A Pocket Guide to The Troubles Violent hostilities over British rule and Catholic persecution in Northern Ireland that took place officially from 1969–1998, though related violence occurred before these dates and has continued to the present. Catholic Nationalists, who favored unification with the Republic of Ireland, and Protestant Unionists, who favored remaining part of the United Kingdom, clashed in a series of riots, bombings, and shootings, mostly in Northern Ireland but spilling into the Republic of Ireland and England. More than 3,000 were killed. The Troubles reached a shaky end with the 1998 Good Friday Accord, which made Northern Ireland largely self-governing. RUC Royal Ulster Constabulary, the police force of Northern Ireland from 1922– 2000 (in 2001 it was renamed Police Service of Northern Ireland), charged with maintaining order during the Troubles. In its handling of IRA attacks, RUC was often accused of brutal, vigilante-like tactics, mistreatment of political prisoners, and loyalty to the Crown over commitment to peacekeeping.
IRA The Irish Republican Army, a paramilitary organization created in 1916 with the purpose of using violence to prove British rule ineffective and bring about a united and independent Ireland. The IRA carried out numerous bombing attacks, assassinations, kidnappings, and other violent acts in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, and England, most heavily during the Troubles. Special Branch The Crime and Security branch of the Irish police force, also known as the Special Detective Unit; in other words, the Irish FBI.
The Quiet Man A 1952 film directed by John Ford, starring John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara, shot in County Mayo and County Galway (but not Stones’s County Kerry!). The Quiet Man takes place in the fictional Irish village of Innisfree, meant to be situated near Lough (Lake) Gill between Counties Sligo and Leitrim. Ford also famously directed How Green Was My Valley; the play’s fictional film The Quiet Valley seems to be a composite of the two titles.
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