Peace in Northern Ireland is still young, and today, it may be in danger. We explain what makes Ireland different, why peace is hard, and how democracy helps.
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From 1969 to 1998, Northern Ireland was engulfed in a civil conflict known as The Troubles. The country—only a small section of the island of Ireland—was divided between two factions fighting over the Irish border: Protestant British Unionists and Catholic Irish Nationalists, represented by various militias and the Provisional IRA, respectively. Car bombs and military checkpoints were commonplace, while “peace lines” segregated neighborhoods by religion. In 1998, the Good Friday Agreement brought the conflict to an end, legitimated by democratic referendums in the independent Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, but today that agreement is in trouble. A political row over Brexit’s Northern Ireland Protocol has erupted, pitting unionists and nationalists against each other once more over questions of the Irish border.
01:24 ONE STRANGE COLONY
03:54 DIFFERENCE AND DIVISION
05:49 A TASTE OF UNITY
08:04 WEAPONIZING PEACE
09:53 THE CHALLENGE
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