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Murals in Belfast

Murals in Belfast

The Troubles in Northern Ireland

For years, Catholics and Protestants faced each other with drawn swords in the Northern Irish city of Belfast.

In 1998, peace returned after "The Troubles" with the signing of the Good Friday Agreement. Although peace remains fragile. In 2019, a journalist was killed during riots in the Northern Irish city of Derry.


Brexit threatens to fuel tensions even further. The border between Northern Ireland (part of the United Kingdom) and Ireland, which is and remains a member of the European Union, is particularly worrying.

No one is looking forward to the closure of the border, which many believe will be the death blow to the fragile peace. Hence, the backstop must guarantee that the border remains open and tensions between Republicans and loyalists do not arise.

Traces of the conflict

In the Northern Irish capital, Belfast, the traces of the conflict are still tangible, such as the burnt-out courthouse on Crumlin Road, where hundreds of paramilitaries were brought to justice. The building closed in 1998 and was burned down ten years later.


Catholic and Protestant neighborhoods are sometimes still hermetically closed off from each other, for example, Ardoyne, a predominantly Catholic working-class neighborhood.

The memories of the troubles are still alive here. This mural commemorates volunteers of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) who died during the conflict.

Political and religious differences between Catholics and Protestants are highlighted through countless murals that take over every free side wall.

Peace wall

The peace wall along the Cupar Way keeps Catholics and Protestants apart. There are over fifty in Northern Ireland, covering 34 kilometers of border.

Protestant neighborhoods

Protestant neighborhoods are also teeming with murals, which commemorate paramilitary groups that turned against the IRA.

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