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Fear, Mobility and Living in the Ardoyne and Upper Ardoyne Communities



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Text: Pete Shirlow ... Page Compiled: Fionnuala McKenna
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Fear, Mobility and Living in the Ardoyne
and Upper Ardoyne Communities

A report by the
Mapping the Spaces of Fear Research Team (2000)
at the University of Ulster

Jointly supported by the North Belfast Partnership Board
and the ESRC (Violence Research Programme)

[see also executive summary]

1.0 Introduction

The work commissioned by the North Belfast Partnership Board focused upon the relationship between real and perceived fears and how they impact upon job-seeking, economic reconstruction, leisure time and consumption. In particular, the work undertaken built upon research relationships in which the communities studied were engaged in the design, implementation and dissemination of research. Moreover, it is hoped that the findings will be used to inform future policy interventions, community relations and additional work on interfaces.

In terms of the overall study the researchers undertook a quantitative survey on issues concerning the integration and mobility of the Ardoyne and Upper Ardoyne communities in relation to the production, consumption and observable social arenas. The pursuit of a quantitative survey was intentional in order to provide a more robust understanding of what the mobility issues facing both communities are. The central aims of the survey work were to:

  • facilitate a proper appreciation of the issues faced between interfaced communities
  • understand how violence and fear impacts upon mobility and the use of facilities
  • indicate to government and policymakers that the removal of fear requires an analysis of special needs and policy change
  • understand the complex nature of avoidance strategies
  • understand if and how fear and violence dilutes the potential for economic development and normalised patterns of living. In particular to indicate that fear may reduce the mobility needed when searching for work
  • provide data and information which sets out to the community the nature of the research undertaken
  • fully comprehend what living in and at an interface actually means
  • provide a policy initiative which provides the possibility of linking into all agencies, groups and individuals with a direct interest in the problem of interfaced areas
  • provide data that indicates that fear is shared by all denominations, age groups and genders
  • understand the link between fear/violence and the perpetuation of economic and social deprivation


1.1 Contextual Background

The link between violence against the person and issues of national, ethnic and religious identities is well documented. ‘Political' violence is bound up with questions of territoriality at different local and national scales. But much of the analysis has remained at high levels of abstraction, with over-generalisations, which fail to distinguish between different types of violence, or between different types of area.

Residential segregation, in North Belfast, while well researched, is only one spatial response to violence, and other spatial arenas, including places of consumption and production such as shops and workplaces, and their connections with residence, have been relatively neglected. Over-generalisations about Belfast as a whole miss the constitutive importance of geographical variations and socio-spatial setting as determinants of violence.

While there has been speculation about the ‘brutalising effects’ of political conflict, and other forms of violence there has been little exploration of the complex connections that violence and fear produce. The result is an incomplete picture of the effects of violence, and an even more incomplete picture of its socio-spatial dynamics.

The importance of different spatial arenas in reproducing violence and its effects is well recognised. Fears of intimidation, the religious composition of workplaces and their location influence the decisions of the majority of job applicants in Belfast. Intimidation takes different forms - physical or actualised violence, verbal or rhetorical violence, other mental or implied violence - which demarcate and reproduce symbolic spaces of fear. Thus spatial mobility in relation to patterns of consumption is also influenced by concerns for personal safety. Cultures of fear create socio-economic costs in the retail, service and industrial sectors of North Belfast. However, although we know these problems exist there has been no detailed analysis of North Belfast in order to determine how fear reproduces itself and more crucially how it can be challenged. Without this knowledge it is impossible to understand the wider implications of fear and violence upon everyday norms and socio-spatial activity patterns of the diverse population residing in North Belfast.

Given the perpetuating effect of 'political violence' and the growth in civil violence, critical questions have to be asked about the potential for socio-economic and cultural reconstruction of those communities affected by violence in a period of tentative 'peace'. This has a bearing on wider questions of social exclusion (and inclusion) even though violence is infrequently considered as an issue in social policy in its broadest sense. The costs of violence can be felt in complex ways. Firstly, there are both individual and group costs. Secondly, there are socio-economic, cultural, political and psychological costs which go far beyond the narrow parameters of conventional 'cost-benefit' accounting.

Some of the economic costs of violence are comparatively well described. Violence in Northern Ireland has typically been measured using standardised quantitative measures (e.g. number of deaths, buildings destroyed, capital/reconstruction costs). But there are crucial secondary effects, which should also be considered. Other aspects of violence, which include the socio-cultural costs to community stability and individual psychological make-up, have tended to be ignored. There is, therefore, a need to develop more inclusive models of the costs of different forms of violence. Such models should also recognise that violence has differential impacts and meanings for various communities.

More critically motivated analyses should acknowledge the complex effects of different forms of violence. They therefore ought to include group costs relating to consumption patterns, service provision, investment decisions, and production. The group social effects of violence are likely to be particularly important in a number of ways. The most fundamental of these is that the sundering of communities (and the creation of marginalised areas) has implications for the provision of services and public goods in North Belfast and the wider Belfast arena. This means that the differential impacts and meaning of violence by social class and location is likely to be a key theme.

Clearly the socio-economic and cultural history of place is central to any narration or understanding of communal devotion, collective action and socio-cultural modification. Moreover, modes of socio-cultural resistance emanate from ongoing and modified processes of socialisation which, because they are distinctive to place, give specific meaning to life and living in that place. In turn, and in reaction to multi-layered forms of social precedent, place and its readings can also engender among individuals and communities an identifiable pool of resistance against the real and imagined processes of socio-economic and cultural modification which re-define the nature and composition of places and localities.

Within the two study areas the dissimilarity in political affiliation, demographic alteration and perceptions of besiegment are prevalent when the attitudes and perceptions of residents are explored. Although, both communities live in fear the manner in which these fears and modes of victimhood are explained, expressed and understood is divergent. In many ways fear is explained through the framework of blaming the opposite community. As such comprehending how space has been either socially or culturally fabricated into a distinctive understanding of place, in relation to the manifestation of mobility and fear provides crucial insights into the production and reproduction of conflict and conflictual attitudes.

However, a valid interpretation of how place and cultural identity are constituted demands an analysis, which stretches beyond the nature, and form of built environments, through embracing an analysis, which includes the examination of other observable processes of social life. As such material, and residual relationships are saturated with expressive meaning as they are placed in the subjective and at times introspective context of the iconographies and landscapes of past and present occurrences. Indeed, the level of victimhood within each community can be explained in relation to the ‘brutalising effect of violence’. To begin with a quarter of all fatalities in the contemporary conflict occurred with a mile radius of Alliance Avenue, a feature of conflict which has inscribed itself upon the consciousness of conflictual communities.

In Upper Ardoyne the decline of the population from c3000 in 1971 to around 1500 today illustrates a process of decline. A process, which is read as having emerged as a result of violence and erroneous policymaking against the community. The slow decline of Wheatfield Primary and the re-stocking of the community with fewer homes provide a sense of cultural dissipation and betrayal. In many ways this decline produces a resolve to remain and to try and keep possession of a Protestant/Unionist territory. In antithesis to this the continual growth in the Ardoyne population (c6000 in 1991) and the inability to accommodate population overspill in Upper Ardoyne provides a sense that policymakers are accommodating Protestant/Unionist demands before the needs of Ardoyne. As such community relationships are conditioned by suspicion, mistrust and low levels of reciprocity.

What ultimately emerges between the two communities is a geography of socio-cultural domination and/or resistance in which power relationships are spatialised and imagined in distinct and observable ways. In particular reactive ideological forms are primarily concerned with the definition and defensive reaction to particular cultural and social forms, which are construed as alien, hostile and unacceptable. Given that the two areas are clearly demarcated it is obvious that modes and patterns of avoidance are played out though a reactive consciousness based upon fear, mistrust and threat.

This report conveys this sense that the localised nature of politics of territorial control, avoidance and resistance, where the imperatives of communal difference, segregation and exclusion have predominated over the politics of shared interests, integration, assimilation and consensus. The report charts and explains the relevance of mobility and fear in the reproduction of forms of highly politicised identities, which are linked to notions of ‘besiegement’ and cultural dissipation/rejection.

