The Tale of the Third City
The four years that followed will unquestionably go down in history as being the worst years of the conflict in Northern Ireland. It was without any shadow of doubt; the era that would leave an ever lasting impression on the teenager population of that time, and believe me, I was no exception, but sadly, it will be remembered for all the wrong reasons.
1970s Ulster will be remembered for the bombings, the shootings; the unnecessary blood shed caused by misguided politicians, who would openly, and quite frequently encourage young men from both side of the political divide to take up the armed struggle, leading those young men to believe they were soldiers……. convinced that they were fighting a war.
If you were to ask those same men today, why? Their answers would all be same, they would tell you that their main concern; the sole purpose for taking up the gun in the first place; was so they could protect their family and friends, their neighbours, the areas in which they lived. They saw themselves as defenders, the modern day partisans whose tales of “their war” are today so full of romanticism it’s hard to distinguish the truths from their fantasy.
In their own minds, they were Revolutionaries and still to this day portray that same imagery of the Irish Che Guevara’s. Their aim, to distort the truth to suit their own agendas in that one last ditched attempt to convince the fools of this world, that they were actually fighting a valid cause.
It was that same mix of paranoid self-righteousness, which led to all these problems rising it ugly ahead in the first place, and sadly Ulster will be remembered for this for some time to come. Remembered for those times when “Republicans” barricaded themselves into their own areas, claiming they were to protect their own. They said by preventing the security forces and loyalist gangs from entering their ghettos but you have to ask yourself, was this really the reason why? Could this simply not have been the Republican’s way of controlling the insiders, and, or those who actually dared to go out into the world to mix?
This takes me right back to the Brendan Hughes quote “that the IRA practically controlled the Lower Falls”. Now be honest; does a statement like that not make you want to stop and question the reasoning behind those barricades? I know it does me, but in saying that, this is not the bigot in me coming out, oh no, because it wasn’t all one sided. If you were to take a closer look at the Orange side of city ‘where I come from’ you would soon realize that grass wasn’t much greener over here. On our side; the Orange side of the city, you would find loyalist gangs roaming the streets in packs, with a similar “fucked up” agenda going on in their heads. They claimed; they were merely there to ward off all would be attackers but, it wasn’t just the “would be attackers” that they saw as prey. Let’s be clear on this, if your face didn’t fit, or if you weren’t known in certain areas; well………. do I really need to explain?
These extracts have been taken from first dratf chapters, even though they are displayed on this site they may not necessarily appear in the book, but I can assure you without any doubt whatsoever, they most certainly are part and parcel of the "Trilogy Story"! So if you buy the Book, you like it and want to read the Chapters that are not included, they will be available from this site! Remember its 40 years of memories and 5 years of research!
I would also like point out, that we are in search of photos of the era, so if you can help please send copies of whatever you have to, firstname.lastname@example.org don't forget to leave your details so we can credit you. Thanks