Northern Ireland: In The Shadow of The Walls

In talking about the Real IRA, the splinter group that took responsibility for the March 7 attack on an army barracks outside of Belfast that left two soldiers dead, Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde has said, "The people we are arresting are not 50 or 60 year olds from the old world.

These are young people who are being targeted by dissidents – disenfranchised, marginalized youth, young people who they are now using to do their dirty work for them." The young people he is talking about grow up in walled off neighborhoods, segregated from protestants. The government has been building these walls all over Belfast since the 1970s. While most want the walls to come down eventually, few think it is safe today, even 11 years after the historic Good Friday Agreement was signed.

The barracks murders will most likely reinforce that belief.

Filmmaker Scott Harris goes some of the most notorious neighborhoods in Belfast to see what the peace process looks like to teenagers with no memory of The Troubles.

In The Shadow of the Walls

Featured on Foreign Exchange beginning Friday, July 10, 2009.

Produced by Scott P. Harris
In association with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting

In 1998, the historic Good Friday Agreement ended the thirty-year sectarian war in Northern Ireland known as "The Troubles." Although great strides have been made, the poor working class neighborhoods of Belfast remain fiercely divided. Giant walls, known as "peace lines," keep Catholics and Protestants separated, and while they keep the people safe, they also prevent true peace.

Northern Ireland: Last Impression

Scott P. Harris, for the Pulitzer Center

I've come to the end of my stay in Belfast and I would like to think that I've gained some understanding of the complexities in overcoming a long history of sectarian violence.