In many instances reactive forms of cultural opposition are tied to notions of cultural dissipation, beseigement, threat and intimidation. Obviously the reality and perception of fear which is tied to the religious ‘other’ means that many individuals cling tenaciously to the values they have acquired and feel threatened when confronted with others who live according to different conceptions of what is desirable. Thus cultural and political identity are like "security blanket" which "have great meaning to its owner".

It is in this sense, too, that the disquisition which constitutes ethnic division, in the study areas is reproduced through what are essentially 'lived experiences’. In particular, for those surveyed in Upper Ardoyne the defence of boundaries or the perception that communally defined boundaries are, or could be, altered by the in-migration of the religious ‘other’ means that a reactive consciousness is not simply reproduced through ideology itself, but also in relation to mobility through physical and spatial terms. For respondents in Ardoyne the ability to move within this community is relatively easy and at this time safe. However, the sense that this community is rejected, unwelcome, threatened or excluded from other areas within the city is a primary concern. As such both communities feel besieged but in different ways.

In both cases, defining the religious 'Other', especially against the backdrop of violence, leads to the imposition of negative and putative characteristics upon a ‘collective other’ whose lifestyle, culture and politics must be both resisted avoided or repelled. Ultimately, the culturally hostile manner of reactive resistance and the desire to challenge pan-cultural contact leads in turn to what are essentially cultures of beseigement, which, focus upon imaginings which distinguish the 'we' from the 'they'. Such a conception of peoples undoubtedly fortifies group togetherness, on the one hand, and provides a rational for group action and mobility, on the other. This does not necessarily mean that either community is against cross-community linkage but that cross-community linkage is undermined and limited by fear, victimhood, and alternative understandings of how these variables arise.

As such the primacy of fear and violence has been to create a biosphere of cultural opposition which is firmly established upon the primary binary opposition of the Collective Self and the Collective Other, and upon the construction of a necessary relationship between the two. The Collective Self, for both of the communities studied is subjectively defined in terms of 'Devotion’ to what is imagined as a distinctly Protestant/Catholic way of life. The Collective Other is the 'Menace', which can come from a range of social groups or agencies but which is particularly constructed in terms of the ‘other’ community. The mediating practice, which defines the necessary relationship between the two, is the notion of 'Defence' and ‘Avoidance’. 'Communal Devotion' in this sense is produced and re-worked through animosity and identifiable defence/avoidance strategies.

The Collective Self is, in other words, built upon the sum of the social relationships experienced by someone growing up within a particular value system. At the same time, through the discourse of 'threat' any challenge to, or change in, the position of the 'Collective Self' is experienced within the context of traditional lines of division and conflict. More important is the perception that division is tied not to flaws within the character of the ‘Collective Self’ but is due to the encroachment or existence of the ‘Collective Other’. As a result, the potency of such interpretations means that communities must defend themselves or avoid each other.

It is in this sense that the report focuses upon the relative autonomy of ideology and collective consciousness as a determining factor on social action; the way, in other words, material, political and cultural relationships are perceived within the context of a pre-existing, if discursive, frameworks. The role of division clearly indicates how ethnic relationships in North Belfast crosscut politics, economics, consumption and socialising.

1.2 Key Issues and Goals

The proposed analysis of violence is tied to demarcating the effects of violence upon individualised patterns of consumption, and people's daily activity patterns in relation to housing, shopping and leisure in North Belfast and its immediate hinterland. In terms of production the analysis is linked to determining the effect of violence upon perceptions of workplaces, labour markets associated patterns of travel and economic development. Given that North Belfast has an underdeveloped industrial base it is evident that its job-seeking population has to be more mobile that its counterparts in other parts of Belfast. As such job-seeking mobility in North Belfast is more likely to be impacted upon by the nature of ethno-sectarianised labour markets and fear. This is a major problem for a community already affected by socio-economic deprivation.

As such the goal of this work was to disentangle the modes, reproduction and costs of various forms of violence in North Belfast. In turn this research aimed to untangle the complex manner in which various ‘violences’ reproduce themselves, intersect and interact with each other to regulate spatial behaviour at different scales, including local neighbourhoods, interfaces and the wider economic and social environment.

As such, this work sought to identify the socio-spatial dynamics and reproduction of violence, the causal role of different socio-spatial settings and their consequent costs/burdens. The costs as primary and secondary. The project provides conventional findings on primary costs of violence such as direct individual and group burdens. However, the work also promotes a non-conventional analysis of secondary effects through emphasising the wider theoretical and empirical issues related to living in highly interfaced communities.

1.3 Methodology

The survey in the study areas was based upon surveying 100 individuals in each study area. The surveys were conducted in people’s homes. In each area the respondents were selected by the criteria of sex (50/50 split), location (50/50 between those within 100 metres and those who are not within 100 metres of the Allaince Avenue interface) and age. Given that the survey related to the theme of mobility all interviewees were of adult or working age. The survey’s construction was based upon these divisons so as to ensure that the survey was not biased toward any particular sex or age group. The questionnaire included a selection of closed questions in order to ensure standardisation in collection between interviewees.

The first part of the work undertaken was based upon a consultation process with members of North Belfast Partnership, Concorde Community Centre, Ardoyne Focus Group and Rab and Michael from CDC. During these consultations it was agreed that the survey should aim to:

  • ascertain a range of issues which include perceptions and experiences of violence.
  • comprehend the nature of fear and its impact upon mobility and living
  • understand how the restriction of mobility impacts upon job seeking, consumption and leisure activities
  • understand how restricted mobility reduces the potential use of facilities and shops within the study areas and its immediate hinterland and how this reduces economic development and normal patterns of consumption
  • comprehend the impact of fear and violence upon different age groups

Members from both the Ardoyne Focus Group and the Concord Centre were regularly consulted during the design stage of the questionnaire in order to identify and clarify the issues pertinent to daily life in the two communities. The final draft of the questionnaire was compiled in collaboration with the two community groups as well a representative of the North Belfast Partnership Board. Associates of the Ardoyne Focus Group and Concorde Community Centres were selected as interviewers to present the questionnaire to individuals in their respective communities. It was proposed, as noted above, that 100 participants would be surveyed in each of the two communities. Interviewers were asked to select approximately 50 male and 50 female participants of mixed age range, each within Ardoyne and Upper Ardoyne. It was further suggested that the interviewers choose potential respondents based on their place of residence. In order to compare differences in daily constraints for residents living on an interface (e.g. Alliance Avenue) with those living more deeply within their community’s residential area, interviewers were requested to select their respondents from streets on and away from the interface.

The Mapping the Spaces of Fear in North Belfast questionnaire comprised a number of main themes or aspects of daily life, with particular reference to amenities situated in North Belfast. Section one of the survey explored the demographics of household characteristics. The second section examined the respondent’s educational and occupational background and views on job-seeking activities. The third section collated the respondent’s consumption and leisure habits. This section sought information concerning where the respondent preferred and feared to shop; which leisure facilities s/he choose for entertainment, and how the respondent traveled to work, to shop and to socialise. The fourth section concentrated explicitly on fearful behaviour. It investigated the times, seasons, and areas where the respondent felt safe or frightened to be outside his/her home. It compiled times when the respondent was a victim of violence, and it explored post-ceasefire opinions of the status of violence within North Belfast. The final section queried the facilities that were available and those that were required in the respondent’s area of residence.

Two interviewers canvassed each respondent. Associates of the Concorde Centre interviewed residents of Upper Ardoyne, while associates of the Ardoyne Focus Group interviewed residents of Ardoyne. Approximately fifteen minutes were required to complete each questionnaire. Responses were collated, coded and analysed with SPSS 8.0.

2.0 Research Findings

Although the survey was based upon the experiences of individual respondents of either working or pensionable age, determining the construction of the households in which the respondents lived was important. It is evident, that the experiences of violence and fear affect people of all ages and in particular it is clear that the knowledge of violent discord and atavistic community relationships are passed on through the generations. In particular, the telling of fear and the language of victimhood is a major fact in the reproduction of violence and apprehension.

