The long peace in Northern Ireland

#1
Hello, long time viewer but this is my first post so please don't be too harsh.

I'm a student doing my A levels and my politics coursework is answering the question, 'Did the good friday Agreement mark a conclusive end to the conflict in Northern Ireland?'

Seeing that many people here have served in Northern Ireland i wondered if you could give me your views.

many thanks

Claymore
 
#2
well, one way to start off might be to give us your opinions or feelings so far. unless people on here are a) particularly passionate about the subject or b) have something to argue about, it can be preeeeeeeeeeeeeetty quiet.

you might also have some trouble differentiating the mongs from the normal people. but if you've been reading a long time, you will know some of the names to ignore / punch / point at and laugh :)

it's such an open-ended question, it might be worth you holding forth at a little more length. or perhaps giving us some idea of any particular aspects or arguments that interest you.

people will also want to know two things - do you have any connection with the army, and are you a journo ;)
 
#3
Hey, thanks a lot for the advice, really apreciate it.

i'm not a jouno i'm 18 and go to school in Oxford.
Regarding a conection with the army i have my RCB in 6 weeks and am currently looking at the Royal Tank regiment for a short service commission after uni.

On the question the problem is that you read the textbooks and they talk about the mindset of people in Northern IReland but the ones i have aren't written by historians of any repute and therefore i wanted the views of people who'd actually been there, about what Northern IReland's like now and what it has been like since 1997. At the moment i'm coming round to the view that while there are still some extremists out there who want a war because they were hailed as heroes during the troubles and are now considered surplus to requirements most of Northern Ireland has adopted a policy of tolerance because both sides have realised they can't achieve outright victory.
 
#4
you could do worse than to investigate the effect of sep 11th. RIRA / CIRA / INLA continued "the struggle" well after the GFA, and were very active during 98-99. the backlash from omagh quitened them down some. but it was not until sep 11th that the majority of americans ceased regarding the IRA as "freedom fighters". since the "war on terror", it has been pretty quiet over here (relatively speaking)...
 
#6
Claymore, you need to find whoever originally set that question and kick them squarely in the nuts for being such a fcukwit.

Seriously though, what does your essay plan look like so far? Send us a few notes (by PM if you feel the need) and we might be able to help you out a little more.
 
#7
'Did the good friday Agreement mark a conclusive end to the conflict in Northern Ireland?'

I wonder how the following answer would be marked?

NO

Simple but straight to the point.
 
#8
You will receive many different views, but for what it's worth my opinion is:

The end of the current campaign will end with a fizzle not a definitive end (and will probably have the potential to re-ignite). I always maintained that if the IRA/UVF etc were not terrorists then the lower ranks would be football hooligans and the upper echelons high grade criminals in some other sphere. This was always a working class conflict controlled by some who should have known better.

The history of Ireland and NI is replete with campaigns, ceasefires and break ups leading to new campaigns. In more recent times you can draw on the 1950s campaign, the lull in the 1960s then the resurgence. The break up of OIRA the formation of PIRA then INLA and latterly during the recent ceasefires CIRA and RIRA.

Others are right to draw your attention to the effect of 9/ll. It made the US realise just what the IRA was in a particularly hard hitting way. Other factors you may wish to draw on are:

The effect of the improving economy. The Celtic Tiger, membership of the EU and UK investment in the North. It is hard to believe that some of the middle class housing estates in Belfast sit on the sites of what were dreadful slums and tenements even up to the late 1980s (Divis Flats is one example).

The victory of the British Army and RUC - I use the term deliberately. No other nation has successfully kept the lid on such a situation for so long allowing other lines of operation - political and economic to come into play. In today's climate of appeasement recognition for this is long overdue.

The undermining of the authority of the Roman Catholic Church. This was a result of various sex scandles in the south - no longer were the working classes willing to take the utterances of the church at face value.

The effect of higher education and greater physical and social mobility (though the Irish have always found it easy to emigrate).

The effect of the media and speed of modern communications. Despite some of the negative aspects; the media has begun to out the hypocrisy of the terrorist leadership (both Catholic and Protestant). In your studies you could use the example of Slab Murphy trying to sue a journalist (ex IRA/informer) in Dublin and the way details of their MO came out.

