Innovation on Earth

Global Citizenship Resources for Innovation Academy and Beyond

Guest Post from Ireland: Peace Wall

Mr. Mac

After a few wrinkles in the original plan, Mr. Mac made it to Ireland! Make sure to follow along on his blog too. Visit http://mmccormackblog.wordpress.com/ to keep reading what’s happening on his trip and I’ll be back soon for more Japan posts. 

It’s currently 10 am in Ireland, so I would say Ohio (good morning) to him. It’s 6 pm here in Japan, so I’d say konbanwa (good evening) to people here. And to all of you back home, it’s 5 am, so let’s go with Oyasuminasai (good night) until the sun rises!

* * * * * * * *

Your neighbor is your other self dwelling behind a wall. – Kahlil Gibran

Today was another BEAUTIFUL day here in Belfast. The weather has been 70 and sunny since we got here which is unlike the clouds and rain we were warned about. Today we met with a panel of local professors to discuss the history, and current troubles between Catholics and Protestants in Ireland. Screen Shot 2014-06-19 at 6.11.00 PMIreland has never been a diverse island, so rather than racial violence, like in America, they have had years of religious conflicts. However, the two sides are not fighting over religious beliefs, but rather a power struggle of two cultures. Although, the times have been more peaceful since the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, the issues still remain evident. As we toured Belfast today the neighborhoods and homes were proudly claiming their specific colors. The Unionists, Loyalists, or Protestants loudly represent the Union Jack of the UK. The Republicans, Nationalists, or Catholics loudly represent the Republic of Ireland colors of green, white, and orange. Dividing the two neighborhoods lies a giant wall, ironically known as the Peace Wall, which we visited today. The mammoth 18 foot wall was built so people could not shoot or throw objects at their rival neighbors. Standing in front of the wall today was bittersweet, because I had knowledge of the violence it represents, but admired the breathtaking beauty of the artwork and poetry that cover the walls today.

 

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10 thoughts on “Guest Post from Ireland: Peace Wall

  1. dalena s. on said:

    Mr.Mac the art looks amazing

  2. Anna S. on said:

    I didn’t know that Ireland has 2 different cultures! In fact, I didn’t even know that there are 2 cultures of Ireland that are fighting.
    But at least there’s some peace now! Hopefully in the future, there will be complete peace in Ireland. 🙂
    What else did you notice about Ireland?
    ~ Anna

    • Yes, Ireland has split into 2 countries. Northern Ireland which is part of the UK and loyal to the queen, and the Republic of Ireland, which has its own government and is part of the European Union. I have noticed there are 2 different generations here in Northern Ireland, pre and post troubles. The younger generation is reminded of the violence everywhere they go but seem to want to move on. The older generation is almost haunted by the violence and can’t seem to get past their memories. It is somewhat similar to slavery here in America, but more recent. It is important to remember your history because it is a large part of your culture, but it is also important to move on and learn from prior mistakes. It is just hard for the 2 sides to find a comfort in between.

  3. Josh B,. on said:

    CCOL! That is some amazing artwork. You said they were in a fight in Ireland. Is it a major fight or a small one? Is the weather nice there? I saw that there was a lot of of really beautiful art work. Do a lot of people in Ireland do a lot of art?

  4. the wall was amazing and so pretty but why it is there is kind of sad. But I wish I could go because so far it seems really cool. I am excited to learn more so keep writing. 🙂

    ps.DONT FORGET MY ROCK

    Rian

  5. Josh B,. on said:

    COOL! That is some amazing artwork. You said they were in a fight in Ireland. Is it a major fight or a small one? Is the weather nice there? I saw that there was a lot of of really beautiful art work. Do a lot of people in Ireland do a lot of art?

  6. Sean M. on said:

    I think it’s very interesting that people of the same religion are fighting. What belief exactly are they fighting over?

  7. Sean M. on said:

    P.s., I’m going to Ireland too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Isabel K. on said:

    I have the same question as Sean M. What specific belief(s) are the Catholics and Protestants fighting over? and in addition, what is the Good Friday agreement?

  9. Declan D. on said:

    What is the importance of joining the Eu instead of the united nations or are they part of both?

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