Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Falls Road

West Belfast street dead-ending at the "peace line."

A section of the peace line winding off toward the hills.

Falls Road mural commemorating hunger striker Bobby Sands.

The Republican Plot in Milltown Cemetary.

Today was a busy day. We left Stranmillis to walk across the city to Falls Road, West Belfast's traditionally nationalist neighborhood. We toured the neighborhood led by two locals, one of whom had been actively involved with the IRA and had spent several years in a British prison. The story of the conflict became very real for us as we walked through areas that had once been the site of battles between paramilitary groups and British security forces. We viewed the murals of Falls Road, observed the formidible "peace line" separating the neighborhood from Shankill Road, and visited the sites of many significant events of the Troubles.

After the tour and lunch in an Irish cultural center, we walked to the offices of a Belfast nonprofit organization called Healing through Remembering. HTR seeks to bring together a cross-section of community members in an attempt to address the legacy of the conflict in and about Northern Ireland. The meeting was very relvant to the substantive content of our course, and provided an opportunity to see how others have engaged with the psychological theories of peace and conflict in the Northern Ireland context.
Having walked nearly six miles, we felt justified rewarding ourselves with dinner at Cutter's Wharf, a pub near Stranmillis. This was a working dinner, however, as we engaged in roundtable discussions regarding the day's events and their relationship with both the conflict and with the relevant psychological theories. Not surpisingly, everyone seemed to head off to bed early as we will have another full day tomorrow visiting Shankill Road.

No comments:

Post a Comment