Hope this helps - as I say this is just a personal view - I served there for many years (on and off) including over the period of the first ceasefires).
 
#9
Let me know if you want a list of good to reads regarding Northern Ireland Claymore.
 
#10
claymore16uk said:
Hello, long time viewer but this is my first post so please don't be too harsh.

I'm a student doing my A levels and my politics coursework is answering the question, 'Did the good friday Agreement mark a conclusive end to the conflict in Northern Ireland?'

Seeing that many people here have served in Northern Ireland i wondered if you could give me your views.

many thanks

Claymore
I think that you have to consider that it legitimised the use of terror as a means to an end - on the face of it PIRA have gone some way into achieving their objectives. However the use of intimidation, drugs dealing, fraud, media piracy are as evident today as they were during the 'troubles'. There is still no acceptance of HM Govt by the Republican areas of Co Armagh, Tyrone, Londonderry or Republican areas of Belfast. The underlying hate and distrust is still there. It may be true to say that for the average person, life has not got any better or any worse. The status quo still exists, many believe Gen De Chasterlaine has had the wool pulled over his eyes in regard to decomissioning. Another answer to the question is do the hard-liners from the Republican and Loyalist Paramilitary groups want conclusive peace? I would suggest not - they have nothing to gain. With the status quo as it is, they have influence, power, money, respect and have a pretty good time of things. Would you forsake all of this for the benefit of everlasting peace??

I think that peace as we know it on the mainland will never exist (during my lifetime) in Northern Ireland.
 
#11
At the moment i'm leaning towards brekaing my essay down into a study of the Good Friday Agreement followed by the cahnges in teh situation since its implementation adn then study why this has happened.

under that logic i'd look at how paramilitary activities have been curtailed since 2001 for the reasons of Foot and Mouth, the arrest of Mckevit, 9/11 and the general loss of all faith in the paramilitaries following the bombing of Omagh.
 
#12
Howay_the_Lads said:
claymore16uk said:
Hello, long time viewer but this is my first post so please don't be too harsh.

I'm a student doing my A levels and my politics coursework is answering the question, 'Did the good friday Agreement mark a conclusive end to the conflict in Northern Ireland?'

Seeing that many people here have served in Northern Ireland i wondered if you could give me your views.

many thanks

Claymore
I think that you have to consider that it legitimised the use of terror as a means to an end - on the face of it PIRA have gone some way into achieving their objectives. However the use of intimidation, drugs dealing, fraud, media piracy are as evident today as they were during the 'troubles'. There is still no acceptance of HM Govt by the Republican areas of Co Armagh, Tyrone, Londonderry or Republican areas of Belfast. The underlying hate and distrust is still there. It may be true to say that for the average person, life has not got any better or any worse. The status quo still exists, many believe Gen De Chasterlaine has had the wool pulled over his eyes in regard to decomissioning. Another answer to the question is do the hard-liners from the Republican and Loyalist Paramilitary groups want conclusive peace? I would suggest not - they have nothing to gain. With the status quo as it is, they have influence, power, money, respect and have a pretty good time of things. Would you forsake all of this for the benefit of everlasting peace??

I think that peace as we know it on the mainland will never exist (during my lifetime) in Northern Ireland.
To add to the above, none of the Republican hard-liners accept the Government of the Dail either. They see the Dail as a pseudo British puppet. Their aim is - and always has been - a 32 county republic run under marxist lines. They have no time for democratic niceties. You either agree with them or you don't. If you don't they call in the 'Nutting Squad'.
 
#13
claymore16uk said:
At the moment i'm leaning towards brekaing my essay down into a study of the Good Friday Agreement followed by the cahnges in teh situation since its implementation adn then study why this has happened.

under that logic i'd look at how paramilitary activities have been curtailed since 2001 for the reasons of Foot and Mouth, the arrest of Mckevit, 9/11 and the general loss of all faith in the paramilitaries following the bombing of Omagh.
when you've finished, i would love to read the section on the impact of Foot and Mouth on the paramilitaries :lol:
 
#14
claymore16uk said:
At the moment i'm leaning towards brekaing my essay down into a study of the Good Friday Agreement followed by the cahnges in teh situation since its implementation adn then study why this has happened.....
When I were slavin' over hot essays for t' A Levels I didn't go down t'pub lunchtimes. Warmed over ink were all I could get to sup...
 
