Public space and civil conflict
in Civic identity and public space
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By the late nineteenth century sectarian and political divisions were inscribed on Belfast’s urban landscape. Residential segregation, creating a large Catholic residential district in West Belfast, permitted the growth of a Catholic and nationalist associational culture that would not otherwise have been possible. Key sites – the Custom House, the Ulster Hall, the city centre – acquired a political significance. Attempts by militant Protestants to impose an absolute veto on Catholic access to the city centre were defeated. But events during the Home Rule crisis of 1912–14 showed that Belfast was already on its way to becoming the capital of a potential Protestant and unionist state.

Civic identity and public space

Belfast since 1780

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