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UK: NORTHERN IRELAND: WHAT ARE THE TROUBLES ?

If you talk of The Troubles in Northern Ireland, you mean the clashes between Prostestants and Catholics or the IRA and the RUC (the Royal Ulster Constabulary, i.e. the Northern Irish police force). The Troubles began at the end of the 1960s shortly before the English deployed troops in Northern Ireland to quell the unrest which had erupted between the two opposing sides. The main dates which are connected with The Troubles are as follows:

1968:Civil rights demonstrations erupt into sectarian rioting. Loyalists and IRA people prepare for violent campaigns. 1969:British troops arrive in Ulster to quell the growing violence. At first they are welcomed on the Catholic Falls Road. But disappointment follows soon.
1971:The government introduces internment, i.e. detention without trial, in an effort to contain the IRA, but IRA recruitment increases. 1972:Bloody Sunday in January. Pratroopers open fire on a crowd of civil rights demonstrators in Londonderry, killing 13 men.
1976:Betty Williams and Mairead Corrigan win the Nobel Peace Prize for their Peace Peoplecampaign against paramilitary violence. 1981:IRA prisoners in the H-block of the Maze prison go on hunger strike, demanding status of political prisoners. Their leader Bobby Sands dies after 66 days.
1984:The IRA attempts to murder the Conservative cabinet under M. Thatcher with a bomb at the Grand Hotel, Brighton, during a Tory conference. Five people are killed, 34 injured. 1993:The IRA resumes attacks on the British mainland. A bomb at Bishopsgate causes huge damage.
1994:The IRA calls its first ceasefire. The loyalist UDA (Ulster Defense Association) and the UVF (Ulster Volunteer Force) follow soon after. 1996:The IRA ends its ceasefire with a massive bomb explosion in the Docklands, killing two people and injuring 100. The ceasefire is restored, but occasional shootings and kneecapping go on. April 1998: Good Friday Agreement. December 1999: home rule for Northern Ireland established.


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