Wednesday, August 10
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Watch The Movie ‘Belfast’ and Learn About The Troubles

Troubles is the name given to the sectarian violence that plagued Northern Ireland from 1968-1998. It was a time when almost every day ended in tragedy. The film “Belfast” doesn’t go into great detail about why the Troubles happened, but it does give an overview of how things escalated so quickly. The Troubles are a series of ethno-nationalist conflicts that have taken place in Northern Ireland and its neighbouring areas such as Dublin, Dundalk, and Belfast since 1988. The violence began as a result of tensions between both sides regarding religious ideologies; specifically, the division between Protestants who favoured continuing membership of Great Britain and Catholics who favoured joining with the Republic of Ireland as one country. With that being said, here are 19 things you didn’t know about ‘Troubles’ in Northern Ireland:

Who started the Troubles?

While the Troubles have been around since the late 1950s, no one can pinpoint exactly who started the Troubles. Although there are many theories, no one can say for certain that one side is to blame. However, one thing everyone can agree on is that the Catholic-Protestant divide is what caused the majority of the Troubles. As you might have read above, tensions between the sides arose due to their differing ideologies regarding the type of governance for Northern Ireland. Catholics favoured a united Ireland, where all of Ireland would be ruled as one country. On the other hand, Protestants favoured continuing membership of Great Britain and wanted to remain part of the United Kingdom. So, long story short: the Troubles were caused by the Catholic-Protestant divide.

Why did the Troustruck Belfast?

During the decades that followed the beginning of the Troubles, the violence spread from Belfast to other parts of the island. Why, then, did it start in Belfast? A lot of people believe that the violence in Belfast was more prominent because of the city’s geography. Belfast’s population is split almost exactly down the middle between Protestants and Catholics, while other cities such as Dublin have a larger Catholic population. Belfast, as a city that is divided almost perfectly in half, was a perfect place for the two sides to start their battle. Belfast is also the capital city of Northern Ireland, so it’s understandable that the centre of government would end up becoming the main stage for the Troubles.

Why was there so much violence?

Again, while no one can say for certain why there was so much violence during the Troubles, there are a few theories. Many believe that the violence was largely down to the two sides’ use of propaganda to make their case. For example, the Protestants would use imagery such as the British Crown, the Union Jack, and the Red Hand of Ulster to make people feel as if they were a part of Great Britain and to make the Catholics feel as if they didn’t belong. In response, the Catholics would use imagery such as the Irish Claddagh and the Harp to make people feel as if they belonged in Ireland. These propaganda tactics made Catholics and Protestants feel as if their lives were being threatened by the other side and, because of this, they would use violence as a way to protect themselves. Also, there were those who simply wanted to cause harm to the other side. These people didn’t care about any propaganda or who belonged where; all they cared about was the fact that people were dying and someone needed to be blamed for the deaths. All of these reasons contributed to the amount of violence during the Troubles.

Timeline of the Troubles: A short history lesson

1956 – 1958: The Troubles begin with the Campaign for Justice. This campaign was led by Catholics who wanted to see more rights and self-governance. The Campaign for Justice quickly turned violent and was, therefore, called the Civil Rights Campaign. 1968: The Civil Rights Campaign ends with the Battle of the Bogside. This battle marked the beginning of the Troubles as we know them. The Battle of the Bogside began when the Northern Irish government tried to dismantle Catholic areas of Belfast and replace them with Protestant communities. 1969-1972: The early years of the Troubles saw many bombings and assassinations. 1972-1975: This period of the Troubles is known as the “Long War.” The IRA, a Catholic paramilitary group, carried out many bombings during this period, including the Bloody Friday Attacks. 1976-1994: During this period, the IRA and other paramilitary groups carried out bombings on a weekly basis. The British army were also present during this period and were responsible for many deaths. 1994-1998: This period is known as the “Trial of the Baggers.” The IRA and the Loyalist paramilitary groups declared a truce.

What is the current situation like in Northern Ireland?

The Troubles is an ugly part of history and many people associate it with Northern Ireland. However, things have become much more relaxed in Northern Ireland since the late 90s. Today, the situation in Northern Ireland is more peaceful than it has been in decades. That being said, there are still disagreements between Catholics and Protestants, and the two sides are more divided than ever. Although the Troubles are long behind them, they’ve left a scar on Northern Ireland that will take decades to heal. There’s still a lot of progress that needs to be made, but things are progressing in the right direction.

What are the major events of the Troubles?

There are many events that take place during the Troubles. From political events to bombings and assassinations, it’s impossible to name every single event that took place during the Troubles. With that being said, here are some of the major events of the Troubles: The Battle of the Bogside: The Battle of the Bogside began when the Northern Irish government tried to dismantle Catholic areas of Belfast and replace them with Protestant communities. Catholics fought back against this displacement by throwing stones at police officers. The police retaliated by spraying tear gas at the protesters. The conflict escalated quickly, and the police opened fire on the protesters. The incident left the majority of the Catholic population feeling like they were under attack. This led to the Battle of the Bogside, where the Catholics fought back against the police. This ended with the British Army being called in and setting up military checkpoints throughout Northern Ireland. Bloody Friday: One of the most significant bombings during the Troubles was the Bloody Friday attack. A group of IRA operatives planted bombs throughout Belfast and killed 9 people. The Downing of the Airliner: In 1988, an airliner was shot down by a missile. The plane was from Great Britain and was flying over Irish airspace. The plane crashed in Northern Ireland, killing all 29 passengers on board. The incident sparked outrage in Great Britain, and the people of Great Britain began to view the IRA as a threat.

Why was the Good Friday Agreement so important?

The Good Friday Agreement was an extremely important part of the Troubles. The Good Friday Agreement was a peace treaty that was signed in 1998. This treaty ended the Troubles, brought peace to Northern Ireland, and allowed both sides to move forward. The two sides involved in the Troubles were the Republic of Ireland (who wanted to unite Ireland and rule all of it as one country) and Northern Ireland (who wanted to remain in the United Kingdom and be ruled by the British government). The Good Friday Agreement is important because it ended the bloodshed in Northern Ireland and allowed both sides to move forward. It also allowed both sides to rule themselves, which is something that was never allowed in the past.

The Good Friday Agreement: How does it work?

The Good Friday Agreement works by having all the major political parties in Northern Ireland work together to create a new government. This new government is then responsible for making major decisions for Northern Ireland. While the new government is responsible for making all the major decisions, they are also required to bring the other political parties in Northern Ireland into the process. This means that every political party has a say in what happens in Northern Ireland. This is important because it prevents one side from taking control of Northern Ireland and abusing their power. Hopefully, this brief overview will help you understand what took place during the Troubles. Get these history lessons off your chest and

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