Posted by Mike on April 25, 2002 at 19:29:46:
In Reply to: To Mike posted by Contrast on April 25, 2002 at 05:42:17:
The situation in NI especially since 1994 hasnt really been anything like the war zone its made out to be (excpt maybe sometimes around the second week in July when the controversial marching season reaches its height)
Yes you have places like Ardoyne (Holy Cross) making the news and there are certain areas of Belfast and other town's cities that its advisable to avoid at certain times but no moreso than in any city.
A lot of people were suprised by the fact that I lived in Carrickfergus (considered to be one of the most loyalist town's in NI) for over a year and a half as I have a fairly obvious West of Ireland accent (and therfore would be assumed rightly or wrongly to be Nationalist) but I never encountered any problems and have made quite a few friends there.
Ive only ever been stopped once by the Army (got waved through) and once by the police (Drink driving spot check) On the other hand Ive been stopped quite a few times by the Southern Police Doesnt sound like much of a "war zone" now does it ?
So basically NI is a great place lots of places to go and things to do and with the exception of a couple of run down districts and dodgy bars perfectly safe.
Most people are broadminded, hospitable, friendly and respect others points of view having said that its best to avoid raising matters such as religion or local politics in unfamiliar company