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Re: Ireland, Plantation, Terrorism

I joined the list some months ago and have read the various messages each day, sometimes fascinated and sometimes in disbelief and despair at the topics.  I have not yet felt it appropriate to contribute (some of you guys are very learned about your subjects!).  Now I do feel qualified ...
I am 42 now and was brought up in Northern Ireland though I now live in London.  I have therefore from the age of eleven "experienced" the "Troubles" first hand.  More particularly so as my father was a police officer.  I just want to say that Iain Laird's message is so spot on.  Yes, we have been engulfed by Terrorism.  For me that is the use of force against the democratically expressed wishes of the majority.  Ireland will be united one day I expect but it should only come about when decided by ballot.  All sides have suffered over the years, that is what happens in war and terrorism is the same as war.  One could argue that if it had been treated as a war by the government earlier it might not have lasted 32 years.  
I firmly believe all children should be educated together.  The current set up in Northern Ireland, where generally speaking only Protestant children go to the state schools and Catholic children go to Catholic schools (totally funded by the state) is, in my view, not helpful in bringing about greater understanding of the different cultures.  I worry about the prospect of more and more schools being set up in England, Scotland and Wales by religious groups.  The government is in a tight corner on this one as they have always allowed Church of England and Catholic schools from the time State Education started.  To discriminate would be wrong.  Changing the status quo would be very difficult but for me all religious education should be outside of the school system and not funded by the State.  I learnt my religion at home and at Sunday school organised by the church on a Sunday morning.
Thank you Iain for an excellent message.  Perhaps now people will understand that Terrorism has been closer to home for many of us for a long, long time.
I am now going to explore that thread from June as I am interested in going back as far as I can with the family.  My family have been resident in, and continue to farm land (my cousin), near Draperstown, Co Londonderry since the late 1700's.  I believe we are probably Plantation stock and hope one day to be able to prove it.  

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