ireland enacted the Special Powers Act: “An Act to empower certain authorities of the Government of Northern Ireland to take steps for preserving the peace and maintaining order in Northern Ireland, and for purposes connected therewith.” The act was used to give the government the authority to begin the internment of suspected Paramilitary organization members without trial. Even though these internments were supposed to be used for all suspected of paramilitary activity, out of the 1,981 people who were detained 1,874 were Catholic/Republican while 107 were Protestant/Loyalist. The internment was seen by Catholics as a ploy to criminalize the Nationalist cause as a whole, not just the extremist Republicans. Once interned, internees suffered brutal interrogations and torture including physical beatings, sleep deprivation, and starvation. Instead of lowering Republican morale, these incarcerations became one of the PIRA’s most effective rallying points.

The internment of many innocent and guilty Catholic citizens led to varied reactions. The PIRA answered with continued and renewed vigor in their bloody campaign, while some Nationalists still had faith that political negotiations could bring peace to Northern Ireland. These more reasonable Nationalists, along with Human Rights Organizations held a string of non-violent demonstrations in protest of the Special Powers Act. Infamously, on January 30, 1972 British troops opened fire on a crowd of unarmed protesters. War Photojournalist Fulivio Grimaldi described the events:

“I have traveled many countries, I have seen many civil wars and revolutions and wars, but I have never seen such cold blooded murder, organized, disciplined murder, planned murder… I saw a man with his son crossing the street, trying to get to safety, with their hands on their heads. They were shot dead, the man shot dead. The son, I think, was dying… I saw a young boy of 15 protecting his girl friend against the wall and then proceeding to try to rescue her by going out with a handkerchief and with the other hand on his hat. A paratrooper approached, shot him from about one yard into the stomach and shot the girl into the arm.”

The British soldiers claimed that armed PIRA members within the crowd provoked the attack but no eyewitness or forensic evidence confirms the the soldiers claims. This massacre of civilians, dubbed Bloody Sunday, brought the conflict to its boiling point. The PIRA struck back with daily bombings and shootings in the major cities of Northern Ireland making 1972 the bloodiest year in the conflict. After nearly 500 deaths, England reinstated Direct Rule over Northern Ireland. A victory in the eyes of Republicans and Nationalists who believed it meant the British were accepting the failure of the state of Northern Ireland.

Paramilitary groups from both sides continued their acts of terror and violence throughout the 70’s. The British could do little to stop the violence with police forces or political negotiating. Seven attempts were made at political compromise. Each met heavy public resistance and ultimately failed due to the stubbornness of the opposing sides. The failure to come to a compromise led to a steady level of violent conflicts throughout the 70’s, 80’s and early 90’s. With each shot the lines of communal division deepened and with each bombing the level of mistrust heightened.

The deep divisions between Protestant and Catholic communities made the prospect of an eventual peace appear nearly impossible. So, how was a compromise reached in the form of the cease fires of the 90’s and the Good Friday Agreement? In 1982, the continued violence, abuse of political prisoners and the highly publicized death of Bobby Sands, an IRA volunteer who died on a hunger strike in the H Block of Long Kesh, placed the British government under worldwide pressure and scrutiny. This pressure influenced the British to make the Anglo-Irish Agreement between the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, assuring cooperation in bringing a conclusion to The Troubles. Continued pressure resulted in new legislation that granted civil rights, long overdue, to Catholic communities including the desegregation of State jobs, housing and education.

Another factor that contributed to the peace process is the fact that both Republican and Loyalist communities had been worn down by death, imprisonment and loss of property. The attrition resulted in a shift away from traditional tactics of violence and terror to an acceptance of political strategies in furthering their causes. For Republicans this meant opening a dialog between moderate Nationalist leader John Hume and Sinn Fein President Gerry Adam, which united the Nationalist and Republican fronts and helped legitimize the Republican voice. These steps forward in the political arena opened the door to secret conferences between the British government and Republican and Loyalist leadership who began to lay down the foundation for the real progress to come. Yet, the violence continued with more atrocious bombings and shootings.

The PIRA bombing of The Remembrance Day parade in 1987 left 11 dead in Enniskillen. The Ulster Volunteer Force retaliated by stepping up its killing of Catholic civilians. In particular, 1993 saw an unexpected spike in violence by both sides. Speculation as to why there was increased violence so close to a compromise was inevitable. Some say increasing violence was a result of it being their last chance to settle old scores or that it was a ploy in achieving an edge in the peace talks. Whatever the reasons the peace talks continued. The following year a cease fire was signed by both the PIRA and UVF. Although this first ceasefire didn’t last, it marked a new era in The Troubles in which both sides were willing to compromise in order to bring peace.

