NEWTOWNARDS ROAD MARCH 2019
This image demonstrates just how much the Harland and Wolff cranes Samson & Goliath dominate the Belfast skyline.
According to contacts in Belfast the Newtownards Road is generally safe and well lit at night. One potential flashpoint is the interface with the nationalist Short Strand neighbourhood. Though fairly well kept and safe during the day, it is best to avoid this area at night.
According to a local that I had a chat with this large Church of Ireland Parish Church was rebuilt after the War to the original plans, having been destroyed in the Blitz.
Here is an extract from the churche’s mission statement: Due to the extensive redevelopment and the ’Troubles’, the demography of the area has changed enormously in recent years and is still grappling with regeneration. This may explain why I found the area to be more than a little bit confusing.
Ballymacarrett or Ballymacarret (from Irish Baile Mhic Gearóid ‘MacGearóid’s settlement’) is the name of both a townland and electoral ward in Belfast. The townland is in County Down and the electoral ward is part of the Titanic district electoral area of Belfast City Council.
The ward was created in 1973 with most of the population coming from the former Pottinger ward. The ward was slightly enlarged in 1985, taking in part of the Island ward.
The ward consists of two distinct districts : Ballymacarrett itself, which is almost entirely Protestant, and the Short Strand which is almost entirely Catholic, with the two separated by a peaceline. Consequently, in the 2001 census, the Roman Catholic community background figure was 51%.
Set in the shadows of the Harland and Wolff cranes Samson & Goliath, large numbers of local men worked in the shipyard during its heyday. The area is also well known for ‘Ulster’s Freedom Corner’, a series of loyalist murals.
Ballymacarrett and the nearby Newtownards Road played a key part in what became known as the 2011 Northern Ireland riots. At first, the riots were only located in the area and were known as the 2011 East Belfast riots but by July, the riots had spread to other parts of the region.