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Do you see what I see? Young People's experience of the Troubles in their own words and photographs



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Text: The Cost of the Troubles Study ... Page Compiled: Fionnuala McKenna

The following extracts have been contributed by the authors of The Cost of the Troubles Study, with the permission of INCORE. The views expressed in this section do not necessarily reflect the views of the members of the CAIN Project. The CAIN Project would welcome other material which meets our guidelines for contributions.


These extracts are taken from the Report:

image of front cover Do You See What I See?:
Young People's experience of the Troubles in their own words and photographs

by the children and young people of
Sunningdale Youth Group
Survivors of Trauma, North Belfast
Woodvale Youth Group
Young people from The Alexander Park project in Belfast
Peace and Reconciliation Group, Derry Londonderry
with assistance from Joy Dyer
who interviewed, transcribed, facilitated discussions and organised the project & The Cost of the Troubles Study

ISBN 0 95333 05 1 6 120pp

Published (1998) by:

INCORE
Aberfoyle House
Northland Road
Derry Londonderry
BT48 7JA



This chapter is copyright The Cost of the Troubles Study 1998 and is included on the CAIN site by permission of the authors and the publisher. You may not edit, adapt, or redistribute changed versions of this for other than your personal use without the express written permission of the authors or the publisher, INCORE. Redistribution for commercial purposes is not permitted.


Do you see what I see?

Young people's experience of the Troubles
in their own words and photographs

by the children and young people of
Sunningdale Youth Group
Survivors of Trauma, North Belfast
Woodvale Youth Group
Young people from The Alexander Park project in Belfast
Peace and Reconciliation Group, Derry Londonderry

with assistance from
Joy Dyer
who interviewed, transcribed, facilitated discussions and organised the project
& The Cost of the Troubles Study



First published 1998
INCORE
Initiative on conflict resolution & ethnicity
Abyerfoyle House
Northland Road
Derry Londonderry
BT48 7JA
Tel: 01504 375510

© The Cost of the Troubles Study
Unit 14 North City Business Centre 2 Duncairn Gardens Belfast BT15 2GG
Cover Design by Belfast Litho Printers
Typeset by Joy Dyer & Marie Smyth
All photographs by the young people of North and West Belfast
Text from interviews and poems by young people in North and West Belfast and Derry Londonderry
With the assistance of Belfast Exposed
Interviews conducted and transcribed by Joy Dyer
Editing and design by Joy Dyer Marie Smyth and Belfast Litho Printers

Printed by Belfast Litho

All rights reserved

ISBN 0 95333 05 1 6

Price: £10.00 commercial sales
£5.00 and £2.50 unwaged and under 18s



Contents

The Troubles
Paramilitaries
Security Forces
The Other Community
Peace Lines
Our Lives
Peace
Poems


The Troubles...

  • I remember something else as well. This is whenever I was a wee bit older, and I already knew about the Troubles and all... I was angry, really, like, somebody could be so bitter, you know like, beat him (uncle) to death... You hear about people who get beat to death, it annoyed me more. If he had a got shot... I would've still been angry, but it would've been happier, you know? You know a quicker death for him. And it made me angry...I didn't even know he was beat... Somebody says to me that somebody got beat... I knew it was my uncle. I knew he was down there... And he had another son. He had another two sons and another daughter And his son got shot dead after.

  • ...Last year was the first time I grieved my dad being dead. Twenty-nine years of age... I actually felt, you know cried about it...

  • There's a certain kind of loss... The fact of not knowing your father, it's just like a void that can never be filled no matter what happens... There 's uncles that try to be decent to you, and there 's different men in your lifetime that try to be decent... but the loss of your father and to not know him, for him not to take you to football matches and for him not to take you fishing and for him not to walk down the street with you. It's just a terrible, terrible loss.

  • A couple of years ago, my mum was pregnant with my wee sister And they were rioting. And she got hit in the back with a brick, so she did...

  • She was under a lot of stress, so she was, and she was afeared. She felt very scared. It's my aunt, so it is. And she felt very scared. It got to the point where she was scared to go out the back garden, maybe even hang her washing out, for fear of getting hit with a brick or a bottle...

  • My cousin was at a disco, and he was only sixteen. And he was going home... And he seen this wee boy getting beat up, you know, by men. And he went over to help the wee boy, and they jumped him instead and beat him to death... They were just beating this other wee boy, and he went over to help him. The wee boy went home, didn't say anything... He was braindead, so we had to turn off the machine.

  • I've seen shooting three times! Three times I've been caught in shooting! This one time, just down the road a wee bit, it was me and (my neighbour) and my mother We were standing at the bottom of the street, and just as we walked over, (the I.R.A.) started shooting up the entry. They were shooting out of a house on (the next street) at the Brits coming down (the street)... And then there was another time. I was young at the time. My wee brother was still in the pram. And we were coming up from my granny's house on Saturday, walkin' up the (street). And they started shooting across the street, I think. I'm not sure who. I was young, you know. Again, in the (street) whenever I was younger. Might have been the Pro vies. It was really, really terrifying, 'cause you don't know where it 's coming from. You don't want to run in case you run into it... 'Cause you can't hear where it 's coming from because of the echoes... You 're afraid to run in case you run in the wrong direction and all.

  • No one expected it (the bomb)... A wee lad that I hang about with, his grandad owned that shop that it happened in. His grandad died... And the fellow down the street, he just found it very hard to cope with... And he got ill and all for a while, so he did. Everybody was just taken aback by it... because the people who were killed in it were so young, so they were...


A scene of a shooting


My first memory was when my aunt got shot... It frightened me, so it did. She was only home from visiting my granny in England, and she was walking around the corner to me aunt's house. She got shot dead... I.R.A. crossfire... Well, you 're afraid to go out, in case you get shot dead, so you are.

Young Woman in North Belfast



The first thing that happened to me was my father being shot dead when I was two and a half. But I don't remember it... But I remember the effect of it... on the whole family... He was shot dead in the house by the police... And we were... moved about as children. But it was really an upheaval... My mother went in for electric treatment. She was in hospital for two years... And she on these nerve tablets and stuff ever since... There's absolutely no counselling or psychiatric help for anyone... around here.... My mother got electric treatment, just to shut out part of her brain, but then, about six years ago, my mother started remembering the part that was shut out.... She forgot a load of stuff. She was like a zombie to a degree. And she started remembering all the stuff - wee details, things my dad said just before he was shot, my dad falling to the floor, me standing looking at my dad with blood running down the floor... All these memories started flooding back to her and nearly screwed her up about six years ago. Her heart went... She's thirty-eight years of age at the time, and she went in, 'cause her heart near went...

Young Man in North Belfast




Security Forces...

(I remember) my mummy telling me, "You shouldn 't go out when the police are about" and all. You 're being stopped and all by the police because of the rioting. Like you're not allowed to go down so far, 'cause of the checkpoints and all.

I've only had one (experience) where they (the police) told me to move on... from the street corner… But the street corners are the only places you can really go. Like there is youth clubs, but they 're only on certain nights. And then you have to find something to do the rest of the nights... On a Saturday night in our area, there's nothing.

See, the peelers (police) are very bitter towards us... (A member of the community) had kids. And one of those kids... She was only seventeen. And she was a joyrider And she was driving along with her boyfriend to go and get a carton of milk for her mummy. And the peelers shot her twenty-five times. Riddled her And a film came out about it. "You, Me, and Marlie," you called it.

Conversation between Young Women in North Belfast



CAIN contains information and source material on the conflict and politics in Northern Ireland.
CAIN is based within the University of Ulster.


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