The 90’s saw a number of intermittent ceasefires as both sides sought to gain position in the formation of the new system. While many issues were easily agreed on, others, such as the disarmament of the PIRA, took longer. The British government refused to let Sinn Fein participate in the official discussions until the start of the decommission of the PIRA weapons. This stalled major progress and bombings continued. Eventually fear that not participating in the Good Friday Agreement would leave the Republican population without any voice, the PIRA reinstated it’s ceasefire and agreed to the Mitchell Principles. Finally, in 1998 with all main parties represented, real compromise was reached in the form of The Good Friday Agreement with proportional representation and power-sharing between Catholics and Protestants. The Good Friday agreement lays the foundation for the new government in Northern Ireland. In 2005, the PIRA announced it has put all of its arms beyond use. This brings Northern Ireland one step closer to healing a country deeply wounded by its’ violent history.

It has been ten years since the Good Friday Agreement and while tension and angst surely remain, the ceasefire also remains. The question that we must ask is will the peace last or will this just be another intermission between periods of violence and conflict? The answer will surely depend on how willing the people of Northern Ireland are to accept the compromises made by their own representative parties. Conflicts arise when two sides view issues from different perspectives. The conflict will continue until either one party can eliminate the other, or the two parties are willing to give up certain aspects of their ideologies. A compromise, which is for neither party a perfect solution, in many cases is the only alternative to bloody conflict. In Northern Ireland the framework for peace has been built. Catholics have been given their civil rights and the paramilitary groups have laid down their arms. Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney sums up our choices.

“The birth of the future we desire is surely in the contraction which that terrified Catholic felt on the roadside when another hand gripped his hand, not in the gunfire that followed, so absolute and so desolate.”

Do we choose to shoot, or squeeze the hand of the man standing beside us? The success or failure of the rest of the building process depends on how willing the people of Northern Ireland are to give up their old prejudicial ideologies that have caused so much conflict and live in peaceful compromise.

“2001 Endgame or Stalemate?” BBC news. Http://

Seamus Heaney is an Irish Poet who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1995 “for works of lyrical beauty and ethical depth, which exalt everyday miracles and the living past.”

Seamus Heaney, Nobel lecture, Stockholm, December 7, 1995

John Darby “Northern Ireland: The background to the Peace Process.” 2003.

Peter Berresford Ellis, Eyewitness to Irish history (Hoboken: John Wiley and Sons. 2004) (Sir James Craig, prime minister of Northern Ireland, speaking in April 1934 at the Northern Ireland Parliamentary Debates, House of Commons.)

Ellis. Eyewitness. 272 (E.C. Fertguson M.P. at the Annual Unionist Convention in Enniskillen, Irish News, April 15, 1948.)

Darby. “Northern Ireland” 3.

The IRA split because the official IRA failed to protect Catholic communities during the early stages of the conflict. This was partially due to disagreement over some Communist leanings of leadership and partially due to an effort to find peaceful means to reach a resolution. The PIRA was formed and continued their paramilitary actions. I have chosen to continue to refer to their new name PIRA in my paper for clarity, although after the first year or so they were commonly referred to as the IRA by the press.

Direct rule: The rule of Ireland by Britain directly and not connected with or through an Irish government. After the escalation of the violence in 1972 Britain felt they needed to step in and re-establish themselves as the rulers once again.

Ellis, Eyewitness. 277 (Bernadette Devlin. The Price of My Soul. Deutsch, London. 1969)

Northern Ireland. Parliament. Civil Authorities Special Powers Act (Northern Ireland) 1922.

Although the Special Powers Act was created in 1922 it had never been enacted until 1971. Choosing to interpret the powers of the Act as the governments ability to arrest and intern without trial hundreds of political prisoners resulted in an escalation of violence and an outpouring of sympathy for the cause of the IRA. As stories of torture and brutality began to surface worldwide pressure increased.

On this Day: 1971, NI activates internment law.” BBCNews. Aug. 9, 2003

Ellis. Eyewitness. 285 (Interview with Italian photojournalist Fulivio Grimaldi Broadcast on Radio Eireann, Monday, January 31, 1972. Reprinted in Massacre in Derry, Civil Rights publication, March 1972.)

The Mitchell Principles were plans for disarmament.

Seamus Heaney, Nobel lecture, Stockholm, December 7, 1995

Annotated Bibliography

Primary Sources


Darby, John. The background to the Peace Process. Northern Ireland: 2001.

