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Belfast mourns the end of its legendary shipyards
In Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland, on August 5th. PAUL FAITH / AFP

Its famous yellow cranes, emblazoned with its historic H & W, still treasure the port of Belfast, visible for miles around. But there is no more shipyard. Harland and Wolff, founded in 1861, was placed on Tuesday, August 6, under the bankruptcy regime by the Norwegian oil company Dolphin Drilling, its current owner.

The capital of Northern Ireland puts an end to more than a century and a half of industrial history. The shipyard built the three revolutionary Olympic-class ships for the White Star Lines, including the famous Titanic, which sank in April 1912 off Newfoundland on its maiden voyage. between Great Britain and the United States.

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During the Second World War, the shipyard also provided nearly 150 warships for the Allies. However, in recent years, the yard had little to do with its glory days from the beginning of the XXe century, when tens of thousands of workers roamed the huge port area daily.

Industrial wing significantly reduced

The site has progressively moved away from shipbuilding, largely located in Asia, to focus on wind energy and marine engineering projects. On Monday, only 130 employees were still on the site, which they have decided to occupy to put pressure on the authorities.

However, Belfast had already decided to substantially reduce the industrial wing. The historic industrial area has been largely re-designated as a recreation area, housing and offices. After the installation of the Odyssey, a leisure complex, then a museum to the glory of the Titanic, several residences and new housing residences were born. The district also hosts film studios, where have been filmed some of the series of series to success. Game Of Thrones.

Titanic Quarter â € "as well as the area was renamed â €" was one of the tourist assets of the Belfast Renewal, twenty-one years after the signing of the peace agreements between Protestant and Catholic communities in Northern Ireland.

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