There wasn’t a night when something didn’t happen,” Brennan, 70, who spent time in prison for his involvement with the Irish republican movement, said while walking past Gaelic street signs and white-, green- and orange-colored Irish national flags. The Dalai Lama followed suit and since then, thousands of people, lots of celebrities included, have added their names and messages of peace on it.”, “C’mon, if it’s good enough for Bill Clinton, it’s good enough for yiz.”. The first is, ‘What’s your name?’ If your name is Niamh, Siobhan, Sean, Finn then you’re Catholic. In the '70s, the British government began to build separation barriers known as "peace walls" around Northern Ireland to separate Catholic and Protestant areas in an attempt to control sectarian violence. But for Brennan, Forsyth, Thompson and many others living near peace walls in Belfast and around Northern Ireland, it seems they are going to be a source of security for the foreseeable future. For today only, if you give to The World and share your donation on Twitter you’ll receive a personal shoutout tweet from Marco! This wall has become a 'must see' for visitors to Belfast. Sands began his hunger strike on March 1, 1981 and died after sixty-six days. “The main thing I’m going to be talking about is the wee conflict that started in 1969 and ended in 1998 with the Good Friday Agreement. Same with Catholics on this side. What are the two words that stand out to you?”. Related: A New Protestant beginning for the Irish language in Belfast. Students have to answer several multiple choice questions to check their understanding. ‘The Peace Walls are monuments to hatred. The Ulster Young Militants is the youth branch of the UDA.”, “Er, they’re um not still, like, in operation they?” I asked. Proves the old kings weren’t as smart as they thought they were. Pretty quickly, Protestants on that side decided to grab all their belongings and get out. Donate $100 or pledge $8.33/month to receive an invite to a virtual party with Marco Werman and The World team! He held up an ipad to show a city dotted with large bonfires. Followed the link to the post from facebook. If many of Belfast's murals are markers in historic ground, milestones hammered into the unfolding narrative of past troubles, the Peace Walls are something entirely different, functioning as barriers to separate tribe from tribe, neighbour from neighbour, not just in the past but also in the present of today. “Belfast in the 1960s was a segregated city and the Catholic minority faced housing, employment and voter discrimination. It divides the east Belfast loyalist area of Shankill Road from the Catholic Springfield/Falls Roads area of west Belfast. Of the approximately 80 peace walls in Northern Ireland, the vast majority are in Belfast. Donate today to help keep our coverage free and open to all. It’s not our job to win you over to one side or the other, it’s our job to show you the sites and explain some of the history behind the conflict. This article is more than 2 years old. He turned into a rather desolate looking housing tract where there were brick houses whose windows and gardens were decorated with Union Jacks, pictures of the Queen and garden ornaments. There are at least 40 walls through Belfast, separating suburbs that are predominately unionist and nationalist. I walked quite quickly away from this mural over to a pretty pale-blue wall covered with what looked like the painting of a quilt. Look to your left and you will see a man who sits just below God in their estimation.”. Political will and leadership are essential alongside the necessary ring-fenced resources and funding to enable the physical change needed,” Harte said. “The UDA stands for the Ulster Defense Association. His own hand! The main peace wall that runs for over 5km dividing the predominantly Protestant Shankill Road Area from the Catholic Falls Road in West Belfast. The first barriers were built in 1969, fol Many of these visitors are attracted to Belfast and its peace walls by recent reviews from international media outlets citing Belfast as a must-see destination. William of Orange was a Dutchman and a Protestant. The Housing Executive manages 20 … Since the onset of the Troubles in 1971, Nationalist and Loyalist communities throughout Northern Ireland have been divided by Peace Walls. At the end of the tour, if you still want to know I’ll tell you, but I’m not going to tell yiz now. So, eventually, the physical walls will be able to come down once the people are comfortable, feel secure.” With an estimated 500,000 visitors per year, it provides the perfect canvas to challenge people's perception of the Shankill. My mum lives here and you just never know.". Information about tours and sightseeing in Belfast: itineraries, things to do, walking and day trips reviewed by PlacesOnline. In 2002, a huge spate of sectarian violence rose after the peace agreement. “That gate closes at four in the evening and opens at eight in the morning. “Orangemen celebrate the Battle of the Boyne every year on July 12. It opens in time to let schoolkids through and closes after they go home, before any trouble starts. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel up to 24 hours before your tour starts for a … The walls — more than 60 of them in Belfast alone — exist in a kind of limbo between war and peace. Shannon and his colleagues also criticized the slow nature of the government who placed the 2023 peace walls removal goal in 2013, saying “no thought or strategy” had gone into it. Here’s our brief guide to … “You can read the word ‘welcome’ in every language but one,” the driver said. “Right ye are. By 2023, all of Northern Ireland’s 48 peace walls will be demolished, according to Government pledges. The peace walls in Belfast, also known as peace lines, are a series of separation barriers. About fifty but wiry and spry, his nose had been broken more than once and he referred darkly to an injury he’d sustained in The Troubles. Residents in Short Strand can peer over a 20-foot wall to the Protestant side where the red, white and blue colors of the British flag take prominence — even on the street curbs — and English-language signs dot the streets. The Troubles had kicked off in earnest.”. “No bombs yet. “Now, what d’ye know about Belfast, if anything?”, The Walk to Freedom, from Belfast to Derry 1969. Sands and his fellow Republican prisoners then started the Dirty Protest—refusing to wash and smearing their cell walls with shit. It’s a day when hundreds of thousands of us directly support the things we rely on, the things we believe in, and the things we want to ensure survive. In 1998, a peace deal known as the Good Friday Agreement was signed between the British and Irish governments and most political parties in Northern Ireland, but sectarian violence continued for many years. “In 1969 a radical left-wing group went on an anti-government march from Belfast to Derry. Directions to Peace Wall (Belfast) with public transport. But even through the closed gates local kids throw stones at each other.”, “It was meant to be a temporary measure. There were Protestants living on that side and Catholics living on this side. Peace Wall Belfast. “Before August 1969, Bombay street was more integrated than it is now. The Kingdom of Ulster had no heir so everyone agreed it would be decided by a boat race; whoever’s hand touched the shore of Ireland would be made king. In east Belfast, Forsyth, the chef, said there is concern within both communities. “And, to be clear, even though you’ll hear me talk about Catholics and Protestants, this is not about religion. On the republican side, you have dissident organizations who are criminal gangs, but they’re using this political cover. This was called the Blanket Protest. The Peace Walls were built between the Catholic and Protestant communities in Belfast as a temporary effort to minimize the conflict beginning with The Troubles in 1969. Then, when the British Army came over to keep the peace, they had a big problem. We got back in the car and had a look at some of the murals as we passed through a gate from the Protestant side to the Catholic side. “Nah, you’re right,” he grinned, “It’s, ‘Are ye a Catholic or a Protestant?’ Well, I’m not going to tell ye. Generally speaking, what women want, women get. The following transport lines have routes that pass near Peace Wall Bus: 11A, 11C; How to get to Peace Wall by Bus? It’s not divided cleanly in two, either. “That one being Irish.”. A five-metre high wall and fence runs from the junction of Springfield Road and Springmartin Road to near Upper Ballygomartin Road, west Belfast. “Is there any way to tell just by looking who is who?” John asked. The street is decorated with British flags, and paramilitary murals adorn the sides of houses. There are more than 60 peace walls dividing Belfast in Northern Ireland. 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. series of barriers that were erected to separate Catholic and Protestant neighbourhoods in Northern Ireland ‘The term Peace Wall is a piece of journalistic spin,’ Magee asserts. The women around here put this painting up and as you see there is a fenced-off area here awaiting development. In order to attain a greater understanding on the nature of the problem surrounding the removal of peace walls, I Rae-Anna Sollestre noted that “as we drove around Belfast, the stark contrast between the Peace Walls and the surrounding communities left an impression on me. Belfast peace walls - in pictures 0 Antonio Olmos photographs the walls built across Northern Ireland's capital city as a means of defusing sectarian tension. The Peace Walls have been around for almost 3 generations in Belfast, and many live within them, not next to them, as if the boundaries of their worlds end where the walls start. I was watching in my peripheral vision for curtain twitching but didn’t see any. “No!” he took a step back. This was a problem for Catholics because if you were poor you had to share housing. View all posts by Katherine Dolan. Of the city's 17 walls, West Belfast's sections are the most visited. This is the very tall (25-feet high), reinforced wall that separates the Falls Rd, which is 100% Catholic from Shankhill Road, which is 100% Protestant. Frank Brennan vividly recalls the shootings and bombings in Belfast, Northern Ireland, when he was a young man in the early '70s as well as attacks on his own life. Show how much you care for The World by donating today. Belfast City Council should play a lead role in helping local communities to decide the future of peace walls, that’s the view of a University of Ulster lecturer who received a … About one month later, he died. Photo by Scott Gurian Protestants on the Left… Catholics on the Right. “A big part of what we do and how we bring change is about bringing people from either side of our community together, getting them to know one another and breaking down those mental barriers because they’re the hardest barriers to break down,” said Ciarán Shannon, DCP Manager. A day that encourages