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greenelent@earthlink.net

This July, I joined a delegation of International Observers to Northern Ireland. Summer in Northern Ireland means that nationalist (mainly Catholic) residents must endure the Loyalist Orange Order Marching Season, when the Orange Order and their supporters will march through nationalist neighborhoods. In Belfast it also means an increase in sectarian violence, most of it perpetrated on nationalist residents by loyalist paramilitaries. A constant barrage of pipe bombs, petrol bombs, paint bombs and projectiles are thrown over the dividing (also known as interface) walls at their homes and their children. It also means that thousands of police and army troops come into nationalist communities, under the guise of protecting them,and engage in surveillance of their communities . I spent 10 days in the nationalist neighborhood of Ardoyne in North Belfast and this is the story of my delegation and a brief look at the struggle of that community.

- Diane Greene Lent (please contact greenelent@earthlink.net if you are interested in using any of these images.)

The Delegation of International Observers of the Irish Parades Emergency Committee (IPEC) began activities in the Short Strand in East Belfast. The Short Strand is an interface area, an area where barriers have been built to separate nationalist (mainly Catholic) and loyalist (mainly Protestant) neighborhoods and nationalist residents have been subjected to hundreds of attacks over the wall by blast bombs and projectiles since April.
This is a display of objects recovered by nationalist residents. The pieces on the right are from a pipe bomb. This photo was taken at an IPEC Press Conference on July 5, 2002 of objects recovered by Catholic residents.
Internationals from France and the United States observe an interface barrier in the Short Strand
Nothing can stop the Royal Mail from being delivered to Short Strand's residents who board their windows to protect them from bomb attacks.
Sheila shows us where a paint bomb hit her back porch.
The Ardoyne neighborhood of North Belfast has been the scene of much turmoil and sectarian violence, particularly over the last year. Catholic school girls were attacked while going to Holy Cross Girl's School over several months in 2001. The attacks attracted world press attention.
Holy Cross mothers meet together in a support group.
Father Aiden Troy of Holy Cross and a mother, Elaine tell us how the children had obscenities and bags of urine thrown at them by Loyalists. Father Troy said that if Holy Cross Primary closes it means that all Catholic schools are in jeopardy.
Mary, another worried mother directs the Ardoyne Women's Committee which works with women of both communities.

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