Audioburst Search

The peace walls of Belfast: Do they still help keep the peace?


This is a c._b._c. Podcast <music> and this is ideas for as long as people have been building. We've been putting all walls to create borders. I walls to defend against strangers. The enemy the other there is a finality to it. All a wall is the debt into into an argument build it and maybe they won't come. It's why the great wall of china was built and now there's hungary's border fence offense and donald trump's wall on the island of ireland. There are two kinds of walls figurative one that people fear will materialize is on the now invisible border between northern ireland and the republic to the south and series of so-called bilton belfast during the troubles fifty years ago to keep to communities apart catholic and protestant republican and unionist the troubles troubles are long gone ended with the good friday agreement twenty one years ago but the walls and the gates and everything they symbolize remain monuments wants to win in this is the first episode of series. We're presenting called walking the border walls that divide us this program. Graham is called the peace walls of balanced. Could i please just ask you first your name. My name's newer large l. e. r. g. We're both live well. I live here and i on the shankill. Just at the top of logic way here lonner quay link ruled that links the loyalist protestant heartland on unionist shankill road with the springfield on falls road which is niceness unreplicated plug his name into a search engine and noah largest ugly past lives on a one time hitman. Ah for the paramilitary ulster volunteer force loyal to britain. He's a convicted assassin sentenced to four life sentences. He was released least after sixteen years under the good friday agreement and he's become a changed man as part of a community project aimed at healing the scars he gives it's tours of the old belfast battlefields the walls and the gates that still scar the city he knows this corner of belfast very well on <hes> <hes> this is actually a very unique place and not the security get here notice the cameras a bullet that those cameras are on twenty four seven and they they they're constantly monitored every car the coupe through an extraction coleman ongoing on its unique in not these kids to my knowledge the only ones that are electronically automatically luck and opened so maybe just back up a bit and tell me what what are these gates called coal lumber. Guay security gets gets gets. They were introduced. Journey won't be called the troubles economic executive because i have been in prison as a former soviet life sentence prisoner released on the acute frady agreement and they but they were introduced <hes> as security measure and not this would have been a very quick getaway for <hes> traveling gunmen coleman back to the c._f._o. Choice whether there's an incursion into loyalist shankill area or an incursion into the republican heartland of west belfast and i was actually i'm nice sixty one. When i was actually forty years before i ever set food on the falls road and that's not normal and that's it's not what what people <hes> shoot shoot bolivia late a just a few minutes apart on foot. The catholic falls road and the protestant shankill road in belfast were on the front lines in the four hundred year old conflict of religion class and culture in northern ireland. There are so many protestants in the north of art because the vast social engineering of the seventeenth century historian dearmad ferriter points out that the protestants who form the majority in the north and are loyal to the british crown were a minority in the country as a whole and they had reason to fear catholicism and the people's fealty to the pope in rome arlen found itself as <hes> an experiment ground really in relation to the spoils of war that those who were involved in what we refer to as the war of the three kingdoms during those earlier centuries that those who supported the british monarchy were rewarded and they were rewarded with land in ireland and they were planted on the land of native irish people native ours catholics and there was a massive displacement. Take those who went over were both <hes> scots presbyterians but also an english protestants it was that mixed displaced the native irish catholic population in the province of ulster. We have four provinces. Ulster is a nine county province. It's <hes> very substantial part of the island i and that was the part of the island hadn't thought they were plant. So what we talk about is the border issue in the twentieth century on the anglo-irish controversies of recent times. They have their roots in the divisions that are sewn up thought much much earlier stage and they're inevitably as a the result of the displacement of the natives on the planting of the the new settlers. There were very obvious serious. Sectarian divides in that part of the island of ireland but the rest of our remained overwhelmingly catholic. Could you speak to that occupation by the time hind the english settlers where a colonizing the northern part of ireland in the early sixteen hundred the english had actually been in ireland for four hundred years or so well aren't into had been caught an is centuries before that in the twelfth century amid the norman invasions. I mean we often consider that to be. The beginning of irish history is not of course but at the beginning of a particular phase he's of irish history. The project of colonization aren't as useful for all sorts of reasons. It can be a base it can be used for its resources. It can be used as a staging post for various british can only <unk> endeavors it can also be used to reward people but it also