John Darby is an Irish Professor who has continued to write and provide commentary as events in Ireland unfolded. He is the Founding Director of INCORE (Initiative on Conflict Resolution and Ethnicity). In this article he gives his opinion on what has led up to the conflict. It was extremely helpful to have background provided for me by someone who actually lived through the events and I was able to use his basic outline to put the individual events of the conflict in order.

Primary Books

Adams, Gerry. An Irish Voice: The Quest for Peace. Niwot, Colorado: Roberts Rinehart Publishers, 1998.

This book is a collection of newspaper articles written by Gerry Adams who is the President of Sinn Fein, a member of parliament for West Belfast, and a member of the assembly. These articles were originally published in The Irish Voice Newspaper between 1993 and 1997. These articles report directly from the President the state of Sinn Fein and the Irish Republican movement and chronicle their part in the peace process giving me a greater understanding of the beginning of the peace process.

Adams, Gerry. An Irish Journal. Kerry, Ireland: Mount Eagle Publications, 2001.

This book is a collection of newspaper articles written by Gerry Adams, the President of Sinn Fein. These articles were originally published between 1997-2000 in The Irish Voice. These were intriguing articles giving me a first hand account of the later stages of the Northern Ireland peace process directly from one of it’s key figures. They helped me formulate my final conclusions and opinions on the compromises in the peace process.

Adams, Gerry. Before The Dawn: An Autobiography. New York, New York: William Marrow and Company, 1996.

This autobiography is the story of the one of the most influential and controversial men in Northern Ireland. From his start as an IRA volunteer in the Ballymurphy District of Belfast to his Presidency of Sinn Fien. This book gave me first hand information on the Republican movement from the 60’s through the Good Friday Agreement.

Darby, John. Scorpions in a Bottle: Conflicting Cultures in Northern Ireland. London, England: Minority Rights Group, 1997.

Scorpions in a Bottle is a detailed and balanced look at the problems of Northern Ireland from the perspective of an Irish professor who lived through it. The book addressed the cultural and ethnic divides that contribute to the conflict and are often overlooked. This book helped me transform my views on the troubles in Northern Ireland from an ignorant one sided religious battle to a complicated issue with many dividing lines, not one.

Ellis, Peter Berresford. Eyewitness to Irish History. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley and sons Inc, 2004.

This book is a collection of eyewitness accounts about the history of the entire island of Ireland. These recorded accounts travel through time from ancient Ireland all the way through the violence of the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s. Each account adds personal detail and emotions to the events described. From it I pulled quotes for my paper and gained a clearer understanding of the broad sweep of Irish history. This was one of my most useful sources.

MacStiofain, Sean. Memoirs of a Revolutionary. Edinburg, Scotland: R and R Clark Ltd., 1975.

This is the autobiography by Sean MacStiofain, Leader of the Provisional IRA from the time of the IRA’s partition in 1969 to his arrest in 1972. This book gave me primary information on the formation of the Provisional IRA and it’s early methods, philosophies, and actions which helped me form my own opinions on the violent beginnings of the conflict.

McKeown, Lawrence. Out of Time: Irish Republican Prisoners Long Kesh 1972-2000. Belfast, Northern Ireland: Beyond the Pale, 2001.

This book documents the Republican prisoner community in Northern Ireland from 1972-2000. The author was sentenced to a life in 1977 and was involved in the famous hunger strikes of 1981. He spent a total of 16 years in the H-blocks of Long Kesh. This book helped me see the level of dedication the IRA men had for their cause. It also helped me see them as human beings, not one dimensional terrorists.

Robinson, Peter. Self-Inflicted: An Exposure of the H-Blocks Issue. Belfast: Democratic Unionist Party, 1981.

This book was written by Unionist in the midst of the Hunger and Dirty Strikes and was especially helpful to me because it clearly and convincingly showed the negative side of the hunger strikers. It recounts the terrorist acts of some of the men on strike and makes the case that they do not deserve our sympathy.

Rowan, Brian. Behind the Lines, the Story of the IRA and Loyalist Ceasefires. Belfast, Northern Ireland: The Blackstaff Press, 1995.

Brian Rowan was the Chief Security Correspondent for the BBC network in Belfast when the ceasefire was signed. This book documents his experiences throughout the ceasefire conferences and gave great inside information on both sides of the conferences. This book helped me come to my conclusion about the ceasefire agreements.

Sands, Bobby. Prison Poems by Bobby Sands. Dublin: Sinn Fein Publicity Department, 1981.

This book of poems by famed Hunger Striker Bobby Sands documents, in a disturbing and hauntingly beautiful way the daily terrors of living in the H-Block as a Republican prisoner. His poems gave me another perspective on the members of the IRA, who do not fit the stereotype of a terrorist.

