Consequences of the conflict in Ireland

  • Between 1969 and the end of 2006 a total of 3,717 men, women and children (2,087 civilians, 1,012 police and army personnel, 562 republican and loyalist paramilitaries, and the remainder categorised as 'others') were killed directly as a result of 'the Troubles'.
  • In 1978, the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg found the British government not guilty of torture, but guilty of inhuman and degrading treatment of interned prisoners in Northern Ireland.
  • Unlike the devolved governments in Scotland and Wales, the devolved government in Northern Ireland is made up of all the main political parties according to their strength in the elected Assembly. Responsibility for governing the region is shared today by two political foes: the loyalist Democratic Unionist Party and the republican Sinn Féin Party.
  • In 1999 David Trimble, leader of the Ulster Unionists agreed to form a government before the IRA's disarmament. By April 2002 weapons inspectors were satisfied that a substantial amount of IRA arms was safely stored and could not be used without detection. By 2005 the IRA had renounced unequivocally the use of violence.
  • Shortly after parliamentary elections in March 2007, Gerry Adams, the leader of Sinn Féin , and Rev. Ian Paisley, the head of the Democratic Unionist Party, met face to face for the first time and worked out an agreement for a power-sharing government.
  • In 2010, the Saville Inquiry into ‘Bloody Sunday’ (1972) found the Parachute Regiment guilty of 'unjustifiable firing' which caused the deaths and injuries on that day. British Prime Minister David Cameron said the killings were “unjustified and unjustifiable” and he was “deeply sorry.”

What is your interpretation of the history of the Troubles? Is it possible to write an unbiased history of events and hurts which are so recent, and so raw?