becomes part of course of a much wider religious bottle the attempt to try unsprayed protestant influence and there are various revolts against english rule in ireland down through the centuries. I'm one of the reasons why there is. The creation of the united kingdom him of great britain unarmed is to try an awesome formal structure on a united kingdom in order to generate a sense of allegiance into a kingdom but it's a complicated imperial project. The legacy of that project was passed down the generations into modern day belfast best and what's left of it now here in one of the last corners of empire is mostly seen in these walls and gates and fences over the years. Some of them have been and loudly adorned with political statements others carry more amateurish jumbles of graffiti and art and there are countless peace signs more than twenty years' worth twenty years and more of peace and yet former loyalist gun. Noah large still feels a little uneasy walking past. Ask the open gate into falls road. You were forty years old and the phone you set foot on the other side. I just can you the people out of here who don't understand why can you explain why i grew up in loyalist heartland of east bill foster powell l. makara district for them as we have the fear the catholic synopsis republicans that we're gonna take our hoses. We're going to take our jobs even though our who were convicted desert but that doesn't mater so you grew up the perception that you don't winter you don't win their dangerous and you grew up the perception. The be fearful unsuspicious of not simply catholics sectarianism resumes inbred. It's learned at the knee and if your and my muller wasn't deliberately feeding me lies she and her away who's protecting you against the fear that it'd been inbred under her. That was there from a very young age. My first primary school beat fee per. Amy was in the heart of the republican short strong so i grew up with that and i set foot more than wants and republican west belfast around nineteen eighty one nearly two when i was an act of gunman for the ulster volunteer force before i was arrested and putin but it was always in the middle of the night and of absorb food was always armed but to do it in daylight unarmed <hes> it was february nineteen eighty seven and i was at the royal victoria hospital visit if you're just given birth to are are on the smoke on that team so i had to leave hospital over the shop in the falls road. I'm i was thinking of wonder. Will i started here like a sore thumb. A kid not the personal large. He's a well known loyalist it was was this idea that you were believing that they're them and you can tell you and you can tell them has not changed since then yet. Because the demographics of not too important the demographics is that you have a road here. Were who will all at a nisei of the the nicest people living rate up cheeked material against the war yeah and that's by choice by the way that's not been forced on them. Eh fenced-in yeah but the people here want this walk. It's a comfort blanket and people think that the needed and yet that woke bettega donate so if if it can go down tonight. Why isn't it taken down. The problem is they let this louis thinker thinker that lives here. Dictate the p._s. On the -clusive got the taken the donors they've removed some of the aren't kids and made the more c. three semi difference no so we're just walking on the short strand neighborhood here belfast and i live not too far from here but for a long time i fought shirts turn road and it's a few lanes traffic that are being funneled in and out of the city the center the border between northern ireland and the republic to the south runs for five hundred kilometers between carlingford lough in the east and lock foiling wayland the west garrett car has walked the entire length of that border and wrote a book about it which he'll tell us about in the next episode but he's also explored borders orders closer to home in belfast the peace walls and barriers. He's showing us in the neighborhood of short strand. Why did you decide to look at this particular carrie. Why was this important to look at. I will i different parts of northern ireland my work. I suppose some of the some of the peace walls are in eastern or west rather northbound foster disorder much better known whereas i fought this was in a way more complete job almost because how's it had rendered what is actually a city centre community very close to the city centre almost invisible. I felt to to the the city so lots of people commute past it but very few them would've would've actually ever entered because why would you. It's not on the way to anywhere but actual fact shortstop is quite large neighborhood but it's sort of concealed by landscape design i suppose would you call it where there's lots of use of walls and shrubbery and that you sort of forget that there's actually a big neighborhood back there this this is what's known as the interface area and there's been quite a lot of trouble on this on this stretch of road. It's been a site of riots several times over the years. Probably the last time maybe five six years ago and so the city has conspired to make it less friendly to write in which you could say. It's been become a kind of a defended space but it's interesting quite subtly done so there's actually it isn't really walls and barbed wire anymore. Actually lost shrubbery being used to conceal seal people's houses security cameras placed here and they're quite discretely and the whole thing is designed to move people move in and out of a very quickly and probably not even realize realize they are in a sense of security features. Could you just for those of us. Who would know who's who