Taking down walls not popular in interface areas…

Interesting shared line from former combatants William Plum Smyth and Spike Murray, who agree that the peace walls hastily erected in the early part of the troubles should be retained. And it’s a feeling replicated amongst ordinary on both sides of barriers that have remained in place for well over 40 years now…

Patsy Canavan a resident of Bombay Street…

“It’s grand as long as the peace line stays up, but I wouldn’t like to see it coming down – it’s far too early,” she said. “I wouldn’t feel safe. In fact, I would like to see it higher up instead of taken down. A golf ball came over it about a month ago, and in the summer you can get stones and bottles thrown over – not as much as before but they still come over. You have to be a wee bit careful when kids are out playing. We just want peace lines kept up because we can feel safer, and I’m sure the other people on the other side wouldn’t want to see them down either.”

HOwever Murray notes that much of the trouble engendered at the interface is far from political these days:

“There have been a number of attacks in this area – orchestrated by both sides, I have to say, not just one side. It’s mostly young people, and when you look at their background, they’re from broken families, broken homes. A lot of it is antisocial, it’s not political.”

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

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