Who Hijacked Our Country

Monday, March 05, 2007

What Ever Happened to Northern Ireland?

Remember “the Troubles” — all the firebombings, killings and maimings that were making international headlines for so long? Well, there's a reason Northern Ireland is out of the news. “The Troubles” are (mostly) over.

Their economy is booming (4.5% unemployment rate) and Belfast is a major tourist destination. We all know that Vietnam is now a major commercial center and tourist attraction, but I didn’t know this about Northern Ireland until I read a travel article in the Sunday paper.

If this can happen in Northern Ireland, maybe there's hope for other war-torn countries. Northern Ireland was devastated from the late 1960s through the mid-‘90s by civil warfare. A friend of mine from Ireland told me a long time ago he thought Ireland was “the most fucked up country in the world.” Hopefully some other “trouble” spots will make this same transition.

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Blogger Kvatch said...

That's very good to hear. The Republic of Ireland has been enjoying its own renaissance of sorts.

Though I'm a proponent of unification, I'm enough of a realist to recognize that it probably won't happen in my lifetime. Economic opportunity in both Ireland and Northern Ireland is a good substitute.

March 5, 2007 at 11:44 AM  
Anonymous Kurt said...

Thanks, Tom. I forgot all about Northern Ireland, which I guess is a good thing.
Maybe there's hope after all.

March 5, 2007 at 1:27 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Kvatch: The economic vitality is good news, whether the 2 countries ever get unified or not.

Kurt: I guess no news is good news, in this case. If they're off the front pages that has to be a good sign.

March 5, 2007 at 2:35 PM  
Blogger Mile High Pixie said...

Kvatch, I think it's safe to say that sometimes nothing unites like commerce. Look how it's opened China's borders. Nice to hear. But I'll be amazed to see anything like this happen in Iraq in my lifetime. Nevertheless, it never hurts to hope.

March 5, 2007 at 7:42 PM  
Blogger Praguetwin said...

Ireland is definately booming: the envy of the rest of the new EU entries. I spent quite a bit of time there a few years back while my wife was working there.

Intersting thing though, when I rented a car, I had to sign all kinds of thing promising I wouldn't take it to N. Ireland.

I know it has calmed down a lot, but I think it is still a bit "dodgey" as they would say.

March 6, 2007 at 12:30 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Mile High Pixie: I think the increased commerce will be very beneficial to everybody, no matter what else happens.

Prague Twin: I imagine things will be "dodgey" there for awhile. It probably takes awhile for the mindset to recover from decades of civil war. I've never been to Ireland but I've known a lot of people from there; I almost feel like I've been there.

March 6, 2007 at 1:15 AM  

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