Belfast used to have terror connotations for me. With every good reason in the world as my childhood and teenage years were full of these horrible accounts of orange Marches (see William of Orange mural further down below) and  Bobby Sands’ tragic fate. 

 

Yet at the same time I’ve always been attracted to the place and when I met Irish Speakers at the First Language Commissioners Conference , then its charmingly communicative Lord Mayor in September 2013  
 at the Interdepence Day Conference. Both events actually took place in Dublin
 

an orange March, on Saturday January 30, 2016, Shankill Rd, Belfast
 

But from my very first visit, The Welcome Desk at The Belfast international airport to my chats with a Theater goer and his Mum, my breakfast with Bill at the Georges market, the Ladies I met on the Dublin-Belfast train last March….everything convinced me that this city  was exceptional! 

So I was back there this weekend , in Belfast, for the third time in less than a year and you can get an idea of my second visit  by clicking on the link.

I then took a tour which persuaded me I should dig further .

I discovered that the orange marches still exist, that most Northern Ireland citizens hold  a dual nationality (British and Irish…. Including some Protestants!). What still is the remains of a tragedy between two communities, walls still exist in this town more than ever before, roads are still closed in some areas but we are “thousands of years away” from the situation in the 80s. I ended up my tour convinced that there was no hope, but my visit to dairy gave me for the new perspective and although everything is far from perfect, Northern Ireland is definitely on the right path!!
I also discovered that the loyalist fractions actually cause mold test Treacher other than they do to the rest of the Irish community and of course I’ve visited the various sites such as the Rex Bar, The Peace and the Justice walls and how close these territories of memory are from the in the city were citizens can cohabitate and coexist freely….

As Paddy, my guy, one of the best known ones in Belfast, said “It’s good to remember but we shouldn’t dwell only in our memories” food for thought for other conflicts such as the Palestinian and Israeli one. Indeed this litany of whodunit is not only nurturing the hatred, it’s also  preventing any peace to prevail!

So, without further explanations, I invite you to discover Shankill rd  

 with the UDA  

 at the bottom and the UVF at the top , todays Ministers and MP who were the terrorists of yesterday, Martin McGuinness gun Shin fein and Peter Robinson DUP

     

    
 12 of july Marches, the Marching Commission, the Peace and Justice walls…. With the sad but understandable identification of Loyalists with Israel and Catholics with Gaza….

   
    
    
    
    
    
 
   
    
    

Danny my black cab guide
    
   
   
    
    
    
    
    
 
   
    
    
    
    
    
    
   

  

    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
 
   
    
  

    
    
 

Even looking at a map 

  makes you still wonder.
Yet at the same time I’ve always been attracted to the place and when I met Irish Speakers at the First Language Commissioners Conference ( click on link), then its charmingly communicative Lord Mayor in September 2013 Máirtín Ó’Mulleoír

a different Lord Mayor through and through!
 img_6278 at the Interdepence Day Conference. Both events actually took place in Dublin

So, when I discovered last summer  the existence of Paddy Campbell’s black cab tours  

Sorcha, wonderful Derry guide, with ….Paddy Cambell himself😉

I knew they would be my guides this time! So, after Danny on Saturday in Belfast  

     
Paddy “himself” 

Took me through the Glenshane pass

    
 
Via the Ponderosa pub to appeased Derry….revisit this page again for further explanation….but in the meantime, my pictures are worth a lot of words of explanations! 

This picture is actually very interesting. When Paddy took me to show it, he was dumbfounded to see what he thought was a loyalist flag…. Which turned out to be a French flag in commemoration of the recent Paris attacks in November 2015!  
  
    
    
    
    
 

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

   

   

  

  

  

  

  

no hebrew on this Northern Irish poster….

Further references:  Belfast Childs website  Máirtín Ó’Mulloir’s blog 
Additional photos from a subsequent visit a fortnight later:  

  

  

Gainsborough vs Reynolds!
   

 

  

  

   

   
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    

I finally found שלום in hebrew….but in latin transcript!
    
    
    
    
    
    
  
the marker lent by the Concierge of the Fitzwilliam Hotel to write on the murals
   

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

   

    
    
   

   
  

    
 
   

as a Jew, as a human being, my heart bleads and my concience is troubled…