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By SHAWN POGATCHNIK, Associated Press Writer

Lee Young, 8, and Cein Quinn, 7, live barely 200 yards apart, but they have never met, and maybe never will.

Lee is Protestant, Cein a Catholic — and their communities in Belfast's west inner city are separated by a wall called a peace line. It's nearly 40 years old and 40 feet high.

Ten years after peace was declared in Northern Ireland, one might have expected that Belfast's barriers would be torn down by now. But reality, as usual, is far messier. Not one has been dismantled. Instead they've grown in both size and number.

The past decade of peacemaking has brought political elites of both sides together in a Catholic-Protestant government in hopes that their example would trickle down. Their experiment in cooperation, highlighted by the power-sharing government's first anniversary Thursday, has encouraged thriving employment, tourism and nightlife.

But it has not delivered meaningful reconciliation. Instead, for dozens of front-line communities of Belfast, fences still make the best neighbors.

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