- The blessings come in the form of friendships from across both communities that have lasted into today‘s world. Belfast is like a dream compared to previous decades, although as Shiels states there’s a ways to go. @shiels
i had my first holy communion at Holy Cross, small world.
My grandfather and his colleagues had to use different entrances and exists at Harland and Wolff to their Protestant counterparts, despite serving in WWII. This contributed to them getting involved in the Border Campaigns of the mid 40’s when they were home on leave, organisations like the Ancient Order of Hibernians. You don’t want to radicalise munitions experts. The price of those involvements converted many toward peaceful civil rights movements. This was all before ’69. Community action projects like food deliveries, housing, education mostly and a more secular worldview. Self taught, zero funding, but they played a significant part in de-escalating reprisals through youth work and teaching which the Catholic Church was (no pun) a bit touchy about, ie this is a religious calling and/or vocation, not a civilian one. Territorial, small-mindedness.
My Dad simply had enough though, saw no future, told us straight as lads not to be drawn into savage causes and that’s why he wanted to raise a family away from it all. Glasgow proved as testy, so on to London, then north. Celtic Park season tickets and all Eire hurling and Gaelic football finals were his only real vice, good events to catch a few pints, meet visiting relatives, find out what had happened to who etc etc. I still have all his old match programs, score notes and my grandfather’s Hibernian memorabilia.