The history of belfast as a settlement goes back to the iron age but its status as a major urban centre dates to the 18th century belfast today is the capital of northern irelandbelfast was throughout its modern history a major commercial and industrial centre but the late 20th century saw a decline in its traditional industries particularly shipbuilding. Now the history belfast dates back to the early 17th century and although a relatively young settlement is northern irelands largest and the island of irelands second largest city the name belfast comes from the gaelic beal feirste mouth of the sandy ford. An intriguing history of northern irelands largest city with a hard won peace investment and renewed hope it is an excellent time to stand back and make a new assessment of the history that has brought belfast to where it is today. Belfast rioters gather ammunition in the 1920s in recent articles on the irish story brian hanley has looked the effects of the 1935 belfast riots on southern ireland this is a short introduction into the history of civil strife in belfast by john dorney the riot has played a significant role in irish history and nowhere more than in the northern city of belfast
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