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One peace wall down, 109 across Northern Ireland still to go

By Rebecca Black

Published 26/02/2016

The wall almost down
The wall almost down
Patrick Copeland with the bricks
Contractors moved in early yesterday to demolish the peace wall at the top of the Crumlin Road opposite Holy Cross Church in Belfast

After dividing communities for years, a Crumlin Road peace wall has been demolished.

The barriers started going up in 1969, the biggest and longest being one separating the Shankill and Falls Roads.

Alterations have been made to seven peace walls - including four sets of security gates being removed in Londonderry - but until this week not one of the barriers had been completely removed.

It means there are now a total of 109 peace walls across Northern Ireland.

The Department of Justice owns 51, the Housing Executive 20.

The others are either privately owned or in the hands of various public agencies.

Seven of the structures owned by the Department of Justice have been altered, including the four sets of security gates on Derry's walls in May 2013; fencing on Torrens Crescent in north Belfast in August 2013; a road barrier at Brucevale Park in north Belfast in October 2013, and a road barrier at Newington Street, also north Belfast, in November 2014.

The Crumlin Road wall is both the first wall to be removed and the first structure owned by the Housing Executive to come down.

A spokeswoman for the organisation said that discussions about future plans for the area were being held.

"The demolition of the wall at Ardoyne is a positive outcome of relationship-building within and between both communities living at this interface," the spokeswoman added.

"Discussions are still ongoing about future plans for the area."

Belfast Telegraph

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