people to do good and inspires hundreds of millions to give, collaborate and celebrate generosity. Not only was there a flag on each streetlight, but there were little Union Jack pennants strung between the streetlights like a net over the road. “There were so many people killed just walking around this area. There are many walls like this in Belfast, which physically separate Protestant neighborhoods from Catholic ones. Today, many residents who live along these walls still want them to remain. If a report comes through of conflict starting, the police can push a button and close the gate. And notice when we walk over here, the guns follow us, as do his eyes. The main peace wall that runs for over 5km dividing the predominantly Protestant Shankill Road Area from the Catholic Falls Road in West Belfast. Irish republican Frank Brennan stands near a peace wall in Short Strand, a staunchly Catholic, working-class neighborhood in predominantly Protestant east Belfast, Northern Ireland. I couldn’t think of anything clever, so just put our names down. But some hard-line unionists see the deal as a betrayal. They’re talking about bringing these walls down, but that’s definitely not going to happen.". If your name is William, Elizabeth, Victoria, Kyle then you’re Protestant. Just a few streets up from Thompson lies the “Protestant enclave” — as many Belfast residents describe it — of Cluan Place, one of the most notorious loyalist areas in the city. “I live on a peace line, and I feel safer with those walls up,” Brennan said, echoing the stance of many others in Short Strand. These barriers are both a poignant reminder of the conflict and an integral part of peoples’ lives and sense of safety. The wall made their job just a bit easier. The Peace Walls were built between the Catholic and Protestant communities in Belfast as a temporary effort to minimize the conflict beginning with The Troubles in 1969. He stands by a memorial for them in Short Strand, east Belfast, Northern Ireland. Unbowed, unbroken,” on the peace wall directly beside his home. We come together in the business center to work, eat and talk but we don’t live together. The Dutch flag is orange, and that’s why members of the loyalist association here call themselves Orangemen. Many are high, harsh structures, while others are a mix of gates, mesh fencing and solid walls. “The reason he was called Top Gun is that every year the UVF would have a prize-giving and the winner was called Top Gun. Unlike the Berlin Wall, it is regularly reviewed on Trip Advisor.. Image taken from photographer Richard Wainwright’s blog. If the flags don’t tell the story, all you have to do is look at the murals. More than half the peace lines that exist today were built after the peace agreement. Commonly referred to as "troubles," this period is defined by the conflict between Catholic republicans and nationalists, and Protestant loyalists and unionists. It got the name of Peace Wall when Bill Clinton visited and was asked to write a message of peace on the wall. For years he was kept in solitary confinement. In 2013, Northern Ireland’s government set up an initiative to remove all of them by 2023, but approximately 116 barriers remain “as visible symbols of community segregation and division,” reported the International Fund for Ireland, an organization that encourages contact and dialogue between nationalists and unionists. At midnight on the morning of the twelfth they light bonfires decorated with the Irish Republican flag and effigies of the Pope. many people in belfast believe the peace walls are a good thing. Who are they pointing their guns at?”, “Correct. Andrew Forsyth, who preferred not to show his face, shows the peace wall that runs through his backyard. Although temporary peace walls were built in Belfast in the 1920s (in Ballymacarett) and 1930s (in Sailortown), the first peace lines of "the Troubles" era were built in 1969, following the outbreak of civil unrest and the 1969 Northern Ireland riots. On this map we focus on the longest peace wall in West Belfast, however you can zoom out to view various other peace walls around the city. If you’re Catholic, you will live on a Catholic-majority street; if you’re Protestant you will live on a Protestant-majority street. It’s #GivingTuesday! Until this past weekend, however, the government was defunct for over three years after a row between the two major power-sharing parties: the majority Protestant and socially conservative Democratic Unionist Party, and majority Catholic Sinn Féin — once the Irish Republican Army’s political wing. We looked up at a huge portrait of a guy in camo and a beret. The message is clear: If you’re from this neighborhood you’re safe. He, too, has a peace wall running through his back garden, which separates his street from Short Strand. Los muros de la paz o líneas de la paz (en inglés Peace walls o Peace lines) son una serie de barreras que separan los barrios católicos y los protestantes en las ciudades de Irlanda del Norte, especialmente en Belfast.Su objetivo es limitar los enfrentamientos entre estas dos comunidades. Republicans refuse any notion of a physical border with the Republic of Ireland and the New Irish Republican Army dissidents — who have been on the rise since the Brexit announcement — say they will attack any infrastructure raised on the border. If you look at the mural, each panel of the quilt has a word on it. “What’s the first thing customers taking this tour ask me, d’ye think?”. The World is a public radio program that crosses borders and time zones to bring home the stories that matter. “If we look at [peace walls] in a realistic world, we shouldn't need them, but also in a realistic world, it gives me more sense of security,” he said at his doorstep with a giant sign that reads, “Welcome to loyalist Cluan Place. The Peace Walls. The street was dominated, however, by this proprietary announcement. “The Red Hand of Ulster that you see here” he said, “Is actually an Irish Gaelic symbol for the Ulster region. Actually, when the wall went up, it was only meant to be temporary, but here we are in 2020 and it’s still here. Inset in little ovals were a few other men. If added up together, they run for almost 30 kilometres in total. William followed him here and defeated him decisively in July 1691. If you rented or sub-let a house or if you lived with your parents, you could not vote. The Department of Justice owns 51, the Housing Executive 20. On this map we focus on the longest peace wall in West Belfast, however you can zoom out to view various other peace walls around the city. Related: Journalist's death stirs difficult memories of Bloody Sunday. This is a clip about the peace walls in Belfast. Why didn’t cut off one of his servant’s instead? “Regrettably, ongoing political uncertainty means that progress is being hampered. It runs for several kilometers, to the foot of Divis, a big hill that overlooks the city. Despite developments towards peace in Northern Ireland since the first ceasefire in 1994, the peace walls continue to be erected and many residents do not see the walls coming down any time soon. Velkommen! “I don’t think it’s a good idea [to remove the walls], because you never know the minute something is going to be thrown over. Ulster loyalists attacked the marchers at several different points. “Now, I often say that The Troubles didn’t really start in Ireland at all, they started some years before in a wee town in the United States of America called Alabama. “It’s so easy for things to turn. Andrew Forsyth, a 31-year-old chef, has spent his whole life in Protestant, working-class areas of east Belfast and has lived in Cluan Place for eight years. “Well, to me, no offence, it’s those ones down the bottom, ‘Loud’ and ‘Stubborn’; they’re talking about the men y’see. And the second battalion company seven is the most feared in Belfast.”. They are still there, the “Peace Lines” in Belfast, Northern Ireland – fences and walls which have been seperating protestant und catholic communities in the city for 50 years, erected in … The more stable the community is, the more difficult it is for them to operate,” he said, adding that these groups also exist in loyalist communities. “I think one day the walls will come down, but the way the current political climate is, it’s far too soon. A lot of lies have been told on both the 'leave' and "remain" campaigns, and personally I think, once again, Northern Ireland and our communities are being played as a pawn in the game,” he said. In October, United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised no physical border will exist between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland when Brexit comes into force, so as not to undermine the Good Friday Agreement. But one day Protestants burned some Catholic houses to the ground. I always say that if you looked down from space with one community white and the other black that it would look like a chessboard.”. That thing looks more like an alien.”. The purpose of the peace walls is to separate predominantly nationalist neighbourhoods from loyalist neighbourhoods. “Everybody wants to live in peace, but I can’t see it. Belfast is not the only city in the world to have a wall, ok it’s a wall with writing on it, in my day that was called graffiti I wonder if they where taken down would anyone complain hmmm the bus and taxi tours who seem to … Blog: Peace Walls - Squaring the Circle . “Yes,” the driver nodded. The most famous of the ‘peace walls’, as they’re now known, divides the Falls and Shankill Roads in the western part of Belfast. By 2023, all of Northern Ireland’s 48 peace walls (most of them in Belfast) will be demolished, ushering in a new era in which the province’s communities can live in … James went into exile in France but he came to Ireland to try to recover his kingdoms. The tour guide’s humour sounds familiar.I guessed Catholic because of it. The peace lines or peace walls are a series of border barriers in Northern Ireland that separate Catholic and Protestant neighbourhoods. This is the very tall (25-feet high), reinforced wall that separates the Falls Rd, which is 100% Catholic from Shankhill Road, which is 100% Protestant. Brennan, a member of the Irish republican movement, grew up in Short Strand, a staunchly Catholic, working-class neighborhood in predominantly Protestant east Belfast. There are approximately 100 such barriers, known as “peace walls,” found across Northern Ireland in places where Catholics and Protestants live in close proximity — so-called “interface areas.”