Not sure how to attribute this one. A few years ago, I think I credited it to Michelle O’Neill, the Sinn Fein MLA for Mid Ulster. She is, I believe from Coalisland in County Tyrone.
It seems part of a bigger complex of three shop fronts. The first shop front specifies “Passport Applications” but going inside it is effectively a waiting area for the middle shop front, the Advice Centre. Three names, Martin McGuinness MP (sic), Francie Molloy MLA (sic) and Michelle O’Neill MLA are on the middle shop front. This is of course out of date. Since March 2013, Francie Molloy has been the Westminster MP for Mid Ulster.
The third shop front is actually a Republican Museum. I assume it has no direct connexion to the Sinn Fein offices. Presumably it is broadly Republican, rather than specifically mainstream.
There is a very large plaque on the upper storey, dedicated to the East Tyrone Brigade of the IRA.
Yep sounds like Coal Island to me, republican nest that can’t be bothered.
I love Coalisland…spent a lot of time there.
If you spent so much time there is that where the Halifax used to be and the police station further along on the opposite side? Looks like it to me but memory might be playing tricks, spent an entire morning there that I’ll never get back.
I dont ever remember a Halifax being there.
My maternal grandmother and a maiden aunt moved there in 1950s from County Armagh.
My granny diied aged 84 in 1956 and I can just remember her.
The maiden aunt moved to Dungannon around 1960 and died in 1984.
Another aunt and her family (much older cousins) lived in Coalisland so prolly from 1963 to around 1968, I spent my summers there.
Although my own family moved to Dungannon from Belfast in 1979 and I lived there a few years….by that stage Coalisland meant very little.
Yet oddly in the past five or six years, I like to go there ….those years 1963-1968 were so magical.
There is no longer any family connection to Coalisland.
But its a nostalgia thing for me now.
The Halifax was on the main road not far from the police station. I was supposed to be met but got bored & didn’t like the feel of the place, so I got some cash from the Halifax walked over to the police station, banged on the door until someone unlocked the fortress and asked them where was the nearest bus stop
I’ll never forget the look on the police mans face I almost lol.
If its any consolation, I was also “stood up” in Coalisland.
Lol! By a cousin? and she wasn’t late I left early. It was a lovely sunny day I walked all over the village, if that’s what it is, and found it intimidating and depressing. No one was rude or nasty quite the reverse but it felt wrong. All the tricolors everywhere. All the identikit gardens and right at the edge of the village a small row of houses with a few union flags. If councils had any sense they’d ban flags in small villages.
I daresay, some unionists would say things were more tolerant then.
I certainly recall an Orange Parade coming down Loughview Gardens at Newtownkelly. Thats were my aunt lived and certainly there were some Protestant families there. The parade went down Platers Hill past the police station into the Square.
As a schoolkid circa 1966, I would not have seen the significance but I recall a TV interview with President McAlease before her election…she is same age as me…and (like me) found it hard to believe that our parents generation were so cowered and passive.
Thats how it was.
There was an Orange Hall at Ballykelly (a cluster of houses about two miles out of the village) beyond Newtownkelly.
I think there was also a cluster of Protestant houses about a mile up the Brackaville Road. Dont ever remember seeing British flags in Coalisland itself.
The Brackaville Road is probably the place. It wasn’t the flags I was well used to those it was the atmosphere perhaps because in a small place its sort of condensed. Sorry to have taken you on this walkabout.
Oh I loved the walkabout.