The this, Sadie tells Mr Blake about

The conflict where Ireland wants to be a separate nation from Great Britain has for long been an issue, however the issue was temporarily solved when the two states finally came to an agreement. However, with a new problem this agreement may cause some trouble for the citizens of the two states, this problem is to most known as Brexit, how will Brexit impact the brittle agreement that was made after the hard times of the Troubles? During the Troubles left deep wounds in Ireland, both by tearing up friendships and by leaving a trail of never really ending violence.

Joan Lingard’s book Across the barricades depicts the life of a young protestant/catholic couple with both its ups and downs.Across the barricades is a story set amidst the conflict of what is now called north Ireland and the republic of Ireland (the troubles). The story revolves around Sadie Jackson, a 16-year-old protestant girl and her old friend Kevin McCoy who just happens to be catholic.

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One day Sadie meets her old friend by accident after three years, the two decides to go out for a cup of coffee to talk about the past three years. After this day Sadie and Kevin picked up their old friendship and start hanging out and talking now and then and sooner than later they fall in love.Neither Sadie’s family and friends nor Kevin’s support this relationship and constantly show their disapproval once a chance is given, this because of their beliefs. This even went so far that Kevin’s “friend” Brian Rafferty beat him up for refusing to stop hanging out with the protestant girl. This and that someone sprayed “here lives a traitor” on Sadie’s house.

After this Sadie feels that Kevin shouldn’t risk his life every time they met and feels that it would be best if they stopped meeting. Fortunately, Sadie meets her old teacher Mr Blake when she is on her way to Kevin to tell him this, Sadie tells Mr Blake about her situation and he offered them to work at his house in exchange of them being able to meet at his house. Somehow someone found out about this secret meeting place and sabotaged Mr Blake’s car by loosening the bolts to one of the tires. They noticed this one day when Sadie, Kevin and Mr Blake went out for a roadtrip and crashed because of the tire. Eventually things escalated, and Sadie got to hear that Mr Blake had died from a petrolbomb which somebody had thrown into his house.

After this Kevin had gotten tired of the violence and hatred in Ireland and know started planning on leaving Ireland for England. When the day finally came that Kevin was going to leave Ireland Sadie meets him on the dock with a ticket of her own and they leave Ireland behind, together.Sadie Jackson as mentioned before is a sixteen-year-old protestant girl who lives with her brother Tommy, and her mother and father Aggie and Jim Jackson in the protestant area of Belfast. At first Sadie works in the hat department, this is until the shop was burnt down, and the shopkeeper died. Normally we see Sadie as a strongwilled and stubborn young lady who isn’t afraid of saying what she thinks; this in combination with the fact that she is heavily controlled by her emotions sometimes gets her in argument that otherwise could be avoided. She shows this of multiple times in her arguments with her love Kevin where the arguments occasionally even go so far that Kevin walks away in anger. Her stubbornness is so pronounced that her father Mr Jackson even says that she is a “headstrong” girl.

Sometimes even Sadie doubts herself and if she really should follow her feelings as we see when she is heading for Kevin to tell him that they should stop meeting even though she knew both of them had a burning love for each other. At this point the bell saves her, and she meet her old geography teacher who offers her a safe place to meet with her love.Kevin McCoy is a seventeen-year-old catholic boy who lives with his eight siblings and his mother and father Mary McCoy and Pete McCoy. Kevin is most of the time a calm and caring young man who often helps at home.

Kevin much like Sadie is sometimes driven by his emotion and can; if getting provoked show of his temper which he does to Sadie sometimes. However, Kevin is a very rational young man and seeks to solve the conflict when he has calmed down, this is obvious when Sadie and Kevin had an argument on the beach that ends with Kevin furiously walking away only to later come back to his lover and spend the rest of the day with Sadie. At first Kevin works at the scrapyard, this changed fast after a weapon incident where Kevin is blamed for hiding a gun in the scrapyard, here Kevin shows a very loyal side of himself, because Kevin knows that the weapon is belonging to his old friend Brian Rafferty but says nothing about it to the police. Kevin later shows that he isn’t afraid of conflicts when he confronts Brain about the weapon.

