Belfast at boiling point over protests

Tensions are rising on both sides of the 'peace walls' in the city, as loyalists continue to protest against the union flag legislation, writes Peter Geoghegan.

20th January, 2013
Loyalist protesters leaving Belfast City Hall to march past the nationalist Short Strand area. Photo: Presseye

Belfast is often described as a patchwork quilt of conflicting loyalties. Most residents live on streets that are overwhelmingly nationalist or unionist. Imposing 'peace walls' physically separate communities. This has long been the case on the Suffolk estate in west Belfast, where a small Protestant community of less than a thousand people are separated from the much larger Catholic population in Lenadoon.

During the Troubles, tensions between Suffolk and Lenadoon often ran high, particularly when...

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