The Troubled Murals of Titanic Town

Belfast, the town where the ill-fated ocean liner Titanic was built, is the capital of Northern Ireland and the fourteenth largest city in the United Kingdom. For the longest time its reputation has been tied with The Troubles, a period of tense ethnic conflict over the constitutional status of Northern Ireland after the island was partitioned in 1920, and violent conflicts between the Protestant unionist and Catholic unionist communities. Though the Troubles, which began in the 1960s, officially ended with the signing of the Belfast “Good Friday” Agreement of 1998, tensions have not completely eased. The angst and nationalist sentiment of Belfast residents find expression on the city’s walls, which are painted richly with murals. LAKSHMI SHARATH guides you on a pictorial tour.

Belfast Murals

Belfast’s trials and tribulations find expression in walls. A Peace Wall more than 20 feet high separates the Nationalists and the Unionists today.

Belfast Murals

Most tourists flock to the International Wall in Belfast to see the colourful murals painted on them.

Belfast Murals

We stopped by at The Falls Road and Shankill Road, separated by the Peace Wall to see some of the murals depicting martyrs of the Troubles.

Belfast Murals Bobby Sands

The image of Bobby Sands, a hunger striker who died fighting for Irish Republic rights reminds tourists and locals of the blood bath that ravaged the country.

Belfast Murals

Political issues from Belfast’s own Troubles to conflicts raging in the world – Palestine, Iraq, US and other countries – to topics such as racism are expressed through these murals.

Belfast Murals

Belfast Murals

One of the murals depicts The Coat of Arms that represents the town status given to Belfast by King James 1 in 1613. It is probably one of the few murals that has no reference to the troubled history of the town.

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