The dispute’s key issue was “...the constitutional status of Northern Ireland”; the Unionists (or Loyalists) - who were Protestant - wanted Northern Ireland to remain within the United Kingdom; the Irish Nationalists ( or Republicans) - who were Catholic - wanted Northern Ireland to leave the U.K. and join a United Ireland. As the violence escalated, “Peace Walls” were built to keep the two causes apart.
Beginning in 1994, four years of secret talks between leaders of both sides took place behind closed doors at the Clonard Monastery in Belfast. By Good Friday, April 10, 1998, the Belfast Agreement was signed, creating an uneasy end to the overt violence.
However, even to this day, hostile feelings between the two groups lie just under the surface. While we did not personally witness any overt violence, we did hear from a number of sources that, upon occasion, groups of youths from both sides would throw stones at each other. As amateur history buffs, we wanted to explore as much of the area relating to “ The Troubles” as we could. We present some of what we experienced in the following photos: