I started this series of posts to try and discover the roots of the still-simmering animosity that continues to this very day. I can't really find one thing that could be considered the root of the conflict, and I don't believe there is one single event that one could point to as a genesis. Rather, what we have in Ireland is the age-old resentment of conquest and occupation, and a guerilla violence which often surfaces - and never really goes away - born as a result of helplessness and impotence to rid one's land of what is still perceived by [much of] the Irish population as a foreign usurper. For this, I see no answer any more than others have. From a neutral vantage point, or as neutral as I can be, it seems to me that Great Britain has given what the Catholic Irish wanted: home rule and then entire independence - retaining only the 6 counties that chose to be and are (and this I don't know for sure) pro-British. What else can one do? One cannot abandon those with long-held ties with the British. I tread lightly here, and am not entitled to an opinion since I am a foreigner to both lands.
There is no need to talk about how the Republic of Ireland came about, or of the Time of Troubles in the 1960s and 1970s. These things are recent enough that most readers are already familiar with how they played out.
I do want to talk about some specific events that happened in Ireland, though, and in the next couple of posts will do that. I will in the process get to Boston.