normally would be writing why they why they writing well. We've had agitation lately with the flag protests which is all about <hes> bell today whole deciding not to fly the union jack every day of the year and so that set off a whole set of protests and riots and then there can be just general conference <hes> confrontations between gangs use falling down on political lines or roughly so short strand sort of a nationalist area but then just up along the street there are unionist areas and <hes> there's a cultural clash there but some sometimes spills out into violence and rioting. What's it like living in a neighborhood like this well. I think belfast's a city. That's very compartmentalized. People live in compartmentalized way and it has no effect on me. The veneer i mean even when i speak ofa rights and things that have occurred here these are sort of isolated nights but this sort of common goal and they're just sort of part of the part of the fabric of the city part of the culture the city even and one doesn't doesn't get too angsty well. What am i gonna angry about it and hopefully it will inform how you vote but i don't consider <music> some terrible oppressive force in my life. The occupation of ireland oversaw many centuries had a profound effect undecideds. He was a huge impact an influence on the idea of a native culture. Being displaced are complicated native irish speaking native our traditions. There are also huge <hes> religious implications. You know the vast majority of the population shen it becomes very difficult for them to practice their religion. There are penal laws from the late seventeenth century not penalize complex and make it as difficult as possible for them to practice their religion <hes> so there are religious implications. There are linguistic implications in relation to the survival of the irish language. There are obvious here's political implications in relation to instability and contested identities because there are those who are planted in ireland. I go native and so you know you're. You're not just dealing with <hes>. Those who are native are indigenous. You're also dating with those who are planted onto there <hes> and then develop their own sense of what they are in their own identity so contested identities is really the ultimate legacy and in that sense ends the province of ulster does develop in a different way <hes> there are long-term effects <hes> that become particularly obvious during later stages at the industrial revolution for example zomba because it becomes the most industrialized part of the island but there's also the ongoing religious divisions that thought does impact on on the way that society operates and intercommunal relations in a way but it doesn't to the same the same effect on her parts of the item so ulster is certainly developing a distinct identity that is different to the other three irish provinces ulster with it's different culture would become the arena for conflict that would destroy both families and communities. It became inevitable notable. When the nationalist movement of the early twentieth century saw catholic ireland rediscover its own ancient culture and the idea of an independent. I didn't airland ultimately with the coming of a republican the south and the north carved off as a separate entity this city belfast was faded to to become the epicenter of conflict catholic and protestant forced to live together. What about the the whole notion of segregation irrigation as you say. It's kind of this geography that most i would venture to say most of the world isn't familiar with. I just wonder what that does even at at this stage when you say that that troubles are over yes there's writing but it's just part of life. How does it affect how people think of each other well. I suppose it takes people longer to sort of get to know one. Another in this kind of an old suspicions are kind of fostered. I mean you're right eight when you talk about at nothing familiar to most other cities but all the same the what's happening in belfast is a little bit like the gated community phenomena nominee and short strand is sort of like that. It's a kind of against the community we're just coming around the corner now until one of the few and let's into the area and <hes> people dislike. There's sort of a comfort in knowing that strangers aren't going by your door that they areas sort of <hes> yes. It's a gated community. There's a sense of well you call it a fortress. How's that kind of quality is the wall almost completely completely encircles it different types of walls some of which you barely recognizes walls but if you look at a map of the peoples are in short strand you see it's an almost complete circle michael which is unusual and mostly what you get are kind of clusters of lanes here and there that are almost by dividing a few streets here here and there but short strand is actually almost completely encircled. I'm ben even one of the large gaps in the circle. If you go look at it discovered it actually as a wall anyway but it's the wall of the bus depot so it's not technically speaking a peaceful but but in reality it's it's another. It's another barrier across the river. In working class west belfast. The walls are more obvious and more colorful but these serve the same purpose so we're just just a short distance from where the the peace walls are. How does that wall effect these kids in this neighborhood here. What makes this neighborhood what is being next to that. It affects it and not even with the wall when when the wall wasn't there forty thirty years ago i didn't live here then so i can't say for certain but the people that nibs here it would not have been as comfortable condone on the forces