"panicking about the difference between the Ulster Unionists and SDLP and which of them Ian Paisley was involved in"
Northern Ireland - Credit: CIA
was establised in 1920 by the passing of the Government of Ireland Act, which split the country into the six predominately Protestant counties of Ulster (the 'North') and the 26 remaining Catholic counties (the 'South'). Irish Catholics demanded independence from British rule, whilst Irish Protestants remained uneasy at the prospect of a nation ruled by the Catholic majority.
Civil unrest erupted in the 1960s and dominated the following three decades. This period of Irish history is defined by 'The Troubles', with Protestants and Catholics at each others' throats and the British Army trying - with varying levels of success and restraint - to keep the peace.
The Ulster Unionists
, the more moderate of the two main unionist parties, sought to maintain Northern Ireland's status as part of the United Kingdom. The SDLP
, which was founded in 1970, is a moderate nationalist party that rejected violence and campaigned for a united Ireland, but only with the consent of the majority of the population.
In 1971, Ian Paisley established and became leader of the Democratic Unionist Party, the Ulster Unionists' constant rival. He retired from politics in 2010.