Talk:History of Northern Ireland

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WikiProject Ireland (Rated B-class, Top-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Ireland, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Ireland on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
B-Class article B  This article has been rated as B-Class on the project's quality scale.
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Why is there more information in the late 20th century section than the Troubles article, to which the section links as the main article?

Probably because contributors preferred to add to the main H of NI article. Feel free to reorganise but be aware that this is contentious stuff so you need to be very careful to keep to a neutral point of view ("NPOV"). It would be wisest to outline your proposals here first. --Red King 09:05, 13 May 2005 (UTC)

This article is POV[edit]

When reading this article it is clearly not up to NPOV standard and definetly biased to a nationalist/republican viewpoint. The text is very black and white in it's descriptions.

E.g. "Under successive Unionist Prime Ministers from Sir James Craig (later Lord Craigavon) onwards, the Ulster establishment practiced what is generally considered a policy of wholesale discrimination against the nationalist/Catholic minority."

When looking at background information this seems very strong language whenever much of the research indicates dicrimination was a far more complex issue. I quote from the CAIN Web Service info on Majority-Minority Differentials: Unemployment, Housing and Health by Martin Melaugh Chapter 9.

"The Unionist Party enjoyed 50 years of control in Northern Ireland without intervention from Westminster. During that time many aspects of the operation of the state continued to benefit Protestants more than Catholics. An element of this was a number of forms of direct and indirect discrimination. Whyte (1983) produced a list of fields where discrimination was practised and ranked them from the greatest level of discrimination to the least. These were, electoral practices, public employment, policing, private employment, public housing, and regional policy. While the extent of direct discrimination in these fields was, and remains, the subject of debate (Hewitt, 1981, 1983, 1985; O'Hearn, 1983, 1985; and Kingsley, 1989) most researchers and commentators accept that this type of discrimination was practised mainly against Catholics over an extended period of time. Perhaps the most important consequence of this was the creation of a perception among the total Catholic population of a more widespread and systematic form of direct discrimination than the currently available evidence would support. Nevertheless, the Catholic allegations of discrimination by a number of local government districts, predominantly in the south and west of the region, were substantiated in many respects by later investigations (Cameron Report, 1969). There is also evidence that Catholics, in a few areas where they were in control of a local authority, discriminated against Protestants. As Catholics were less likely to be in a position to exercise such discrimination there was less of it; this is not in any way to excuse that discrimination which was carried out.

The Civil Rights movement focused British and wider public opinion on the relatively poorer circumstances of the Catholic minority in Northern Ireland. Under pressure from Westminster the Stormont government began to introduce a number of reforms in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Some reforms required little more than political will and the introduction of new legislation, and so were implemented fairly quickly. Other difficulties, in particular the relative economic disadvantage of the Catholic community, have proved more problematic. Reforms in this area have taken longer to implement and appear to have had less impact on the situation. At the heart of the problem is a cycle of disadvantage which, while affecting the poorest sections in both communities, is particularly pervasive in the Catholic community. This cycle involves a number of interrelated elements including education, employment, income, housing, wealth, social class, and health.

Issues related to education are considered elsewhere in this book (see Chapter 11) but it is worth noting here that an important effect of the segregated education system is the marked difference in the educational attainment of Catholics and Protestants (Gallagher, 1989). According to Northern Ireland Continuous Household Survey (CHS) estimates, based on samples of the population taken during 1988 to 1991, 52 per cent of Catholics had no formal education qualifications compared to 46 per cent of Protestants (Policy Planning and Research Unit (PPRU) 1993). While differences in educational attainment do not fully explain community differentials in employment opportunities (Eversley, 1989) they are an important factor in the job prospects of each individual."

[1]

"Osborne (ibid.: 53) states that 'it is hardly possible to call the 1929 redistribution a general exercise in gerrymandering'. Even under PR, nationalists of all hues had gained only twelve seats; under the new scheme they continued to gain eleven. Indeed, Buckland, who has had the advantage of going through the government files on the redistribution scheme, finds that the nationalists were not intended to lose at all. The parliamentary draftsman imagined that he had left them with twelve seats, losses of one seat each in Antrim and Armagh being compensated by a gain of two seats in Belfast (Buckland, 1979: 241). A weakness in his calculations led to them making only one gain in Belfast." [2]

Other sources corroborate that this is a complex issue that deserves the full spectrum of analysis. I suggest that this article needs properly looked at so as to tidy it up to NPOV. And before anybody starts this is not arguing that it should be from a Unionist POV or that I am suggesting that discrimination did not occur, but at this point I don't think it fairly presents the complexity of the issues and is slanted to one prespective more than a dispassionate analysis.

