18 July 2008


20th April 2007: the Denmark Street Community Centre in the heart of Protestant territory.

Tom Strickland
The only thing keeping the peace in Belfast is the threat of an aggressive military intervention from the British government, according to our Catholic cab driver. The cultural district in the city is like any other historic site in the world, open for business. If a visitor leaves this area however, and enters South Belfast, they will encounter a different narrative. In fact, during a tour of the area local residents threw things at our bus, so we took a cab tour the next day to find out more. Our cabby hinted that he spent fifteen years in jail for killing a Protestant and would do it again. At first we though he was being inflammatory but later discovered during conversations with other cab drivers that that few people in Belfast feel peaceful. As for the Peace Wall, its official name, it is only open at one point between 6am and 6pm weekdays and, according to our driver, if there is any trouble the gates will close, cutting off access to the hospital from the Protestant community.

Strickland, Thomas. 'Belfast'
On Site review, no. 18 Fall/Winter 2007/2008
© Thomas Strickland and On Site review

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