Travel Blog

Belfast’s Violent Troubles are in the Past

Belfast's Violent TroublesGrowing up in Belfast in the 70s,80s and 90s was an adventure of a kind experienced nowhere else in the free world. The weekend activities for youths in those days were very different to that of today. Also compared to many other locations around the world. Instead of thinking about going out to socialize or play games. Many local youths would go out to riot with either people from the other side of the political  spectrum. Or with the British soldiers and/or RUC (royal Ulster constabulary). This was a violent time for Ireland.

Violent time In Northern Ireland

During the 1970s and 80s Belfast was like a war-zone, and Belfast’s troubled history has seen many tragedies and atrocities. These atrocities are illustrated in the many murals dotted all over Belfast, painted on the sides of houses. A good friend of ours left Ireland because of this reason. In fact they decided not to have children, because they did not want to bring up a child in the midst of this violence.

These massive paintings are today a major Belfast attraction for tourists. In the past, however, they were a way for the residents of Belfast’s troubled areas to get their points across. Or make a plea or demand that the rest of world could see through the power of the media.

You can see murals from both sides of the political divide. Some of the murals are commemorations of something that has happened in the past to families and to the city. Or a memorial to people who have been killed at some point in what has become to be known as the troubles.

There are 4 main sections of murals on the sites- murals from 4 of the hardest hit areas of Belfast – 3 nationalist areas: – the Republican backbone of west Belfast;  – west Belfast’s Republican heart; and – the Republican stronghold of north Belfast, and 1 unionist area:  – the loyalist stronghold in west Belfast.

There are  pictures of the famous Belfast peace wall. This wall is over 20 feet high, and stretches for miles, separating unionists and nationalists in west Belfast. This was the only way to try to get some sort of peace between the groups by keeping them separate from each other.

If you’re interested in Irish history or the troubles of the north of Ireland then these pictures are a must see.

Belfast’s Violent Troubles are Over

But now that the violence has officially ended the only problems on the streets of Belfast are those of the normal crimes. The same crimes that most cities in the developed world have had to deal with over the years.

Recently, Ireland has been hit with a new challenge. The economy has been tanking, like it has in other countries and many people are looking for work. We hope this does not initiate more problems. Idle hands always get into trouble and Ireland is no different from many other countries in this regard. Unfortunately they have the skills to cause all kinds of trouble in a country that is so beautiful and could be a jewel in Europe. Get past the troubles, put it into the history books and move on with a new generation! Focus on positive rebuilding activities that will renew your country. Create jobs for your children instead of dwelling on the negative things that have literally torn the country a part in recent past.

For more posts about Ireland including both Belfast and Dublin, click here.

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One Response to “Belfast’s Violent Troubles are in the Past”

  1. it is so good to see that much of the violence is behind them. there is still some bombings in belfast once and awhile, but nothing like it was 20 years ago. Maybe in another 20 years they will no longer even remember what it was like.

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