Throwback Thursday: Peace Lines

November 02, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

I was digging through some pix for a throwback post, looking for the usual family baby picture, but instead came across some unpublished work from a trip to Northern Ireland in 2013. Among the pretty pictures were a few of Belfast's famous "Peace Lines". If you don't know about them, you can read up here on wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peace_lines

The walls went up during the "Troubles" in 1969. They're still there, dividing the city today. Gates in the wall that are sometimes staffed by police during the day are locked at night. While government officials are pledging to bring down the walls by 2023, a 2012 poll of residents indicated 69% believed they were still necessary to prevent potential violence.

There are some superb murals on some of the walls, but many are of martyrs to the causes on both sides. My overall impression of them was rather ominous and sad. The walls are up to 25 ft. high of brick, mortar and steel. I felt a little strange just stepping out of our vehicles to snap a few images. 

The walls have become a bit of a tourist attraction, (Like during my visit) but our guide didn't describe these to us with much of a sense of pride but more as a cautionary tale about the results of political and religious division.

Draw your own conclusions. Now over 50 years old, an entire generation has grown up and never known the their cities without these walls. 

 

  


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