2.1 Housing Characteristics

As indicated in Table 1 the average size of the households surveyed in Ardoyne (3.5 per household) was higher than in the Upper Ardoyne study area (2.3 persons per household). In terms of household structure respondent’s households tended to contain more people over the age of 55 in Upper Ardoyne (17.8%) than was the case in Ardoyne (8.1%). Whereas in Ardoyne (52.4%) households tended to have more people aged 24 and under than was evident within the Upper Ardoyne sample (39.7%). This would suggest, as is the case with other evidence, that the two study areas have dissimilar demographic profiles.

Table 1: Percentage share of household members, within study area, by age

Age Groups

Ardoyne (%)

Upper Ardoyne (%)

10-15 years

31.9

30.3

16-24 years

20.5

9.4

25-34 years

17.3

20.5

35-54 years

21.9

21.7

55-pension age

5.6

11.9

Pension age +

2.5

5.9

Average Household Size

3.5

2.3

Total Number of Persons

351

234

Upper Ardoyne, like many Protestant working class communities in Belfast is experiencing population decline due to a process of out-migration due to a deterioration of certain housing, social mobility, fear and the decline of traditional industries and community solidarity and cohesion. The antithesis of this process of decline is experienced in Ardoyne within which the birthrates and demands for scarce housing are high. As such it is evident that the study areas are experiencing dissimilar patterns of growth, household structure and housing demand. These dissimilar social and demographic patterns are important factor in the reproduction of indigent social and communal relationships between the two communities.

In particular, the fact that the Upper Ardoyne area has vacant space, on which housing could, theoretically, be built in order to accommodate population overspill from Ardoyne is a major point of contestation and discord between the two communities. For the majority of interviewees who live in Upper Ardoyne the desire to populate the area with those who at present reside in Ardoyne is seen as either unwarranted or unacceptable. The recognition that the area will or could be peopled by residents from Ardoyne furthers the perception that the population of the Upper Ardoyne area is besieged. This notion of besiegment fits into a wider consciousness among many Protestants/Unionists that there is a desire both on the part of Catholics/Nationalists and the Housing Executive to move the Protestant working class out of the city as a process of political appeasement. In particular, violence directed towards the Upper Ardoyne area is often read as an active attempt to encourage this community to either move out or further back towards the area around the Ballysillan Leisure Centre so as to provide space on which to build homes for the ‘other community’.

For those interviewed within Ardoyne the actuality of high demand for housing coupled with insufficient space on which to build additional homes promotes the logic that population overspill should be accommodated within the vacant spaces located within the Upper Ardoyne area. Moreover, the perceived failure of those who live within the Upper Ardoyne area and the Housing Executive to accommodate population overspill is seen as a refusal to adopt policies, which address ‘real’ needs and concerns. Such an analysis leads to the supposition that those who live in Upper Ardoyne are due to their intransigence failing to accommodate wider needs. In sum the housing issue creates a dismal space within which inter-community atavism is both played out and reproduced.

In addition to household structure respondents were questioned on the theme of home and car ownership. As shown in Table 2 significantly more respondents are homeowners within Ardoyne (40%) than is the case within Upper Ardoyne (24.2%). This evidence suggests further the extent of dissimilar experiences between the two communities. Higher levels of home ownership within Ardoyne may testify that there is a stronger commitment among those residents who can afford homes to stay within the Ardoyne community. In contradiction to this it could be concluded that low levels of home ownership in the Upper Ardoyne area indicates that those with the resources necessary to purchase homes tend to move to other areas which are deemed either more attractive or safe. In addition it could be concluded that the population of the Upper Ardoyne area has tended more towards transience. However, whatever the reason are for the differences in the levels of home ownership it is more than likely that areas which shift from public to private ownership are those which have a more marked and determined future.

Table 2: Status of Occupancy by Study Area

 

Ardoyne

Upper Ardoyne

Owned

40%

24.2%

Rented

9%

11%

Housing Executive

47%

64.8%

Other

4%

0%

Housing is also an important variable in the study of fear and inter-community hostility given the contestation over territory, which has been a feature of the contemporary conflict. Indeed, one of the outcomes of violence has been the continual movement of many individuals in the search of safe places in which to live. Ultimately, this has meant living or moving to areas, which are peopled by those of the same ethnic, political or cultural affiliation. Within this survey it was evident that many respondents had moved to the study areas due to concerns over security and intimidation. As indicated in Table 3 the majority of people in both communities had moved in search of better housing/facilities or due to family ties. Over a quarter had moved to the Upper Ardoyne area due other reasons, which included an inability to gain housing elsewhere or to be closer to work and friends.

In relation to movement due to the previous residential area being perceived as unsafe both communities had similar profiles (Ardoyne: 13%/Upper Ardoyne: 15.7%). Furthermore, in relation to intimidation 1-in-10 respondents in Ardoyne compared to 6.7% in Upper Ardoyne had moved to the study area due to intimidation. In sum 23.9% of respondents in Ardoyne and 22.4% of respondents in Upper Ardoyne had moved to the study areas due to either fear or intimidation. These findings not only signify the effect that conflict and fear has played in the lives of many people who reside in each study area but may also indicate reasons why fear and low levels of inter-community co-operation are reproduced.

Table3: Main Reason for Leaving Previous Residential Area

 

Ardoyne

Upper Ardoyne

Better Housing in Study Area

19.6%

23.6%

Better Facilities in Study Area

10.9%

9%

Previous Area Was Unsafe

13%

15.7%

Intimidated Out of Previous Area

10.9

6.7

Family Ties/Moved Back to Area

36.9%

23.6%

Other

8.7%

21.4%

Levels of car ownership are similar, although slightly lower within the Upper Ardoyne study area (Table 4). The importance of car ownership is vital in relation to not only the extent but also the possibility of mobility. Quite clearly those who own cars are more likely to undertake journeys when dark and through/to areas dominated by the ‘other’ religion. As such those who do not own cars are more reliant on taxis and public transport. The use of these modes of transport is therefore, determined and limited by the routes offered and the notion that public transport is less safe than private alternatives.

Table 4: Percentage of households which own a car

 

Ardoyne

Upper Ardoyne

Car Ownership

58%

50.5%

Respondents who lived within 100 meters[1] of the interface on Alliance Avenue were questioned on whether or not they perceived themselves to be living at the interface. The supposition being that those who lived closest to the interface would be more likely than those who do not to be influenced by it’s existence. The aim of this question was to determine the extent to which the interface is perceived as both a boundary or as a threat to individuals within each community. As indicated in Table 5 the vast majority of those from Upper Ardoyne (93.3%) who lived within 100 meters of the interface perceived their residence to be located on the interface compared to 61.1% in Ardoyne.

This disparity in perception would seem to suggest that the cognitive understanding of the interface as a boundary between the communities is more palpable among those surveyed within the Upper Ardoyne study area. There are three possible explanations for this. Firstly, the interface on Alliance Avenue has two particular geographies. In perceptual and physical terms Alliance Avenue is more closely associated with the Ardoyne study area. Those who live in Ardoyne can access Alliance Avenue and its shops with relative ease. However, for those who live in Upper Ardoyne access to Alliance Avenue is limited due to the physical existence of walls and the perception that Alliance Avenue is not a safe place for those from Upper Ardoyne to go. Secondly, it could be supposed that the violence, which has been undertaken along the Alliance Avenue interface, is more than likely directed or perceived to be directed against the Upper Ardoyne area. Thirdly, population shifts have meant that the Protestant community, which once lived on Alliance Avenue, has all but disappeared. This may produce a sense that Alliance Avenue is a space, which has been territorialised by the ‘other’ community, a feature of demographic change, which promotes both a senses of foreboding and fear.

Table 5: Percentage of Respondents Who Live Within 100 metres of Alliance Avenue Interface Who Perceive Themselves as Living in an Interface Area

 

Ardoyne

Upper Ardoyne

Not At Interface

38.9%

6.7%

At Interface

61.1%

93.3%

In sum it was apparent that in relation to previous and present habituation, within the study areas, that the impact of forced movement and the perception that the study areas are interfaced are both common and undeniable. Indeed, the reality that household structures, demographies and perceptions are dissimilar furthers the notion that ethnic division produces divergent social profiles between the study areas.

