From the archives: Northern Ireland's "Troubles"

In 1974, 60 Minutes visited a small town in Northern Ireland filled with hatred and grief -- and then went back 20 years later

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In a rare interview yesterday, Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams told Scott Pelley that -- despite allegations -- he never pulled a trigger, ordered a murder, or set a bomb during "the Troubles," the decades-long civil war between Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland.

The allegations against Adams, who is now a potential contender to become Ireland's next prime minister, have opened up old wounds in the region. But one could argue those wounds never quite healed: Although it's been 17 years since the U.S. brokered a truce, a wall still separates Catholics and Protestant neighborhoods in the city of Belfast.

The haunting image of that wall brought us back to the reporting 60 Minutes did in the 1970s as blood spilled in the towns of Northern Ireland.

One of most bombed and battered towns in the region was Strabane -- located about two hours north of Belfast. It was there, in 1974, that Morley Safer encountered just how much destruction and devastation Northern Ireland was facing. (See the full 1974 60 Minutes story in the player above.)

In 1995, Safer went back to Strabane to see how some of the people he'd met were faring amidst the cease-fire.

When neighbors are enemies

One of the townspeople Safer encountered was Sandra Bogle, whose husband had been shot and killed while they were out shopping.

When Safer caught up with Bogle 20 years after their first meeting, she told him that she learned who killed her husband. It was her neighbors -- people she used to trust.

"If they came in, you'd give them a cup of tea, but you know in your heart that you can't trust them," she said.

Despite the loss, Bogle still expressed compassion for anyone who had suffered during the Troubles -- Catholic or Protestant.

"I feel sorry for anyone that lost anyone belonging to them, for I know what it is like," she said.

The resilient children of Strabane

Safer also met the town's doctor, Charles Sullivan, who told Safer that many children in Strabane were suffering a series of psychological side effects as a result of the war -- everything from nightmares, to stuttering.

But perhaps the worst of it, Sullivan said, was that children were starting to associate all deaths with violence.

In Safer's 1974 story, the doctor described a young child, who was told that his neighbor -- an 80-year-old woman -- had died. The child reacted to the news by asking: "Who shot her?"

When Safer met up with Sullivan again in 1995, the doctor was retired, but he said that the people of Strabane were a resilient bunch, who had put the Troubles behind them.

"I must say that the majority of those people are living normal lives now, and what they had in the past was just bad memories," he said.

Forbidden love in Northern Ireland

Pasquelina Johnstone is an example of that resilience. She was a 14-year-old schoolgirl when Safer met her in 1974.

The day Safer arrived, Johnstone recited a poem she'd written explaining her fear of encountering boys on the street -- should they be from the "other side" of the conflict.

Turned out, that fear only lasted so long. When Safer caught up with Johnstone in 1995, she was married to someone from that "other side."

"Love conquers everything," she told Safer.