Peace Walls

Peace Walls
Since the onset of the Troubles in 1971, Nationalist and Loyalist communities throughout Northern Ireland have been divided by Peace Walls. These large stone and steel constructions were designed to protect neighbourhoods from sporadic attacks and retain a sense of peace and protection.

Of the city's 17 walls, West Belfast's sections are the most visited. Once in the area it's easy to determine which side of the divide you're on: red, white and blue kerbstones, Loyalist murals and Union Jacks indicate you're on the Shankill. If the kerbs are green, white and gold, the flag is Irish and the murals are Republican, you're on the Falls.

You can cross from one side to the other via access roads at Lanark Way and Northumberland Street. These roads close in times of heightened tension, which may well be the case during the marching season (see The Twelfth).

The best viewing section is on the Shankill side where visitors are encouraged to add their signatures to those of the Dalai Lama and former US President Clinton. A
rt panels showing the area's political and cultural history have now been added to the wall along Cupar Way (off Lanark Way). Look out for the Orange Order, Battle of the Somme and modern-day international conflicts on this colourful stretch - with blank sections still there for those all-important 'Give Peace A Chance' daubs.

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Peace Walls Comments

  • The Shankill Rd wall is still there,saw it last week and I have the photo to prove it.
  • Well I live beside this wall n I can assure u all it's still intact so if you never seen it obviously whoever done your tour does not know the history off Belfast!
  • This post is outdated. I live in Belfast. The curbs are not dated but you can tell by the murals as the red hand of ulster will indicate being in a loyalist area. You may see the occasional Irish flag or union jack to show that you are in a republican or loyalist area but the people of the city have done much to decrease the political separations and make less offensive murals and art work.
  • Exactly Lesley, I was there just 3 weeks ago. No walls in vicinity, no painted kerbs, no Union Jack and a very worn out republican flag
  • I visited Belfast in 1998 with my family. We drove around Belfast, including the Shankill Road where we took lots of photos of the murals on the walls of the houses.I do not remember seeing any walls in the vicinity - I am sure we would have noticed them if they were there - or the kerbs painted or anything like is described here.The only indication in the country side that we had passed from North to South was the different colour of the mail boxes!

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