Belfast Peace Walls

Antonio Olmos photographs the walls built across Northern Ireland’s capital city as a means of defusing sectarian tension. There are 99 of them, dividing nationalist Catholic neighbourhoods from loyalist Protestant ones. Some of the walls date from the early years of the Troubles, but an estimated one-third have gone up since the IRA ceasefire in 1994. Now, ‘peace gates’ are being opened in some walls in an attempt to foster greater links between communities.

Belfast Peace Walls
The biggest peace wall in Belfast runs along Cupar Way. It divides the east Belfast loyalist area of Shankill Road from the Catholic Springfield/Falls Roads area of west Belfast.

Belfast Peace Walls
A five-metre high wall and fence runs from the junction of Springfield Road and Springmartin Road to near Upper Ballygomartin Road, west Belfast. It can be seen for miles.

Belfast Peace Walls
Another view of the Cupar Way wall.

Belfast Peace Walls
Graffiti on the Cupar Way wall.

Belfast Peace Walls
The peace wall with a fence above runs the length of Bryson Street from the junction of Lower Newtownards Road to Madrid Street, in east Belfast’s Short Strand.

Belfast Peace Walls
The small loyalist enclave of Cluan Place sits within the Catholic Short Strand.

Belfast Peace Walls
A steel fence, with a pedestrian access gate, closes off Navarra Place from Serpentine Road in north Belfast.

Belfast Peace Walls
Duncairn Gardens in the New Lodge area of north Belfast has been a flashpoint for violence in the past.

Belfast Peace Walls
Gardens and children’s play spaces beside the wall that runs towards Newtownabbey.

Belfast Peace Walls
The Whitewell Road contains an interface area between the republican Whitewell and loyalist White City areas. Whitewell also borders on the loyalist Rathcoole estate.The biggest Peace Wall in Belfast is the wall that runs along Cupar Way. It divides the East Belfast Loyalist area of Shankill Road from the Springfield/Fall Roads Catholic Area of West Belfast.

Belfast Peace Walls
The biggest Peace Wall in Belfast is the wall that runs along Cupar Way. It divides the East Belfast Loyalist area of Shankill Road from the Springfield/Fall Roads Catholic Area of West Belfast.

Belfast Peace Walls
Steel makes the shape of a crucifix along Cupar Way, where the loyalist Shankill Road area is separated from the nationalist Springfield/Falls Roads.

Belfast Peace Walls
The peace wall in Alexandra Park, Belfast. It is believed to be the only park in western Europe with a wall running through the middle of it.

Belfast Peace Walls
The wall across Alexandra Park.

Belfast Peace Walls
A council employee closes the gate that since September 2011 has allowed residents to cross between the Catholic and Protestant sides of Alexandra Park between 9am and 3pm.

Via http://observer.guardian.co.uk

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