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1 Introduction 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 thinkingProf Mary Fitzduff and Liam OHagan 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 Irelands 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 Womens 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
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