The height of the conflict

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, political violence reached extreme levels in Northern Ireland. Here are some of the main events that marked the period.

The year 1972 is considered the most violent in the conflict because it was the year that most people were killed on both sides. At the time, Republicans were believed to be controlled by factions of the Irish Republican Army—the Provisional IRA and Official IRA. In places like Derry, they built barricades and created no-go-areas that not even the British troops could penetrate.

The creation of the Provisional IRA infuriated loyalists and worsened the conflict. The Provisional IRA did not seek to end the conflict but only to defend Catholics. Various violent incidents between British troops, loyalists, and republicans followed.

One of the best-known such incident is Bloody Sunday, which took place in 1972 in Derry. At a protest organised by republicans, British troops shoot and killed 13 unarmed people and injured many others. Following this event, Catholics and republicans became much mo...

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