Northern Ireland is a nation divided. It has stood like this since long before our time and our parents’ time. In 1920 the government of Ireland act was set into motion by Eamon De Valera and the government body of Ireland and the United Kingdom to divide the country into 2 parts, the head of Ireland remaining as a part of the United Kingdom while the remaining south of Ireland would become its own independent Republic of Ireland.
The UK wanted to keep Northern Ireland as a part of the UK largely because over the past few decades they have been pouring money into it building heavy industries in places like Belfast. On top of this, a lot of Northern Irish citizens had assimilated and began seeing themselves as British citizens. The nationalists largely identify as Catholics while the Unionists identify as Protestants. This decision definitely bring unrest to both UK and Irish Citizens but some people were hopeful that this would bring a start of more peaceful disputes between the two nations, but they were sadly mistaken.
For the next few years, tensions between the republicans and unionists in the north would begin to swell until finally during the 1960s tensions rose to an all-time high and the time of “The Troubles” began. During this time there were constant infighting and guerilla warfare tactics being thrown around in Northern Ireland with the Unionists receiving help and armaments from the British while the nationalists sought help from groups like the IRA.
For 30 years this fighting would last with an end result of an estimated 3,500 people losing their lives and a good percentage of them being civilians. Eventually, something about this had to be done so the Good Friday Agreement act was signed on April 10th, 1998 “We have to make sure the Good Friday Agreement works” said Gerry Adams.
But once again reality was not in hopes’ favor as tensions while slightly defused remain boiling in the North of Ireland to this day. Although violence was not as fierce and prevalent as it was during the peak of the troubles it did not simply just go away. The peace walls that were erected during the late 60s to divide the nationalist and unionist neighborhoods had to keep getting higher out of the paranoia and fear that was instilled in the residents of Belfast. With this slight refusal of violence, the residents of Belfast could express and protest their opinions in less harmful ways, one of the most popular ways was to paint murals.
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