Silka, Jeffrey A. Hearts and Minds, Water and Fish: Support for the IRA and INLA in a Northern Irish Ghetto. London, England: Jai Press, 1989.

This book was written by a political anthropologist and specialist in ethnicity and social conflict. The author moved into a Catholic ghetto in Northern Ireland to explore the relationship between the IRA and the communities they were a part of. The book provided the author’s first hand observations as he lived in the Divas Flat Ghetto and provided me with the perspective of the people who lived in this area. Instead of seeing the IRA as a terrorist group they saw them as their protectors, often filling the role of police and protection from, not just the opposing political side, but also from common criminals. This book helped me understand the popular support the IRA had.

Primary Documents

Alliance Party of Northern Ireland. Declaration of Intent-A New Political Charter. (12 April 1970). Belfast, Ireland: 1970.

This is the Charter for the new political party, the Alliance Party, in Northern Ireland. The beginning of the document attempts to list the failings of the political parties operating in Ireland and why they should be abandoned. The stated goals of this new party were to ‘create a community of excellence where no man is persecuted for his beliefs and all stand equal before the law.’ It confirmed for me the need for civil rights for all Irish citizens.

Irish Republican Army (IRA). Irish Republican Army’s Terms for Bi-lateral Truce’ presented to the British government. London, England: Public Record Office, 1975.

This document was sent from the IRA to the British government with terms for a ceasefire. These terms included the release of IRA members from imprisonment, the cessation of all harassment of civilians, and that IRA members be able to carry concealed firearms for protection. This helped me to understand the IRA goals and portray the IRA more effectively in my paper.

Northern Ireland Office. The Government of Northern Ireland: Proposals for Further Discussion. London: 1980.

In my paper I mention that 7 times over a period of years London tried to work out a compromise that would benefit all the parties involved. This is one of the proposals for a discussion between 4 of the major political parties and outlines the issues and what would be necessary to solve them. This gave me a clear picture of Britain’s view of the issues involved and how these proposals were made.

Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association. The Civil Rights Movement Ultimatum to Stormont. Belfast, Northern Ireland: 1969.

This ultimatum to the Northern Irish government at Stormont demands an end to the gerrymandering, equal opportunity in the workforce and government housing, and an end to prejudicial police brutality. It helped me understand the demands of civil rights activists in the late 60’s. This understanding helped me write the section of my paper that talks about the civil rights movement during the 1960’s.

Northern Ireland. Parliament. Civil Authorities (Special Powers) Act of Northern Ireland. Belfast, Northern Ireland: HMSO, 1922.

The Civil Authorities Act, also know as the Special Powers Act, gave the government of Northern Ireland the authority to violate civil rights on the basis of policing the country. The legislation allowed authorities to intern suspected members of paramilitary organizations without a trial. Reading the original wording allowed me to understand the power given to the government in Northern Ireland. I also quote it in my paper.

Northern Ireland Office. The Agreement, Text of the Agreement reached in the Multi-Party Negotiations on Northern Ireland. Belfast, Northern Ireland: 1998.

This is a copy of what is commonly called The Good Friday Agreement. It outlined the compromises that were reached and the agreements in the Multi-Party Negotiations. My paper winds up with this agreement, although only time will tell if the compromises reached here will be a lasting solution to the conflicts.

Great Britain. Parliament. Northern Ireland: Text of a Communique and Declaration issued after a meeting held at 10 Downing Street on 19 August 1969. (Cmnd. 4154). London, England: 1969.

The text of this communique is about leaving the government of Northern Ireland in power. Britain supported the police force and discussed further strategies in maintaining the North Ireland government. This showed that Britain really didn’t want to resort to direct rule and it was helpful to see how the British developed their strategies.

Great Britain. Parliament. Northern Ireland: Text of a Communique issued on 29 August 1969 at the conclusion of the visit of the Secretary of State for the Home Department to Northern Ireland, (Cmnd. 4158). London, England: 1969.

The text of this communique is about the United Kingdom’s initial reactions and opinions about the increase in violence. This gave me background when writing about the early events of the conflict and what led up to the eventual reinstatement of direct rule in 1972.

Great Britain. Parliament. Northern Ireland: Text of a Communique issued following discussions between the Secretary of State for the Home Department and the Northern Ireland Government in Belfast on 9th and 10th October 1969, (Cmnd. 4178). Belfast, Northern Ireland: 1969.

