Ever since 1169, when the English decided they’d quite like another holiday island and a Norman invasion resulted in a partial conquest, this green piece of land on their doorstep has been viewed as nothing but trouble.
Ireland is 140 times smaller than the USA, yet Kings and armies, paramilitaries and politicians have fought over the right to something only 170 miles wide at its fattest point and 301 miles long for 800 years now. Meanwhile, the majority of the population tried to get on with their lives as best they could.
The fight never ended when most of Ireland was given back to the Irish in 1921, as you might have heard. Even the 1998 Good Friday Agreement didn’t sort out as much as people imagine. Brexit, meanwhile, looks set to kick it all off again.
To some, it’s known as Northern Ireland. To others, it’s the North, the Six Counties, that place with all the trouble and, to many more, ‘where’?
To those of us who call it home, it is a stunning place full of natural beauty that would rival the best in the world populated by a people known by any who meet us for our friendly nature, kindness, and generosity, despite what they have all been dragged through in this game of tug-of-war.
We have our problems, away from the Troubles, but fewer than many others.
Lost in amongst the big stories of bombs and bullets are thousands of intriguing, fascinating, compelling and heartbreaking tales, completely forgotten. Often, they were barely even covered when they happened.
Those are some of what we hope to bring to light here as we try to learn about what really happened in the country we call home.
Northern Ireland’s real history is not taught in schools but each side thinks they know it all.
No matter what side you come from, you’ve a 100% chance of being misled and lied to.
Perhaps it’s time for someone in the middle, who feels neither Irish nor British, but distinctly Northern Irish, to have a go…