This is a beautiful city, a great place for walking. We felt perfectly safe here and were welcomed by everyone. Tensions do remain from the Troubles, the time of near civil war between the 1970s and 1990s. This first shot is a charming neighborhood, I believe this is Shankill Road, a very Protestant/Unionist district… meaning the people here oppose Irish home rule and want to remain united with Britain. Notice all the British flags.,
This is West Belfast, a working class Catholic neighborhood that is very close to Shankill Road. We enjoyed walking here as well. One person who we talked with in another town described how Catholics/Nationals have historically experienced discrimination in housing and jobs. The Protestant/Unionists who are descendants of people who moved to Ulster from England and Scotland in the 1600s, controlled industries and employment. There has been an economic downturn and decline in the industries, leaving many young Protestants without work. This tension has probably contributed to continuing historical tensions. People who we talked with feel the peace process is working, and want to leave the Troubles behind, but the tensions do remain. I will describe this more when I post about our visit to a beautiful town that is called Derry by Nationalists, and Londenderry by Unionists. It was a center of the Troubles.