This was a memo from the Cabinet Secretary to the Prime Minister and covered several issues: the future of Northern Ireland, the Security Package, and changes in how justice would be administered, particularly the introduction of special courts. In my paper I discuss the internment of citizens without trials and the outrage that caused, so Diplock Courts were established that provided a trial, but without a jury. This memo provided information on how some of those events came about.

Great Britain. Parliament. Criminal Justice (Temporary Provisions) Act (Northern Ireland). London, England: 1970.

This act gave police forces temporary new powers intended to squash paramilitary activity. For the most part it allowed policemen to use more than necessary force. This provided me with a clear demonstration of the desperation the local authorities were in to curb the violence.

Northern Ireland. Parliament. Prevention of Incitement to Hatred Act (Northern Ireland) 1970, (2 July 1970). Belfast, Northern Ireland: 1970.

This act is an attempt to crack down on prejudicial, or hate crimes. This included crimes committed because of religious differences. This showed me that the government was making an attempt to find solutions.

Enrollment Forms

British Army. Application form to Enrol in the Ulster Defence Regiment . 1970.

This is the form used by the British Army to enroll men in the regiments that were defending Ulster. It helped me understand the solutions tried by the British.

Loyalist Association of Workers (LAW). Enrolment Form. Belfast, Northern Ireland: 1969.

This is the form used by the Loyalist for enrolment. (Irish spelling) Loyalist were an extreme Unionist paramilitary group. The tone of the letter was almost threatening and brought home to me the dangers inherent in joining one of these groups. Per the form, signing meant the signer agreed to the statements contained therein, which included upholding the present Constitution of Northern Ireland and opposing all influences detrimental to our Loyalist Heritage.


U2: Rattle and Hum. Dir. Phil Joanou. Paramount pictures. Hollywood, California: 1988.

The performance and speech within the film of “Sunday, Bloody, Sunday”, inspired me to do my project on the conflict in northern Ireland. I also quote a section of it in my process paper.


Bagdanov, Timothy. Recent graduate of Westmont college with a BA in English and Religious studies, who in the fall of 2006 studied abroad in the British Isles stopping in Belfast for 3 weeks and staying at the Corrymeela Community Center which is committed to the reconciliation of Northern Ireland. Interviewed in person, Nuevo, California: October 5, 2007.

Mr. Bagdanov was able to communicate to me the political climate in after the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland. He told me how tensions are still high between Catholic and Protestant communities, but that he was hopeful, due to discussions he had with a students who have come of age after the ceasefires and who are not interested in continuing the conflict.

Rukeyser, William. American photojournalist and freelance reporter in Northern Ireland during 1971 and 1972, was present at Bloody Sunday in 1972. Interview by E-mail, January 15, 2008.

Mr. Rukeyser was able to explain the details of the conflict with much greater detail because of his time on location in Northern Ireland. His explanations of the different parties involved helped me a great deal in understanding the conflict as a whole. He was also able to tell me his first hand experience at Bloody Sunday and many of his interactions with Catholic and Protestants. I used this Interview to develop my own conclusions and beliefs on the conflict and the compromise in Northern Ireland. It was one of my most valuable sources.


Belfast Revolutionary Marxist Group. Belfast Revolutionary Marxist Bulletin, 1972. Belfast, Northern Ireland: 1972.

This Bulletin contained the political beliefs of the BRMG on internment and direct rule. They saw both as a great threat to the Marxist cause in Northern Ireland and encouraged members to assist in the IRA cause and fight against the “British Imposter’s”. This bulletin helped me understand why there were Communist and Marxist leanings within the IRA.

National H Block Committee. Save the Hunger Strikers! Stop the Torture in H Block – Invitation to attend demonstrations in Belfast, [November 1980]. Dublin, Ireland: NHBC, 1980.

This leaflet outlined that the reasons for the hunger strikes was to keep the government from criminalizing political prisoners. This leaflet showed me the different fronts on which this conflict was fought and all of the different ways the Nationalist sought to bring attention to their cause.

O Duill, Piaras Father. H-Block: Can we Remain Silent? Dublin, Ireland: National H Block Committee, 1980.

This leaflet is written by the chaplain about the prisoners who were held in the infamous H-Block of Long Kesh prison camp. It details their inhumane treatment, including being kept naked, not being able to leave their cells or use bathroom facilities, beatings, and repeated internal searches. These accounts made it easy for me to understand why the Catholic’s so distrusted the promises of the government and helped me write their side into my paper.

British and Irish Communist Organization. Workers’ Weekly, Belfast Bulletin. no. 1. Belfast, Northern Ireland: 1972.

This leaflet was about the newly reinstated direct rule. It curses the British government for condoning terrorist activity by giving Republicans what they wanted, the overthrowing of the government. It provided a different point of view for me on the topic of direct rule.


