Sunningdale Agreement - Essay Example

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Sunningdale Agreement

The British government created Northern Ireland against the wishes of the majority of the Irish People who wanted a free and independent Irish republic. Though there are some counter claims, the victory of the Sinn Fein in the 1918 Irish Elections is a convincing indication of the people's strong
republican sentiments. The 1920 partition created the first great divide between Irish nationalists and Unionists and left it festering like an open wound. (NIFR, 1984). The partition did benefit the Protestants in Northern Ireland, where they assumed the role of the majority, while the Catholics became the minority in a highly sectarian society. Discrimination against Catholics over jobs, education, and housing; violations of many of their basic rights; and Protestant apprehension over nationalist organisations and activities have only widened and hardened the differences between them.
The discontent created by this situation has sparked off various protests in Northern Ireland since 1920. ...Show more

Summary

Almost twenty-five years separate the Belfast and Sunningdale Agreements. Both represent serious attempts to heal deeply rooted divisions created primarily by the 1920 division of Ireland into two separate and distinct political units. The Sunningdale Agreement lasted barely six months, from December 1973 to May 1974, before it collapsed under a wave of Unionist-instigated strikes…
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