As a result of the Anglo-Irish War of 1919-21, six of the nine counties of the province of Ulster became known as Northern Ireland, remaining part of the United Kingdom, but with their own government. At the start of the civil rights movement in 1968, many catholics could not vote in the local elections. Only those who paid rates could vote and as many catholics were unemployed they wanted some sort of equality and fairness when it came to employment and housing. This demand for equality led to the existence of the IRA and Sinn Fein. So whereas the troubles began with a peaceful objective and protest it became a war zone between Catholics and Protestants; between Loyalists and Republicans. During the 30 years of the Troubles, over 3600 were killed with many more thousands injured. 300,000 British soldiers served there with more than 500 killed. It is twenty years since the Peace process resulted in the Good Friday Agreement in 1998. By and large there is peace in N.I. now but there are still isolated incidents of violence with some people not willing to move forward and embrace peace.
The gates between adjoining Loyalist and Republican areas are closed from 6.30 pm and not opened until 6.30 am. You have to go a long way round to enter once these gates are locked.
6 metre high peace walls are still there as neither side wants them removed. The walls are so high so that missiles can't be thrown over them.
Since the 1970s, 2000 murals have been documented. Here are just a few.
The International wall of murals.
More recent murals now focus on other events. George Best, the footballer, for instance and the Titanic.