Sinn Fein. “Nationalism and Socialism: Republican Lecture Series No.3.” Dublin, Ireland: Sinn Fein Education Department, 1980.

This is a part of a lecture series by the political party Sinn Fein. In this lecture they try to clearly define what a Republican is, because as younger people have joined their ranks, who have not been a part of the movement there has been confusion. Reading this was helpful to me in developing my understanding of term ‘Republican’ in the Irish context.

Heaney, Seamus. “Nobel Lecture.” Nobel Prize convention. Stockholm, Sweden: Dec. 7, 1995.

Mr. Heaney is a Nobel Prize Laurete, and in this lecture explains many of his experiences during the conflict and his hopes for the future. I used one of his stories at the beginning and end of my paper.


Hull, W.R. and Snoddy, W. and McCreedy, H. Officers of Loyalist Association of Workers (LAW) to Delegates Written January 10th 1973. Belfast Ireland: 1973.

A letter confronting the apathy of certain delegates in not regularly attending meetings. Stressed how vital it was the delegates attend meetings and ended with the statement “those who are not for us are against us.” This letter gave insight into the practical workings of the Loyalist and the letter had a threatening tone again highlighting the danger of joining this type of group.


Action For Freedom. Action For Freedom, Autumn 1969. Action For Freedom, (Quarterly): 1969. London, England: Action For Freedom, 1969.

This newsletter is about the brutal tactics used against civil rights protesters in Derry and a call to arms for all able bodied Republicans. This taught me about the extreme nature of the Republican Press and the outrage caused by the Unionist police force brutality.

Anti-Internment League. Anti-Internment News, No.2: Bulletin of the Anti-Internment League. London, England: 1972.

This bulletin Circulated by the Anti-internment league contain articles written by different anti-internment League members. These articles include reasons against internment, stories of the torture and ill treatment of the interned, and even political cartoons . This gave me valuable information pertaining to the internment and helped me formulate my own opinions about the internments

Anti-Internment League. Anti-Internment News, No.4: Bulletin of the Anti-Internment League. London, England: 1972.

This bulletin circulated by the Anti-internment league contains articles written by League members. This particular bulletin covered the issues of direct rule and British brutality against Northern Irish citizens. Providing more understanding of direct rule this bulletin helped me write the sections of my paper on direct rule and internment.

Communist Party of Ireland. Irish Socialist, No.89, September 1969, Irish Socialist, (Monthly): 1969-1971. Dublin, Ireland: Communist Party of Ireland, 1969.

This socialist newsletter preached peaceful means of protesting the civil rights issues present in Northern Ireland. It helped me formulate and compose my paper by giving me more information about their civil rights movement.

Derry Citizens’ Defense Association. Derry Citizens’ Defense Association; DCDA Newsletter, Vol.15, 4 September 1969, Derry Citizens’ Defense Association (DCDA) Newsletter, (Irregular): Derry, Northern Ireland: 1969.

This newsletter communicates how to protect citizens. They give advice about strengthening barricades, locking car doors, and watching out for suspicious packages. It helped me understand the people of Northern Ireland were living in a battle ground and formulate an opinion about what the average citizen had to do to protect themselves from the often random violence.

Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association. Citizen Press, Bulletin No.1, 19 August 1969. Citizen Press, Belfast, Northern Ireland: Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association, 1969.

This newsletter makes a call to all citizens of Northern Ireland to stand up for their rights and demand the government listen, even if that takes paramilitary force. The rallying points they used led me to form my own opinions about the important issues for the working class in 1969.


Provisional Sinn Fein. Republican News, No.2, July 1970, Republican News, (Monthly): 1970-1972. Belfast, Northern Ireland: Provisional Sinn Fein, 1970.

This Republican newspaper portrayed the news through the filter of the Republican ideologies. This copy made a call to the Protestant Irishmen to see reason and join them in dispelling British influence out of Ireland. This newspaper gave me a more definite opinion of what Republicans goals were and helped me compose my definition of a Republican in my paper.

Provisional Sinn Fein. An Blackthorn, Vol.1, No.1, February 1970. An Phoblacht, (Monthly): 1970-1971. Dublin, Ireland: Provisional Sinn Fein, 1970.

This Republican publication reports the news through the Republican point of view. In this particular issue multiple important issues for the IRA are addressed, including the new leadership and praising the hard line Republican tactics being used. This newspaper helped me understand the Republican views held in the early 70’s.


Hepburn, A. Employment in Divided Societies. Coleraine: University of Ulster, 1980.

