, Ireland — A Ford truck returning from North, Ireland is stopped at the Irish Free State border by Free State customs officers and subjected to thorough search, as are all persons and vehicles crossing the line now in effort to prevent smuggling of goods under new Free State tariff laws. From 1922 until 1972, Northern Ireland functioned as a self-governing region of the United Kingdom.
— Image by © Underwood & Underwood/CORBIS " data-medium-file="https://i2com/ fit=640,459" class="size-medium wp-image-1506" src="https://i2com/ resize=300,215" alt="Free State troops man the new Irish border in 1922" width="300" height="215" srcset="https://i2com/ The Unionist Party formed the government, located at Stormont, outside Belfast, for all of these years.
Catholics also complained of discrimination in employment and the allocation of social housing, and also protested that their community was the main target of the Special Powers Act which allowed for detention without trial.
The armed police forces, the Royal Ulster Constabulary and especially the Ulster Special Constabulary or ‘B Specials’, were almost wholly Protestant and unionist in ethos.
Their voting strength was diluted by ‘gerrymandering’ –where Catholics were grouped in one constituency so they would elect a smaller number of representatives in proportion to their numbers.
Additionally, in local government, only rate payers, who were more often Protestants than Catholics, had a vote.
This name had the advantage that it did not attach blame to any of the participants and thus could be used neutrally.
Republicans, particularly supporters of the Provisional IRA referred to the conflict as ‘the war’, and portrayed it as a guerrilla war of national liberation.
The conflict was formally ended with the Belfast or Good Friday Agreement of 1998.
The conflict in Northern Ireland was generally referred to in Ireland during its course as ‘The Troubles’ – a euphemistic folk name that had also been applied to earlier bouts of political violence.