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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Derry and Belfast

This mural was in downtown Derry where a number of people were killed by the British military during a protest march.  There is a huge monument for the dead as well as murals illustrating the events that occurred that day.  Even the name of the town is a political statement, if one uses the name "Londonderry" they can be seen as indicating a loyalty to the British rule, while using the name "Derry" can be seen as the thumbing of one's nose at the British name.  
After driving around the Republic of Ireland and seeing the wonderful sights, we headed up to Northern Ireland. While it was still gorgeous, the signs of tension were very very present. The murals located in Derry and Belfast as well as the painting of light poles indicated the loyalties of that particular neighborhood. In Belfast it was particularly interesting as the two opposing parties were located only a few streets apart. It was also interesting that when one was in the Republican side of town all the names of the stores changed to very Irish names and many of the signs were in Gaelic. There was no actual border and no passport check between the countries, but it was obvious when one went from one to another.
The mural above is from the side of Belfast that support British rule.  The UVF or Ulster Volunteer Force.
If you are a rebel and need a rest, look no further. 
You can sign up for the UVF at the area pictured above.
Or you can sign up for the Sin Fein just by sending a text.
The photo above was not in downtown Derry or Belfast, but just beside the highway south of Belfast.

While I do have my opinions about the conflict between the Irish and the UK, I will not share it. I will, however, note how weird it is that the monuments of both sides are worded almost exactly the same... In remembrance of the innocent boys of the (insert loyalty) who were slain by the (insert enemy) murder squads.

1 comment:

  1. HOLY REVOLUTION BATMAN! That is amazing, terrifying and super cool all at once. I would like to hear your views...maybe not in a public forum! :) And that of your husband, DEFINITELY not in a public forum!!!