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Conflict in N. Ireland

The main two groups fighting in Northern Ireland are the Catholics and
Protestants.They differ both in religion and in their feelings as to what should happen to
Northern Ireland.The Protestants side with the British who once ruled Northern Ireland
and the Catholics fight for a united Ireland.There are many political parties in Northern
Ireland on both sides of the battle.Probably the most well known is the Sinn Fein party.
This party is headed by Gerry Adams and is the political arm of the IRA.The IRA is the
Irish Republican Army, which is famous for its terrorist attacks.It is supported by
Catholics.Another group is the Ulster Unionist party.This Protestant party is led by
David Trimble and is the largest of the unionist parties.It is said to carry the support of
the majority and represents mainstream unionism.The next Catholic party is the Social
Democratic and Labour Party.This is led by John Humes and is said to represent the
middle ground in national thinking".(Prof. Mary Fitzduff and Liam O'Hagan)This is the
largest National party in Northern Ireland.The Democratic Unionist Party is another
Protestant party in Northern Ireland.It is headed by Ian Paisley who strongly supports
Northern Ireland's ties to Great Britain.They are said to be critical of the Ulster Unionist
Party.They have also stated that they are not involved in terrorism but are still suspected
of involvement.The next is the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland.This party is said to
be mainstream and caters to both sides, but does not have a formal leader.The Northern
Ireland Women's Coalition is a fairly new party, having just come about in 1996.It
provides a place for women in the politics of Northern Ireland.The Progressive Unionist
Party is a smaller Protestant party that is one of the two main Loyalist parties.The leader
is David Ervine. The other main Pr…

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