#16
Percy said:
You will receive many different views, but for what it's worth my opinion is:

The end of the current campaign will end with a fizzle not a definitive end (and will probably have the potential to re-ignite). I always maintained that if the IRA/UVF etc were not terrorists then the lower ranks would be football hooligans and the upper echelons high grade criminals in some other sphere. This was always a working class conflict controlled by some who should have known better.

The history of Ireland and NI is replete with campaigns, ceasefires and break ups leading to new campaigns. In more recent times you can draw on the 1950s campaign, the lull in the 1960s then the resurgence. The break up of OIRA the formation of PIRA then INLA and latterly during the recent ceasefires CIRA and RIRA.

Others are right to draw your attention to the effect of 9/ll. It made the US realise just what the IRA was in a particularly hard hitting way. Other factors you may wish to draw on are:

The effect of the improving economy. The Celtic Tiger, membership of the EU and UK investment in the North. It is hard to believe that some of the middle class housing estates in Belfast sit on the sites of what were dreadful slums and tenements even up to the late 1980s (Divis Flats is one example).

The victory of the British Army and RUC - I use the term deliberately. No other nation has successfully kept the lid on such a situation for so long allowing other lines of operation - political and economic to come into play. In today's climate of appeasement recognition for this is long overdue.

The undermining of the authority of the Roman Catholic Church. This was a result of various sex scandles in the south - no longer were the working classes willing to take the utterances of the church at face value.

The effect of higher education and greater physical and social mobility (though the Irish have always found it easy to emigrate).

The effect of the media and speed of modern communications. Despite some of the negative aspects; the media has begun to out the hypocrisy of the terrorist leadership (both Catholic and Protestant). In your studies you could use the example of Slab Murphy trying to sue a journalist (ex IRA/informer) in Dublin and the way details of their MO came out.

Hope this helps - as I say this is just a personal view - I served there for many years (on and off) including over the period of the first ceasefires).
A very erudite summing-up of the situation, if I may say so, Percy.
 
#17
claymore16uk said:
The Foot and Mouth thing is that because patrolling stepped up during the quarantine IRA operations came to a halt.
Not sure where you are getting this from my friend.

There was not a crash in support after the Omagh bomb.

The Omagh bomb made a few people think, and it quietened down the dissidents for a while, but the various scum bags flavors of the IRA lost no significant support over it.

My view point is someone who lives her in Ulster and not as a serving soldier.
 
#18
Damn! I was using that because it served as a nice stepping stone to highlight the public dissilusionment (sp) of the IRA. Also have hit on some articles in the spectator and the Times on the IRA's current activities, likening them to that of a criminal gang.

If i can run with that then i can argue that while many men in Northern Ireland, most uneducated who were heroes during the Troubles don't want it to end because they are unwanted and therefore try to maintain a job within these organisations, most of them aren't doing it for any ideological reasons anymore but simply to earn a living. The dreamers having joined the Real IRA or the continuity IRA both of which have quietened down in recent times.

please rip me to shreds if i'm off the mark.

Thanks again

Claymore
 
#20
I was never one of those that stocked up on the books of the conflict or had 101 Pretty Tanks or Good Rucks since the Middle Ages in my limited book collection. I arranged it alphabetically starting with S and ending with S. Tom Sharpe.

When living in NI a part-time RIR who I worked with suggested The Dirty War by Martin Dillon. Read it cover to cover, twice. Ok it's primarily about the dirty tricks but has excellent background to the Troubles. It was the RIR's bible so I was told. Comments, as I've never seen it mentioned, it's one hell of a reference book but then do we believe everything in print?

Right back to my book, it's a love story, it's when Heckler first laid eyes on Koch.
 

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