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I will try to simplify this for you. England invaded Ireland some hundreds of years ago. Eventually the Irish people got sick of the British people extorting Irish farmers and land owners. Ireland fought back (forming the Irish Army). Ireland won and lost. There are 32 counties in the island of Ireland, however in 1916 a treaty was signed declaring Ireland free of British rule, except the 6 counties in the north of Ireland (now known as Northern Ireland), so they still remain under British rule and govern us, yet we are not part of Britain, although we are part of the United Kingdom. (I live in NI)
The Irish Republican Army were freedom fighters formed in 1969 to fight British soldiers who were deployed here. Men and women driven to fight the occupying British soldiers on their land. They were infiltrated eventually and defeated by the British army and MI5, and broke up. We have many other broken up paramilitaries now, thanks to the infiltration of the British army, divide and conquer…oldest trick in the book. They divided the Irish people and now we have people who identify as Irish and people who identify as British (although some say they are Northern Irish, which is not a nationality). As a citizen of NI I can have a British passport or an Irish one. Personally, I know which one I feel safer travelling with abroad.
It is not surprising when people think of the IRA as terrorists because the real terrorists are a much larger country vast in wealth and power, and control a large portion of what you will see and hear. It’s up to you as an individual to uncover the truth and dismember the lies.
The flag that people got upset about in Belfast was the British flag. It had flown on our city hall for some years I imagine. Nobody even noticed it was there until it was removed, seriously, our city is literally covered in so many different flags it’s painfully hilarious.
The division between Catholics/nationalists and Protestants/unionists here (thanks to the English) has seen some flags being put up. Protestants fly the Scotch flag on their streets. They also fly the England flag on their streets, too. Most commonly they fly the British flag though. In retaliation to the Catholics flying the flag of Palestine, protestants also have adopted the Israeli flag. The only flags Catholics fly are the Tri-Colour (Ireland flag) and the Palestinian flag, but to put this into perspective 70% of all flags flown in Belfast (capital city of NI) are unionist flags. Tri-Colours and Palestine flags are not nearly as common as the others.
I would like to say it’s only a small percentage of the people who really have an issue with the segregation and have sectarian views, but honestly, it’s deeprooted in most of the people here. Just at varying degrees. It sickens me, but it’s the same everywhere, one thing or another.