Northern Ireland

19 Nov

I learned a great deal about the history of conflict in the North of Ireland during our excursion to Belfast and London Derry. I could not believe there was a wall in Belfast that separated the Roman Catholic and Protestant. It stood 45 feet high so people were unable to throw bombs over. It started out with two tour guides, both on opposing sides, who had previously served time for fighting for their beliefs. Their viewpoints were very different, disagreeing in many ways, which comes to show how real the problem still is. The first tour guide told us a man was killed only two days before our visit. This was astonishing to me because I still cold not get over the fact that a wall separated people due to religion, and it is still a dilemma today. I never knew this kind of lifestyle still existed. It reminded me of the Civil war, as well as the blacks and whites being separated in every aspect a long time ago in America. The second tour guide told us that he was imprisoned for 10 years for planting a bomb with a few others on the other side of the wall in a building. They gave people 30 minutes before it blew, enough to evacuate, but not enough for authorities to defuse. He knew going into it that he may not get away, and may suffer the consequences. It is crazy to think how sheltered we can all be. There is much violence and tragedy all throughout the world, but we only see what we want to. Out of sight, out of mind is a great way to explain this. I also enjoyed the 20 minute walk to Carrick-a-rede-rope bridge. This bridge brought us to a small island that had amazing views. The coolest part of the trip was the Giant’s Causeway though. These rocks were all shaped like pentagons, it was very mysterious. I hiked up to the top with my friends and once again, we had amazing views. This trip made me more open-minded, in a way that many aren’t lucky enough to experience.

-James Richards

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