Today, the news has been filled with a historic decision from a local political party, here on the island of Ireland. Let me tell you, briefly, what it means.
A few decades ago, the streets of Northern Ireland were riddled with British Army troops, our national police service, alone with many others – including the Republic of Ireland’s police service.
The troubles mainly came about because of the religious difference between people. But not just any religious stance, back then, religion wasn’t just about God, or what you thought was going to happen after you died, but religion meant, and still means (although it is getting a little better) the following for everyone living in Northern Ireland, and Ireland:
- What name your parent(s) would give you
- Harold, a popular Protestant name. OR Gerard, a popular Catholic name.
- What school you went to
- School’s here are not based on academic performance, they are also determined by who is on the Board of Governors
- What sport you supported as a child, and adult
- Celtic Football Club for Catholic’s. OR Ranger’s Football Club for protestant’s
- Where you grew up
- There are literally areas of Northern Ireland which determine where people can live due to their religious belief.
Although Northern Ireland (NI) has a lot of history, it is getting better. For example, there are now ‘mixed’ areas whereby protestant and catholic’s do live next door to one another. Not between a dividing wall separating two different neighbourhood’s.
Them and us
Even writing this blog post, I have had to keep attention to detail. If I said Catholic first, I followed it by Protestant (such as the third point above). In the next example (of the third first above), I used Protestant first, then followed by Catholic. Many people here don’t think about this balance, leading more and more people here to become more divided.
Parents, unfortunately played, and still play a large role in this divide. What if people were able to go to any school because it has a bigger department they’re interested in? What if, people could choose a football team because of the football abilities, rather than what religion the team are?
Future’s for dreaming
Today has been a positive reinforcement that peace is truly under way, here in Northern Ireland. The biggest Catholic party (Sinn Fein) have decided to meet and shake hands with the Queen. To outsiders, this doesn’t seem like a big deal. But it really does prove that the peace process is actually peaceful. Peace today is about wanting a better future, for all, regardless of who some named after, or what religion one believes.
Today’s history also means that children who were born today, will grow up in a more peaceful, non bigotry manner. The political parties are starting to think like humans, local humans, by doing things the vast majority of people want them to do
I’ll probably revisit this later, but all I wanted to get across is, people can change, places do change, and change is often a very positive thing