Belfast Irelandís bloody violent troubles of the past have come to an end
Growing up in Belfast in the 70s and 80s was an adventure of a kind experienced nowhere else in the first world.
The weekend activities for youths in those days were very different to that of today. Instead of thinking about going out to socialise or play games the majority of local youths would go out to riot; with either people from the other side of the political of the other side, or with the British soldiers and/or RUC (royal Ulster constabulary).
During the 1970s and 80s Belfast was like a war-zone, and Belfastís troubled history has seen many tragedies and atrocities. These atrocities are illustrated in the many murals dotted all over Belfast, painted on the sides of houses.
These massive paintings are today a major Belfast attraction for tourists. In the past, however, they were a way for the residents of Belfastís troubled areas to get their points across, or make a plea or demand that the rest of world could see through the power of the media. Now these paintings have been brought to the internet.
A new site (http://www.gransha-taxi.co.uk ) has uploaded photos of these paintings for us all to see.
You can see murals from both sides of the political divide. Some of the murals are commemorations of something that has happened in the past, or a memorial of people that have been killed.
There are 4 main sections of murals on the sites: murals from 4 of the hardest hit areas of Belfast - 3 nationalist areas: The Falls Road (http://www.gransha-taxi.co.uk/Belfast_murals_Falls_road.htm ) - the Republican backbone of west Belfast; Ballymurphy/Whiterock (http://www.gransha-taxi.co.uk/Belfast_murals_Ballymurphy_Whiterock.htm ) - west Belfastís Republican heart; and Ardoyne (http://www.gransha-taxi.co.uk/Belfast_murals_Ardoyne.htm ) - the Republican stronghold of north Belfast, and 1 unionist area: The Shankill (http://www.gransha-taxi.co.uk/Belfast_murals_Shankill.htm ) - the loyalist stronghold in west Belfast.
The main page of the Belfast murals section of this site (http://www.gransha-taxi.co.uk/Belfast_murals.htm ) also show pictures of the famous Belfast peace wall. This wall is over 20 feet high, and stretches for miles, separating unionists and nationalists in west Belfast.
If youíre interested in Irish history or the troubles of the north of Ireland then these pictures are a must see.
But now that the violence has officially ended the only problems on the streets of Belfast are those of the normal crimes that normal cities in the developed world have been able to deal with over the years. Now that peace has hit one part of the troubled world, how long will it be before peace grips the world - we can only cross our fingers and hopeÖ
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