3 2 mins 15 yrs

I disagree with the idea that  Northern Ireland will not reach its full potential unless integrated housing projects become the norm, put forward by One Step Campaign chairman, former Irish Rugby International Trevor Ringland. He was referring to the Carran Crescent development in Enniskillen, which will see Protestant and Catholic families live side-by-side, could be a catalyst for very significant change.

"We cannot have a truly modern, dynamic and successful society and economy if our community continues to be divided along sectarian lines," he said.

Yes, that is true Trevor, but neither should we desire to create a control freak socially engineered society where the great and the good decide the exact ratio of Protestants/Catholics/Jews/Muslims/Atheists that should live cheek by jowl. You can’t FORCE people where to live, and you shouldn’t try. In trying to address the evil of sectarian separation, Trevor and his chums will create a much worse one.  And yet, to be fair to Trevor, I must admit that when I see now private housing estates bedecked with symbols indicating that one is entering loyalist/nationalist zones – it saddens me. 

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  1. David

    Like you, I find the "tribal" markings of many housing estates (irrespective of "tribe") in NI saddening.

    I truly believe that Trevor Ringland and his colleagues are acting from the best of motives. However, I fear that this approach is doomed to failure.

    I fear that it will take a long time before housing in NI is not influenced primarily by religious demography.

    I take no pleasure in saying this but I believe that it is simply the truth.

  2. Yet another doomed attempt at getting us pesky Northern Ireland/Occupied Six Counties citizens to forget all about the last millenium and jolly well get on together.
    Good egg Trev forgot to mention the Chinese, Muslim, Jewish & Asian ghettos springing up all over the UK. Sadly tribalism is alive and well and NI is not the best place to attempt a reversal.
    If he must try though, the enforced segregation of NI ‘faith schools’ might be a good place to start protesting.
    I well remember my shock when at the tender age of 17, I made my first Catholic friend (outside school obviously) and discovered that he was actually completely ‘normal.’ You live and learn eh?

  3. I understand the instincts that mean that this would appeal. The thought of living in a ghetto does not appeal. However the social engineering issue worries me and it is just one more case where religion is made an issue where it should not be relevant.

    Have we just created a different type of ghetto?

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