Belfast: A City Divided

In the 45 years since the conflict in Northern Ireland began, Belfast has erected "peace walls" to separate communities by religion in Belfast. Although the conflict officially ended 15 years ago the walls are still going up and some families on both sides of these walls don’t want to see them taken down.

Some of the people who live near these walls are thankful the walls are still up, as they feel they keep them safe in the “us versus them” situation that they believe is still there.

It can be difficult to walk down some streets without seeing murals and portraits on buildings that served as a call to arms during the worst of the period of time known as "The Troubles." Most of the schools in Northern Ireland are still segregated, and much of the youth has never met a member of the opposite faction.

During summer months in Belfast, known as the "marching season," parades commemorate some of the most violent episodes in history. Many of these parades cut through mainly Catholic districts. When the shops that line the street are forced to close and everyday life comes to a halt tensions often resurface—a reminder of the long-running dispute.