The Peace Walls Project

Bishop Street and the Fountain have been separated by a dividing wall for over four decades (since the early 1970s). For many years this imposing physical barrier separating the mainly Protestant residents of the Fountain and the mainly Catholic residents of Bishop Street and beyond was considered broadly necessary to ensure the safety of both communities.

The wall had its place in time and like many of the countries ‘Peace Walls’ on community interfaces it has, in more recent years, become a focus of negative attention. The wall nowadays, for many (*but not all – it must be stated) people in both communities is no longer a symbol of protection and comfort – but of one of isolation, division and exclusion. The Peace Walls Project aims to break down the notion that the wall is a ‘necessary evil’ and open up both communities to the prospect and the potential of direct, unsegregated co-habitation within a unified community.

This site aims to showcase the social, cultural and industrial heritage of these communities in a way which ‘opens’ up both communities for locals and tourists alike to enjoy and educate themselves via the resources within. Many tourists travel to the city annually and visit the city’s popular attractions and sights, but very few venture further afield than the city centre. This project aims to encourage visitors to broaden their cultural horizons and enjoy what both communities have to offer.

The project developed a variety of informational tools and materials (developed by local businesses and community organisations / facilitated by local schools and  community resources) to help showcase the heritage and tourism potential of both communities, including: multi-location signage, a heritage publication, dedicated promotional tourism material (flyers, maps etc), an online resource and and a multi-device App.

This project, developed by the Gasyard Trust, is sponsored by the Office of First Minister and Deputy First Minister and NIHE (Northern Ireland Housing Executive).

  • NIHE
  • Gasyard Centre