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Northern Ireland Conflict 3 Essay

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World Issues Conflict Assignment: Northern Ireland Silja Spreng




In Northern Ireland there is basically a segregation of the population into two confessions: Catholic and protestant. In Northern Ireland there is a majority of Protestants from England and a catholic minority whereas in the Republic Ireland itself, there is a catholic majority versus a protestant minority.

The conflict has often been portrayed as a religious conflict but this is not correct: Religious differences have been used by political and religious leaders as a reason to justify the grouping of these people. But truly it is a conflict between the Unionist and Loyalists who seek to maintain a part of Great Britain and are usually Protestants versus the Nationalists and Republicans who are typically Catholic and see themselves as Irish.


There are three governments involved in the conflict: The government of England, the government of Northern Ireland and the government of the Republic of Ireland.

The Irish government is a parliamentary democracy consisting of two chambers, the House of Commons and the House of Lords, and a president. There is currently a coalition of three parties governing the country: Fianna Fail (conservative, Irish republicanism, economic liberalism), Progressive Democrats and Green Party.

Northern Ireland used to be administrated from the British government as a province of England, however, a coalition between the two parties, Sinn Fein and Democratic Unionist Party, which were originally hostile towards each other, was formed in 2007 and Northern Ireland now has its own parliamentary democratic government.

England is governed by a parliamentary system, it has a constitutional monarchy. The parliament consists of the House of Commons, the House of Lords, Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Head of State is Queen Elizabeth II. The three major parties in England are the Labour Party, the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats. The Labour Party has currently the majority in the parliament.


During the emergence of the conflict beginning with England taking over Northern Ireland as a province, arable land certainly played a role. However, in the continuance and towards the end of the conflict arable land was not of importance anymore. Fresh water was never of importance in this conflict.


Although the Northern Ireland conflict has been limited to the boarders of Northern Ireland, it received significant international attention and many other countries felt the need to interact in solving the conflict. The United States have been taking a great role in the peace making process, as being further outlined in question 4.

The Republic of Ireland had outlined the unification with Northern Ireland in their constitution. However, the Republic of Ireland abstains from this request due to the Good Friday Agreement and a referendum. But the agreement still keeps the opportunity of unification with Northern Ireland in case the majority of the Northern Irish population supports this.

Great Britain as a part of the conflict supports the Unionists and Loyalists and wants Northern Ireland to stay a part of the United Kingdom, however, it also advocated...

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