Out Of The Ashes New Life

“In Belfast, as elsewhere in Northern Ireland, Unionist and Nationalist communities live cheek by jowl. The areas where Unionist and Nationalist areas meet are invariably described as ‘interfaces’. Cluan Place was and remains a small isolated Unionist community, consisting of 25 houses, adjoining the republican Short Strand. Republicans targeted the area in the early summer of 2002 with the purpose of driving the small Protestant community from the area. Similar attacks were made on other vulnerable Protestant areas such as Tigers Bay and White City. PIRA’s tactics followed a long and well-established pattern. First, they heightened tension, secondly, they offered dialogue, ostensibly to ease the tension, but the offer was manifestly insincere. In practice, the offer of dialogue was made to make republicans look good in the eyes of the media. Thirdly, republicans mounted their vicious sectarian attacks and then withdrew proceeding to choreograph media coverage of events – pushing forward the spin that it was their area under attack. In this case Short Strand. Meanwhile the small and beleaguered Unionist community was still reeling from the violent attack. Annie Blair was one of those residents in Cluan Place who refused to surrender to republican aggression. Her example inspired others in the small community and Cluan Place to this day remains part of our community”. See also: Welcome To Loyalist Cluan Place. Thorndyke Street, Belfast

M02310 M03626 [X00022] [X00023]

Copyright © 2005, 2007 Peter Moloney

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