The Interface: Peace Walls, Belfast, Northern Ireland

  • James O'Leary

Abstract

In 2013, the Northern Ireland Executive outlined a goal to ‘create a ten year programme to reduce, and remove by 2023, all interface barriers’ in Northern Ireland.  This unexpected statement helped to focus attention on the difficulties inherent in making this commitment a reality.  Made during a period of fieldwork in Belfast between 2014 and 2016, this work of text and image frames the thirteen clusters of separation barriers that divide communities across Belfast as a single system entitled ‘The Interface’. 

References

BBC, ‘Beacon of hope on city's mountain’, BBC News, 27 June 2005, 
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/4623859.stm.

BBC, ‘Forty years of peacelines’, BBC News, 1 July 2009, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/8121228.stm.

Frederick W. Boal, Territoriality on the Shankill–Falls Divide, Belfast, Irish Geography, 41:3 (November 2008): 349–366, doi: 10.1080/00750770802507079.

Belfast Interface Project, ‘Belfast Interfaces: Security Barriers and Defensive Use of Space’. See: ‘Interfaces Map and Database – Overview’, 2011, http://www.belfastinterfaceproject.org/interfaces-map-and-database-overview.

Rebecca Black, ‘Support grows for Northern Ireland peace walls to stay’, Belfast Telegraph, 16 December 2015, http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/support-grows-for-northern-ireland-peace-walls-to-stay-34291021.html.

Niall Cunningham and Ian Gregory, ‘Hard to miss, easy to blame? Peacelines, interfaces and political deaths in Belfast during the Troubles’, Political Geography 40 (2014): 64–78.

Thomas Harding, ‘The security wall on our doorstep’, The Daily Telegraph, 25 February 2004, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1455245/The-security-wall-on-our-doorstep.html.

Branden Hookway, Interface (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2014).


Martin Melaugh, ‘“Remembering”: Victims, Survivors and Commemoration. The Human Face of Conflict: Photographs of those killed’, 2009,
http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/victims/humanface/index.html.

Northern Ireland Executive, ‘Together: Building a United Community Strategy (TBUC)’. Belfast, NIE, 2013, https://www.executiveoffice-ni.gov.uk/publications/together-building-united-community-strategy.

Office of the First Minister & Deputy First Minister, ‘Together: Building a United Community Strategy’, 23 May 2013, https://www.ofmdfmni.gov.uk/publications.

Office of the First Minister & Deputy First Minister, The Atlantic Philantropies, ‘Evaluation of the Contested Space/Interface Programme 2011–2015, June 2015’, 29 October 2015,
https://www.ofmdfmni.gov.uk/publications/.

James O’Leary, Peacewall Archive, 5 June 2015, 
http://www.peacewall-archive.net.

Public Record Office of Northern Ireland – PRONI HA/32/2/55_1969, Accessed 17 November, 2016, http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/proni/1969/proni_HA-32-2-55_1969-08-14_c.pdf.

Malcolm Sutton, Bear in Mind These Dead: An Index of Deaths From the Conflict in Northern Ireland, 1969–1993. (Belfast: Beyond the Pale Publications, 1994).

Elisabetta Viggiani, ‘Public Forms of Memorialisation to the Victims of the Northern Irish “Troubles” in the City of Belfast’, 2006, accessed February 10, 2016, http://cain.ulster.ac.uk/viggiani.

Author Biography

James O'Leary

James is currently a Senior Lecturer in Innovative Technology and Design Realisation at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London, where he leads the M.Arch Architecture ‘Design Realisation’ module operating across all Masters design units.

In 2014 he was granted a TECHNE doctoral studentship to conduct research into the role of the architect in the transformation of ‘post-conflict’ sites, with a specific focus on the long-term transformation of ‘Interface Areas’ in Belfast, Northern Ireland.  He is pursuing this work as a member of the ‘Understanding Conflict’ Research Cluster at the University of Brighton.

How to Cite
O'LEARY, James. The Interface: Peace Walls, Belfast, Northern Ireland. FOOTPRINT, [S.l.], p. 137-144, feb. 2017. ISSN 1875-1490. Available at: <https://journals.open.tudelft.nl/index.php/footprint/article/view/1436>. Date accessed: 12 dec. 2018. doi: https://doi.org/10.7480/footprint.10.2.1436.
Published
2017-02-04