Role Of Sectarianism In Northern Ireland

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‘Northern Ireland is recognised for enduring conflict between subdivisions of its Protestant and Catholic communities. The emergence of the state of Northern Ireland followed the partition of Ireland in 1920 on explicitly sectarian grounds. Overt sectarian discrimination was embedded in its institution from the beginning. Much of the reformism in Northern Ireland over the last 50 years has been a movement away from that formal, explicit state endorsement of sectarian discrimination in Northern Ireland. The conflict in Northern Ireland has taken different forms at various times throughout history, but its tensions and on-going conflict has consistently been fuelled by sectarianism. Sectarianism refers to adherence to a particular group, a sectarian…show more content…
During the Troubles children would either attend a Catholic school or a Protestant school. The majority of Catholics would consider themselves to be Irish and therefore were nationalists in political views. Whereas the majority of Protestants would consider themselves to be British and are therefore Unionist in political outlook. The education system in Northern Ireland was hugely segregated due to sectarianism which often led to the two groups never integrating socially which would in turn cause tensions and misunderstandings between the two groups. However, in response to this separation the integrated schools movement arose from a parent led group in the 1970s who drove the creation of the first integrated school in Northern Ireland in 1981 and has now grown to 62 schools educating some 7% of the school age population in Northern Ireland to date. Education in Northern Ireland has seen many changes. Political and social developments have had a significant impact on how schools were run. The controversy of sectarianism continued into third level education with the example of the placement of the University of Ulster in the Protestant dominated town of Coleraine rather than the largely catholic populated city of Derry. The location of the university was seen as biased in favour of the Protestant town. And it was viewed as yet another way of undermining the Nationalists by…show more content…
The province still carries a psychological burden from its troubled history. ‘Northern Ireland, religious affiliation, ethnic identity, national identity, and territorial allegiance are intertwined in a complex way’ (Hayes and McAllister 1999). Despite eighteen years after the ceasefires, the population of Northern Ireland still remains deeply divided about its past. It is evident from the above examples that sectarianism has led to this division and it has had a major impact on key social institutions in Northern Ireland such as education, religious and economic

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