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The Nationalists are overwhelmingly Catholic and view themselves as being Irish, and wish to be part of a united Ireland (Dixon 2001: 2).
The political allegiance of the Nationalists lie with the Social Democratic and Labour Party and Sinn Fein, which is the political wing of the IRA (Mitchell 2006: 32).
The Catholic Irish were evicted and Protestant settlers were established in present day Northern Ireland.
The eviction of the Irish led to a period of bloody conflicts.The conflict in Northern Ireland is most easily understood as being between two main groups (Dixon 2001: 2).First, the Unionists, who identify themselves as belonging to the Protestant faith, and comprise approximately sixty percent of Northern Ireland’s population see themselves as British and vote for the Ulster Unionist Party and Democratic Unionist Party (Dixon 2001: 2, Mitchell 2006: 31).In most accounts, the inability of the Northern Ireland government to reform itself led to increased frustration among the Catholic population, which later spilled over into violence (Farrington 2008: 514).The older and deeper roots of the conflict in what was to become Northern Ireland lie in the seventeenth-century plantation of the northern province of Ulster (Hennessey 1997: 1).However, the historical roots of the Northern Ireland crisis run much deeper.This essay will briefly look at the rich historical significance to the Northern Ireland Crisis before evaluating the religious and subsequent political aspects on which many scholars claim to be the main causes of the “Troubles.” The terms, Catholic and Nationalist, and Protestant and Unionist, are interchangeable.In 1641, the Catholic Irish population rose up against the Protestants, resulting in the deaths of many (Dixon 2001: 3).In the period between 16, Cromwell bloodily triumphed over the Irish (Dixon 2001: 3).While the Nationalists can point to their Celtic ‘forefathers’, the Unionists have claimed that their ancestors, the Cruthin, were in what is now claimed as being Northern Ireland long before the Celts (Dixon 2001: 2).Nationalists usually date the woes of Ireland to the Anglo-Norman invasion of 1169 and England’s domination of Ireland ever since (Dixon 2001: 2).