that would have been done this way safe or in your street you away there and <hes> so and their are heads. These young people are growing up that walzer. It's been there and it's all been noor until way. Why would they want to take it away. People don't like change change change challenges people so the so it makes them feel more secure. It makes them feel more secure because they've grown up with the idea that that they're the create peace you see i it's you're saying it's not there to create peace well. It's not creating peace ni- because it's actually a it's actually a barrier to peace and the long term because fifteen twenty thirty years from day if we don't intangible intangible away but if you're still living say there is no integration we need peace and we need people to star together not just as unionist but together and boosts as because people come that point where the valance had reached the the place where it was going nowhere on republicans in a republican state and get open more than to say you know what all this vow valances role. We shouldn't be doing this. They get open more and says you know what all this valances and getting us to where we need to be. Did you get to that point surge interrupted but before you went to prison no i was five years in the sentence sentence of thirty years of age when it got point. That's why i said you know was lead beauregard. After the point american is that i desire peace. I want peace and that's what we're on a journey that i'm more just a quick last thing about the what you're doing now what y what are you trying to accomplish by. Doing what you're doing. Now is trying to create the conditions whereby young people do not grew up with oughta cheat that it's rate unjustified to do the sort of things that i was doing that loose. Things may wail of seemed zinged justified at the team but they they were all unday. It's a not only were the wrong but they achieved nothing. They made things worse. Meanwhile meanwhile the remaining wall sit in a kind of limbo somewhere between war and peace peace walls. Keep the peace well. That's a good question. I suppose people feel like maybe they're not vital but why get rid of them you you don't. There's no compelling reason to get rid of them. The competitiveness there are compelling reasons but they are rather more abstract almost emotional ones so did the reason. I'm not sure one person from this area told me that he thinks sometimes kids threw bottles over the peace walls just to see if they can so in a sense yes they wouldn't bother throwing bottles of the peace while wasn't there to try to try and beat gives them a kind of a challenge therefore they're magnets trouble in a way. Can you talk to you but that emotional explanation for why it's comforting. He said it's a bit emotional well. There's still a lot of trauma la hanging round. We've had a a long period of a kind of low intensity conflict which is left scars on people and left suspicions anxieties but are just kinda there bubbling and so something that simplifies things that denmark should neighborhood and gives you a sense of <hes> safety i can. I can see why people may cling to it. You came and talked to lots of people in this neighborhood. I've been around this neighborhood a few times yet i i. I live not too far from here and it's funny because i feel like an explorer. Even though i'm actually just about a quarter of a math may own front door but i suppose that's part of the fact of this for just around earned short strand that <hes> i suppose word inevitably makes it does feel like a village seven trusted but it ends up taking on its own identity and i suppose that's reinforced by the wall itself or by the wolves it may be that the walls were the dominant force shaping shaping that belfast communities identity in recent years but that identity was ultimately shaped by the conflict and over the centuries an irish. I wish identity in the larger country was also being framed in seemingly endless conflicts with britain fifteen thirty four sixteen forty one seventeen seventeen ninety eight eighteen. Oh three eighteen forty eight eighteen sixty seven and nineteen sixteen what you see over the course of centuries are waves of rebellion of suppression of rebellion and then resurgence of independence barish our demands as far recognition of irish nationalism so it goes in waves cyclical <hes> those who strike for freedom in the already twentieth century see themselves as inheriting a tradition they see themselves as representing continuity of separatists spirit now separatist. I can be defined in different ways during different centuries depending on the era but broadly speaking the separatist impulse is that there will be more control control over irish affairs for some thoughts about complete separation for others. It's about a degree of devolution or local autonomy <hes> but what those rebellions come in waves it it comes in cycles. There can be very brutal. Suppression of irish revolt on there were down through the centuries and you see even in the early nineteenth century the rebellion of robert damage which again is not a taller large-scale rebellion but it generates great sphere and it generates very hard line determined response to absorb are even more into the the british empire <hes> and even the act of union in eighteen hundred one which is a response to the seventeen ninety eight rebellion dot again is about trying to deliver an emphatic. I'm fought in response to to yet another wave of irish trouble so they are seeking to try an an an absorbed and stomp oc- irish separatist sentiment but it never works. It never could've worked because there was always going to be that culture of irish separatism. You're listening