2.2 Production, Work and Fear

In order to determine the impact of fear and ethnic division between the two study areas respondents were asked a series of questions, which linked issues such as work, intimidation and perceptions of personal security. As indicated below it is obvious that fear is both produced within the workplace and in many instances negotiating ‘safe journeys’ to places of work is a crucial factor in the search for employment.

In relation to qualifications the study areas produced similar profiles. As indicated in Table 6 the majority of respondents (Ardoyne 55.4%/Upper Ardoyne 60.2%) within each sample did not hold qualifications. In addition only 1.8% (all of whom lived in Ardoyne) of those surveyed had degree level qualifications or above. Education is without doubt a crucial factor in the search and acquisition of work. In addition the ability to gain good qualifications not only provides the opportunity to find meaningful and well-paid work but also provides the opportunity to gain jobs which are less likely to be influenced by ethno-sectarian discord. Evidence suggests that individuals working in the higher status occupations are less likely to be victims of prejudice, violence and sectarian abuse. As shown in Table 7 the vast majority of present or previous occupations held by respondents are located within the middle and bottom ends of the occupational scale. In relation to the top end of the occupational scale 13.2% of respondents from Ardoyne and 8.6% from Upper Ardoyne had/worked in the Manager and Administrator, Professional or Associated Professional standard occupational categories. In addition 35.8% from Ardoyne and 26.1% in Upper Ardoyne had or do hold craft and skilled manual positions. Clearly, the majority of present/previous employment is located within the bottom end of the labour market.

Table 6: Respondent’s highest level of qualification

Qualification

Ardoyne

Upper Ardoyne

None

55.4%

60.2%

Below NVQ 2 or equivalent

16.9%

18.1%

NVQ 2 or equivalent

19.3%

12%

NVQ 3 or equivalent

4.8%

9.6%

Degree level or above

3.6%

0%

Table 7: Respondent’s Present or Most Recent Standard Occupational Classification

 

Ardoyne

Upper Ardoyne

Managers & Administrators

9.4%

4.3%

Professional Occupations

1.9%

2.9%

Associate Professional & Technical Staff

1.9%

1.4%

Clerical & Secretarial

9.4%

14.5%

Craft & Skilled Manual

35.8%

26.1%

Personal & Protective services

3.8%

5.8%

Sales

5.7%

13%

Plant & Machine operatives

5.7%

5.8%

Semi/Unskilled Manual and Other

26.4%

26.1%

In relation to current activity rates around a third of the respondents in each study area are presently in active employment (Table 8). In Ardoyne nearly twice as many respondents are registered as unemployed. Unsurprisingly, given that the respondents in Upper Ardoyne tended to be older nearly 50% of those surveyed in the Upper Ardoyne area are registered as inactive, which suggests that within this community a high number of people are living on pensions or possibly caring for a relative.

Table 8: Respondent’s present employment status

 

Ardoyne

Upper Ardoyne

Employed

38.6%

32.2%

Government Scheme

3.4%

1.1%

Registered Unemployed

36.4%

17.2%

Inactive

21.6%

49.4%

A wider topic in relation to work and the construction of labour markets is the issue of religious discrimination. Communities which feel that they are discriminated against are less likely to apply for jobs in places which are peopled by the ‘other religion’, especially if such jobs are identified as being located in ‘republican or loyalist areas’. In sum two relationships can dissuade active job seeking. Firstly, the belief that there is no point applying to workplaces dominated by employees of the opposite religion provides a sense of labour market fatalism. Secondly, journeys to or through areas dominated by the other religion are deemed to be unwise and potentially dangerous.

The extent to which respondents within each study area determined that their community was discriminated against was high. In Ardoyne, 9 in 10 compared to 7 in 10 in Upper Ardoyne believe that their community is discriminated against. Such a high response rate fits into the wider sense that both communities are being treated unfairly. Indeed, much of the labour market debate in Northern Ireland has been fixated with the existence, reproduction or perpetuation of discrimination. Furthermore, it is obvious that perceptions of discrimination impede job-seeking as individuals fatalistically determine that jobs are being guaranteed for the ‘other’ community. However, there have been fewer debates on how fear as opposed to discrimination impedes and complicates readings of the labour market. This in effect is a glaring lacuna in labour market research thus far.

In order to address this issue respondents were asked a series of questions, which related to the issues, which linked job seeking, by fear, working with the opposite religion and issues relating to intimidation at work. Within the sample the vast majority of respondents in Ardoyne (68%) compared to those in Upper Ardoyne (37.5%) sense that job seeking is influenced by fear (Table 9). This would suggest a major barrier in the search for work, especially when it is noted that both communities suffer from higher than average levels of unemployment. The disparity in the findings in relation to job seeking would suggest that respondents in Ardoyne sense that the majority of workplaces are located in arenas within which their personal security cannot be guaranteed. Indubitably, this provides a sense among those in Ardoyne that the arenas within which employment is located in Belfast are, in many instances, alien or hostile to them. Ultimately, a sense of besiegment in relation to locating secure workplaces is more apparent among Ardoyne respondents. In particular, the sense of fear may also be linked to a wider Republican/Nationalist interpretation, which argues that the location of employment has historically been used to reproduce Unionist politics and control through a politics of exclusion. However, the fact that 70% of respondents in Upper Ardoyne believe that their community is discriminated against also indicates a sense that, contemporary policymakers and governments are employing an alternative and exclusionary labour market strategy.

Table 9: Fear, Workplace Domination and Travel

 

Ardoyne

Upper Ardoyne

Is Your Job Seeking Influenced by Fear

68%

37.5%

Do You Work in a Placed Dominated by the Other Religion

36.7%

34.1%

Have You Worked in a Place Dominated by the Other Religion

74.1%

72.1%

Would Your Work in a Place Peopled by the Other Religion

68.8%

75.6%

Would you Travel to Work Through Areas Peopled by the Opposite Religion?

59.2%

75%

Around 70% of respondents in both study areas had previously worked in places peopled by the other religion (Table 9). However, only around1 in 3 presently do so. This decline in the numbers working in either mixed or workplaces dominated by the opposite religion may signify how the impact of fear and intimidation and ‘chill factors’ presently operate. It could be postulated that people are tending to locate workplaces which are safe more so than was the case previously. However, the supposition could also be made that the decline of traditional industries, such as textiles, and the rise in unemployment over the past three decades has also provided fewer opportunities to gain work and thus engage with mixed workplaces.

Somewhat ironically the vast majority of respondents concluded that they would work in places ‘people by the other religion’. This would suggest given previous findings that respondents are cautious in their choice of workplaces but also that they are not totally opposed to working in ethnically mixed work environments.

A particular problem in the search for work is the issue of travelling to work through areas peopled by the opposite religion. As indicated in Table 9 40.8% of respondents from Ardoyne compared to 25% in Upper Ardoyne would not undertake such a journey. This would suggest that for many individuals from Ardoyne the capacity to seek work is further impeded by a wider sense of fear based upon an extensive geographical notion of besiegment. Given the complex ethnic geography of North Belfast it is apparent that travelling out of Ardoyne into the wider urban area is complicated by the incapacity to travel though areas dominated by the ‘communal self’. Of course, for both communities travel is in many instances centred upon a mental map of safe and unsafe journeys.

The 84 respondents who stated that they ‘would not travel though areas dominated by the other religion’ were correspondingly asked if they would undertake such journeys if they did not rely upon public transport. In relation to this supposition 75% of respondents from Ardoyne compared to 42% from Upper Ardoyne stated that even if they did not have to rely on public transport to get to work that they would still not undertake such journeys. The lack of desire to use public transport by members of the Ardoyne community is also observable in Table 19. It would appear that the routes taken by buses tend to mean moving through areas dominated by the other religion more so than is the case for respondents from Upper Ardoyne. Attacks upon individuals from Ardoyne on the bus routes in and out of the city centre appears to be an important variable in the use of public transport.

Unfortunately, only a handful of respondents would provide the address of their places of work, which means that determining what are seen as safe workplaces is indeterminate. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that inhabitants from Ardoyne avoid areas such as the Shankill, Rathcool, and East Belfast. Similarly, those who reside in the Upper Ardoyne area deem republican areas in West and South Belfast as unsafe. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that working in the City Centre is seen as relatively safe. In sum, if this anecdotal evidence is correct then it can be assumed that the arena within which people search for work is limited by fear from intimidation. Furthermore, it proves further that ethnic factors and the reading of ‘other’ communities complicates the search for work.

