1994 IRA Ceasefire: Ten years on - The view:

From this point the hill looks uncannily like the profile of a giant in peaceful repose, but residents say a strange kind of peace exists in this rundown interface area exactly ten years after the first IRA Ceasefire. Among many Protestants in poorer areas of Belfast their way of life is still under threat? Roisin Ingle reports:

It's the sort of peace that means older people are afraid to walk down the road to the shops, fearing verbal and physical abuse. The sort of peace that means the estate is partly surrounded by 40-foot high mesh wire and 24-hour security cameras with residents living, for their own safety, in a Big Brother-style cage.

White City is a microcosm of Northern Ireland's imperfect peace, a place where sectarian incidents are so common a 'Protestant' bus-stop has had to be erected down the road from what is now known as the 'Catholic' one.

At the request of residents, the 'Protestant' stop is within running distance of the estate for easy escape.

Lynn, who has lived in White City all her life and is a volunteer at the local community centre, hates it here. "It's a hell-hole," she says. "If I had anywhere else to go I would get out. The pressure is too much to bear sometimes."

Her two sons live in Dublin and in England and she is happy that they have no plans to return to their former home.

Lynn never used to fly flags during the marching season, but these days she has two outside her house. She never used to vote either, but is religious now about exercising her democratic rights.

Like many Protestants, she is currently taking a 'single identity' course to find out more about her culture.

"I know nothing about my Protestant culture, but I want to learn about it now," says the woman who wants to make it clear that she has always had Catholic friends and that just under a quarter of the houses in the estate belong to Catholics who, she says, have nothing to fear from their Protestant neighbours.

"My mother used to joke that when it came to shooting Fenian lovers I would be the first to go, and that she would pull the trigger herself. The thing is, even before the Ceasefire - during the worst of the Troubles - I was never bitter. That's only happened in the last few years since it's only now we can't walk down our own roads and streets in safety".

Ex-UDA prisoner and spokesman for the local community, John Montgomery, takes me on a short tour of the area pointing out the petrol and paint-bombed Orange Hall and the row of shops where, he says, Protestants wouldn't dare go after 5 pm. A shop has been established in the Estate in a metal container so that the elderly don't have to take a taxi if they run out of milk.

He says the level of violence has increased in the past two years and that in some ways, life here is worse for Protestants since "the so-called Ceasefire".

"Nothing happens in interface areas without the say so of paramilitaries and that's on both sides. The IRA might not be blowing people up or bombing buildings, but they are still doing in-house cleaning and any incidents in the area are orchestrated. It's easier for the British and Irish governments to keep the Good Friday Agreement going if they turn a blind eye to the fighting," he says.

Not surprisingly, it's in the more deprived areas such as White City that people talk about a threat - real or perceived - to their Protestant identity. Sandy Row is one of the most impoverished areas of Belfast, the boarded up shops and graffiti telling their own story.

An apartment block was put up here a couple of years ago and nobody from the area could afford the GBP 90,000 price-tags.

There have been clashes between locals and some of the Catholic residents of the flats, known locally as Vatican Square. Everyone you talk to speaks of being squeezed out or put under pressure. The siege mentality in this staunchly loyalist area, which used to be home to tens of thousands of Protestants and now boasts only a few thousand, is palpable.

"I honestly believe we are an endangered species, that if nationalists have their way we will become extinct," says Jim Watt, an IT trainer in the ex-prisoners project on Sandy Row which has become a focal point for the community. Workers like Watt describe themselves as the "Orange Thorn in Green Flesh".

"There is no room for us in their United Ireland. It feels as though we won't be tolerated: it's like they want us to wake up one day and realise that we are really Irish. My right to be British, my right to mark events like Poppy Day, is not accepted by them".

A middle-class young Protestant, Adam Turkington, Arts and Community Officer in Belfast's Waterfront Hall, is scornful of this new desire by Protestants to reinforce their culture and identity.

"Ten years ago if you'd asked a Protestant what Ulster-Scots was, they would have never heard of it. There seems to be this need to stick a six-year-old in a kilt and get him to bang the Lambeg drum and call it a culture. It's not culture, it's a fallacy," he says.

Turkington feels Protestants like him are not represented by local politicians. "There are a huge number of people my age who believe what is important is not a flag or a symbol or a language, but tolerance and getting along. I don't even call myself a Protestant anymore."

Mark Wilson, who works in a laser processing company in the Titanic Quarter, is passionate about music and played drums in "On Eagle's Wing", the musical dubbed a "Protestant Riverdance" by some. He doesn't feel any threat to his identity in the move towards a new Northern Ireland but understands those who do.

"I think there is some truth in it," he says - describing how when he came out of Belfast's Odyssey arena on the first night of "On Eagle's Wing" - there was a bunch of youths standing outside threatening the BBC camera crew for filming "those Protestant bastards".

"It's pure ignorance," he says. "I am proud to be a Protestant and to be British, but I don't need to feel that to the exclusion or detriment of someone else. More than anything, I am proud to be an Ulsterman and, by that, I mean the nine counties of Ulster." Wilson was in Belgium recently with a Catholic friend and, when his friend was asked where he was from, he replied Ulster.

"My friend told me, never be afraid to say you are from Ulster and I agree, because everything about me - my mannerisms, my morals, my views have been moulded by the Province rather than my Protestantism. It would be better if we could all start thinking like that," he says.