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Sunday, August 15, 2010

Intensity Rising

Ireland Tour Day 7:
The Troubles

This morning we went on a black cab tour where we learned about the troubles and how they were influenced by Nationalist and Loyalist conflict.

Nationalist are those who would like Ireland to be a single republic and Loyalists are those who would like Ireland to be part of the UK.

As well as political, or "secretarial," struggles there is also a coinciding split of Catholic (Nationalist) and Protestant (Loyalist).   The "troubles" became so bad that the English were wearily invited to come help even though they have a history of overstaying their welcome AKA taking over.

The English immediately made it worse with interment camps for anybody with Irish influences followed by killing a group of protesters 38 years ago.  Some Irish leaders were put in prison for their ideals and when they were forced to join the general population of prisoners they refused to wear prison uniforms and went on hunger strike until they died.

These things and more lead to many problems that are just now lightening up with four years of no bombings excluding one just two weeks ago in Derry and even yesterday in Lurgen. These are actually apparently the first in years. Other history of course includes: the potato famine (where potatoes were all plagued due to similar genetics and therefore similar vulnerability) and mythical stories/superstitions with Finn McCool and faeries and such.

Later YK and I were out and on the way back we passed a Loyalist (presumably IRA maybe even the Provisional IRA) freedom fighters building with a picture of a guy with a gun. I stopped just in time to see a bottle rocket shot at a group of passersby...

After Belfast we left and stopped at another cemetery on the way back.

Back in Dublin Mike and I got beds at the Avalon Hostel and went to Temple Bar. There we heard some traditional Irish music (even some in Gaelic) and saw a little girl doing an epic Irish jig.

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