By Mari Fitzduff;
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Extra resources for Beyond Violence: Conflict Resolution Process in Northern Ireland (Unu Policy Perspectives, 7)
In it, the governments agreed that a decision on the future of the Union was to be ratified by referenda both north and south of the border, thus allowing for the ‘‘self-determination of the people of the island of Ireland’’ which Sinn Fein had said was necessary if the violence of the IRA was to cease. Although the Downing Street Declaration was declared by Sinn Fein to be insufficient to satisfy its political aspirations, on 1 September 1994, the IRA began a complete halt to its military operations in order to try to achieve their aspirations through the political process.
The numbers of people killed in the conflict reached a maximum of 467 per year in the mid-seventies, but fell to approximately 80 people per year in the period 1984–93. In addition to those killed in Northern Ireland 200 people have been killed in the Republic of Ireland, in Great Britain23 and Europe, as a direct result of the conflict. No one has ever been held to account for most of the murders and over three quarters of Republican murders, and over half of Loyalist murderers go unsolved. There is also significant disquiet by many over the fact that very few in the security forces, who were responsible for approximately 10 per cent of the killings, have ever served sentences for such killings.
By the early nineties, however, after two decades of government attempts to address equity issues in Northern Ireland, the indicators showed that the Catholic community remained seriously disadvantaged. This was particularly true in the case of long-term unemployment, where Catholic men were still twice as likely to be unemployed as their Protestant counterparts. 2 times higher in 1993. 27 Research into the reasons for the continuing disparity was also showing that although direct discrimination against Catholics was still playing a part in maintaining discrimination, the steps needed to redress the situation were now seen to be far more complex than merely introducing monitoring and legislative procedures.
Beyond Violence: Conflict Resolution Process in Northern Ireland (Unu Policy Perspectives, 7) by Mari Fitzduff;