The Northern Ireland Conflict
Every country in the world is searching to the peace and want to live a safely life, regard less their religion or their path if it’s Christianity, Islam or any other religion. It’s an original desire in every one, to seek about peace. The country could face allots of conflicts and clashes between it self or with other country because of the geographical boundaries, economics issues, ethnic schism or because of breaking the agreements. But also these conflicts can be at the same country which is causes by ethnics groups or civil wars, for example: Lebanon, Iraq and Northern Ireland. These countries faced civil and ethnic wars, which that affect on people life. It’s killed thousands of people in a short period, mutilated people appearance and genes destroy the country properties and wealth. Also it has a dangerous psychological effect on the children (victims) and the next generations, especially if the war was at the same country between the citizens. The most remarkable war, that happened in Europe since many years and makes noticeable changes in Christianity. It is the Catholics and the Protestants fight in the Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland governmental division of the United King of Great Britain and Northern Ireland located in the northeastern part of the island of Ireland (Encarta). And the remaining part of the island is a part of the republic of Ireland. The capital of Northern Ireland is Belfast .Northern Ireland population is approximately 55% Protestants which they are the majority and 45% Catholics. This country is divided depending on the religious and political lines. The split between the Protestants majority and the Roman Catholic minority made a deep conflict that influence the region’s politics and economy. By the 17th century, Protestants British colonizer had dominated the region’s Catholic, Gaelic residents. The entire of Ireland was part of the United Kingdom until 1920(Encarta). Then the civil ethnic war was breaking out between Loyalist (unionist) Protestants and Nationalist Catholics. The Catholics wanted Northern Ireland to be reunited to republic of Ireland to the south and the Protestants wanted to remain in a part of the United Kingdom. Since the violence over 30 years ago, more than 3,600 people have been killed in the conflict (Film). The island was divided into tow regions, Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland; both were under United Kingdom controls. The British army was sending to equal the corruption, but the violence continued especially the “bloody Sunday” event, when the British groups opened the fire on a group of Catholic demonstrators and killed 14 people. The term used in Ireland and the United Kingdom to describe this conflict was the (Troubles). This term was to describe the violence of 1919-1923 (Encarta). But after the Friday agreements the conflict stopped on 1 march 1999. The agreement was to confirm the awareness of the human rights in the Northern Ireland (BBC). This fight had many causes: the absence of organized government, every group wanted to control the country and the most essential cause is the ethnic schism. The region contained tow groups of people who are differed in political loyalty, religious practice and cultural morals (Cain). One of them believed that their land had been stolen, while the other was in a stable state of anxiety. Northern Ireland is still suffering from this conflict and its make the two groups in a suspicious between each other.
The most essential outcome from this awful event, by bombing houses and killed innocent people, that make the children passed out the hates from on generation to another and make them suspect even in their friends and their neighbors, in addition, its makes them live unsafely life they can not trust any one near them and teach them how to make anomies from the other side. But who were suffered great lost from this conflict, are still trying to breaking the cycle of violence in Northern Ireland and they are baying the price of what their parents have done. Both sides Protestants and Catholics children had suffered from this conflict. Its makes deep changes in the children way of thinking and how they deal with other children from the other sect. and there are still many issues without solving, many children are remained angry and hurts. Like Grace, Colin and Mark those children are both Catholics and Protestants they lost one of their family members. Every one has his own story, every one of them lost one of their beloveds although they are from different sects but their suffering from the “Trouble” is one. (Grace) lost her father; he was killed in the conflict she lost him when she was two years and she still suffering from this conflict (un.org). Colin is an another case he is a Protestant boy he is 15 years old, Colin lives with his brothers and his father in the most litigious area in Belfast. In the top of Shankill road (Protestant side) the “peace wall” is divided the neighborhood out of the Catholic area. One a day Colin was walking back home from his school. He use to take the Protestant road but one time when he get lost out of the Protestant side a group of Catholic kids hit him harshly. This event keep Colin hates the Catholic children more and more. At the same period of Shankill notorious bombing when Colin was five years old, ten people were killed plus the bomber and 57 were injured. The unionist Irish Republican army claimed the reasonability of this bombing and it said that the target was not to kill the civilians but it was meant to exploit during the rival unionist group Ulster freedom fighters meeting.