This pamphlet analyzes and discusses the issue of whether or not laws were needed to make it illegal to discriminate in the private sector. This was helpful to me, as over and over again the issue of civil rights, in particular job availability, was one of the Catholic’s major complaints. This provided the arguments I needed to understand the Unionist perspective on this.


Conway, William. Cardinal. Catholic Schools. Armagh:The Catholic Communications Instutite of Ireland, 1970.

This interesting pamphlet argues the case for segregated schools for Catholics and Protestants. It illustrated the division within the communities of Northern Ireland. It raises the question of whether peace can be fully attained while the communities continue to seek separation.

Ulster Unionist Party. Ulster -The Facts: The Bullet and the Bomb versus the Better Life. Belfast, Northern Ireland: 1970.

This is an in-depth pamphlet issued by the Ulster Unionist Party that describes the pain and destruction that was caused by the violence from the Unionist perspective. This greatly heightened my understanding of the Unionist and helped me compose my opinions about them in my paper.


Photo Collection of Paul Crispin.

Paul Crispin was a British soldier who was stationed in Belfast and recorded his experiences on film. His photos capture the day to day life of the British soldier. The photos bring home the point that Belfast was a war zone. It helped me get a feel for the situation that went beyond the written word.

Photo Collection of Eamon Melaugh.

Mr. Melaugh’s collection of photos is of the IRA. These pictures gave me a better idea of the day to day life of IRA members and of some of the events they were involved in.

Photo Collection of William Rukeyser.

This is a collection of photos by photojournalist William Rukeyser of the events of Bloody Sunday. His photos gave me a feel for the chaos and tragedy of that day. After seeing his photos I was able to contact Mr. Rukeyser and interview him, adding greater understanding to my paper.


Ulster Constitution Defence Committee (UCDC). (1969). ‘Wanted, 100,000 Protestants…’ Belfast, Northern Ireland: 1969.

A poster advertising a rally at Stormont, Belfast. This poster was put up all around Belfast and gave me an examples of how the Unionist worked to involve the general population in the fight.

County Grand Lodge of Belfast, No.1 District. The Orangeman, Vol. 1, No. 4, January 1970, The Orangeman, (Monthly): 1970-1971. Belfast, Northern Ireland: 1971.

This poster is the cover of a newsletter. While Ireland is often thought of as represented by the color green, the Protestant population of Ireland wears Orange as there distinguishing color. I thought that seemed remarkably similar to the gang colors we deal with here in the States.

Ban All Goods From the Irish Republic’. Belfast, NorthernIreland: 1972.

This poster showed me how the conflict took many forms, including economic.

Northern Ireland Government. They May Look Harmless But…’ Belfast, Northern Ireland: 1970.

An example of one of the posters produced to remind people to be alert for firebombs and incendiary devices. This poster helped me understand the day to day fear that people in Northern Ireland lived with and the basic precautions they had to take.

People’s Democracy. ‘Army Protection’. Belfast, Northern Ireland: 1976.

This poster refers to the fact that the British Army, when it was first deployed in Northern Ireland in 1969, was seen as offering protection to people… Subsequently the Army was also used in 1971 to implement the policy of Internment. The poster shows a man in jail with the words Army Protection. In many ways this poster summed up to me the mixed message of the British Army and why the Catholics in Northern Ireland distrusted them so much.

Anti-Internment League. ‘Internment! Without Charge Or Trial In Concentration Camps’: London, England: 1971.

The poster shows a photograph of a British Army helicopter being used to transport internees to the prison camp used to house them. The men in the photograph have been handcuffed together. I had been unaware of the interments that took place in Ireland until I began my research and this poster vividly illustrated to me the injustices that often happen in conflicts.


Amnesty International. Amnesty International Report on allegations of Ill-Treatment Made by Persons Arrested Under the Special Powers Act After 8 Aug. 1971.

This report documents the torture, abuse, and degradation that was used against the citizens who were interned without trial in Northern Ireland. After Amnesty International made it’s report and demanded action they found their concerns largely ignored although Britain faced internal and external pressures to address the issues. The report gave me a better understanding of what the Irish were up against and how deep the hatred had grown.

Amnesty International. Report of an Amnesty International Mission to Northern Ireland. (28 Nov. – 6 Dec 1977).

This report is a follow up on the human rights violations that Amnesty International had been watching and documenting. This report made clear to me the difficulties faced in providing unbiased police protection of the civilians. The hope expressed was that if police could gain the trust of Roman Catholics by fairly prosecuting Protestant terrorist they would stop protecting the IRA. As police abuses continued it seemed that hope was useless.

