Northern Ireland: 1968-98 - Attempts At Agreement 1996-1998
Prior to 1998, the Republic of Ireland claimed the whole of Ireland - including the North - to be part of its territory.

Northern Ireland: 1968-98 - Attempts At Agreement 1996-1998

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The years between 1996 and 1998 saw serious attempts to reach a broad agreement among all the parties in Northern Ireland and bring peace to the province. These efforts were crowned by the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in the spring of 1998. Problems remain, but there has been a dramatic reduction in violence since.

1.
Which moderate Unionist politician became First Minister in the Northern Ireland government from 1998?
Sir Reg Impey
David Trimble
Ian Paisley, Junior
William McCrae
The first elections under the constitution set up in 1998 produced a coalition government, formed of moderate Protestant Unionists and moderate Catholic Nationalists
2.
Which Protestant organization caused inter-communal tension to rise in 1996 by becoming involved in violence at Drumcree? They insisted on marching along the Garvaghy Road and so through a Roman Catholic housing development. The police tried to keep the two groups apart, but violence ensued.
The Orange Order
The Vanguard Party
The Free Presbyterian Church
The Alliance Party
The march followed a traditional route, and the marchers were loth to change it. Clearly the whole question of parades would need to be examined. During the so-called "Marching Season" during July and August both communities undertook time-honoured parades
3.
Which voting method was used in the elections to the Northern Ireland Assembly set up under the Good Friday Agreement?
The "First Past the Post" system
An electoral college
Proportional Representation
Compulsory voting using the "List System"
Those who framed the new constitution were keen to be fair, and - at the same time - to end up with an effective government
4.
Which long-serving Catholic politician in Northern Ireland shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 1998?
Gerry Fitt
Seamus Mallon
John Hume
Liam Docherty
A previous Nobel Peace Prize had been awarded in the 1970's to the two leaders of the "Peace People": one Catholic and one Protestant. This initiative had ultimately failed, but the 1998 winners seemed more likely to succeed
5.
The terms of the 1998 treaty were put to the two electorates (the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland) in separate referenda. What was the vote in favor in the North?
55%
95%
71%
94%
It was important for the success of the Good Friday Agreement that it should be accepted in the North by a majority of Protestants and by a majority of Catholics. It was
6.
Which Conservative Roman Catholic politician was asked to recommend changes to policing in Northern Ireland under the terms of the 1998 agreement?
John Patten
Chris Patten
Iain Duncan-Smith
Norman St. John Stevas
The title, "Royal Ulster Constabulary", for the Northern Ireland police force and its cap badge were disliked by the Catholic minority. Moreover, the overwhelming number of police officers were still Protestants
7.
Which Catholic US democrat senator for Massachusetts supported the US president during the 1990's in his efforts to bring the political wing of the IRA to the negotiating table?
John Kerry
Edward Kennedy
Wayne Morse
Hubert Humphrey
Pressure from a Roman Catholic senator, who represented a state with a large proportion of Irish-Americans, was most useful in persuading Republican paramilitaries to join the talks in 1998, and to sign up to the eventual agreement
8.
Under the 1998 agreement the government of the Irish Republic agreed to recommend the abolition of Articles 2 and 3 in their constitution - subject to a referendum among the Republic's electorate. What did these articles state?
That the Republic was a neutral state
That the Republic claimed the whole island of Ireland as its territory
That the Roman Catholic religion was the established religion in all 32 Irish counties
That no member of the British armed forces could enter the Republic's territory under any circumstances
If these two articles could be removed, Protestants in the North were more likely to vote in favor of the 1998 agreement in their own referendum
9.
Not all republican paramilitaries accepted the terms of 1998. In 1998 dissident republicans detonated a huge bomb which caused considerable loss of life. In which Northern Irish town did this device go off?
Enniskillen
Omagh
Ballymena
Coleraine
The Peace Process survived this outrage, but rogue republicans still pose a threat to security
10.
Which of the following four departments of government remained with London following the 1998 deal?
Health
Education
Trade
Defence
Northern Ireland did not become a totally independent state - certain key powers were retained by Westminster
Author:  Edward Towne

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