The King, James II, different laws were enacted by

The Troubles did not begin on a specific date, but emerged from
the built-up tension between the Protestant and Catholic communities. In 1920,
the whole of Ireland was a part of the UK, however tension was rising between
the Unionist Protestants and the Nationalist Catholics. Great Britain ruled the
Catholic Ireland from the 12th century until 1920. During that time,
there were various instances of the Catholics rebelling against their Protestant
rulers. The Easter Rising in 1916, was one of the many rebellions held by the
Catholic community in search for freedom. The Catholic population felt as if
they were being colonised by the Protestant settlers. When William of Orange
defeated the Catholic King, James II, different laws were enacted by the all
Protestant-Parliament of Ireland, barring Catholics from offices, land
ownership and schooling. They did this to block all paths to wealth and
education for the Catholic Populace (Darby, 1976). These policies passed incited
more violence between the two communities. The escalating violence forced the
British government to intervene and propose that Ireland should have a limited
form of Self governance -the Home Rule. Both parties rejected this proposal, as
the Catholic community- led by Sinn Fein- felt that only full independence could
satisfy them, and the Protestant Unionists feared being ruled by the Catholic
majority and threatened a secession of Northern Ireland from Great Britain into
a sovereign state. A compromise was met in 1920, in the form of a partition of
Ireland into the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland (Rowthorn, 1988).
After the partition, however, sporadic violence continued between the two
communities. It was observed that these violent outbreaks regularly occurred during
economic downturns, for example the riots during the depression in 1930, and
when the economy boomed, the violence subsided – when the IRA was unable to
launch a successful secession bid due to apathy in the Catholic community
(Darby, 1976). In Fig.1 we can see that the two communities were physically separated
within Northern Ireland, and this was not all due to the fear of violence and
being attacked. Catholic and Protestant families were likely to live in areas near
schools that were run by their respective religions, as Catholic and Protestant
churches use the education system to retain control of their respective
communal identities. According to Darby, marriages took place within the local area
frequently in Northern Ireland. Over the years, these local areas became a
family based structure that tends to be exclusionary and segregated. The
Unionists had control of the national, and most of the local governments in
Northern Ireland. They had the power to determine and alter the distribution of
wealth and resources within Northern Ireland. Catholics and the working-class
protestants suffered socio-economic deprivation and discrimination. Unionist controlled
councils used their power and authority to deny housing to the Catholic
populace (Coughlan, 1991). Catholic citizens were driven out of their homes
because they were in Protestant-dominated local areas. In the county of Fermanagh,
Catholics were awarded only 30% of the 1,500 housing units present (Whyte, 1980).
The Nationalist run councils also discriminated against the Protestant
community, so the discrimination was reciprocated, however, due to the large
number of poor Catholics, more Catholics were subjected to public housing. The large
number of poor Catholics can be explained by the high rate of unemployment in
the Catholic community compared to the Protestant community as seen in Fig.2. Within
these local areas, old beliefs and traditions were kept alive, and the hostility
continued to fester between the groups. The two groups had little contact
between one another, intensifying the feelings of distrust between them. Hostility
between the two groups did not manifest daily, but after specific events. Conflict
and violence intensified with the formation of the Irish Republican Brotherhood
from decades of oppression by the British. In 1969, violence between the
Unionists and the Nationalist increased, leading to the intervention from the
British Army. The British Army was called to separate the combatants after
fighting for two days during the “Annual Protestant Apprentice Boys of Derry”
parade, after the Catholic people threw stones and petrol bombs at the
marchers. In 1971, the Northern Ireland government introduced internment
without trial, resulting in 324 men being taken by the British Army. After the
Catholics retaliated, in January 1972, the British Army fired into a Catholic
crowd and killed 13 people, that day is known as Bloody Sunday in Derry
(Rowthorn, 1988). Between 1968 and 1994, over 3,500 people were killed and over
35,000 people were injured. There was a ceasefire in 1994, leading to the
Belfast agreement being signed in 1998. However, there is still mistrust
between the two communities, and tension continues to run high.