testing to ideas on c._b._c. Radio one on sirius x._m. In australia on r._n. And on c._b._c. dot c._a. Slash ideas iot allah iot. This is the first episode in the series. We're doing about walls. The series is called walking the border walls that divide us in this first installment were visiting the piece walls in belfast bill to keep protestants and catholics apart during the so-called troubles in northern ireland that began in the late nineteen sixties the troubles have been over for more than twenty years but the peace walls are still standing and the question remains do peace walls actually keep the peace this or do they create a greater problem keeping communities apart making reconciliation even more difficult this episode owed is called the peace walls of feltham so you listen to the to the messaging and the ideology but then you you started acting on it how did that. How did you get into that. Well i get until it because i i considered myself. If you like today they would see it as being radicalized but for me my if only it moved just a year before troubles broke out to bid six may of east belfast through the variation to greenbelt area area code on donald brown you working cloth hose the strip his radicalization as he calls it began when he started to lose friends ends to the violence a catholic friend he played soccer with suddenly disappeared when his family moved away then came the day when another friend's life was was brutally snuffed out and then the next year or two story frady helping the i._r._a. Plundered twenty-three bombs and twenty anti truism exploded within an r. and say dinar and a day of summer say it was in july and i i was living this is in the air but i hear the forms and see the plumes raising and when i watch the news that evening one of the bomb exploded it was a bomb at car-bomb eight saint oxford street postition pale and it killed a number of people one of the people killed with a friend of mine that i went framers group of my street parker street called bully curlers known as coaster a very very good footballer and he was bloomed pets what made it worse was. The use was on shoe on your the security forces the firemen the ombudsman script and bits of bodies which let's yeovilton left until ben banks and i knew the public roller coaster was being in that so traumatised that may be a word you but that had such an an impact on me boo hoo done no harm. This is a we lard who was destined. Perhaps for greatness and <hes> you know that's hazy as the snow photo life and i became more and more determined that as the years went on golder that the british government we're not interested in defeating the i._r._a. Militarily they were appeased in the secret negotiations secret meetings and all that on the british government heart attack on the i._r._a. Lake the two on the argentinians at the falkland and plant the man like me wouldn't have joined organizations blakely u._v._f. Would have joined organizations like the police and the army so that's were were my decision an influence to join a paramilitary group kim from joined the the u._v._f. For ulster volunteer force was a violent protestant militia set up in the nineteen sixties as a counterbalance to the equally violent irish republican army the i._r._a. Hey we declare war their manifesto set against the i._r._a. Known ira men will be executed mercilessly and without hesitation the violence took the lives of more than thirty six hundred people in st attacks car bombs and explosions and pubs and restaurants the troubles as they were called also saw riots protests and prisoner hunger strikes. It was in this period that piece was started going up in belfast neighborhoods like short strand monuments to exclusion and inclusion and even in peace many still preferring it that way well. I think you could probably probably go to any community in north america's well and people why they like to live and giving communities and they might say well truths are sort of vague and nonspecific and may you never happen but if one can have an extra better security than than why wouldn't you take it but i'm sure there are many people here who'd rather be don't do the peace walls as well but maybe they think <hes> you know. Maybe just give it another couple of years but i'm sure people would aspire the that they would eventually be removed. Is that a realistic aspiration with lots of a policy aspiration. The spill gone by two thousand twenty two. I think it is that doesn't seem very likely at this point. Why do you say that because they're just still so many of them and they're still quite there's still quite bedded and some ways it's the traditional trouble zero peace walls peaceful from say the nineteen seventies they'd be the easiest to get rid of because a low many of them are very imposing. They are simply walls the bricks and mortar and steal capping so you could just dismantle them and then took them away and that will be done. What's <unk> harder to fix our the the areas like the road. We've just looked at on the <hes> on the side. The short strand where the security features are sort of landscaped into the zone becomes the set of wide band of fencing and shrubbery and security cameras and simply the fact that there is no no allotments for business or anything like that so the whole zone is settled defused security concerns and deadened and take a long long time to to rehabilitate tatum area like that and and it's one thing to remove walls and brixton fences but it's another thing their borders have in the mind that are much much more difficult to remove yeah well. We'll see about that. I mean at the moment just the border is reflected in people's voting patterns also so at the moment people voting to to extremes <hes> the democratic unionist party one site and should fain on the other. They're they're locked in a kind of a completely dysfunctional stasis join the u._v._f. As a seventeen year old join the youth wing young citizen volunteers but it was only when i became twenty two twenty three. I was married with a daughter out of work and i i became involved and u._v._f. Unit spell fast and this unit were much more active on a rotating tame. The hunger strikes. I volunteered made myself available and basically it was prepared to do and i told him i preferred to do anything. Never hang except for bowman's didn't make booms because it didn't know how to make one on it didn't and fancy karen mon didn't know how to make you ended up with a life sentence for for life sentences for life sentences three hundred and fifty seven seven years for all the other fences like attempted murders. Could you just explain the four life sentences if convicted of my part in four different murders as a gunman on played roles in the murderers including mont to lost murder. I was in an a position of authority. I had rank and i <hes> would have been basically the man who identified okay the target planet from start to finish and the twos volunteers. Here's who hoover up for frigging actually to do what we call the head my rule. There would have been not at the scene. I was involved in murder. I've given this a four nations. Charges attempted murders conspiracy to murder bank robberies armed robberies cure and weapons training. There's news of weapons and all those sorts of thing what's the wisdom that you can pass on to the younger generations that nobody else who hasn't been through what you've been through can possibly pass on. There's no 'cause new causing the world that is is worth the shedding of innocent blood glucose ireland at liver happened and maintain now because i wanted to help him because see the republican and loyalist huber involved in everything that went on yeah they tweet that back because when you look at the flag of the republic screen weight and orange green for nice orange for unionism wait for peaks that peace is not there and it's not there because the modern term you come the new d._n._a. Did it needs people to be united and what we have done. Is we have debated the people and the people even you're so young people. There's nothing wrong. There's nothing wrong with public. Role would be in a loyalist. What what is wrong is when you try to impose your allergy on other people but the use of force those days are mostly over the the walls and gates remained just off the falls road where north howard street meets cooper way. There's a high cement wall extended with steel oh panels and wire fencing to about eight or ten meters. There's a set of gates with locks here to all relics of the nights when communities at war exchanged volleys vollies of molotov cocktails when the hard men could come by any time of night to break down a door and kill someone point blank these days the gates. We're still closed at seven p._m. Out of habit mostly and just in case. I'm rebecca cargoes on sixteen eleven kern my my name's glenda. I'm fifteen miles west way my name's nine we burns fifteen <unk> these three friends from catholic and protestant families no nothing the troubles they were all born after the nineteen ninety eight good friday agreement they tell us where they live and if you you know how to decode the locations where they're from that tells you what denomination they are and what community they belong to because old prejudices assist and fears die hard. It's only recently that they've ever met anyone from the other side. They're involved in youth project run by springboard. A nonprofit offers that puts on programs to foster relationships between the communities on the program. We all like kim galley so that we could like break down the buyers of catholics protestants lawson's communities so that we could all like meet people from the other community horizon similar ages as we know that it's not all bad before this program had you guys met people from from the the side from a different religion. I know people from the catholic community because they have like it's only <unk> on all protestants. <unk> had a chance to make catholics. I knew catholic people from going to choirs instead. I have met people from the other community and they realize that were all the same people. That doesn't matter what religion you so. Now you think that i wonder at the beginning before you ever met each other era before you met other people from other communities what you thought at steph from before like you start to get to know them because they see you don't also say much because you've never been introduced to them and you've never never actually found out what type of people they are like. They're kind of like grip to gal like other those type of people but then whenever you get to meet them like what people actually are for themselves what sort the questions what goes through your mind that you really desperately wanted to ask these people who are your same age like you but who are from a different community well to me. People are just paypal so the only only question that i would have asked would be someone who didn't stay at the same way i did. It would just be why. Why do you see that. We're different whenever we're all just people. What do you think they're answer would be. Why do you think they don't see everybody just people just because of the past in our country like the things that have happened like like whenever our parents were young age there was lots of bad stuff stuff going on like the bombs in like paramilitaries all fighting one another and it was just an all very religious and it was