West Belfast

2007.09.25

West Belfast has been marked with violence over the past 30 years. “The Troubles” a guerilla war between Catholics and Protestents fighting for or against unification of Northern Ireland with the Republic. I arrived here yesterday and here are a few pics from a days walk. We wandered off the main roads and walked through a few staunchly Protestant areas and you could definitely still feel the tension in the air. Empty roads, houses with caged windows and people who avoided looking you in the eyes. Here are a couple things i found, In the coming days i will hopefully be working with some peace organizations and will be posting some pics.

Bobby Sands Mural in West Belfast. Bobby Sands, a Provisional Irish Republican Army volunteer died in the Maze Prison during the 1981 Hunger Strike after going without food for 66 days.


An Ulster Freedom Fighters graffiti is tagged on a wall off of Shankhill Road in Belfast, Northern Ireland Sept. 24, 2007. The Ulster Defense Association (UDA) began in 1971 by Charles Smith and is an outlawed loyalist paramilitary group in Northern Ireland whose main goal is to reject Northern Ireland’s union to the Republic of Ireland. At its peak there were more than 40,000 members.


The Peace Line on Lanark Way in West Belfast, Northern Ireland is a separation barrier between Protestant and Catholics neighborhoods. The Barriers, consisting of iron brick and steal walls reach heights up to 25 ft high and were created to reduce sectarian violence. At the height of “The Troubles”, the peace lines were manned by police allowing passage during certain times of day and locked at night. Today, the peace lines mainly remain open.

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