Skip to main content

Bullets make suffering real

West Belfast's notorious sectarian streets were a culture shock for Roman Catholic pupils from Liverpool, writes Neal Smith.

The Year 11 girls certainly stood out on the Loyalist Shankhill Road, their bottle-green uniforms in stark contrast to the red, white and blue-painted paving stones and Union Jack and St George's Cross flags fluttering from lamp posts.

The 24 pupils from Bellerive Faithful Companions of Jesus RC College had found it difficult to appreciate how separately these Belfast communities exist.

That changed when they saw the peaceline, the wall dividing West Belfast communities, and a plastic bullet allegedly fired by British soldiers 30 years before.

Fifteen-year-old Tanya Costello said: "I've never seen anything like it. I had no idea people were still kept apart like this."

Abby Dunn, 16, said: "Coming here gives you a feel for what really goes on and we can feel how angry people are."

Log in or register for FREE to continue reading.

It only takes a moment and you'll get access to more news, plus courses, jobs and teaching resources tailored to you