Politics, not Religion
In our preparatory seminar for the excursion we had already received much information concerning the conflict and the troubles in Northern Ireland. But when we actually went there, the impressions we got were somewhat different. In the course we had learned the theory, but now we should really experience what this meant in practice.
In the cities we saw all these walls, fences and barbed wires for the “protection” of the people; we marvelled at the many memorials and pictures, and we walked on the pavements painted in the colours of the British or the Irish flag.
When we talked to the inhabitants, it turned out the conflict is still very present in their minds. Some people took a clear stand to either the nationalist or the unionist attitude*, while others expressed that they just wanted to live in peace and held the opinion that the whole conflict is senseless.
By the way –I think so, too. But it does not seem as if this conflict could be solved in the near future. That is a real pity, because actually Northern Ireland is a really beautiful country!
* Note: It especially enrages me that religion is abused in this conflict. When talking about “the Catholics” and “the Protestants”, people actually mean the Nationalists and the Unionists who are at war with one another. This has absolutely nothing to do with the Christian belief.