Belfast - Confusing!!.

Trip Start Feb 01, 2005
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Trip End Dec 31, 2018


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Flag of United Kingdom  , Northern Ireland,
Monday, July 18, 2005

Our day trip to Belfast, Northern Ireland was very much the perplexing part of Ireland. We became even more confused as to the politics/religion of Northern Island the more we learned. We saw for ourselves the huge dividing fence's ( barrier against lobbing Molotov's etc over) between residential homes of Protestants and Catholics. A few days before we arrived, there had been a protest march which had turned ugly, with people seriously injured. There are amazing graphic murals in both areas depicting their struggles.
 
Basically, it would appear the majority of the Protestants do not want the Catholics and are OK with remaining under British rule and have denied Catholics any political power. The Catholics do not want to move down to the Southern Republic of Ireland (nor apparently do the Republic really want them!). They just want to live where they have always lived. The English influence began in the 12th Century, but the Protestant minority did not gain control until the 17th century, after arrivals in the 16th century were given huge tracts of land by Queen Elizabeth. However, after such a long time, the Protestants are not about to go either.
 
There is a peace of sorts now, since the Good Friday agreement in 1998. Perhaps, ultimately Northern Ireland will be move towards self rule?, if both sides can find common ground? .

The highlight of the day though, was having lunch in a National Trust Pub which still has "snug" booths. These are wonderful little private booths, ornately decorated with a bell to summon the waiter. The waiter must only enter when summoned. Of course we had to go traditional Irish and have Irish stew with a pint of Guinness. We enjoyed a snog in our snug booth too!
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