In connecting intimidation and job seeking respondents were asked if they had been victims of physical, verbal or emotional modes of violence. In overall terms 45% of respondents from Ardoyne stated that they had been victims of intimidation compared to 34.1% of respondents from Upper Ardoyne (Table 10). Among the Ardoyne sample half cited that they had been victims of verbal intimidation. In addition respondents from Ardoyne were ten times more likely than their counterparts in Upper Ardoyne to state that they had been victims of physical violence within the workplace. However, similar percentage shares (Ardoyne 27% and Upper Ardoyne 23.1%) had been victims of verbal intimidation.

Table 10: Have you ever been intimidated at work because of your religion?

Form of Intimidation

Ardoyne

Upper Ardoyne

Physical Intimidation

11%

1.1%

Verbal Intimidation

27%

23.1%

Emotional Intimidation

16%

9.9%

However, the survey findings indicated that a simple correlation between victimization and fear influencing job seeking is inadmissible. Among the sub-set of victims of violence within the workplace the vast majority stated that they were not fearful in their present search for work. As indicated in Table 11 people who have been victims of violence are only slightly more likely (32.2%) than their non-intimidated counterparts (25.6%) to not work in places peopled by the opposite religion’. Undoubtedly, for those who have not been victims of violence their refusal to work in places peopled by the opposite religion could be conditioned by two factors. Firstly, it could be supposed that such individuals simply do not wish to mix with the ‘religious other’. Secondly, it could be that the telling of violence produces fears and obvious ‘structures of avoidance’. However, it is less easy to determine why so many victims of violence would continue to work in environments within which intimidation may reoccur. Undoubtedly, people continue to work in such environments through concluding that risk taking outweighs economic inactivity and the loss of income. Evidence to support this comes from the finding that 57% of those who presently work in mix workplaces do so although working in such places produces fear.

Table 11: Victims and Non-Victims of Intimidation within the Workplace by Would you work in a place peopled by the opposite religion?

 

Intimidated

Not intimidated

Would Work

68.4%

74.4%

Would not Work

32.2%

25.6%

In terms of work and the location of safe employment it is obvious that fear is a predominate variable in the production of distinct ‘chill factors’. As argued in the conclusion of this report the realities of fear and the persistence of ‘chill factors’ makes the operation of PAFT, Fair Employment and other equality policies somewhat loquacious.

2.3 Shopping and Consumption

In attempting to understand how fear affects everyday living respondents were asked a series of questions relating to consumption and leisure activities. To begin with respondents were asked if there were communities in North and West Belfast in which they would not shop. Accordingly, 76% from Ardoyne and 81.1% from Upper Ardoyne stated that such places existed. In relation to the City Centre 17% from Ardoyne compared to 38.9% from Upper Ardoyne claimed that they felt uneasy when shopping or socialising in the city centre. The higher rate in Upper Ardoyne seems to be based on the supposition that the area through which this community accesses the City Centre (the lower half or Royal Avenue/Gresham Street, North Street) has been ‘republicanised’. This seems to be due to the proximity of the black taxi rank and the presence of what are perceived as nationalist/republican bars in the vicinity of Castle Court.

Additional questions relating to consumption worked on the assumption that individuals would access the services and facilities which provided the best choice or which were located closest to them. Given the geography of the Ardoyne/Upper Ardoyne area, and the lack of shopping facilities in the Upper Ardoyne study area, it is obvious that the shops on the Ardoyne Road offer the best range of outlets for basic items likely to be purchased on a daily basis. However, as indicated in Table 12 only 1 in 5 respondents, from Upper Ardoyne, use the shops located on the Ardoyne Road. Of those who use these shops over 75% were over 55 years old. Anecdotal evidence suggests that those from Upper Ardoyne who use the facilities on the Ardoyne Road tend to feel that due to their age they are unlikely to be attacked as they pose no potential physical threat. In addition, it could be surmised that older people from Upper Ardoyne use these shops because of lack of mobility and that the use of this facility allows them to meet people from Ardoyne with whom they had formed social relationships prior to the contemporary conflict.

For the 80% of respondents from Upper Ardoyne who shopped elsewhere 22% used the mobile shops in the study area or went to other communities, which are predominantly Protestant/Unionist. As such in terms of shopping distinct ‘chill factors’ operate to such an extent that the majority of people, in Upper Ardoyne, are forced due to either fear or a desire not to mix with the ‘religious other’ to undertake significantly longer journeys than they would do if they shopped on the Ardoyne Road.

Among respondents who lived within Ardoyne 76% shopped either within Ardoyne or on the Ardoyne Road. Evidently, given that this community is larger and has a greater range of shopping facilities the ability to access shopping arenas which are determined as ‘safe’ is of less concern than is the case for respondents from the Upper Ardoyne study area.

Table 12: Where does your household usually shop for daily items like milk, newspapers, cigarettes, etc.?

 

Ardoyne

Upper Ardoyne

Abbey Centre

 

1%

Alliance

10%

 

Local Shops within Upper Ardoyne

 

22%

Local Shops within Ardoyne

44%

 

Ardoyne Road

32%

20%

Ballysillan

 

7%

Brompton Park

2%

 

Cliftonville

3%

1%

Crumlin Road

4%

 

Delivered to door

1%

 

Iceland

 

3%

Ligoneil

 

11%

Oldpark Road

2%

13%

Shankill

 

10%

Tescos (Twadale)

1%

9%

City Centre

 

1%

Upper Crumlin Road

 

1%

Yorkgate

1%

2%

Respondents were also asked to name the places they shopped at for weekly items. As indicated in Table 13 very few shared sites at which both communties shopped emerged. Although, there was some mixing in relation to certain sites of consumption the vast majority of respondents chose to undertake their weekly shopping in areas defined as either Protestant/Unionist or Catholic/Nationalist. In order to determine why this selection of outlets was so determined respondents were presented (Table 14) with a list of areas in order to determine the reason why they did not use such facilities.

Over 70% of respondents from Upper Ardoyne would not use the facilities, which are located in or close to Republican areas such as Curley’s, Ardoyne and the Park Centre. In each case the majority (Curley’s 69.2%/ Ardoyne 78%/Park Centre 53.8%) stated that their reason for not using these facilities was fear. Similarly, few respondents from Ardoyne would travel to areas associated with Loyalist/Unionist areas such as Twadale, Shankill and Ballysillan. As is the case with the Upper Ardoyne respondents fear more than any other variable influence the mobility of Ardoyne respondents. The two areas, which promoted the highest response that, fear precluded shopping in any area were (Ardoyne and Ballysillan) those closest to the study areas. Verbal evidence suggests that in both cases the fear of being recognized is a major concern.

Two areas, Northcote and Yorkgate, drew the most people from both communities. Northcote it was assumed was a relatively neutral place and due to its layout was easy to access. Given that it is also some distance form the study areas and is close to more mixed areas it is distinguished as being relatively safe. Yorkgate, it seems draws significant numbers from each study area, even though it is close to both republican and loyalist areas. Additional evidence suggests that respondents from each area, due to it containing, a cinema, restaurants and leisure facilities use Yorkgate more often.

In relation to socializing in pubs and clubs the majority of respondents in each community (Ardoyne 75%/Concore 60%) provided a response to the question,Which pub/club/social clubs, if any, does your household most frequently use?’. Given that the Upper Ardoyne study area has no pubs or social clubs it was unsurprising that the use of pubs and clubs was scattered across north and loyalist/unionist West and East Belfast (Table 15). Only two places within the Upper Ardoyne sample, merited a response in double figures; Hedgehog and Bucket and the Pigeon Club.

Habits connected with socializing were distinctly different with Ardoyne. The vast majority of respondents (89%) socialise within the Ardoyne area in a series of pubs and clubs. This profile is not dissimilar to other working-class communities in Belfast were the impact of the contemporary conflict encouraged people to undertake sanctuarised modes of socialization. Undoubtedly, the ability to socialize within your own community and to not have to undertake perilous journeys to and from establishments has been a primary concern. Indeed, many victims of the conflict in Ardoyne were individuals who were attacked at night going into or coming out of the Ardoyne area. As such and in relation to the two study areas the habits of socializing are divergent with only two places Ben Madigan’s and Lavery’s being used by individuals from both communties.