After what happened, the loyalists Protestant take the revenge by killing tow Catholic residents. And by the end of the week the killed 12more Catholics by other ways!!
Colin and his family were affected by the Shankill bombing. Alife, Colin’s father was in the bombing area the fish shop when it’s exploded. Colin and his mother knew that Alfie could be one of the injured or killed people. Colin’s mother searched about Alfie but Alife were wondered that’s why one of the men was wearing surgical gloves. The victim was taken to the hospital and he was totally covered. Then, the family knew that the man with the gloves was a Catholic man and he was the bomber. After this occurrence the McCrery family started to live in a great hectic and fear they become prisoners and strangers in their own home. At night, they looked all the windows and doors perfectly even if one of the family children waked up at night to drink water or to go to the bathroom they must wake their father first. The Troubles affected on McCrery in a negative way (un.org). Mark is a Catholic boy; he lost his father when he was just six years old. His father was shot and killed by Protestant gunman. Although that (Mark) became sixteen years old he remains deeply affected because of this conflict he still struggles and with his anger and hates. Mark does not share his sadness with any one he prefers to keep his bad memories for him self. The death of Mark’s was broadcasting in the televisions and newspapers but he does not need all these things to remember this awful tragedy. Mark’s anger started to become bigger and bigger with time even it’s stared to pulling him down into despair and hopelessness.
The children who suffered from this conflict are trying to seek about solutions and keys to help them to overcome what they faced. They are deeply hurts every one have his bad memories that could affect his life or his personality and the hates the got can affect the whole generation and the whole country if the people did not try to establish and plan solutions. But the country and the responsible sides were aware of the solutions to help the Protestant and the Catholic children to deal with subsequences of this tragedy together.
The responsible authorities associate the Wave Center and they supply it by equipments and psychologists to help the children to overcome what they have faced. The Wave social Center helps the children who are too self-conscious or embarrassed to talk with others. Every one inter this Center have missed someone in that conflict and they wished that this Center can help them to control their anger and emotions. Many Catholic and Protestant children participate in this Center and the main goal of this Center is to gather both the Catholic and Protestant children at the same place to make them deal with each other and make the both side talk about what happened to him and how is the “Trouble” affect on him and on his life also the other goal is to make the children able to feel in others and to obliterate the hate on them. Even who manage this Center lost his wife because of the bombing in 1993 since that time he decided to dedicate him self to these children. The Center arranges many activities to make the children express their feelings and talk about what is inside them and begin the process of recovering. By encouraging the children to draw sketches about soothing they love and talk about it and express what they feel from this picture or encourage them to record a home videos to talk about them selves and the one they have missed. Like Grace who recorded a video her bout her father. The video also contains a Box that includes her father things and pictures and she had talk about her memories with her father also she add that this Box is the only memory which is still from her father. The one she has missed in that conflict the “Troubles”. This video helps Grace to overcome this adversity, with a bravely soul. In addition, some projects in the Center encourage the boys and girls to remember the happy times and memories before the tragedy and how it affects on them (Film). And all these activities are surely will be published in a book to make the children that they have done something valuable. Plus that traditionally Protestants and Catholics used to go to separate schools. But to destroy the racism the country have just recently opened a n integrated schools for the children and now they spend more time with each other to talk and discuss and exchange their Point views. Although only 4 percent go to these integrated schools, the mixing schools brought remarkable benefits because the Protestant and the Catholic can argue with each other about what happened which is excellent to know the both side opinions and feel other side emotions by what they pass through this conflict and make friends from the other sect to under stand their views plus corporate with each other to overcome the affection of what happened (Un).
These new generation of Northern Ireland can change what their families have done and can raise their children on love and forget the hate. They can live in a happy life with each other although their different sect and they can fix what happened by forget it and do not think about it again. Also take it as a lesson to make them knew that they are one nation, one country and one union. And if what happened repeated again that will lose them a lot. Finally, I wonder why are the nations can not live in a peace? And until when we will live in this situation??
By John Darby, (2003), Northern Ireland: the background to the peace process
(UN) film about Northern Ireland fightOrder Now