Northern Ireland was created in 1921, though after the 1960s there has not been a lengthy period of time that Northern Ireland has been under its own control.
Due to the economic, religious and political differences between the Northern and Southern parts of Ireland, it was deemed necessary for the country to split, so that each side could decide its own future. While home rule for the Southern part of Ireland was an easy choice for them to make, Northern Ireland was split because of the large minority of Nationalist Catholics, who wanted home rule, and the small majority of Protestants who wanted to remain under the United Kingdom. Both sides feared being ruled by the other; as they were afraid of being discriminated against. The discrimination that Catholics in Northern Ireland faced resulted in violent conflict between the two sides.
Has the state:
(i) Undertaken to play a mediating role, attempting to represent all interests involved?
Under the United Kingdom, the Catholics in Northern Ireland were very unhappy because of the discrimination from the Unionist Protestants. Numerous attempts of a resolution from Britain ended in failure due to the fact that the Catholics and Protestants couldn’t come to a decision that both parties could agree with, each time one side would break the deal and a ceasefire between the IRA (Catholic armed forces against protestant controlled government) would not happen for a very long time.
Because of each side’s contrasting ideals, neither side would give up enough of their platform to represent all interests. Even though there was extensive mediation between the two, there were key things that neither side would give up (Catholics wouldn’t disarm the IRA, and Protestants wouldn’t create a home rule government). Britain had maintained direct control off and on since 1921, as neither side would back down on their contrasting core beliefs. When Britain attempted to pass power to Northern Ireland, a backlash from the Catholic citizens would ensue, and when they kept direct control, it still pleased nobody.
(ii) By peaceful means, sought to integrate the minority or ethnically distinct group into the broader community while rejecting the claims of the groups in question for special recognition?
The state did not attempt to integrate Catholics and Protestants. The whole reason why the Catholics and the IRA brought their disagreement into actual violent conflict is because of the lack of integration that took place. Catholics were “…discriminated in jobs, education, housing, and local elections led to a civil rights campaign which quickly escalated into violence…” (Abrams, et al, 266).
Abrams, Dominic, Michael Hogg, and Jose Marques. Social Psychology of Inclusion and Exclusion. Psychology P, 2005.
O’Loan, Nuala. Investigative Report. Rep. no. 1. 22 Jan. 2007. Police Ombudsman. 27 Feb. 2009 /BALLAST%20PUBLIC%20STATEMENT%2022-01-07%20FINAL%20VERSION.pdf>.”
Keogh, Dermot. Northern Ireland and the Politics of Reconciliation (Woodrow Wilson Center Press). New York: Cambridge UP, 1994.