Mr Blake is Sadie Jacksons old geography teacher who offers the young couple a safe place to meet in exchange for some work. Mr Blake seems to me to be a very genuine and fatherly person who really doesn’t care about the conflict between the protestant and catholic communities. Mr Blake tries to make sure that Kevin and Sadie can meet without having to worry about any consequences, this shows clearly when Mr Blake gets a warning letter to stop housing the young couple, but he burns the letter just to make sure the two doesn’t worry. Mr Blake’s caring personality eventually led him to his death however. Linda Mullet is Sadie Jackson brother Tommy’s girlfriend. Much like her mother Linda is a real gossip who doesn’t hesitate to disclose information so to say, this shows clearly in the beginning of the book when she goes home to the Jacksons after meeting Sadie who just had met Kevin again, at the Jacksons she really doesn’t hesitate about telling what she had just saw which led to Sadie finding herself in an argument with her parents.

Linda is jealous on Kevin McCoy’s sister which Tommy is caring about, this jealousy and insecurity may very well be because of her own troublemaking and shifty nature.Joan Lingard has obviously taken some inspiration from the famous novel of William Shakespeare Romeo and Juliet in the sense of forbidden love. Lingard however chose to end the story in a completely different mood and therefor let the story end in a somewhat happy ending where Kevin and Sadie ventures of in the distance on their way to a new life in England.

This however definitely not an easy decision whereas they both love their families deeply at the same time as they love each other. This meant that they would have to choose between the love of their and their family whom had been there for them since they where just kids. Taking this in consideration and the fact that they both have gotten hurt and put in dangerous situations Kevin chooses to leave Ireland and is met by his love at the station only to know that she is coming with him for England. The conflict within Ireland dates all the way back to the 12th century, this is when the Normans had invaded England and was now up to invade Ireland, Henry II then pledged to the pope for permission to invade Ireland to strengthen the control over the island, here Henry succeeded in gaining control of large portions of the island, because of this the lordship of Ireland was created, for now the lord of Ireland was also the king of England. Here the British rule over the island started and was not going to end before centuries later.

Even though the British officially had control over the whole island of Ireland the only actually controlled parts of it, the controlled are shrank until I the late 15th century when they only controlled a small area of the island called the pale. With the protestant reformation in Europe in early 16th century England eventually turned its back on the catholic church and formed the church of England, as a papal possession Ireland got into a tricky situation, with the lordship of Ireland becoming the kingdom of Ireland the king or queen of England now was the king or queen of Ireland as well. Even though England from time to time was ruled by a protestant king or queen Ireland stayed loyal to the pope. 1609 James I started the so-called plantation of ulster where Scottish and English settlers confiscated land from Gaelic Irish to prevent a rebellion in the north where the Irish was most resistant to the English rule. It’s now the armed conflicts start, firstly the Irish confederate wars began.

Many times, the Irish tried to start rebellions against the English rule only to fail every time. Eventually a civil war broke out in Ireland between the native Irish and the brits and the Scottish. A war that was once again won by the brits which meant that a Protestant minority would rule a catholic majority Ireland. Later 18th century the kingdom of Scotland and the kingdom of England joined to create the kingdom of Great Britain. By the end of the 18th century another rebellion was started, although it was a failure it created a lot of uncertainty of the islands political situation, there was a fear that Ireland would ally with France so 1801 Ireland joined the union and became the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

This was met with strong opposition and sometimes led to violence, in the late 19th century the demand for self-government rose and the two first bills over Irish home rule was proposed, later in 1914 the third home rule bill was passed but got postponed by world war one. 1918 Sinn Féin called for independence and won 73 of 105 seats in the British parliament however they refused to take their seats and formed an Irish government of their own which became a leading reason for the Irish war of independence. 1920 the 4th home rule bill passed and was put in action and finally separated Northern Ireland and southern Ireland. The war continued until 1921 when southern and Northern Ireland signed a cease fire and the Anglo-Irish treaty. This meant that the whole island of Ireland would be a part of the commonwealth and that if Northern Ireland wanted to the could become part of Britain and, so they did. However not everyone was happy with the agreement of being a part of the commonwealth, this sparked a civil war between the pro treaty Irish and the anti-treaty Irish.

Eventually a referendum was held for a new constitution, to remove all British tie from Ireland. The referendum passed, and southern Ireland became Ireland. This however did not mean that the violence would stop, it just continued from the 1960s to the 90s, a time that later would be called the Troubles. The violence mostly ended in a cease fire 1998, the so called good Friday agreement.But now that Britain is going to leave the EU how will this impact the two Irelands? Because of the substantial amount of people and wares that are daily crossing the boarder the government of the United Kingdom probably would have to form a new agreement with the republic of Ireland so that they can cross freely as they have been able so far.

If this agreement in theory would not please the population of the republic of Ireland we can in theory risk an outbreak of violence between the two once again, this would most likely result in the UN putting in peace forces and causing some unease in Europe.


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