The Northern Ireland Conflict : Troubles to Peace Depicted in Political and Religious Murals

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Marshall, Lauren
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In section one, I discuss the importance of murals during The Troubles. The Troubles were a thirty year, violent conflict between Nationalists/Republicans (Catholics), the Loyalists/Unionists (Protestants) and the British Army. The Nationalists fought for NI to leave GB and reunite with the Republic of Ireland by any means necessary. The Unionists fought to keep NI as part of GB and, along with the British army, fought to do the same under the guise of maintaining peace. Murals were used mostly by Catholic communities as propaganda and a way to spread nationalist messages because they were denied access to other forms of communication like the British Broadcast Company (BBC), radio, and television. The Protestant community’s murals were controlled completely by the Protestant paramilitaries and were used to encourage members of the communities to support them. In section two, I shift to the use of murals to encourage peace in the Catholic communities as the murals’ messages expand to include an international tone. Regardless of the side, the message remained consistent with an emphasis on Catholics gaining their freedom portrayed by peaceful means. This was a stark contrast to the previous movements hat promoted violence and military recruitment. The Protestant murals on the other hand maintained their violent tone throughout because the paramilitaries needed to justify their existence. Their main goal was to protect the union at all costs. Continued advocacy for maintaining the union exist even in Protestant communities today. In the third section, I discuss governmental interference with the “re-imaging” project and how murals are an important part of the cultural landscape. I also overview how the current community's feelings toward the peace process are still depicted on the walls. Over the past 50 years, the tension between the communities, paramilitaries, and the government is clearly illustrated via the murals in Northern Ireland. These murals influenced the communities and clearly communicated the agenda of each faction.
53 p.
Kalamazoo, Mich. : Kalamazoo College
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