Skip to comments.vacation in Belfast
Posted on 04/29/2009 4:08:46 PM PDT by franksolich
After having exhausted Edinburgh, I announced I was headed on to Belfast, Northern Ireland. I disremember exactly all that was going on at the time--there hadn't been any explosions or murders (there however were to be shortly after I left, dozens and scores murdered, but I was already in Wales by then), but the American embassy strongly advised Americans to not go there, and the British government was trying to discourage all non-residents of Northern Ireland from going there.
I have no idea how they knew, but they knew.
I was reminded of this, and it was suggested that there were still parts of Scotland I might find interesting. Being the glum, insolent, sullen, saturnine lad I was, I scoffed at the notion.
In fact, for a person such as myself, no place could possibly be safer than Northern Ireland, given that I had never recognized the existence of the Republic of Ireland. True, I was a Roman Catholic, but my sentiments were solidly Orange.
(Excerpt) Read more at conservativecave.com ...
“Ping” for the list.
Went to Belfast, Ireland in February and I loved it! I even visited during Holy Week and there was no turbulence at all! Folks around there want to forget the troubles. They don’t want that again.
That's because the IRA are nothing but a bunch of Communists.
Yes, interesting. My father has relatives in Northern Ireland in Derry, not Belfast which I visited back around 80 and 82 when things were pretty hot and heavy. Being of RC religion I had to be careful of where I was going esp. in Belfast. In the IRA neighborhoods at the time, you were OK if you were American because of the support that they received from those of Irish descent. Most who supported the IRA from the States did so out of ethnic solidarity, not because they were in favor of the political policy that the IRA or Sinn Fein espoused. I really don’t think that a lot of Americans relaized how left their politics really was because there was another paramilitary group called the INLA and their political wing called the IRSP who were even further to the left (actually Marxist rather than just socialist).
As far as the Unionists/Orange crowd went, back in the 1980s even as an American you were not really appreciated because they thought all Americans supported the IRA. Today, an American isn’t really appreciated in either neighborhood (just part of the Euro antipathy against us, having nothing to do with the situation in Northern Ireland) But I do have to correct you, even in the Unionist camp, among supporters of the UDA, UVF, Red Hand Commandos etc (all of these being Loyalist/Unionist/Orange paramilitary groups)what little political thought that was going on there—some of it was leftist.
You see, the Unionists supporting English rule (then under direct rule from London because Stormont, the local parliament, was abolished after the British Army arrived in 1969) and so, they really weren’t under any pressure to formulate any particular political agenda. There was some political thought going on among the UDA which was left of center but not outrageously Marxist.
Yep, that's exactly why, sir. I could never understand why those of Irish derivation in America never saw that. The Irish Republican Army is about as much "Irish" as it is Annamese or Paraguayan or Burmese.
Haven’t read it all yet, but it is a fascinating story. And written in your inimitable style. I hope you are compiling these for publication.
All you have to do is look at the murals on the Catholic side. (Google now has Street View for Belfast).
Many show solidarity with the Palestinians.
Hey Frank, thanks for the post,it was most interesting.I hope you will report on your next visit to Ireland.
is it weird to support both sides in a co0nflict??
Talk about conflicted,, plus it has nothing to do with Islam which in this day and age is remarkable.
Well, I wouldn't call it "supporting" both sides.
I have nothing but the greatest affection for the Irish culture and civilization (which, as might need pointed out, pre-dates other European culture and civilization, including that of the English), but on the other hand, am puzzled that so many Irish, and Americans of Irish derivation, sympathize with a terrorist group whose purpose is not Irish-ness, but socialist totalitarianism.
It was such a strange experience - but a wonderful one. I don't think we paid for a pint the entire time!
I wish nothing but the best for both of the countries and I don’t think trying to create an artificial Northern Ireland state is realistic. It is part of Ireland though.
I don’t sympathize with terror groups... although if I were around in the mid-1770’s I bet I would have sympathized with those colonial subjects in North America!
Another great story, Frank. I really enjoy reading these...
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