Oh Diddly dee! A leprechaun put a bomb in me potato, ah! Now with all the Irish people having been disgusted and left, we can start. Hello and welcome to Feature History. Featuring the impatiently awaited and source of much pester – The Troubles. A rather understated name for a 30-year long period of sectarian violence at its finest. It formed both the issues and the culture of our contemporary Northern Ireland and is such a relevant topic today. You can expect many, many unwanted opinions in the comments. Enough about that though. We have two videos worth of controversy to get through here and now. And later when the second part goes up. For the source of The Troubles, you can go all the way back to 1169 with the Norman conquest of Ireland. But for the sake of brevity I’m going to try to rush to the 20th century. Irish leaders for many centuries would struggle politically with English kings, and this peat with the Protestant Reformation that saw the majority of England turn Protestant with their monarchy and the majority of Ireland remain Catholic. A Rebellion in the late 16th century saw new efforts to assimilate the Irish by just replacing who the Irish were. Protestant English and Scottish were sent to Ireland to attempt to colonize the island and saw success in the North, or as it is otherwise known by, Ulster. The following English Civil War and Glorious Revolution would see the Irish Catholics ally with the losing side leading to penal wars being placed on them by the Protestant English Parliament. During the great French Wars the French would provoke a Protestant-led rebellion for Irish independence. Which caused the British government to claim Ireland as a core part of their kingdom and bring them under further control. Concessions would be made with the Catholic emancipation in 1829, but it did little to improve their position. The damage had been done and many Catholics were still made to live on the poorer land. A turning point would be the decimation caused by the Irish potato famine in 1845. 1 million deaths, Exacerbated by British mismanagement, caused the Irish to demand for an Irish parliament. Some demanded for full Irish independence but the most popular movement was that of Home Rule. It would see a self governed Ireland within the United Kingdom. Its bill would finally be passed in 1912, much to the scrutiny of the mostly Protestant Ulster loyalists in the North. It would, however, be placed on hold given the outbreak of the First World War. Some more radical Irishmen would come out against British rule in 1916, dubbed the Easter Rising. it had failed, but when the insurrectionists were executed by the government, the rebels would become martyrs – their fringe movement turned to public outrage. seventy-three members of the Irish Republican Party, Sinn Fein, would be elected to the British Parliament in 1918 and would refuse to attend the Parliament in London. Instead, choosing to form an Irish parliament in Dublin in 1919. This action would spark the war of the independence that saw the Irish Republican Army brought together to fight for, well, an Irish Republic. The Anglo-Irish treaty drawn up in 1921 would see a partitioned Ireland. One to be split between the mostly Catholic nationalist south and the mostly Protestant loyalist North. However, there was a catch, as there is a significant Catholic minority present in Northern Ireland. There was also a substantial amount of people generally not pleased with the treaty, refusing to recognize the compromised Irish Free State and certainly refusing to recognize a British Northern Ireland. The stem of the IRA would break off as the Anti-treaty IRA, and fight in the Civil War – only to be put down in 1923 and have the Free State be affirmed. These wars had caused a drift in Northern Ireland. The Protestant majority now suspected and occasionally feared the Catholic minority who had grown to see the Protestants as oppressive and tyrannical. Over the course of several decades, segregation became normalized between the two communities. In hiring, education, and housing Protestants and Catholics rarely mixed. The anti-treaty IRA still existed, however dormant. It had begun to see an influx of Marxists, much to the annoyance of the older more traditional members. In the early 60s, Northern Ireland became subject to a civil rights movement, set on highlighting the inequalities in the province. Stauncher loyalists feared it as an IRA front – a facade made to lead to a united Ireland. Civil right protests began to lead to riots as both partisan loyalists and the Royal Ulster Constabulary wished to crack down upon them. This led to a great number of Catholics rejecting the RUC’s Authority, attempting to create their own Institutions as seen in the self-declared autonomous area of free Derry. Tensions had been rising steadily since 1966, and would climax in ’69. A Protestant parade was set to move through a Catholic area of Londonderry or Terry or whatever you want to call it so you don’t get mad. Protestants and Catholics would initially begin slinging any old crap at each other, leading to clashes. As the police moved in to crackdown, battles erupted. This is known as the Battle of the Bogside. Hundreds of police and civilians were injured in the riots and the officers of the constabulary would be pushed from the Bogside area. By the third day of rioting, things had become intense and the Northern Irish Prime Minister requested British troops to relieve the officers. A Battalion would intervene as a neutral force to separate the residents from the police and bring an end to the battle. With the news of the battle spreading quickly, agitated Irish nationalists began to break out in protest and the Ulster loyalists, fearing a total uprising, began to clash with nationalists; causing widespread violence across Northern Ireland. With an overwhelmed and accusedly biased Constabulary not of much help, the British Army would have some serious trouble maintaining law and order. The army had initially been welcomed as a neutral force into The Troubles. The Nationalists and Loyalists both believed the army was there to protect them from the other. As the violence continued, however, some nationalists began to believe too little was being done to quell the violence against them. The divide in the population was clear. But beneath the surface, another divide had formed. In the IRA, the traditionalist Republicans broke away from the Marxist bunch due to the perceived unwillingness of their leaders to protect nationalist communities. This new provisional IRA would soon dwarf its paternal organization. They had, though, inherited a crumbling support. Few wanted the help of a paramilitary gang. This changed when in the Battle of st. Matthews in 1970, the local IRA beat back an armed loyalist mob in a shootout, serving to guard a Catholic nationalist enclave. It was a significant propaganda victory for the organization. The British Army looked to disarm this violence and would enter the infamous Falls Road area of Belfast, a Nationalist stronghold, to seize (?) They were thorough and harsh in their action, doing a significant disservice to their reputation. In The Falls Curfew, the army would come under harassment from both the IRA and angered residents, leading to the unfortunate death of four civilians. In August of 1971, the British army and RUC would undertake Operation Demetrus, which sought to intern paramilitary members. However, their list held a strong nationalist bias and the operation itself was subject to fumbles – leading to an upsurge in reactionary violence. Those interned reported torture. Two IRA members were killed, two soldiers had also been killed, not to mention 20 civilians. It wasn’t a good look to say the least. With Nationalist support of the army at an all-time low, in the hopes of defeating the IRA militarily, the soldiers would be turned to local policing, checkpoint duty, and riot control. The unpopular policy of internment continued as well. Imprisonment without trial was seen as the only logistical way to deal with the unrest. In January of 1972, both the Army and the police were deployed to oversee an anti-internment march in Derry. British paratroopers were present and they had been despised for their role in killing eleven people during Operation Demetrius. Small groups began to lob rocks at the paratroopers, provoking the paratroopers to open fire in return. The crowd would quickly devolve into chaos. Twenty-eight people would be shot and fourteen died. Given the circumstances of their deaths, the paratroopers were decried for their actions and British Army at large felt the ire of the nationalist Catholics and more – in what would become known as Bloody Sunday they had to put a definite end to any idea of a honeymoon. Yes, I know this part was short, but tough tits. You’ll get another one eventually, so don’t sulk. Until then, I don’t know, just pledge to my patron or something. That’s usually what cool people do. Toodles!