Year: 2003
Module:Community Relations
Variable:RLRELAGO - comments

The next few questions are about your views on the future of Community Relations between Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland.
What about relations between Protestants and Catholics? Would you say they are better than they were 5 years ago, worse, or about the same now as then?

NB: Square brackets indicate where the text was edited.

Community relations have improved over the past 5 yrs in my opinion, however I feel this is mainly due to the ordinary person on the street and has little to do with the politicians. Currently meetings between the politicians are virtually non-existent. I also believe that the Unionist Politicians are more reluctant for progress. An example of this is the issue of the Belfast Lord Mayor. So I think community relations are improving only because of the people themselves.

I personally feel that community relations in Northern Ireland have improved slightly but not very well. In order for this worldwide-known problem to be eliminated, something drastic must be done. Local MPs and the Prime Minister need to put their feet down to help the majority of people who would like to say goodbye to this problem [and] have their dream fulfilled! I firmly believe that many people within Northern Ireland want to erase this problem from our country but simply are not sure how.

To be blunt it is rubbish, it's not just religion that people don't understand, there is also sexuality, other cultures and everything that other countries have moved on with in the last 50 years. Living in this country is like living in 1952, utterly ridiculous. It all happens because people don't understand. No one teaches that being homosexual is okay and not a choice. No one teaches that there are different religions in the world, that people of the other religion live in this country and that everyone's entitled to their own beliefs. No one teaches that you have to grow up and be mature about things if you want to survive in a world outside Northern Ireland. No one teaches the fact that people express themselves in different ways. When Religious education is taught at school they don't teach anything other than Christianity. Community relations are quite pathetic.

Community relations in N Ireland are not very good on the whole because politics always takes precedence. People tend to live in their own ghettos and their mind-sets are similar. In residential areas where communities can be mixed, these problems don't arise. The attitudes from these areas are: "as long as it is not in my backyard I don't care". I think it is better now than it ever was. There are more integrated schools that parents are sending their children to. I think that more young people nowadays are not finding religion a problem. People of mixed religions are working more and more as a community, I don't think it is a big issue.

I feel community relations in Northern Ireland are bridging closer and closer together. In my community I am becoming more and more aware of the unity between both Catholics and Protestants, and along with most people, I am finding it easier not to feel the need to differentiate or feel differentiated due to religion or nationality. However, I am constantly aware of little gaps in the community, e.g., young Catholic and Protestant people socializing in different nightclubs. So even though cinemas, restaurants and workplaces are united this shows that we often find comfort in our own religious groups. I personally only came to be friends with people from the opposite religion in recent years and I have to admit, that I was quite foreign to people from the other religion at first. I think it is extremely important to integrate people from different denominations from a very young age to make it feel normal, so that there is no effort or unwillingness in being that way.

I feel that community relations in Northern Ireland have not improved greatly over the years as new generations are not allowed to have different views from their family. Although in my family we are able to speak freely of our own points of view and opinions, I am aware that not all young people in Northern Ireland are able to do this. It is still not acceptable to be seen socializing with other religions within cities, towns and villages, which I find DISGUSTING!!!

I think that community relations are improving all the time, and the bitterness between communities stems from our ancestors, so we must not allow their views on community relations to be carried onto our children of the future.

On the whole I think relations between the two communities in N. Ireland are good. In rural places, small towns etc. people live and work together successfully but perhaps there will always be certain divides. The main problems are in places like Belfast where people continue to hold sectarian opinions.

Although relations are getting better, I believe this will have to improve further, as I still feel threatened today by people simply because I am Catholic. I can't seem to enjoy 'summer nights out' because roads are blocked by Protestant bands parading through my local town. I am in a Catholic band and we are allowed to parade once a year and only for a short period of time! I can't understand why this is happening still in the year 2003! Equal rights are needed, and fast!!

Community relations are bad and do not seem to be getting any better, politicians are preventing an improvement and are an impediment.

I feel that community relations are at a very low ebb. In my hometown there are a lot of gangs on the streets day and night. My friends and I are unable to go to the main shopping area in daylight let alone in the evenings. The law needs changed and the young and old alike would have more faith in the police. People are in a catch 22 situation where they are frightened to press charges against offenders for fear of reprisals. The police should be able to charge them.

