In 1971, a secret report by the Northern Irish government criticised the speed with which walls, gates and fences were being constructed in Belfast to separate Catholics and Protestants. Construction began the following day. Northern Ireland’s goverment has vowed to remove the peace walls, but no formal mechanism exists for dismantling them. He too thinks the politicians are out of touch. It can seem baffling to outsiders. "For the next 35 minutes or whatever it is, you are not going to see a Catholic in this area," explains Paddy Campbell as he begins his taxi tour of Belfast's trouble spots. “We need bigger walls,” one said. “There is no momentum, there is no resources and the government haven’t provided a vision of a united community. One 30-something couple emerging from a bar wants them taken down. Chickens cluck happily beside a shipping container that has been turned into a shop. But they can’t even put in light bulbs here,” says Rab McCallum, a republican ex-prisoner who works for the North Belfast Interface Network (NBIN). “We are in a situation where deadlines are constantly being put back, quite often because of an inability to secure the resources required.”. He said the British military would erect a firm peace line between the Catholic and Protestant communities near Shankill Road. The 1998 Good Friday agreement signalled an end to the sectarian violence that had dogged Northern Ireland since the 1960s, but the so-called 'peace walls' remain. US electors will cast their vote for President and VP. A section of the peace wall that divides Catholic and Protestant communities in Belfast wraps around houses in Cluan Place, east Belfast October 27, 2012. One man says that taking down the walls is "probably the stupidest suggestion I've ever heard. It is a little like the scene at remaining sections of the Berlin Wall, but tour guide Paddy Campbell say the two should not be confused. The Peace Walls (or Peace Lines) were first constructed in Belfast in 1969 in order to separate Catholic neighborhoods from those of Protestants. A large locked metal gate forms part of the ‘peace wall’ that divides Catholic and Protestant communities in west Belfast. Now, more than 40 years after the British Army constructed the first of those barriers, Belfast is still scarred by them: corrugated iron fences, some as high as 18ft, topped with barbed wire. “The question is, how do we create the conditions in which Protestants don’t see the removal of the wall as a threat to their existence as a community?”. "Literally in the past you know there would have been shootings, petrol bomb attacks, people burned out of their houses.". Type: 2.5 metre brick wall with additional 4.5 metre open mesh fencing . series of barriers that were erected to separate Catholic and Protestant neighbourhoods in Northern Ireland I don't want to say I was "lucky" enough to see parts of it before it's destroyed but it's somewhat true (went in May 2016). A single resident’s opposition can be enough to maintain the status quo. These brick and wire boundaries were strung across roads, parks and even backyards … Permanent walls were built to separate Catholic and Protestant districts of Belfast in the 1970s, and the city is still scarred by almost 100 of them. In 2011, a “peace gate” was installed in the 3.5-meter-high corrugated iron fence that cuts through the tidy Victorian grounds of Alexandra Park. Falls Road (from Irish túath na bhFál 'territory of the enclosures') is the main road through west Belfast, Northern Ireland, running from Divis Street in Belfast city centre to Andersonstown in the suburbs. Belfast, divided in the name of peace A 'peace gate' has been opened in the barrier that divides Belfast's Alexandra Park, allowing Catholics and Protestants to mix – during the day at least… Read more. The wall made their job just a bit easier. "It starts off with the very young children, they come out and they start throwing stones at each other. A "peace wall" that was built to protect residents at a north Belfast interface during the Troubles has been dismantled. The name "Peace Wall" conjures up a structure that was build to commemorate the signing of a peace treaty. McCallum and the small team are in touch by telephone with community workers on the loyalist side of the peace line, working constantly to defuse tensions, especially during the contentious summer marching season. About a mile away, in West Belfast, on the opposite side of the peace line, shoppers on the Shankill Road pass storefronts selling mugs emblazoned with the Queen’s face. As I was sitting in the NBIN office, an email pinged into Clarke’s inbox. Many residents view the peace walls as a necessary form of protection. The walls, established as a temporary measure, were a very simple solution to the problem of keeping Republicans and Loyalists apart. “People say that when the walls come down, the investment will flow in. But they continue to have an important role in keeping things that way, maintaining the uneasy equilibrium that Belfast now finds itself in. "Catholics don't live here, they wouldn't be welcome here, they wouldn't want to live here. In 2008, then New York mayor Michael Bloomberg said that bringing down the barriers would open “floodgates of private investment”. Most people live on streets that are 90% Catholic or Protestant. In 1971, a secret report by the Northern Irish government criticised the speed with which walls, gates and fences were being constructed in Belfast to separate Catholics and Protestants. Teenager Kate Savage let down by under-resourced mental health system, WA's chief psychiatrist finds. Year built: 1970s . “There is no political need to build consensus,” says Norman Hamilton, a Presbyterian minister and member of the Community Relations Council. Stormont is dominated by once-sworn enemies Sinn Fein and the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). “The difficulty in any peace wall conversation is that a lot of the initial conversations revolve around a sense of loss. There is little agreement about how to deal with the past, including peace walls. Peas Park, a garden created by residents from both communities. What will I lose?’ asks McLaughlin, who has worked with republicans on the Falls area to improve access across the peace line. They couldn’t tell who was who. 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