Table 12: Where does your household do the weekly shopping?

 

Ardoyne

Upper Ardoyne

Abbey

3

20

Alliance

1

 

Antrim Road

13

4

Ardoyne/Flax Centre

53

2

Ballysillan

 

1

Cliftonville Circus

 

1

Co-Op

2

25

Crumlin Road

3

 

Curleys

7

2

Dunnes

3

 

Iceland Antrim Road

27

2

Iceland Shankill

2

19

Ligoneil

 

5

Mace

10

1

Marks & Spencer

2

2

Northcote

1

 

Oldpark

 

8

Park Centre

5

 

Royal Avenue

3

1

Safeways

 

4

Sainsbury

 

1

Shankill

 

13

Spar

 

7

Tesco Antrim Road

38

2

Tesco (Twadale)

2

54

City Centre

1

5

Yorkgate

5

6

Table 14: Places by Study Area Vistitation

Curleys

Ardoyne

Upper Ardoyne

Would Go

95%

25.3%

Accessibility/ Distance

5%

3.3%

Fear

 

69.2%

Other / No reason given

 

2.2%

Ardoyne Shops

Ardoyne

Upper Ardoyne

Would Go

97%

18.7%

Accessibility/ distance

 

1.1%

Fear

1%

78%

Other / No Reason Given

2%

2.2%

Ballysillan

Ardoyne

Upper Ardoyne

Would Go

5%

82.5%

Accessibility/ Distance

5%

17.5%

Fear

95%

0%

Other / No Reason Given

 

0%

Northcote

Ardoyne

Upper Ardoyne

Would Go

74%

91.2%

Accessibility/ Distance

8%

4.4%

Fear

16%

2.2%

Other / No Reason Given

2%

2.2%

Park Centre

Ardoyne

Upper Ardoyne

Would Go

98%

41.8%

Accessibility/ distance

 

1.1%

Fear

2%

53.8%

Other / no reason given

 

3.3%

Shankill

Ardoyne

Upper Ardoyne

Would Go

25%

98.9%

Accessibility/ distance

 

1.1%

Fear

73%

 

Other / no reason given

2%

 

Twadale

Ardoyne

Upper Ardoyne

Would Go

25%

94.5%

Accessibility/ distance

 

1.1%

Fear

72%

 

Other / no reason given

3%

 

Yorkgate

Ardoyne

Upper Ardoyne

Would Go

92%

69.2%

Accessibility/ distance

 

3.3%

Fear

6%

17.6%

Other / no reason given

2%

9.9%

Somewhat surprisingly the reconstruction of the places in which to socialize in the city centre has not encouraged people out of either community. This may be due to several factors. First, nightlife in the city centre is predominantly based upon a younger age group. Secondly, pubs and clubs in the city centre are much more expensive than is the case in the outer city. In addition making journeys at night would usually entail the extra cost of travel by taxi. In particular, taxis returning to Upper Ardoyne at night usually do so via the Shankill Road.

Table 15: Which pub/club/social clubs, if any, does your household most frequently use?

 

Ardoyne (%)

Upper Ardoyne (%)

Ardoyne (Working Men’s’ Club/Crumlin Star/ Jamaica Inn/ Shamrock/GAA/TA’s/Francie’s/Seven Bells/ League/Pittsburgh)

89

 

Ballysillan/Ballysillan Arms

 

8

Bellevue Arms

1

 

Ben Madican

1

2

Blue’s Club Crumlin Road

 

4

Botanic/Eglantine Inn

 

4

British Legion

 

4

Buffs

 

4

Chester

1

 

Cliftonville Bowling Club

 

4

Cliftonville Golf Club

 

2

Country & Western Clubs

 

2

Ewart's Bowling Club

 

8

Felons

1

 

Hedgehog and Bucket

 

20

Kelly’s Cellar

1

 

Lavery's

2

2

Linfield Club

 

2

McKenna’s Bar

 

6

Network

 

4

Paradise Lost

 

1

Park Inn

1

 

Pigeon Club

 

14

Rangers Club- Shankill Road

 

9

Robinson’s

3

 

Shaftesbury Inn

 

2

As shown in Table 16a the majority of respondents who socialize in pubs and clubs, do, at least once a month fraternize in places used by members of the (Ardoyne 64.3%/Upper Ardoyne 54.5%) ‘opposite religion’. In addition a similar number from each study area (Ardoyne 13.3%/Upper Ardoyne 15.6%) do so at least 6 times a year. This would suggest that many respondents do not in terms of their socializing continually produce ‘avoidance strategies’. Although, it should be stress that 1 in 5 respondents in Ardoyne and nearly 1 in 3 in Upper Ardoyne do not go to pubs and clubs, which are mixed. In relation to gender it appears that men more than women tend to socialize in mixed places. This would either suggest that women are more apprehensive about such places or that ‘drinking cultures’ are predominantly male based and as a result cross-community contact is more likely.

However although people may used mixed bars and clubs this does not necessarily mean that such activities are based upon significant contact with members of the opposite ethnic group. A possibly better way to measure cross-community linkage, in relation to socialising, is to determine the rate at which individuals socialise in places dominated by the ‘other religion’. To socialise in places dominated by the other religion would in many cases mean socialising with somebody who was a regular patron of such an establishment. It is unlikely that many people would go to a place dominated by the ‘other religion’ without someone from the ‘other’ community acting as their host/guarantor.

When respondents were asked if they would socialize in places dominated by the other religion those who did so on a regular basis were a distinct minority (Table 16b). Slightly more from the Upper Ardoyne area (23.1%) compared to Ardoyne do so (20.6%). This evidence clearly illustrates that most individuals are not prepared to place themselves in places in which they would feel endangered. However, the fact that some do illustrates that those individuals must have social relationships, which span the ethnic divide. However, if we refer back to Table 15 it is clear that frequent socialising is not based upon mixed pubs and clubs. Moreover, it is possible to conclude that mixing takes place outside of the study areas.

Table 16a: Do you socialize in pubs/clubs/social clubs which are mixed by religion?

By Gender

Female

Male

Yes

56%

64.9%

No

32%

18.1%

Sometimes

12%

17%

By Study Area

Ardoyne

Upper Ardoyne

Yes

64.3%

54.5%

No

21.6%

29.9%

Sometimes

13.3%

15.6%

Table 16b: Do you socialize in pubs/clubs/social clubs, which are dominated by the opposite religion?

By Gender

Female

Male

Yes

29.3%

15.8%

No

65.3%

80%

Sometimes

45.3%

4.2%

By Study Area

Ardoyne

Upper Ardoyne

Yes

20.6%

23.1%

No

74.2%

71.8%

Sometimes

5.2%

5.1%

In trying to estimate broader social relationships individuals were asked to name mixed places in which they undertook leisure activities. The vast majority 77% in Ardoyne and 67% in Upper Ardoyne did not undertake leisure activities in mixed places. Of those who did the majority undertook such activities at the Ballysillan Leisure Centre. Although, the numbers who did so from Ardoyne were relatively small. In addition it is evident from Table 17 that the places people noted as mixed were all, with the exception of the leisure centre, outside of the study area. Furthermore, few places were cross tabulated, with the exception of bingo at Yorkgate. Given the evidence contained in Table 17 it is patently obvious that although people go to mixed places this does not necessarily create meaningful modes of cultural integration. Moreover, the fact that people conclude that places are mixed may mean that they are more conscious of going to mixed places as opposed to going to such places in order to integrate and share social activities with the ‘religious other’.

Table 17: Do you use any leisure facilities that are mixed by religion?

 

Ardoyne (%)

Upper Ardoyne (%)

No

77

67

Ballysillan L.C.

