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Ulster Since 1600Politics, Economy, and Society$
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Liam Kennedy and Philip Ollerenshaw

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199583119

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199583119.001.0001

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Politics since 1960

Politics since 1960

(p.325) 20 Politics since 1960
Ulster Since 1600

Graham Walker

Oxford University Press

The lack of consensus on the legitimacy of the state in Northern Ireland, combined with the neglect of grievances by both the Westminster and Stormont governments, led to widespread disorder during the premiership of Terence O’Neill (1963-69). Though the descent into violence between 1968 and 1972 was by no means inevitable, the creation of republican and loyalist paramilitary groups such as the Provisional Irish Republican Army and the Ulster Defence Association changed the nature of the conflict. The decision by Sinn Fein to contest elections, following the dramatic increase in support after the 1980-81 hunger strikes, proved pivotal. The search for a cross-community settlement continued but not until after the 1998 Good Friday Agreement was a relatively successful formula found. In the early twenty-first century, the spectacle of the DUP sharing government with Sinn Fein demonstrated just how far Northern Ireland politics had travelled since the height of the Troubles.

Keywords:   SDLP (social democratic and labour party), DUP, Provisional IRA, UDA, RUC, Good Friday Agreement, Stormont, Civil Rights, Sinn Fein, Terence O’Neill

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