The Wall -Anastasia Niforos
Belfast is deeply rooted in dark history that still affects the city today. Upon my arrival, I wasn’t very familiar with what had happened in the past. Although today my eyes were opened to the separation between the Irish Catholics and British Parliament. I was able to go on a Black Cab Tour which laid out the history right in front of me.
The tour started at 10 am and instantly the story began about the brutal fighting that happened between the Catholics and Parliament. This was known as the Troubles. Rioting broke out in the summer of 1969 basically pinning the Catholics and Parliaments against one another. There was street violence, shootings, and bombings that happened in the city. This resulted in many deaths among innocent civilians and members of both sides. It was a bloody and extremely dangerous time in Belfast which has still cause disconnection between the two sides to this day.
While on the tour we were able to see the two neighborhoods and the 25-foot wall that separates them. Upon the Parliament, side hangs British flags and large murals on buildings of the heroes that fought during the time of the Troubles. On the Catholic side hangs Irish flags and murals as well. There is also a memorial located on Bombay street that honors the victims that lost there lives during this time. It was crazy to see the difference between the neighborhoods.
We eventually made our way to the wall and this is where the realness of this separation set in. The wall spread for miles and as I approached it I couldn’t believe how tall it actually was. It was thick and as I studied it I realized that it wasn’t meant to come down. The most fascinating part was all the beautiful artwork that had been there for years. Graffiti, murals, and names were seen everywhere. We were actually able to sign the wall and I wrote, “PEACE” in capital letters with a black marker. I also drew a heart next to it. I thought this resonated with the way I felt while I was on the tour. I want peace for Belfast and I hope one day the wall gets taken down and the two sides can join as one.