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Crossing Divides: Keeping the peace in Northern Ireland. Why, 21 years after the Good Friday Agreement, does religion still divide the people of Northern Ireland?


<b>Crossing Divides: Keeping the peace in Northern Ireland. Why, 21 years after the Good Friday Agreement, does religion still divide the people of Northern Ireland?</b>The peace walls of West Belfast snake through the city, adorned with colourful street art and murals. Buses and taxis pull up to let cheerful tourists write their messages of hope and love on the bricks. But the walls are not symbols of peace. They are structures of fear. Their purpose is not to celebrate peace, it is to keep the peace.
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The conflict in Northern Ireland or the 'Troubles' was animated mostly by religious frictions. The communities were and are still divided by their religious confession. The bloody ‘Troubles’ dominated the country for over 30 years. 3700 people lost their life during this time. Increasing tensions among these communities --republicans/catholics and unionists/protestants-- led to severe violence in August 1969 and the deployment of British troops, in what became the British Army's longest ever operation. The conflict formally ended in 1998. 21 years later, religion still fuels the divide between the people of Northern Ireland. Why?

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Cathy Vikulchik 2019-11-11 at 05:54

In Ireland, 90% of primary schools are Catholic. This religious domination of public education is anomalous in a developed nation. It does not meet the needs of Ireland’s increasingly diverse population, or of the many citizens – religious or otherwise – who would rather that Catholicism was not afforded a privileged place in public life. In 2012, a government report recognised the need for change and recommended that some schools divest their religious patronage.

Ireland's attempts to secularise its schools have turned to farce


Catholic schools in Dublin are circulating misinformation about what divestment will mean, says Irish academic Emer O’Toole
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Cathy Vikulchik 2019-11-11 at 05:48

Never far beneath the surface of day to day life, the undercurrent of Northern Ireland’s troubled past remains strong and has, once again, manifested itself in the issue of housing allocation. Catholic families living in a shared neighbourhood in Belfast, designed to create mixed communities, have recently been told that due to threats of violence, they are no longer welcome and must leave the area.

Belfast's housing policy still reflects deep division


Housing policy in Northern Ireland is politically fraught and deprivation is widespread. Shared neighbourhood schemes are laudable, but not enough
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Cathy Vikulchik 2019-11-11 at 05:39

A deeply divided society with segregated schools.

Divided Society, Divided Schools, Divided Lives: The Role of Education in Creating Social Cohesion in Northern Ireland - JournalQuest


The Troubles, a period of conflict between mostly Protestant Unionists and mostly Catholic Nationalists in Northern Ireland, ended in 1998 with the signing of the Good Friday or Belfast Agreement. The division of society, however, continues in its segregated education system.
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