Mitchell, George J. The Mitchell Principles. George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections and Archives. Northern Ireland Records. 1995-1998. Catalog Number M202.7 Bowdoin Library. Brunswick, Maine.

President Clinton appointed retired Senator George Mitchell to act as Special Advisor to Northern Ireland. Mitchell’s Principles were made to insure a safe ceasefire while negotiations were going on. To participate in the talks participants had to agree to the Principles. Reading the Principles and learning about the work President Clinton and Senator Mitchell did to help end the conflict by providing a neutral third party was invaluable in my writing about and explaining the positions of the PIRA at the time of the compromise.


The Coorymeela Community.

This is the website for the Corrymeela Community, a Community dedicated to bringing reconciliation to Northern Ireland through education, residential, and community programs. One of the people I interviewed stayed at the Corrymeela residence and reading their website helped me understand the work that is being done now to continue the peace process and learn what still needs to be done.

Provisional IRA: War, Ceasefire, Endgame? BBC News.

I have placed this site here under Primary, due to the fact that much of what I accessed on this website was transcripts of original broadcasts This site of the BBC (British Broadcasting Company) had a collection of articles, transcripts of broadcast, and general information on the PIRA and their history from the beginning to the present. I was able to gather statistics from this site that I could use in my paper. I was also able to look up specific dates and see what the British news was saying which provided insight into the British side of the conflict.

Sinn Fein Website.

The official Sinn Fein website contains information about the parties new political stances. It helped me understand the drastic changes that took place in order to bring about compromise. Without these compromises peace could have never prevailed.

Secondary Sources


Continuity Irish Republican Army.

This article explains the birth of the CIRA, which occurred in 1986 over disputes in elections of officials for Sinn Fenn. The CIRA never agreed to a ceasefire and continue to battle for complete separation from Britain. They are the only paramilitary organization that has not killed or seriously injured a civilian. Again, I was reminded how deeply the conflict runs and how hard it is going to be for Northern Ireland to avoid violence in the future as these splinter groups continue to operate.

Provisional Irish Republican Army.

This article explained who the PIRA is and how they were established. I use this information extensively in my paper as they become one of the main driving forces in both the conflict and in the success of the compromise.

Real Irish Republican Army.

This article explains the development of a new hard-line splinter group that broke away after the Good Friday Agreement. They will accept nothing less than a free and united Ireland. They have committed themselves to disrupting the peace process and have continued the violence. Their attack in 1998 in Omagh was the single bloodiest incident in the last 30 years. Reading this article convinced me that while the compromise is working it is not guaranteed and helped me with the end of my paper.


Coogan, Tim Pat. The IRA. New York, New York: Palgrave, 2000.

This complete and thorough history of the IRA helped me develop my own opinions on the controversial organization. It also was most helpful in finding facts about the origins and early years of the IRA.

Douglas, Roy, Harte, Liam, O’Hara, Jim. Political Violence in Northern Ireland 1969-1993′, in, Drawing Conclusions: A Cartoon History of Anglo-Irish Relations 1798-1998. Belfast, Northern Ireland: Blackstaff Press Limited, 1998.

This book, as the title suggests, documents the history of Ireland through the political cartoons of the day. Historical context and analysis of each cartoon is given. These cartoons exposed me to a nasty underside of the issues such as the harsh racism and prejudice. This led me to a greater understanding of the bigotry involved.

Moloney, Ed. A Secret History of the IRA. New York, New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 2002.

This book gave me great information on the inside workings of the IRA and the path its eventual leader Gerry Adams took to become its leader. It helped me understand the IRA from their roots right up until after the ceasefire. It documented the different views and strategy’s used by the IRA and its members. I also used quotes from it in my paper.

Muholland, Marc. The Longest War. New York, New York: Oxford University press, 2002.

Marc Muhollands explanations of Northern Ireland’s war helped me as I first began my research to grasp the reasons behind the bloody conflict. He explains it from beginning to end giving a complete picture of the troubles.

Walker, Graham. A History of the Ulster Unionist Party: Protest, Pragmatism and Pessimism. Manchester, England: Manchester University Press. 2004.

This book explores the rise of the Unionist Party in Ulster. Their goals were to remain legislatively attached to Great Britain. The book provided an understanding of the Unionist side of the debate and in particular explored the role of community identity and cohesion in the political process. There were far more books available on the IRA, so it was very helpful to find this book to help me with the Unionist side of the conflict.


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    Pingback by Writing a research paper, an example. Blood on the Streets: Northern Ireland « Substantive Education — March 4, 2010 @ 10:31 pm | Reply

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