Capital of Northern Ireland (Ulster), Britain
Under the 1998 Good Friday Peace Agreement, mediated by former
U.S. Senator Mitchell, Protestants and Catholics share power in
Northern Ireland. There is an end to killings and bombings. British
army troops, who primarily fought the Catholic Irish Republican
Army (IRA), are essentially gone. Catholics have obtained equal
rights, which they were historically denied.
Catholics, in the minority, still wish the six counties of Northern
Ireland to become part of Ireland. Protestants, in the majority, still
desire Northern Ireland to remain part of Britain (The United
Kingdom or UK).
The two rival sides now work together, despite totally conflicting
agendas. How they feel can be seen in murals and other political
displays of mutual hostility from the fighting era. With peace have
come tours of this art, now that Northern Ireland is safe for tourists.
Murals by Sinn Féin, the IRA's political party, often focus
upon their martyrs, many of whom died from a hunger
strike in British prisons. This is one example in a Catholic
Another mural speaks to Catholic resistance against the British.
Of more importance is this open gate between adjoining
Catholic and Protestant neighborhoods. It would have been
closed and heavily guarded prior to the peace agreement.
There also was a barbed wire fence to keep Protestant and
Catholic areas of Belfast apart from one another.
The Protestant neighborhood I entered had elaborate
displays of loyalty to Britain, houses and streets blanketed
in the Union Jack UK Flag.
This Protestant mural presents its position as "Proud",
"Defiant" and "Welcoming".
If you have a high speed internet connection, watch the free 2013
Intrepid Berkeley Explorer video of Wales, Northern Ireland and
Ireland by clicking on: My Pub Runneth Over Too
Also try my 1997 video of England, Scotland and Ireland by clicking on:
My Pub Runneth Over