Northern Ireland

3 Apr

One the way up to Belfast I had a general knowledge of what happened during The Troubles. After leaving I felt that I had better understanding in terms of both knowledge and an actual emotional understanding of both of the sides. Whenever talking politics it is difficult to get an unbiased opinion, no matter what side you are on. This holds true in Northern Ireland as well. The two main organizations that are associated with The Troubles in Northern Ireland are the IRA and UVF. The IRA identify strongly with their Irish nationality, and dislike the English as they have a history of battling that both sides cannot seem to forget about. The IRA are also mostly Catholic while the UVF the counter terrorist group is mostly protestant which is why The Troubles are often associated with religion. The UVF identify with being English and feel that Ireland is trying to take away their roots and who they really are. Both of these sides felt so strongly about how they identify themselves that they turned to violence to convince the other sides that they their own ideas were the right ideas. It seemed that both groups would point the finger at each other and say it was the other groups fault for the violence.   This is one of the problems that continue to make the tensions between the loyalists, and the nationalists so strong to this day. It seems to me that both sides are holding grudges against the other group and are refusing to admit that they are wrong. When hearing from the former IRA member it seemed as though everything was done to him and he simply re-acted. I got the same notion from the UVF or the loyalist side, that they only re-acted to what their enemy was doing. It is a terrible thing that has happened in Northern Ireland, and it still continues to be terrible because they cannot put the past behind them, and begin to trust each other again. Northern Ireland is making strides to becoming a less divided community, but it still has some steps to take before it is one community.

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