between catholics and protestants so it gets passed along three generations which i don't thinks correct. What i'm hearing is that it's young people no matter what their backgrounds are kind of versus may be an older generation that thinks differently because lake when we're gonna like we weren't gonna win over all troubles. We're going on so way one in the middle of all the fighting between the patterson like it's not there's no more fighting anymore. Show where just able to like france and not have to worry about tillers postion. Lee way might not even know what even happened on the troubles. They can ask you what your family family told you like what they taught you about catholics well. It wasn't really total. Buy them what was just like. They are on the other side like they're not us and it was more like my grandma and stuff would be like but they're catholic. Protestant <unk> not offs like we're different. What would they think about hanging out with naomi here there okay. We'll put neither because it's fan 'cause nor fake no more so the creation of the irish border in nineteen twenty wound underlined emphatically that there were two artists. The dilemma for the british government was how do we respond to developments in ireland over the previous couple of years. The nineteen eighteen general election was a seminal election in our other than the rest of the united kingdom kingdom not just because of the twenty one and women over the age of thirty could vote for the first time not just because the electorate was hugely expanded but because the hadman election since nineteen ten and because after the nine hundred sixteen rising there had been this resurgence in separatist republican sentiment the dominant political the force in irish nationalism the irish parliamentary party is on the wane shin fain is on the rise and shine faint triumphs in that election it wins wins seventy five percent of the irish seats on what you essentially have is three quarters of art of the island of ireland have endorsed xinfang have back chin feigns manifesto on what is that manifesto four what that manifesto in nineteen eighteen declares is that if elected it to westminster shin fain members of parliament would not take their seats they will set up their own parliament on that they will declare an irish republic public northern art goes in a very different direction. Clearly is unionist dominated so that's what britain is faced with breath. It comes up with this solution of the idea of two parliaments for ireland. It was a compromise that nobody wants because unionists actually want the whole of ireland to remain the united kingdom kingdom republicans don't want anything to do with the united kingdom british politicians knew that the partition of our was not a good idea impractical terms because what you were doing with a very small geographic your graphic region was you were dividing and even on economic grounds it didn't make sense and they also knew that there would be those who would never reconcile themselves to a border anyway that this could become a festering sore so they do create this new state of northern ireland with its own parliament <hes> they then eventually agree a ceasefire with the i._r._a. Array the military of champagne who are fighting a war of independence. They agree a ceasefire negotiate. A treaty that leads to a free state in southern armed are there you have by nine hundred twenty two the two states. The question is what's going to happen to that border. So where are we here. What is this walking well now. We're just on the edge of short strand inside the walls and were alongside a section of traditional sort of peace wall. Trouble zero was probably from the nineteen seventies and so first of all. You've got a boat seven hundred brick wall and then there's some steel sections since then. It's been extended at some of the point another another forty feet. Maybe more steel fencing to stop objects expense thrown over so pretty imposed is pretty ugly. It's a boat port of my long the section and and <hes> this this this one boundary of short strand so forty years. I mean it. It really is just part of the landscape at some stage. One one can imagine if you actually lived houses. Terrifies is facing it and one can live there. You probably just be holy used. It and you may even enjoy the piece of it in some ways. The streets very quiet children play on the street and it's partly because it's it's an enforced cul de sac by this extensive stretching will. Can you explain why this was here. Well this was built during the troubles after <hes> after some shootings where people at coming in and out of the city centre search strand easily from various neighborhoods further to the east and so they just been able to run out and eventually that resulted in building the wall all then i suppose it would have been extended when people start true objects over the wall just random acts of vandalism breath so that that would explain their the added height the original was simply a- to stop people going back and forth and then the great height is about stopping open missiles and if i may be really pedantic if i can just ask on the right hand side here who who lives there well shine which belatedly sort of a catholic nationalist neighborhood and then just over the road you over the wall rather you've got coup in place in different streets in what would probably be more union neighborhood to hence the wall and those divisions has no doubt been reinforced by the wall last time i was walking down the man on the other side of this wall washington's windows and it's really striking disease by twenty feet either way yet. There's this real sense remoteness and you felt like you're looking at