Thursday, May 7, 2015

The political murals of Belfast

Back in the 70's and 80's we all heard of the "troubles" here in Northern Ireland particularly in such places as Belfast and Londonderry.  It seemed that never a day passed without hearing about some atrocity in this country and it was definitely a "no go" zone for tourists.  I never thought I would be able to visit fact I had no ambition to!  Truth be told it's the Giants Causeway I wanted to visit and Belfast was a logical place to base myself.  When looking up things to do I saw there were what were called "Black Taxi" tours to the troubled areas and I thought it would be interesting. 

My driver Gerry picked me up at 9 the morning of Wednesday May 6th and off we went in his black taxi.  I am staying in North Belfast which was one of the bad areas during that time so the first thing he did was show me the wall that separates Catholics and Protestants in this area...they are now called Peace Walls....however they are sadly still in use....

I am not going to make any comments on my feelings on the tour as I am still processing it all.   You don't want to know how many times I have deleted what I have written.....So I will just share pictures...  A peace treaty was drawn up and passed by voters in both the north and the south of Ireland in 1999. 
Murals now put up can not depict any hatred or racism

Gerry wanted me to pose here...these gates are closed each evening and at weekends preventing traffic from going through....they can only reach the area but driving around other streets...this divides the Catholic and Protestant sections

Commemorating the IRA members who starved themselves  - on the Falls Road

Sinn Fein headquarters...tribute to Bobby Sands who starved himself to death. 

Signing the peace wall...I'm in good company - the Dali Lama has signed it along with Bill Clinton and President Obama..and even Justin Bieber - woohoo!! 

The peace wall that I signed - there are 21 miles of these walls around Belfast

Mural of monarchy on Shankill Road - Protestant/Loyalist area
Not only a wall but protective cages over their back garden - how sad is that? 

Loyalist who murdered  17 innocent Catholics just because.... -  he died of a drug overdose.  (good riddance)


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