S+L logo

Catholic Focus: Northern Ireland -- The Process of Peace

October 13, 2010
Religious sectarianism among communities is prevalent in countries like Israel, Afghanistan and Iraq. Today, a socio-economic divide between two religious groups is something we would rarely, if ever, see in western society. Canadians, for example, enjoy a religious freedom unimaginable in a country like Iraq. So what happens when this kind of divide does happen in western society? The answer can be found in the complex history of Northern Ireland. The Northern Ireland Conflict began in the late 1960s, but its roots go as far back as the 1600s when British and Protestant settlers arrived in Ireland, overthrowing the Catholic population and seizing control of government.
'The IRA in Andersonstown'August 1980The Conflict is referred to as The Troubles. The Troubles pitted Catholics and Protestants against one another in a conflict that had very little to do with religion and everything to do with politics. Many people on both sides of the religious and political divide lost their lives in the over 30 years that it lasted. The story first attracted me years ago when I heard the U2 song "Sunday Bloody Sunday" about the shooting of 14 innocent Catholics in 1972. My time in Belfast this year gave me greater insight into what took place and how the country was finally able to find peace.
In tonight's episode of Catholic Focus, I speak to Professor John McGarry of Queen’s University. He is one of Canada’s experts on the Northern Ireland conflict. I also interview Professor Mark McGowan, the Principal of St. Michael’s College at the University of Toronto and we meet Sandra and Benedict, two Irish expats, now living in Canada. They share their real life experiences of growing up during one of the most violent periods in modern history.  I invite you to tune in to better understand the conflict and its integral role in modern history.
Catholic Focus: Northern Ireland --  The Process of Peace airs Wednesday October 13th at 7:00pm ET, with an encore presentation Saturday, October 16th at the same times.
Photo:  Brendan Murphy © 2003, from photo book Eye Witness.  Used with permission.

Related posts

St. Thomas More and the responsibility <br>of Christian citizenship
Read Sebastian Gomes' article on St. Thomas More, who lived in turbulent times and is a model for the Christian citizen of today. ...read more
“To set the world at naught”: <br>Thomas More, John Fisher, and the role of conscience
Read about St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher: two heroic saints who defied a tyrannical king and gave their lives rather than act against their conscience. ...read more
Read Fr. Thomas Rosica's reflection on the Broadway sensation WICKED, and it's themes of evil, redemption, friendship, and power of forgiveness. ...read more
SLHour: The Real Uncle Tom
The name Josiah Henson probably doesn’t mean much to you. This week, author and film maker Jared Brock tells us about the former slave whose life story inspired Uncle Tom’s Cabin and possibly igni ...read more
Welcome to S+L’s Weekly News Round-Up. As part of my job, I come across many interesting Catholic news and stories on a daily basis. Some of them I'll cover on Perspectives Daily and the others I’ ...read more