I quote from Whyte 1983 "The consensus among those who have looked at the evidence dispassionately is that the picture is neither black nor white, but a shade of grey."

--Strangelyb 04:44, 13 September 2005 (UTC)

So why haven't you worked to improve it? Simply to stick an NPOV tag on it solves nothing, other than to warn readers that the content is disputed. Clearly you have the material to make a large scale improvement and you certainly should do so. The conflict industry in Northern Ireland is kept ticking over through these very black & white assertions that absolutely need to be challenged, not reinforced. --Red King 16:49, 22 September 2005 (UTC)
Quite right, they have written a thesis on whats wrong - remember be bold. Djegan 18:06, 22 September 2005 (UTC)

Gareth NI this is a Neutral point of view for Nothern Ireland for once. I live in NI and I have to told what right and wrong is by the Politicans. Sinn Fein says that there should a united Ireland , The DUP says stay with UK. for once a neutral point of veiw. slap the NPOV sticker on it.

Nikki, NI. I agree with Gareth, I am currently studying government and politics and know from experience that it is difficult not to produce articles showing bias in one way or another. This page handles the situation wonderfully and states Northern Ireland's current and previous 'problems' in black and white. Well done. NPOV! 81.156.57.153 17:29, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

The article says: "While Nationalist parties continued to retain the same number of seats that they had under Proportional Representation, the Northern Ireland Labour Party and various smaller leftist Unionist groups were smothered." It doesn't claim that it was an attempt to gerrymander nationalist seats out of existence. One accusation of POV refuted.
John Whyte is quoted as "The consensus among those who have looked at the evidence dispassionately is that the picture is neither black nor white, but a shade of grey." You fail to quote the rest of the conclusion of Whyte's piece - readable online at http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/issues/discrimination/whyte.htm
e.g. "Neither of these extreme views can be sustained. The amount of discrimination proved, or even alleged, to have existed is insufficient to bear the weight that McCann or Farrell place on it. On the other hand, it is quite sufficient to disprove attempts to dismiss it as unfounded or trifling."
e.g. "when all this is said, the prominence of an area in the west remains. There, the greyness of the picture over most of the province changes to an ominous darkness. The unionist government must bear its share of responsibility. It put through the original gerrymander which underpinned so many of the subsequent malpractices, and then, despite repeated protests, did nothing to stop those malpractices continuing The most serious charge against the Northern Ireland government is not that it was directly responsible for widespread discrimination, but that it allowed discrimination on such a scale over a substantial segment of Northern Ireland."
Or let's look at, say, the CSJ research into holders of franchise for local government electors to Londonderry Corporation, as cited by Thomas Hennessey in his A History of Northern Ireland - Catholics over 21 19,870, Catholic adults with the vote 14,325; Protestants over 21 10,573, Protestant adults with the vote 9,235.
I'm removing the POV tag. Gerry Lynch 20:36, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

Please expalin why you are removing NPOV tag before you do it. This article is no up to standard and is NPOV in it's current format. I am happy to work with others to improve. --Strangelyb 15:03, 15 June 2006 (UTC)

You object to the phrase: "Under successive Unionist Prime Ministers from Sir James Craig (later Lord Craigavon) onwards, the Ulster establishment practiced what is generally considered a policy of wholesale discrimination against the nationalist/Catholic minority". I have supplied copious references from the academic literature on the subject demonstrating supporting why this is a reasonable statement. If you object, provide evidence supporting your objection, preferably from the extensive research carried out into this subject.
Until then, there's no reason for an NPOV notice to be here, and I'm removing it again. Please provide some evidence before considering putting it back up and, no, a one line selective misquote of John Whyte doesn't count. Gerry Lynch 14:21, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

Gerry you are coming across as very aggressive in your response to my opinion and others that this article is POV. Pointing people to go read a page entitled "Don't be a dick" is not very nice although perhaps you should read the page yourself. You seem very afronted that others may have different opinions on this article and I have researched and have obviously come to a different opinion on the neutrality of this article than you, which is allowed. This according to Wikipedia is the bedrock of healthly NPOV articles. The article should reflect the broad spectrum of opinion and not just the narrow analysis of events as described in the current version. To do so is not bigoted or in denial about the faults of Unionism or the Stormont government. This complex history is currently only being selectively represented and nowhere in the research you have supplied or that I have done can it generally be regarded as "wholesale discrimination" unless you are looking at the extreme viewpoints.

