ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

History of Terrorism in Ireland and the United Kingdom

Updated on August 27, 2015
There was a long history of terrorism in Northern Ireland
There was a long history of terrorism in Northern Ireland | Source


To understand the history of terrorism in Ireland and the UK, it is necessary to provide a history of when it started and how it evolved.This phase of Irish/UK history is known as "the Troubles" and started in 1969 when the civil rights marches became more republican in Northern Ireland with many riots occurring as a consequence of the bigotry against Catholics in Northern Ireland. In August 1969 a major riot occurred in Derry which became known as the "Battle of the Bogside". There were similar riots in Belfast and up to 3500 people (mainly Catholic)were driven from their homes there.Seven people were killed as well as about 100 being wounded. As a result of the violence towards the Catholic community the IRA became more active and branched off to include the Provisional IRA in 1970 which began a campaign of ruthless bombing in Northern Ireland and the UK. The purpose of this bombing campaign was an attempt to make the British withdraw from Northern Ireland and to achieve a united Ireland.

A period of internment then ensued in which many innocent people were interned while the active members of the provisional IRA continued their campaign of violence.

A group called the UDA was formed with the purpose of protecting the rights of the Protestant people and so "the Troubles " continued for many years of bloodshed and terrorism both in Northern Ireland and the UK.

A personal perspective

Although we live in Southern Ireland where there was no terrorism, we were only 15 miles from the border from where all this was going on. There were supermarkets in the border towns that were bombed so often that they were constructed of corrugated iron and many times while shopping on the other side of the border one could hear an explosion in the distance while the staff listened to try to ascertain if the bomb was near their homes.

When traveling through "the North" it was customary to be stopped at checkpoints by British soldiers along the way and this was the custom and practice for many years during the Troubles.

If going shopping in the North, an arrangement was made on the way as to where to meet up if there was a bomb scare in the shopping center. Looking back, it is hard to understand why we went near the place at all.

It was also the case that there was a litany of murder and bloodshed from both sides on the news and media and many atrocities were carried out with bombings and shootings being the order of the day. Most of these occurred in Northern Ireland but there were also many violent incidents in the UK as a result of this civil war right up until the ceasefire in 1994.

Some of the worst atrocities

There was so much bloodshed and loss of life in Northern Ireland and Britain it is hard to select the worst of them but here is some attempt to do so.

On 30 January 1972, 27 unarmed civilians were shot and 14 of them were killed by the British Army in Derry. This event became known as "Bloody Sunday."

On 22 February of the same year, seven members of staff lost their lives in the bombing of Aldershot barracks in England by the IRA.

On 4 February 1994, 9 British army personnel and three civilians died in a bombing of a bus by the provisional IRA.

There were many killed in bombs in pubs in Guildford and Birmingham in England in October and November 1974.

There were bombs placed by the Ulster Volunteer Force( a group which evolved against the activities of the IRA) in Dublin and Monaghan in May 1974. This was in the Republic of Ireland which had no part in the conflict whatsoever.

These are acts of violence which occurred early in the Troubles and similar acts were repeated on a daily basis right throughout the period while the Troubles lasted for nearly thirty years.

So many innocent people lost their lives or were badly injured in Northern Ireland and in the UK during this terrible time in Irish history all because of the conflict between opposing groups-one that wanted a United Ireland and another group that wanted to remain part of the United Kingdom.

Peace in our Land

Since the Good Friday Agreement of 10 April 1998 there has been no more bloodshed or loss of life for political reasons in northern Ireland or the UK. There is not a United Ireland either. We only have to travel 15 miles and the currency is GBP instead of Euro but that is thankfully probably the only difference that is evident any more. There is freedom of movement from one side of the border to the other and many cross-border initiatives to bridge the gap between North and South on this island of Ireland.

In conclusion, it is worth remembering those who lost their lives in "the Troubles" through no fault of their own but by simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The terrorism of nearly thirty years is now over these past seventeen years and although we all appreciate the difference between then and now it is important not to forget where we came from here on this Emerald Isle, otherwise known as Ireland.

Before reading this, did you know anything about terrorism in Northern Ireland and the UK?

See results


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Kate Mc Bride profile imageAUTHOR

      Kate McBride 

      7 years ago from Donegal Ireland

      There has been a ceasefire since 1998 and much more amicable relations now between North and South, a process which has evolved over time since then. The Government has implemented policies to foster this relationship but at the time of the Troubles, it was necessary to wait until the ceasefire happened before this could be done. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment.

    • dinkan53 profile image


      7 years ago from India

      The government needs to identify deep-rooted causes of terrorism in the country and have to take necessary actions to destroy it and never allow to grow again. Thanks for this history.

    • Kate Mc Bride profile imageAUTHOR

      Kate McBride 

      7 years ago from Donegal Ireland

      Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to comment.I'm glad you liked the hub.

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 

      7 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      Thank you for explaining to us what really happened in Ireland, since 1969.

      I though, it's only a fight between Protestants and Catholics. It was more than that, and that is achieving independence from UK.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)