6

24

Falls Road

1

 

Galaxy bingo

2

 

Maysfield

4

 

Royal Avenue bingo

 

3

Royal Irish Rangers

 

1

Star bingo

1

 

Other

7

4

Yorkgate bingo

2

2

One of the main issues in relation to the use of facilities within the study areas is the utilization of Ballysillan Leisure Centre, which is located within the Upper Ardoyne area. The use of the Ballysillan Leisure centres reflects the relationship, which exists vis a vis, the shops in Ardoyne. Table 18 indicates that only 16.8% of respondents from Ardoyne use the leisure centre compared to 84.7% from Upper Ardoyne. Moreover, more people from Ardoyne use Andersontown and Maysfield. In addition nearly as many (13.7%) use facilities on the Falls Road. This evidence proves that many individuals from Ardoyne undertake significant journeys in order to locate leisure centre based facilities. Not only is this a problem in that fear influences mobility but also the failure of people who are near distant to use the centre mean that it is under-utilised.[2]

Table 18:Which leisure centre, if any, does your household most frequently use?

 

Ardoyne

Upper Ardoyne

Andersonstown

22.1%

 

Beechmont

1.1%

 

Ballysillan

16.8%

84.7%

Avoneil

 

1.2%

Shankill

 

3.5%

Falls

13.7%

 

Maysfield

18.9%

 

Templemore Avenue

 

1.2%

Whiterock

2.1%

 

None

25.3%

9.4%

Of particular importance are the modes of transport used when travelling. In relation to work and shopping the main mode of transport is the car. However, the use of public taxis is more common within Ardoyne (20.5%) in relation to work (Table 19). In addition the use of buses is more common within the Upper Ardoyne study area. Indeed 35.8% of respondents in Upper Ardoyne compared to 6% in Ardoyne use buses in order to access work. It is evident that the bus routes which operate between the study areas are less often used by those in Ardoyne due not only the availability of public taxis but also due to the fears attached to using this mode of travel (see issues concerning buses outlined above).

Private taxi use is high within each community and is similar in relation to work and shopping. Although, evidently the private taxi companies used are not the same. In relation to walking a similar pattern was observed in relation to work and shopping although fewer respondents from Upper Ardoyne walk when socializing. This is partly due to the widespread use of pubs and clubs, which are located outside of the study area. Moreover, the fact that few people walk may also illustrate the need to locate modes of transport to and from Upper Ardoyne, which does not necessitate walking though areas within which individuals will feel unsafe. Given that most people in Ardoyne socialize within Ardoyne it is not surprising that nearly half walk when socializing.

Table 19: Modes of Transport Used for Work, Socialising and Weekly Shopping

Work

Ardoyne

Upper Ardoyne

Car

49.4%

40.7%

Private taxi

13.3%

13.6%

Public taxi

20.5%

 

Bus

6%

35.8%

Walk

10.8%

9.9%

Weekly Shopping

Ardoyne

Upper Ardoyne

Car

48.2%

34.4%

Private taxi

19.3%

20.8%

Public taxi

4.4%

1.6%

Bus

4.4%

21.6%

Train

 

0.8%

Walk

23.7%

20.8%

Socializing

Ardoyne

Upper Ardoyne

Car

11.1%

26.3%

Private taxi

32.5%

54.5%

Public taxi

4.3%

2%

Bus

1.7%%

7.1%%

Walk

50.4%%

10.1%

2.4 Fear, Victimhood and Safety

Most work on fear and mobility has indicated that women tend to be more fearful, particularly when dark, than are their male counterparts. As indicated in Table 20 29% of women compared to 7.8% of men are either scared or will not walk though their community after dark. Moreover, the majority of women 57% feel either unsafe, scared or would not walk through the area in which they live after night. As such it is obvious that women take issues dealing with personal safety more seriously than men. Although, it should be stressed that 35.9% of men also feel unsafe, scared or unable to walk though their community when dark. However, the more pronounced levels of fear among women indicates that apprehension within each of the study areas is influenced by factors more than simply ethnic division. As shown in Table 21 the dissimilarity in the responses received between men and women narrows significantly during the summer month. When questioned on fear during the marching season the number of men who would not walk or who are apprehensive about walking through their local area rises to 59%, due in particular to a rise in those who feel unsafe or scared. Among women the share located within the three categories of fear rises to 72.7%.

Table 20:How safe do you feel when walking through your local area after dark?

 

Male

Female

Safe

47.4%

22.4%

Quite safe

16.7%

20.6%

Unsafe

28.2%

28%

Scared

5.1%

21.5%

Wouldn’t go

2.6%

7.5%

Table 21: How safe do you feel when walking through your local area during the marching season?

 

Male

Female

Safe

30.8%

14.2%

Quite safe

10.3%

13.2%

Unsafe

39.7%

17.9%

Scared

16.7%

40.6%

Wouldn’t go

2.6%

14.2%

A further merger in the levels of fear between women and men was apparent when respondents were questioned on whether they would ‘feel safe when walking through an area people by the opposite religion’ both during the day and at night. A mere 19.3% of males and 14% of females would undertake such journeys during the day (Table 22). In addition nearly half of both males and females would not undertake such a journey during the day. The percentage share that would not undertake such a journey when dark rose to 87.2% and 86% of men and women respectively. Even when respondents were asked if they would travel though ‘an area peopled by the opposite religion after dark’ those who would do so and feel either safe or quite safe were in a distinct minority (Men:16.9%/ Women 3.8%).

Table 22: How safe do you feel when walking through an area peopled by the opposite religion, during the day?

 

Male

Female

Safe

9%

3.7%

Quite safe

10.3%

10.3%

Unsafe

20.5%

18.7%

Scared

11.5%

21.5%

Wouldn’t go

48.7%

45.8%

When the issues dealing with fear were broken down and analysed in relation to each community it became evident that similarities between the study areas emerged (Table 23). In sum the majority of respondents in each community feel safe when walking through their own community during the day. Although, more people in Upper Ardoyne (60% compared to 41% in Ardoyne) feel either unsafe, scared or are not prepared to walk through their local area when dark (Table 24). Among those, in Upper Ardoyne, who stated they were either scared or would not walk though their area when dark over 85% stated that such fears were based upon the possibility of being attacked by the ‘other’ community. In Ardoyne, and within the same sub-set around three-quarters cited possible violence by loyalists as a primary concern. In addition, 18% cited attack by the security forces as the primary reason.

Table 23: How safe do you feel when walking through your local area, during the day?

 

Ardoyne

Upper Ardoyne

Safe

76.8%

72.2%

Quite safe

15.2%

21.1%

Unsafe

7.1%

5.6%

Scared

 

1.1%

Wouldn’t go

1%

 

Table 24: How safe do you feel when walking through your local area, after dark?

  

Ardoyne

Upper Ardoyne

Safe

43%

22.2%

Quite safe

19%

17.8%

Unsafe

25%

31.1%

Scared

10%

21.1%

Wouldn’t go

3%

7.8%

The responses received shifted somewhat when the same questions were set in relation to the marching season (Table 25). The percentage share in Ardoyne who would feel unsafe, sacred or would not walk though their area rose from 41% to 73% of respondents. In Upper Ardoyne the shift upward was merely 0.2%. The rise within the Ardoyne study area can be accounted for in relation to the perceived rise in the threat of loyalist attack and the increase in the activity of the security forces at this time of the year. However, the small rise in Upper Ardoyne is more puzzling.

It could be argued that fears in Ardoyne are closely linked to a sense of besiegment, which occurs in its most acute form during the summer months. The high levels of anxiety and apprehension which is visible in the Upper Ardoyne study area seems to be less cyclical and may be an all-year round feature. In particular, the fact that Ardoyne is a much larger community and that mobility is more internalised in terms of shopping and socializing it is not unexpected that respondents feel safer when walking through their own community. Relatedly, the fact that Upper Ardoyne is a much smaller community and that shopping and socializing is more externalised than is the case in Ardoyne it is possible to conclude that fear is a product of the scale and lack of facilities within this particular area.

Table 25: How safe do you feel when walking through your local area, during the marching season?

