Belfast Diary

The Belfast Diary is a good representation of the struggles in the lives of the common people in Northern Ireland. The author vividly describes the day to day troubles that the people of Clonard, a large ghetto of west Belfast, have to live through.
Clonard is a very close neighborhood that only contains about 2000 people and only 15 streets. To understand how harsh the people of Clonard’s living conditions are, one must first look past the violence. The people of Clonard are deprived of certain household needs, which a person in the United States may have always had their entire life. All most all of the houses in Clonard are row homes. Theses row homes usually contain more people then rooms and only one toilet, which was located behind the house. The houses in Clonard also lack hot water and a proper place to bathe.
The population of Clonard is split down the middle; it is made up of Catholics and Protestants. No one group has total majority, but the Protestants are wealthier than the Catholics. Protestants own most of the work houses in Clonard and this has caused many strikes by Catholics because they were mistreated. It is not very fair that the Protestants receive better treatment because they share a common religion with England. The author explains in his book that it is fairly easy to tell who a Catholic is and who a Protestant is. One could even tell by something as simple as vocabulary. Protestants would call the city of Londonderry by its full name, unlike Catholics who would call it Derry. Many riots have taken place in the neighborhoods of west Belfast over things like simple religious or political views. It had gotten so bad that the army had to divide people into neighborhoods according to their religion. Catholics were also outraged when bills like Emergency Provision Act and Prevention of Terrorism Act were passed, which were made by the state to try to control the working class Catholics. Catholics felt that these acts violated normal...