I was not saying that discrimination did not occur and fail to see how quoting Whyte's next paragraph proves or disproves my point that discrimination was a grey issue.

"A detailed study such as the present one can, however, suggest more precisely what shade of grey is required in different parts of the picture. Six areas of contention have been studied in this paper, and more evidence was found of discrimination in some areas than others. If they were placed in an order of demerit, with the fields in which there was most discrimination coming first, the result might be something as follows. (I would not insist on the precise ranking, but the ones near the top of the list come clearly above those near the bottom.)"

I am not trying to dismiss discimination as unfounded or trifling and have never denied that discrimination occurred. However the article is biased to the nationalist viewpoint. This is evidenced by the black and white language with little attempt to cover all the complex issues that contributed to the situation. The article does not list counter arguments such as the Nationalist policy of abstaining from the workings of the nascent N.I state. Or Geographical inequalities that were not created by the Stormont Government and are difficult for any government to to resolve. The following quote from Majority-Minority Differentials: Unemployment, Housing and Health by Martin Melaugh Chapter 9 is particularly apt.

"Perhaps the most important consequence of this was the creation of a perception among the total Catholic population of a more widespread and systematic form of direct discrimination than the currently available evidence would support. Nevertheless, the Catholic allegations of discrimination by a number of local government districts, predominantly in the south and west of the region, were substantiated in many respects by later investigations (Cameron Report, 1969). There is also evidence that Catholics, in a few areas where they were in control of a local authority, discriminated against Protestants. As Catholics were less likely to be in a position to exercise such discrimination there was less of it; this is not in any way to excuse that discrimination which was carried out."[3]

It appears that whoever wrote this article has fallen victim of this perception and to point out so is correct and proper. So the article is obviously POV. --Strangelyb 13:42, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

The reason for my reaction is that you don't seem willing to make any edits to the article yourself, other than to re-add the NPOV notice continually. Actually, I think some of your comments about choice of language are reasonable and have amended accordingly. But there is no way this article merits an NPOV notice, and nothing wrong with it that can't be fixed more easily by making it better rather than getting into a flamewar on NPOV reversion (which I accept my own part responsibility for). Gerry Lynch 11:26, 16 October 2006 (UTC)

One of the worst articles on Wikipedia I have ever read[edit]

I graduated from Exeter University with a first in Politics and History in 1999. My thesis was on the politics of Northern Ireland, with emphasis on the role of cross-border intiatives from 1980+.

This is far and away the worst written article I have ever read about the history and politics of Northern Ireland. It is slanted, lacking in basic grammar and riddled with prejudices and fallacies. Why on earth the opening passage of an article on the History of Northen Ireland would include a stupid reference to Palestinian and Israeli flags is beyond me.

My family are from Donegal, I was born in Connemara and grew up in London...I have no political slant on NI at all. People will read this article and come away with all manner of ill-informed ideas. I got to a point where I just gave up making corrections and changing sentences.

I would like to write this article up properly at some point but will only do so if there is support for a fully unbiased and balanced re-writing. The History of Northern Ireland is not (and I say this as a devout, practicing Roman Catholic) the history of Nothern Irish catholicism. There are equally valid and relevant stories to be told on behalf of the protestant/loyalist population - whose view and experience has been rampantly ignored in this trash.

In sum this sounds as though it were written for the lowest common denominator and not individuals wishing to learn more of the History of this troubled corner of the world.

