Although sectarian violence characterized life in Belfast for hundreds of years, 1864 marked a shift in how violence played out in the city. Unlike previous conflicts that occurred in open spaces and reflected long-held rural rituals, the riots of August 1864 took place in the city's rapidly developing urban streets. The violence broke out in response to celebrations around the foundation laying for a new statue of Daniel O'Connell, the late Catholic politician, in Dublin. Thousands of Belfast Catholics traveled to Dublin for the celebration. Upon their return to Belfast, ten thousand Protestant loyalists greeted them by burning an effigy of O'Connell on Boyne Bridge and staging a mock funeral and procession that attempted to enter a Catholic burial ground. The resulting violence and rioting continued for ten days on the city streets, where homes and businesses faced destruction on a scale previously unseen. Expelling residents of opposing views, rioters reinforced older ideas of “communal conflict” expressed through “disagreements over each group's place—literally and imaginatively—in the city” and strengthened notions of neighborhood geography based on religious beliefs. As historian Mark Doyle argues, the shifting patterns of violence resulted from “[t]he steady advance of working-class alienation from the state, the growing hegemony of violent extremists in working-class neighbourhoods, the sectarian alliance between Protestant workers and elites, the insecurity of the Catholics and, above all, the polarising effects of earlier outbreaks of violence.” Lasting reminders of conflict lingered as the city recovered, reminding anyone walking the streets of the city's violent past and the likely potential of future clashes.