Our Area

Andersonstown is situated at the bottom of the Black Mountain and Divis Mountain and contains a mixture of public and private housing.

The area expanded during the 1950s and 1960s as a significant number of families were re-housed during the redevelopment of the Lower Falls area.  More families moved into the area with the start of the troubles.  Many of these families had to leave their homes in other parts of the city due to intimidation and civil conflict.  Andersonstown was viewed as comparatively safe, as it was a predominantly nationalist area and not on any interface.

The area has five nursery schools, four primary schools and four post-primary schools.

Andersonstown is a Neighbourhood Renewal Area and is a designated area of deprivation.  The estimated current population for Andersonstown is 8819.

Andersonstown Neighbourhood Renewal Area

53.8%             aged 16-59 year old

20.9%             over 60

46.9%             male

53.1%             female

97.9%             Catholic

1.6%               Protestant/other Christian

37.6%             of persons aged 16 and over were single

11.4%             lone parent households

16.7%             lone pensioner households

Source: Northern Ireland Neighbourhood Information Service (NINIS)

Early History of the Estate

The period from 1969 to 1994 saw the area experience severe disruption and civil disturbance.  The presence of a large military base within the area created an atmosphere of militarization and fear.  The area suffered greatly in terms of developing infrastructure, community facilities and services.  High levels of long-term unemployment and ill health blighted the area.  Lack of investment ensured that these problems were deeply embedded and generational. The impact of the conflict was such that there was no investment in any social, community or economic infrastructure. The British Army had a base within the estate at Silver City and this resulted in increased tension within the area often resulting in violence and civil unrest. The hunger strikes had a big impact on the estate with two local men Ciaran Doherty and Joe McDonnell dying.

Despite a range of social and political problems a strong sense of community solidarity always existed within the area.  People had a history and tradition of coming together to campaign for change and for improvements.

In the Upper Andersonstown area a number of small community groups existed, usually focusing on thematic issues of concern to the community:

Housing was an important campaigning issue, which united the community in a common purpose.  The West Belfast Festival was an important event which mobilised the local community spirit and encouraged people to get involved in community events.