Though the danger of civil war in Northern Ireland between the Protestant majority and Catholic minority is a real possibility, the province can still look deceptively untroubled at times.
Though the danger of civil war in Northern Ireland between the Protestant majority and Catholic minority is a real possibility, the province can still look deceptively untroubled at times. In Belfast, despite the danger, rush - hour crowds of shoppers and businessmen flood the streets.
But the undercurrents of violence and terror are inexorably spreading. Sections of the city that were traditionally peaceful, where Protestants and Catholics lived in integrated communities, are increasingly turned into battlegrounds.
This B.B.C. coverage examines the situation in some of these areas - areas like the Black Mountain district where bombed and fire-damaged houses, deserted streets and political slogans have disrupted a formerly integrated community.
SYNOPSIS: This is the city of Belfast in Northern Ireland. Despite the presence of troops the centre of the city resembles any other town in the United Kingdom. It is what the people think about that is different, and with a kind of despair hanging over the city its two religious communities drift hopelessly into hostile camps. And gradually as the tension tightens the fear grows that these ordinary men and women are coming to the edge of civil war.
The daily newspapers are constant reminders of what has happened to break the eerie silence of the preceding night.
The children of Belfast are inheriting a sky-line that is rapidly being transformer or in the words of the terrorists, rearranged. And as the city changes shape so do attitudes.
Outwardly it is business as usual - an apparent determination not to be ruffled by the daily acts of violence which disfigure and maim an entire community. But behind the facade, the cracks are beginning to show. As the bombers step up their campaign striking in broad daylight, store must take extra precautions. In Belfast shoppers are likely to be stopped from going into stores.
It has become a town in which illusion is too often overtaken by a frightening
This is a street in the Black Mountains area of Belfast. It was once integrated and Protestants and Catholics lived together but a series of bombings ended that last August. Similar situations to this are becoming the norm and the safer areas are shrinking. As the policy of religious integration disappears, new ghettos are formed. Armies of Catholics and Protestants fleeing the bomber and gunman seek sanctuary elsewhere and move on again when that sanctuary in turn becomes a battle ground.
The demolished interiors of the houses on the Black Mountain street are representative of the increasing number of once safe streets now under attack. These areas fall to the terrorists fire bombs and gun shots day by day.
In the Black Mountain area, terrorists had a field day. Today the street is very quiet for the simple reason that only a handful of houses are occupied. The owners fled to the safety of their own kind. But the cause of moderation had taken another beating.
These houses are now for sale at a price of about 4,000 pounds. But thus far there have been no takers.