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Story Publication logo October 19, 2018

A Portrait of The Troubles: Northern Ireland 20 Years on from the Good Friday Agreement

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A mural reading 'End Sectarianism: Bring Down The Walls' on the Falls Road mural wall in Belfast. Image by Julia Canney. Northern Ireland, 2018.
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Twenty years on from the Good Friday Agreement, a peace agreement that ended three decades of...

“You Are Now Entering Free Derry” Mural. The Free Derry mural, signifying police ‘no go’ zones during The Troubles, is painted pink for Pride. Photo by Julia Canney. Northern Ireland, 2018.
“You Are Now Entering Free Derry” Mural. The Free Derry mural, signifying police ‘no go’ zones during The Troubles, is painted pink for Pride. Photo by Julia Canney. Northern Ireland, 2018.

Twenty years on from the Good Friday Agreement, Northern Irish women are holding their communities together—even as they're faced with ever-depleting resources and government support. Although volunteer-run programs led by women are showing a proven ability to create change that helps communities deal with inter-generational trauma, mental health, and peace building, the community organizers are finding their funding cut out from under them. In their own words, these organizers are in desperate need for continuous funding in order to prevent backsliding into future conflict. 

While many of the women spoken to for this story were uncomfortable with their pictures being taken, they explained that the cities around them are more representative of their struggle than their faces could be. Issues like the physical barriers and walls between communities, as well as the murals depicting the history of The Troubles, tell the stories of women who have largely been written out of their history and decision-making, but are still determined to keep making change.

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