History of the Troubles in Northern Ireland

by Jack Guy

Feb 19, 2019

Belfast City Hall © Michael Walsh | Dreamstime

Trends / History

With Brexit negotiations ongoing, Northern Ireland has become the focus of attention once again.

That’s because the Brexit deal is held back by negotiations over whether or not there will be a hard border between Northern Ireland, part of the United Kingdom, and Ireland.

As things stand, there are no border controls between the two nations. This is part of the Good Friday agreement, a deal that brought to an end decades of armed struggle in 1996.

This armed struggle is known as The Troubles, and it pitted Catholics, who mainly wanted to be part of Ireland, against Protestants, who mainly wanted to be part of the U.K.

From the late 1960s until 1996, Northern Ireland was rocked by bombs, riots and killings as both sides struggled for supremacy.

It can be easy to forget it is just over two decades since there was an ongoing, armed struggle in the British Isles, and, since 1996, Northern Ireland underwent a real revival.

Today, it is a popular destination with tourists, but the tumultuous history of the area bubbles not far below the surface.

Across Belfast you will notice huge murals painted in honor of the fighters, and there are still areas where people from rival communities are not welcome.

However, as a tourist you will likely be completely safe, so don’t let it put you off from traveling.

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