Experiencing July 12th as a southerner

This summer myself and my podcast co-host Tim Mc Inerney travelled to Derry and Belfast to experience the 11th and 12th of July for ourselves and record our experiences for our podcast The Irish Passport.

With our southern accents and southern registration plates, we got plenty of warnings to be careful — from both sides of the border. But we wanted to see and understand for ourselves what the Glorious Twelfth is all about, confronting our own biases and gaps in knowledge, and speaking to people from all walks of life about what the tradition means to them.

We experienced a friendly and family-focused aspect of the festival, but also came face to face with its dark side, as we stood among thick crowds around a towering Belfast bonfire as those around us chanted “We hate Catholics”.

We also discovered how a legacy of discrimination has held the city of Derry back from its full potential.

You can hear our episode on Derry here, and listen to our episode on experiencing the 12th of July in Belfast here.

One conclusion we agree on? It was a fascinating experience.

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