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NORTHERN IRELAND

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    A hooded paramilitary gunman stands in front of a painted wall in Belfast that reads: You Are Now In Loyalist Tiger Bay.
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    A young Catholic boy looks through the range-finder of a British soldier's gun in Belfast.
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    Soldiers of the Ulster Defense Regiment march to commemorate Armistice Day and the one-year anniversary of an IRA bombing which left eleven Protestants killed and scores wounded in Enniskillen.
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    Loyalists march to commemorate Armistice Day and the one-year anniversary of an IRA bombing of which left eleven Protestants killed and scores wounded in Enniskillen.
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    Rev. Ian Paisley delivers a fiery sermon in Portglenone.
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    A young girl undergoes a baptism at the Metropolitan Pentecostal Church in Belfast. This is one of the largest congregations in the province because it avoids sectarianism and tribalism.
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    A young Protestant boy poses for a picture at a football game in Linfield Stadium in East Belfast.
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    Tattoos mark the arms of teens in the Belfast working class Protestant neighborhood of Tiger's Bay.
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    Brian Crothers, a teenager from Belfast's working class Protestant neighborhood of Tiger's Bay, sleeps with his night-time protection safely within reach. He lives within two hundred yards of a Catholic estate that staunchly backs the IRA.
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    Brian Crothers fights with his girlfriend Sharon. Violence is a part of their everyday reality.
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    Children play around an impromptu bonfire in The Fountain, a Loyalist housing estate in Londonderry.
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    Brian Crothers and his girlfriend Sharon celebrate the 11th Night Bonfire under the ever-present symbol of the paramilitary in Belfast. The 11th Night celebration is part of the commemoration of the Battle of the Boyne, an important event to loyalists.
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    The twin towers of the Harland and Wolff Shipyard, known locally as Samson and Goliath, tower over the horizon in East Belfast.
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    Kids in the working class Protestant neighborhood of Tiger's Bay, jump between the row house rooftops in Belfast.
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    A factory employee works at the Hughes Tool Company in Belfast.
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    Bar patrons enjoy a drink and a smoke at the Felon's Club, an IRA owned bar for members and ex-prisoners in North Belfast.
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    At the Strandtown Social Club in East Belfast, a mostly Protestant crowd dances the night away to the sounds of a marching band.
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    A marching band winds its way through the streets in martial style in North Belfast. These bands are sometimes called Kick the Pope bands.
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    A loyalist plays the Lambeg Drum, an indigenous instrument of the Protestants in Belfast.
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    Protestant policemen carry the casket of a slain officer in Bangor. The officer and his mate were gunned down by the IRA in the city center of Belfast while on street patrol.
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    At the annual Apprentice Boys March in Londonderry, a soldier stands guard.
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    Members of the Ulster Volunteer Forces stand ready to fire in Belfast.
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    A man enters an Orange Lodge, which has been vandalized by the IRA, in Darkly, near the border with the Republic of Ireland.
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    A woman rides in a Catholic only black taxi in West Belfast.
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    Police patrol a football match at Linfield Stadium in Belfast. Supporters of opposing teams, even if both are Protestant, must be kept apart by gates, fences and the police.
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    British soldiers clear debris from an IRA bomb blast site in West Belfast.
Northern Ireland

Mired in years of armed conflict and struggle, Northern Ireland in the 1980s was a fiercely divided and deeply fractured state. The Unionist or Loyalist Protestants wanted Northern Ireland to remain part of the United Kingdom as carved out by Great Britain in 1921, while the Nationalist Catholics wanted to be reunited with the rest of Ireland. Violence permeated the everyday lives of people in these communities, particularly in the capital city of Belfast where members of the two groups lived in close proximity. The story of the Protestant Loyalists, although mentioned and studied, often lacked a thorough, detailed and humanizing approach. This essay is a record of daily life in the urban and rural Loyalist regions of Northern Ireland–their ways, beliefs, hopes and struggles.

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