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The Troubles

The Troubles is the common name for the ethno-nationalist conflict in Northern Ireland that spilled over at various times into the Republic of Ireland, England and mainland Europe. The Troubles began in the late 1960s and is considered by many to have ended with the Belfast Good Friday Agreement of 1998. However, sporadic violence has continued since then. The conflict was primarily a political one, but it also had an ethnic or sectarian dimension, although it was not a religious conflict. The key issues at stake were the constitutional status of Northern Ireland and the relationship between its two main communities. Unionists and loyalists, who are mostly Ulster Protestants, generally want Northern Ireland to remain within the United Kingdom. Irish nationalists and republicans, who are mostly Catholics, generally want it to leave the United Kingdom and join a united Ireland.

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