Best,

David.--Iamlondon 23:47, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

David - here are a few pointers on wikipedia.
Wikipedia is an open source encyclopedia - that means, if you think an article is inaccurate or slanted, change it. Don't whinge about how bad it is and how you really want to make it wonderful - do it. If other users think the changes are reasonable, they will stand, but if you lack evidence, they will be edited in some form. Sometimes, other people can take a bit of work you've done and improve it out of all recognition - but you still have the satisfaction of having started the ball rolling. It's lovely seeing a stub you did two years ago still forming, say, the introductory paragraph to a really well worked out article. That's one of the rewarding things.
Also, slagging people off about bad 'their' article is (and remember, no-one 'owns' a wikipedia article), when you don't even know where the appropriate place to comment on a talk page is, is guaranteed to get people's backs up.
Also, your academic credentials are interesting, but ultimately, it's the quality of your editing that gains you credibility in the community.
But, if we're on the subject, I have a First Class Honours degree in Politics from Queen's University of Belfast, came top of my year at Queen's, worked for long periods professionally in Northern Ireland politics, won the John Whyte prize for the best Irish politics undergraduate essay in an Irish university in my penultimate year, co-incidentally on the subject of the fall of Stormont, and know the literature inside out. I usually don't mention this, though, and if you wonder why, I recommend you read meta:DICK. Gerry Lynch 14:34, 14 August 2006 (UTC)
From the DBAD rule you quoted: "Telling someone "Don't be a dick" is something of a dick-move in itself". Sorry that you took it so personally, but it's still a bad article. Why don't I edit it? Where would I begin?! Iamlondon 18:01, 30 August 2006 (UTC)
Maybe, but you did ask for it!!! If you're not willing to make the contribution yourself, don't complain about what others do contribute. Sorry. Gerry Lynch 11:26, 16 October 2006 (UTC)

I'd like to say that this article seems to me refreshingly un-biased, and it should not be radically altered. I agree that the above quote does indicate that the perception of discrimination may be slightly greater than what actually occured. It seems that a small minority dispute that some discrimination occured. Gerrymandering is a clear example of state marginalisation. In addition, housing was distributed in an unbalanced and unfair way in (London)Derry. Discrimination in employment was on a more haphazard basis and depended on the individual employer. I would say that this discrimination, on a state,local government and individual basis, although not entirely overarching, does conform to the socialogical concept of "marginalisation". Although I'd use the term "discrimination", in the interests of non-bias would "discriminatory practices" or "marginalisation" be more acceptable?--143.53.155.118 14:11, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

This is a ridiculously bad article... Someone wanna clean it up? 137.191.228.131 12:21, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

Hahahaha... this article is so bad it's ridiculous. As pointed out abpove, where does oneeven begin to change it. It's needs a complete rewrite from the ground up. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 99.232.241.204 (talk) 01:35, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

Timelines history fo British isles[edit]

I've created a timeline template of the History of the British Isles. My plan is to put it into that article, like the timelines of Irish State in the Irish states since 1171 article. I'm sure there plenty of mistakes, although I've deliberately left out some states/people for simplicity's sake. The "events" I've added are also obviously "Hiberno-centric", so would like the imput of other's to settle what other events should to be added. General comments are also welcome. Since the table is fairly complicated, if people want leave suggestions for events and things they would like changed on the templates talk page, I'll add them. --sony-youthpléigh 23:59, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

Need more images[edit]

This article is so dry without images. I would personally try to avoid clichéd images of the Troubles, or certainly restrict it to no more than one non-partisan, generic image.. but the article is quite long and is begging for images! --Setanta 09:21, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

I suggest two mural images, one republican, one loyalist. And maybe a stormont image. Remember, its near impossible to get "non partisan" images of the troubles. (maybe harland and Wolff) Walkingwithyourwhiskey 14:30, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

Pre-plantation history[edit]

where is the pre-plantation history?? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.40.218.172 (talk) 17:49, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

At History of Ireland --Hroðulf (or Hrothulf) (Talk) 16:54, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

Early years of Home Rule / Ulster Special Constabulary[edit]

The USC was formed in 1920, by the UK government (the "Unionist authorities" didn't exist) and to aid the RIC, not the RUC (the RUC was not founded until 1922). I've made the necessary corrections.Mooretwin (talk) 12:37, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

Official and Provisional IRA[edit]

The article gives little coverage to distinct groups on the republican side, with references to "the IRA" throughout presumably relating to the Provisional IRA. It's important to note this distinction, and to reference the end of the Official IRA campaign and the INLA split.Mooretwin (talk) 12:46, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