somebody through a lens or something and that kind of impact of the wall must spe- filtering juices idee all the time where things get very abstract funnily enough. I used to live in dublin and <hes> i lived for awhile opposite was it ninety prison which were very large prison not far from the city centre actually a bit like this is where there's roof tariff sizes and then across the road was the wall of the prison which is about seventy tall vitol gray brick and did strike me there as well let the people whose there are people living over there but their lives are completely abstract to me completely inconceivable to me really and i guess my life was inconceivable to them as well on most of the time we just didn't think about each other how closely to that would you describe the lives of these two sides of of this of this wall. What am i could be working together in cities enter businesses but <hes> but the but their but their homes are divided back in west spouse fast that colorful imposing wall and fencing that no alaric had pointed a stew draws a steady crowd of tourists there is an effort underway way to gradually remove those walls and some have already come down but the walls remained a daily challenge for rebecca glenn in niamey. They're committed into breaking down barriers between communities and building not walls but bonds. What are you guys see. When you stand here next to this gate what do you what do you see a division which i don't think should be there. I think the get as itself shouldn't be like. I don't understand why there's like at certain times of the night. The gate closes so you can go japan. Drive your car on easier like it doesn't make sense. 'cause you drive your car time during the day and no one throws abrek so why they're gonna throw a bracket like like nine o'clock at night like it doesn't make sense. It's funnier think it's funny because i don't see the need for it today there anymore like we can all feel caffey haffey chiller van he ever wanted to ban. There's no need for it anymore. Do you think the older generations feel the same way. Some of them probably not so much because of the way that they were brought brought up in the way that they were in the middle of it all gets like a big prison. It looks like we're all standing. Among another wall should be run. <unk> heaven france friendships as <unk> nate should be able to <unk> present yeah. It's a big each communities and its own prison tail after like o'clock at night and it doesn't make sense so you guys are working at trying to change those attitudes so what's how do you erase race these walls that are in people's minds what do you how do you talk to other kids about this. 'cause we're also comfortable if you tell it because we've all been notch kit it on a show. Oh really like a ban on ticket on tiller like pasta been educated on what each other is learn. We're actually not much different from let me tell world <unk>. There's nothing to be afraid of like the meet somebody else just because of what the religion is when something happens in the news or or you know when you hear about the division over and over. When do you get worried. I got word. I hereby thank like anything to do with anti-parliamentary any parliamentary from either side because it's just like the idea of the git closing dozen too bad anymore when you think someone could come in the back of the leg just because she looked like are walking on the other side of the scurry even maybe in here. I'm <unk> barlow marla catholic school uniform at just gonna get shut out of trump. Forgive me 'cause i'm not from here. But how can they tell like. How can they tell who you are your uniform lake people know the auto catholics scale. Laura protestants could still goes through your mind. Yeah you got to i would go and walk fernandez r._e._m. My school informed because i would be worried and the same way she would come here on her own. Walk three here because it's just always in the back of your head like something could happen but it's okay because you're together yeah a lot different whenever you can yet it's a lot different whenever you can say like two groups of people coming together and then like if we were to walk straight from the shankill to ardoyne ardoyne which is obviously them into catholic but with the three of us walk together it would look a lot different than just us to walk in and are from the shanks people who are like oh look at them like they're coming from karate scenarios where they're coming from but if we're west nile may knows we hope not on of course it's not like we're dental like world gala on a chosen vernet alone collective to get everybody else to think the same yeah if if only it was as easy as that they've made for us to just thank him you've been listening to the peace walls of belfast part one of a series. We're calling walking the border under rules that device on the program you heard historian dearmad fared writer garrett car former ulster volunteer force hitman noah large and students rebecca call goals glenda hearty and naomi burns our thanks to all of them special thanks to julie burgess and her team at at springboard opportunities for their help in many aspects of recording this program the peace walls of belfast was produced by philip holt. If you'd like to comment on anything you've heard in this episode or in any other you can do that on facebook or twitter or on our website c._b._c. dot c._a. Slash <unk> ideas. Where of course you can always get our podcast lisa. You so is the associate producer of ideas and our technical production is by danielle aalto. Executive producer of ideas is greg kelly. I now is for more c._b._c. Podcasts go c._b._c. dot c._a. Slash podcasts.

Coming up next