124874 - Peace Lines: Northern Ireland (Answered)

Owen Smith
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, how many peace walls there are in Northern Ireland; and how many there were in each year since 1997.

Mr Shailesh Vara

In line with the terms of the devolution settlement, responsibility for interface barriers falls under the remit of the devolved administration. The hon Gentleman may wish to direct his question to the Northern Ireland Department of Justice for detailed statistics. It is regrettable that additional so-called peace walls (or interface barriers) have been erected since the signing of the Belfast Agreement in 1998 and still divide communities today. It underlines the need for the UK Government and a restored Northern Ireland Executive to work together to build a stronger and shared society, as set out in the 2013 economic pact, 'Building a Prosperous and United Community’, and the Executive’s ‘Together: Building a United Community’ Strategy. The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland is working tirelessly with the parties and the Irish Government, in accordance with the well-established three-stranded approach, to create the conditions under which devolved government can return to Northern Ireland. We want to see a society in which these walls are not present and the whole community can live in peace together, as we build a Northern Ireland fit for the future.