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
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
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
I knew they would be my guides this time! So, after Danny on Saturday in Belfast
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!
Further references: Belfast Childs website Máirtín Ó’Mulloir’s blog
Additional photos from a subsequent visit a fortnight later: