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Saturday, February 4, 2023

Ireland celebrates the centenary of its independence from the United Kingdom

A hundred years ago, Ireland became a separate kingdom from Great Britain. Although the Irish Republican Army’s (IRA for its abbreviation in English) fight was fine to declare itself a republic, the royal house’s negotiators accepted, under pressure and threat of continuing a grueling three-year civil war, the name ” Irish Free State”.

Disillusionment with the IRA did not prevent that on 6 December 1922, Irish legislators met to swear allegiance to the English King George V as a territory belonging to the British Empire, making it clear in the debate in the chamber that they Did it. Pressure.

This was one of several concessions made in the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921, which caused a split within the IRA, Ireland’s official army. But one wing did not recognize the treaty, although the Acordista Sector said that this concession ended the three-year war for independence.

This new state identified itself as Catholic, but accepted the secession of six Protestant-majority counties under the jurisdiction of Northern Ireland. Those counties remain under the control of the United Kingdom to this day.

The day after the birth of the Free State, accordista MLA Sean Hales, leader of the IRA, was assassinated by opponents of the treaty while he went out to dinner at a central Dublin hotel. In retaliation, the new Irish government executed four anti-Treaty IRA prisoners, although no charges were brought against them.

The Irish writer James Joyce captured the mood of the Irish upheaval and its reflection in his own state of mind when he says through the mouth of Stephen Daedalus, one of the characters in his novel Ulysses: “History is a nightmare I try to Get up.”

decade of the century

Since 2012, Ireland has celebrated the centenary of its budding self-government in 1912 and the republicans’ armed rebellion against British rule in 1916. Its history since then.

In 2021, Irish President Michael D. Higgins, a member of the IRA who had never acknowledged submission to Britain, was accused of ignoring an invitation to a church service marking the centenary of the founding of Northern Ireland.

he will go

Interreligious conflict in Northern Ireland began with the British Protestant occupation of Irish Catholic lands in the 17th century. This dominance worsened in 1802 when, following a crushed revolution, the United Kingdom annexed Ireland to its empire.

Insurgency led by the IRA broke out during the First War, and the Compromise of 1921 attempted to end these disputes. Violence continued, British troops occupied Irish towns and resistance did not stop.

In the late 1980s, the political wing of the so-called Provisional IRA, Sinn Féin (in Irish, Ourself), combined the electoral struggle with armed resistance. The Sinn Fein leader, Gerry Adams, preferred dialogue and an armistice was signed in 1994, which did not give up all the areas that had emerged from the old IRA compliance.

However, three years later, with Tony Blair as British Prime Minister, a negotiating table was entered.

Involving various parties in the process, the Good Friday Agreement, or Belfast Agreement as it was signed in Northern Ireland, was signed on 10 April 1998, which had remained under British rule.

It was signed by all the regions participating in the process. To legitimize this, both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland held referendums, which validated this understanding.

controversy that continues

Last week, the Taoiseach (Irish for prime minister) of the Republic of Ireland, Michael Martin, claimed that the status gained a century ago with the 1922 accord meant the loss of “a significant portion of the island’s population” that remained in Northern Ireland. Stayed. And continues to divide the Irish.

“There was a sense of lost idealism about the kind of state that had been fought for,” Martin said during a lecture at University College Dublin (UCD).

The partition of Ireland was not settled. A recent poll by the Irish Times newspaper showed that 66% of residents of the current Republic of Ireland would vote for reunification of the island, compared to only 50% in Northern Ireland, while 19% of Irish republicans and unionists were undecided.

The University College of Dublin conference also highlighted the legacy of the “Free State”, which lasted 15 years until the approval of a new republican constitution with a pre-eminence of Catholic and patriarchal values, which destroyed women’s rights. as well as mass emigration from Ireland, which continued into the 20th century.

However, the conference noted that the 1922 constitution allowed for some form of democracy even though the country was divided. According to Brigid Laughan, an Irish political scientist at the European University Institute, perhaps more than any other event in the past century, Ireland’s decision to join the European Union 50 years ago allowed it to step out of Britain’s shadow.

If this helped reduce the asymmetric relationship between the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, Brexit was a step forward, as the Republic of Ireland did not submit to the British decision and remained part of the European Union.

Brexit has now made Ireland’s future “much more open”, Laffan insisted, with growing demands for a future self-determination referendum in Northern Ireland ahead of eventual reunification.

After this century, difficult for an Ireland that suffered famine, forced migration, subjugation to British troops, the Republic of Ireland is seen by many as an example. Some people do not speak of the “Irish Miracle”. Nation with very high educational standards with significant growth in technology industries with a solid financial system.

The Republic of Ireland has 5,000,000 inhabitants and its per capita GDP is twice that of the United Kingdom, with US$100,000 per year, just over US$50,000 in Great Britain, whose 70,000,000 inhabitants face serious social problems. doing post-Brexit and the current energy crisis.

World Nation News Desk
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