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Northern Irelands Unionist Paramilitaries - Essay Example
It is one of history's ironies. The Northern Ireland province of Ulster, once known as the last significant bastion of Ireland's national struggle against English occupation and rule, is now the bastion of Protestant Unionism, with its overarching objective of maintaining Northern Ireland as an integral and valued part of the United Kingdom…
There are many books and other material that have discussed these topics at length and with great competence.
The unionist point of view has been and still is the preservation of the status quo, that is, Northern Ireland within the political framework of the United Kingdom. The status quo not only preserves their built-in advantage as the majority in Northern Ireland, it also protects them from becoming the minority in a united Ireland. The status quo, they believe, is their only guarantee that they can keep exercising their right to their own identity, traditions, religion and culture.
Loyalists are all these and more. Where nationalist paramilitaries are willing to use force to change the status quo, loyalist paramilitaries are willing to use force to preserve the status quo. This is their objective and rationale in the use of both force and the threat of force. Loyalist paramilitaries (such as the UDA, UVF and LVF) who usually choose civilian targets, use terror against the Catholic community to prevent it from attempting to change the status quo. ...