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Tom Waes between two fires in Northern Ireland

During his youth, it was Northern Ireland for Tom synonymous with bombings and violence. In the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s there was a country in the brutal civil war fought between Iersgezinde catholics and Britsgezinde protestants. But in the meantime, there is already 20 years of peace. Northern Ireland with its beautiful countryside, cosy pubs and trendy capital city a perfect holiday destination.

Except for one day a year, when the legendary Oranjemarsen their peak ranges. On July 12, attract protestant marching bands through the streets of Belfast to the victory of the protestant king William III (of Orange) on the catholic king James II in 1690 to commemorate. Just in that period attracts Tom to Northern Ireland. He wants to know how it goes with the land, 20 years after the peace agreement.

Once we arrived in Belfast discovered Tom that in certain parts of the city are still not going well between protestants and catholics, and that protestants nothing without prejudice to their character to underline.

At the entrance of Belfast, I saw more Union Jacks in the streets. It is clear that the protestant community each year toeleeft to ‘their’ party.

Fifteen-foot high walls, ‘vredesmuren’ they are called, separating the two communities from each other. And no one wants them away. Because the hatred and fear is still deeply rooted. Yet, all too often, there will be bombs thrown. And that happens again this year.

The vredesmuren seemed to me to primarily prove that there is still no peace. There can only be the case if there is no wall more need to stand.

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