 

Ardoyne

Upper Ardoyne

Safe

17%

26.1%

Quite safe

10%

13.6%

Unsafe

32%

21.6%

Scared

32%

28.4%

Wouldn’t go

9%

10.2%

When questioned on whether individuals would walk though an area peopled by the ‘other religion’ during either the day or when dark the responses from each study area are similar. Among respondents in Ardoyne 89% compared to 78.7% in Upper Ardoyne feel either unsafe, scared or would not undertake such a journey during the day. In relation to undertaking such a journey when dark 89% in Ardoyne and 83.1% in Upper Ardoyne would not do so. In relation to travelling through an area peopled by the opposite religion only 11.4% from Upper Ardoyne compared to 43.9% in Ardoyne would not do so. A mere 1% in Ardoyne and 3.4% in Upper Ardoyne would travel though an area people by the opposite religion, after dark.

Table 26: How safe do you feel when walking through an area peopled by the opposite religion, during the day?

 

Ardoyne

Upper Ardoyne

Safe

3%

9%

Quite safe

8%

12.4%

Unsafe

17%

23.6%

Scared

20%

13.5%

Wouldn’t go

52%

41.6%

Table 27: How safe do you feel when walking through an area peopled by the opposite religion, after dark?

 

Ardoyne

Upper Ardoyne

Safe

1%

3.4%

Quite safe

1%

2.2%

Unsafe

3%

2.2%

Scared

6%

9%

Wouldn’t go

89%

83.1%

If we discount the similarities in the rates of fear recorded during the marching season it is evident that the senses of besiegment are dissimilar. The evidence contained within Tables 26 and 27 seems to suggest that respondents from Upper Ardoyne are more concerned with their personal security within their own area than is the case among respondents from Ardoyne. Conversely, in relation to travel ‘through areas peopled by the opposite religion’ respondents from Ardoyne are more cautious than their Upper Ardoyne counterparts (see Table 29 for possible explanation).

In order to determine if fear had declined since the cease-fires of 1994 respondents were asked to estimate if they felt particular forms of violence had either declined or increased. The majority of respondents within Ardoyne estimated that crime against the area and violence against the person had decreased. In Upper Ardoyne the only type of violence which a majority, although low, estimated had declined was violence against the person within the area (Table 28). In relation to both study areas significant numbers believed that violence against the area by the other religion, the security forces, and youth had increased. In particular, there was a strong feeling within Upper Ardoyne that drug related violence had grown.

Table 28: Since the cease-fires in 1994, have the following forms of violence increased or decreased within and against your area?

 

Ardoyne increase

Ardoyne decrease

Upper Ardoyne increase

Upper Ardoyne decrease

Crime Within Area

34%

66%

58.6%

41.4%

Drugs Against Area

50%

50%

64.4%

35.3%

Youth Within Area

62.3%

37.7%

80.3%

19.7%

Violence Against Person Within Area

35.9%

64.1%

46.3%

53.7%

Other Religion Against Area

80%

20%

91.9%

8.1%

Police/Army Against Area

50.9%

49.1%

62%

38%

Evidence contained in Table 29 indicates that respondents from Ardoyne have been 3 times more likely than their counterparts to be victims of physical violence outside of their own community. Although, the share of each community who have been victims of physical violence within their own community is similar. In relation to ‘verbal violence in local area’ 42% of respondents from Upper Ardoyne compared to 34% in Ardoyne stated that they had been victims.

The dissimilarity in the responses received in relation to ‘verbal violence in local area’ and ‘physical and verbal violence outside area’ furthers the argument that the sense of beseigement experienced by the respondents within the study areas has been divergent. A situation which indicates that the communities internal and external relationships and experiences of violence reproduces alternative geographies of fear.

Table 29: Have you ever been the victim of the following forms of violence?

 

Ardoyne

Upper Ardoyne

Physical Violence in Local Area

33%

33%

Verbal Violence in Local Area

34%

42%

Physical Violence Outside Area

25%

9%

Verbal Violence Outside Area

24%

29%

These dissimilarities become more obvious when evidence on assailants is provided (Tables 30a). Twice as many respondents in Upper Ardoyne (27%) compared to (14% Ardoyne) have been victims of physical violence, within their own area, by members of the ‘religious other’. Moreover, respondents in Upper Ardoyne have been three times as likely as the respondents in Ardoyne to be victims of verbal violence within their local area by the ‘religious other’.

Conversely, respondents from Ardoyne were four times more likely to be victims of physical violence, which emanated from the security forces. In relation to violence outside the study areas the same pattern was replicated although the number of victims was much lower. In particular 1-in 10 from Ardoyne as opposed to 1-in 100 from Upper Ardoyne had been victims of physical attack by the security forces outside of their respective areas. A similar number of victims of physical violence, by the 'religious other', among Ardoyne respondents was recorded (9%) outside of the study area (6%).

Table 30a: Physical Attack in Local Area

Attack By

Ardoyne

Upper Ardoyne

Local Person

1%

2%

Security Forces

17%

4%

Religious Other

14%

27%

Table 30b: Verbal Attack Local Area

Attack By

Ardoyne

Upper Ardoyne

Local Person

3%

2%

Security Forces

18%

4%

Religious Other

11%

36%

Table 30c: Physical Attack Outside Local Area

Attack By

Ardoyne

Upper Ardoyne

Local Person

4%

1%

Security Forces

10%

1%

Religious Other

9%

6%

Table 30d: Verbal Attack Outside Local Area

Attack By

Ardoyne

Upper Ardoyne

Local Person

5%

2%

Security Forces

8%

2%

Religious Other

12%

25%

These findings suggest that individuals from Ardoyne are more likely to be both victims outside of their area and victims of attack by the security forces. Within the Upper Ardoyne sample it is evident that attack by the ‘religious other’ is a primary concern. This dissimilarity also influences wider readings not only of each community but alternative attitudes to the security forces.

Conclusions

Undoubtedly, the evidence contained with this report throws up a considerable amount of information. However, much of this information needs to be discussed and analysed among those who are either working on interfaced issues, providing facilities and services and/or delivering and co-ordinating inter-communities work in North Belfast. Recommendations concerning how to best cope with fear and its diminution of mobility should most probably come after an exploration of the issues raised.

Evidently, high levels of fear dilutes the relevance of implementing policies such as TSN, Fair Employment, parity of esteem, PSI and PAFT. Clearly, if people forgo jobs, training and education due to the inability to locate work, training and educational environments, which are safe then it is obvious that tackling social exclusion is more problematic than merely coping with factors conditioned by social class. As such promoting equality of opportunity must also consider the impact, reproduction and durability of fear and victimhood. The process of placing fear on the policymaking agenda is probably one of the most crucial responses, which can emanate from this report. Indeed, findings such as these should be made available to policymakers, assembly members, community activists and central government.

Improving links between the two study areas is an important task in relation to trying to normalise inter-community relations. At present no clear formal links between the two communities exist. It is obvious why this is the case and of course easy to recommend that such links could be established. However, initial informal exchanges of information would help. Two events during the summer illustrate how insufficient cross-community linkages create additional problems. During June and August, two individuals one from each community were attacked on the Ardoyne Road close to the Everton Complex. In each case it was assumed that the attackers were linked to paramilitary groups. In fact the attackers were in both cases individuals who had been involved in violence against their own community. Without such an observation being shared the reading of such acts only promotes a sense that violence is both organised and intentional. The creation of an incident book co-ordinated between the two communities may help to determine, explain and control such events.

It should be stressed that in each community there have been significant attempts to control the potential for violence. In both communities activists, (although working in isolation from each other) have during the month of July, tried to reduce violence through organising activities such as barbecues, events for youth and in one instance activists have taken young people away from the area during the 12th fortnight. This type of activity, and wider political events, have obviously worked given the reduction of violence this time year.

As illustrated within this report the costs related to fear are undeniable. The fact that people shop outside of the area or do not use the leisure centre due to fear indicates not only that resources within the area are under-utilised but that revenue is filtering away from the area. Given, that both communities are economically deprived the flow of capital out of the area undermines the provision of shops and other services. Greater mobility between the two areas would increase the amount of capital and services maintained within the area and may possibly create additional jobs.

In sum reducing fear by whatever means is crucial in terms of removing threat, producing more victims of violence, engendering social inclusion and breaking the cycle of cultural atavism. The potential to reduce fear must be based upon a significant investment in education, training and facilitation programs which encourage a deliberate and augmented debate on how fear precludes normalised patterns of living.


CAIN contains information and source material on the conflict and politics in Northern Ireland.
CAIN is based within the University of Ulster.


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