I just went through my own research of this period and I don't think the troops were deployed at the explicit request of the Government. Infact all I can find is references to the cabinet being very concerned to keep troops off the streets in very early August.Traditional unionist (talk) 12:53, 28 July 2008 (UTC)
Relevance of the above comment to this section? (The Unionist Government requested the deployment of the Army after the sustained rioting in August 1969 meant that the RUC was no longer able to cope.)Mooretwin (talk) 12:55, 28 July 2008 (UTC)
When the RUC were no longer able to cope they started saturating the place in CS gas. Callaghan was threatening to pull stormont completely if soldiers were deployed, the cabinet knew this and were keen to avoid it. I don't have any references that they actually asked for troops to be deployed. I may be wrong, but the references aren't there.Traditional unionist (talk) 13:22, 28 July 2008 (UTC)
Whether or not you possess the evidence, it happened. It's even referenced in the Troubles article. And I ask again: what is the relevance of this question to this section of the discussion page?Mooretwin (talk) 13:38, 28 July 2008 (UTC)
actually, if it isn't referenced it has to go. Do you have a reference for it?Traditional unionist (talk) 13:52, 28 July 2008 (UTC)
As I said, it's referenced in the Troubles article - see final paragraph of "Beginning of the Troubles" section. Or try http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/august/14/newsid_4075000/4075437.stm ("The British Home Secretary James Callaghan was in a plane on his way to talks with Prime Minister Harold Wilson in Cornwall when he received a radio-telephone call asking for troops to be deployed"). Try also CAIN Chronology http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/othelem/chron/ch69.htm: "Thursday 14 August 1969 - British Army Troops Deployed - After two days of continuous battle, and with the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) exhausted, the Stormont government asked the British government for permission to allow British troops to be deployed on the streets of Northern Ireland. Late in the afternoon troops entered the centre of Derry."Mooretwin (talk) 14:17, 28 July 2008 (UTC)
Now we have a reference. You should reference it in the article. We could have gotten here much quicker......Traditional unionist (talk) 14:20, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

Northern Ireland votes out of Free State[edit]

The emphasis given in this article to what was, in reality, a mere legal technicality, seems unnecessary. What do others think? Mooretwin (talk) 12:57, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

I propose that this section be scrapped as it receives disproportionate attention and is already mentioned in the introduction anyway. Any views? Mooretwin (talk) 07:13, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

It is best not to mention in the lead section something that is omitted from the body of the article. So, instead, I suggest that the section on the opt out vote be greatly shortened, but not deleted entirely.

Meanwhile, it is probably now time to expand the lead section to summarise the whole article.

--Hroðulf (or Hrothulf) (Talk) 16:48, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

Shortened and merged with "Partition". Mooretwin (talk) 08:34, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

What about the rest?[edit]

This article, while entitled "History of Northern Ireland", is a purely political history. There is no economic or social history at all. Surely this is a major omission?Mooretwin (talk) 13:10, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

If you got the info (backed by reliable sources)? add what ya can (with consensus backing, of course). GoodDay (talk) 23:06, 28 July 2008 (UTC)
If I get the time, I may do!Mooretwin (talk) 23:37, 28 July 2008 (UTC)
I could add a basic economical section, but would need help to build on it.--Theosony (talk) 17:00, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

Overstatements & wording[edit]

Let's get to work! I understand that the wording used is a bit overstated, but any other ideas on how to put them? The "mainly Catholics" could be sourced too if it's true, I'll look into that now.--Theosony (talk) 16:59, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

The point is it was about more than gerrymandering O Fenian which is a matter of electoral area boundaries but about who was on the voting registers, thus the need for a wider word. --Fynire (talk) 01:16, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

"local government electoral issues" is not a "wider word", it is so vague as to be meaningless. Feel free to add more to gerrymandering, without removing the term itself. O Fenian (talk) 02:06, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

RFC: Irish history series[edit]

I have opened a discussion on a reorganisation of the series of articles dealing with Irish history at Talk:History of Ireland#RFC: Irish history series. --RA (talk) 23:10, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

Article needs updating[edit]

In the course of reading about Irish history I've come across this article and note that it seems to peter out chronologically at 2007, and is therefore in serious need of updating by its main contributors. Kim Traynor (talk) 14:47, 17 January 2013 (UTC)