. The majority of peace walls are in Belfast but there also some in Londonderry and others in the Lurgan and Portadown areas of County Armagh. “When we first moved in here [seven years ago], it was mental with things coming over [the wall] and kids not being able to play on the street,” said Rosanne Thompson, 38, a professional caregiver who has a peace wall running across the back garden of her council house. “You have a Protestant community on your left. The barrier in the background is a peace wall separating them from the Catholic Short Strand neighborhood, east Belfast, Northern Ireland. It’s #GivingTuesday! Our guide then took us to see the most famous of several Peace Walls in the city. This wasn’t really a different group but it was a cover name for the UDA, which didn’t want to be outlawed. I hope you enjoyed it. “You can read the word ‘welcome’ in every language but one,” the driver said. In August 2016, Belfast tore down its first peace wall 18 years after the Good Friday Agreement that brokered a peace deal for the region. It comes from the story of Labraid Lámderg, Labraid of the Red Hand. “Let’s get out and have a look,” he opened the van door. Third question, ‘Where do you live?’ Like I said, communities keep to themselves, even now.”. The story you just read is freely available because readers like you support The World financially. Frank Brennan talks about members of the Irish Republican Army killed during Northern Ireland's "troubles." Once serving as peace-keeping measures, they are now, in a post-Good Friday Agreement Northern Ireland, popular tourist locations. “The delayed progress has been because of the [government] departments and the system rather than residents,” he said. They didn’t know the trick of looking at the eyes and eyebrows. If the British scrap the Good Friday Agreement with Brexit, I wouldn’t like to be here two years from now.”. She said it was a difficult environment. But if you look up at that rusty mark up there, that’s the stain left by a Molotov cocktail.”. Type: 2.1 metre high stone wall with double skin palisade on top with some 2.4 metre high metal sheeting in places. Now, I’m going to show you the two greatest heroes of this particular community. In Short Strand, Brennan thinks things could improve between the two communities as long as Brexit does not stoke Protestant loyalism. Video genre: Documentary film But for Brennan, Forsyth, Thompson and many others living near peace walls in Belfast and around Northern Ireland, it seems they are going to be a source of security for the foreseeable future. In Northern Ireland, Catholics and Protestants in urban, working-class neighborhoods continue to be segregated 20 years after the signing of the Good Friday peace deal. These are the responsibilities of the relevant government departments and agencies who own the barriers and/or who have responsibility for regeneration programs. स्वागत है! For today only, if you give to The World and share your donation on Twitter you’ll receive a personal shoutout tweet from Marco! Seen from the Catholic area of St Galls Avenue just off the Falls Road, many of the houses in this area have been rebuilt since the troubles in the 1990's Reporter Scott Gurian is the host of the podcast Far From Home and he traveled to Northern Ireland to speak with the people directly impacted these walls. The “peace” wall in Belfast. According to local law, only the home owner and his wife were entitled to a vote. Students have to answer several multiple choice questions to check their understanding. Catholics aimed to have a united Ireland, while Protestants fought to keep their British allegiance. You see, at the start of the Troubles there was an incident on Bombay Street, just here, in fact.” He parked the van. Many were women, which doesn’t seem to have been the case on the other side. Peace Wall is located in Belfast. Noticing that he was losing the race, Labraid cut his hand off and threw it onto the shore, winning the race. Originally few in number, they have multiplied over the years, from 18 in the early 1990s to at least 59 as of late 20… “Right, John’s walking home,” the driver said. Related: What the UK's new power deal means in the DUP's Belfast heartland. And if he has bushy eyebrows, he’s a Catholic.”, “Seriously, though, there are three questions people will ask. And this set off months of riots and serious sectarian clashes. Wall On Wall includes images of structures in places such as Korea, Palestine and the United States. I thought, suddenly well shaken out of the remains of morning drowsiness (I’d woken up much earlier than usual for this tour). Some people who live on one side of the wall have never met or spoken to people living just 100 yards from them. They couldn’t tell who was who. Many of these visitors are attracted to Belfast and its peace walls by recent reviews from international media outlets citing Belfast as a must-see destination. Then in the middle you have the UFF, Ulster Freedom Fighters. Of the city& “Shankhill Road. Video length: 6 minutes 18 seconds. For now, it works. Blog: Peace Walls - Squaring the Circle . Due to rising violence, in 1969 the city government started building walls in Belfast between the Catholic and Protestant sections. He was nominated and won the seat on 9 April, becoming the youngest MP at the time. 1 / 11. The way you got this prize was to kill the most…what’s the missing word?”. “I sometimes used to see Gerry Adams coming in to work here. 50 years of “Peace Lines” in Belfast – 30 years years of the fall of the Berlin Wall. This is a clip about the peace walls in Belfast. Dinnae worry, I’m not going to bore you with all that history now,” he said. Citizens of this city are still ‘not over’ the fact that Nationalist and Unionist citizens entered into bitter war over the issue of North Ireland’s partition. “I hope eventually they will and people will learn to trust each other a wee bit more, but I don’t think they’re coming down soon.”. many people in belfast believe the peace walls are a good thing.