Blog‎ > ‎

The answer is blowing in the wind

posted 29 Mar 2015, 14:55 by Fran Brady
Yesterday, I went to Belfast for a family funeral. A city I had never visited before but, like everyone else who followed the ongoing (and ongoing and ongoing) saga of 'The Troubles', I knew about the merciless sectarianism that crippled it for 30 years. But I also knew about the 'peace process' and the Good Friday Agreement so assumed things were all much better now. The streets I drove through between the George Best Airport and Northern Ireland's one crematorium came as a shock. To see the sectarianism still so strong and visible was startling. High fences around Catholic and Protestant enclaves, flags and graffiti/murals along whole streets. Two signs of hope were: one 'integrated' secondary school and the almost empty military barracks. I left feeling disturbed. 17 years this week since Mo Mowlan and Tony Blair brokered that fragile but precious peace and still so far to go. The people I talked to said it was going to take a several (maybe many) generations. They were all such lovely people  - they surely deserve better.

It was a fine, sunny but very windy day in Belfast. As my plane home rose above the city, I thought of the old Bob Dylan song: 'How many deaths does it take 'til they see that too many people have died? . . . The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind.'   

It was good to see 'Samson and Goliath' (I thought they were saying Samson and Delilah!) - the Harland and Wolfe giant cranes still working away, servicing oil rigs. Next time, I will go closer to them and visit the Titanic Centre.