Community relations are so bad because we don't have a proper police service in the North, and so people cannot trust each other, as Protestants want to keep their police force that protects them and Catholics want a police force that will serve the whole community, not just one side. As well as this because of the bigoted mindsets of Unionist leaders and their refusal to talk to the Republicans, it has caused further division amongst the communities.

This country's community has gotten vastly better any hatred is by a very small minority which I am not part of. Also most of the time I have found when someone says they hate the other side of the community it is just for show. The majority of the hatred is held by the last generation and as the last generation dies off you will find that relations will get better.

Relations between Protestants and Catholic areas seem to be improving in many areas but there is still a lot of sectarianism and related violence which is an issue that needs to be addressed.

Don't think people really care about religion as much as they use to because this whole fighting, rioting thing isn't as bad as it used to be. I don't really care about religion because we are all human beings and the only thing different is our religion but it's dying down now.

Although relations between the communities are better now than 5 years ago, things are still quite dangerous and discrimination still happens. I would like to think it would improve.

I think people of different religions get on better now, as there is no point fighting with each other.

The situation is improving but we still need to work on it.

[Community relations are] still not good but they are getting better in some areas.

The politicians, assembly and peace process aren't working. I feel it's about time people should open their eyes and see this. The media make it appear as though everything is getting better when in reality, although things are better than they were 15 years ago, nothing is changing.

I feel it is still very segregated and the trust between communities has got worse.

They aren't good. People don't want to know or tolerate each other. I feel these barriers that are strengthened by religion should be broken down.

At present, I feel like they are quite bad. They have been for some time but I feel like people will, and probably already have been, growing tired of hearing about attacks, riots, murders and bomb scares. The Country is growing weary and is very gradually coming to the realisation that what is happening is pointless. Everyone has freedom of religion, but it should be obtainable without worrying about what other people think. People have to be taught at a very young age not to hate or disrespect the other religion. Children also see the actions of adults around them and hear about it in the media, they imitate what they have seen and can be very impressionable. We need to take this fact and use it to our advantage. I'm not suggesting brain washing, but simple informative data, that people can take and draw their own opinions from. I will listen to you and respect your religion, beliefs, creed, colour, sexuality, even fashion sense, but you must do the same for me. Equal rights. I may disagree with you, but differing opinions can make people more interesting, but always respect and obviously there should be no intimidation.

At present relationships between communities of different religions vary. A lot of people are tired of all the controversy and background between Protestants and Catholics and would prefer Northern Ireland to be a peaceful community where we all can live with each other be friends and more secure on our own. However there are others that dwell upon what happened years ago on both sides and they continue to influence others into fighting for what they believe but do not know to leave history in the past! I believe that the community has grown closer with other groups such as Pakistani and African etc. Relationships between black and white people have got stronger in my opinion. We can all look at each other as equal and with no prejudice.

I feel that there is a lot of mistrust on both sides due to mishaps on both sides.

People don't know what it is like to live here it's not that bad.

Most people, save extremists, are growing bored of our problems, the troubles and the politicians that really are doing very little to help the people they represent. Not enough of them are open to compromise, they forget that N Ireland is after all a state like anywhere else and that our troubles are only one item on the list of issues that they must deal with.

I believe it is a minority of people in Northern Ireland who cannot agree with another religious community.

I feel that most of the time in Northern Ireland people from both religions get on well. However around the time of the 12th of July sectarianism comes to light. A recent example would be the attack on Martin McGuinness while visiting a local town by members of the Protestant community, including members of the DUP council.

People are very bitter towards each other as a result of the troubles. I think they should grow up and get over their differences before more innocent blood is shed.

[Community relations] are crap because the people are narrow-minded.

Very segregated, some mixing but very little, some good relationships between different communities but also bad.

Go to tables of results for this question



| YLT Homepage | Module Listing | Variable Index |

Disclaimer:© ARK 2003 Last Updated on Monday, 19-Jan-2004 12:31