Poster Boys & Girls…#26 Niall Ó Donnghaile (Sinn Féin)

27th April.


This poster is outside the Strand Bar in Mountpottinger Road. Niall Ó Donnghaile is a youthful Sinn Féin veteran and candidate in East Belfast. He is media savvy and a former Mayor of Belfast. He has done well to get a significant vote in the Short Strand area…a nationalist enclave in East Belfast. Especially after the party was rejected by residents in the aftermath of the murder of Robert McCartney.

Niall probably needs to wise up a bit. Id like to see him mature a bit. He cant really expect an Assembly seat without moving out of East Belfast, a place he clearly loves.

But “over the Bridge” is almost alien to a certified “Westie” like myself. I did have a cousin who lived in Chamberlain Street (a loyalist street)  in the 1960s and it seemed hostile…even then. My only other experience in the 1960s was leaving a girl home from a Legion of Mary disco in South Belfast in 1968. Happy Days.

And I do recall the summer of 1970, when I went into the Short Strand a few days after the Battle of St Matthews. Difficult as life could be in West Belfast, it was or seemed more difficult  there.

Short Strand SEEMS less dangerous now although Orange marches etc are a constant problem in the Marching Season. But the “peace walls” are helpful and certainly the disappearance of the old Belfast Corporation Electricity Department at Laganbank and Sirocco have made life more bearable. On the Albertbridge Road….road works and landscaping have created a neutral zone between communities.

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2 Responses to Poster Boys & Girls…#26 Niall Ó Donnghaile (Sinn Féin)

  1. political tourist says:

    Legion of Mary disco in 1968.

    How sweet…….

    • Thank you.
      I initially typed “tea dance” but “disco” makes me sound cool.
      It was at Derryvolgie Ave off Lisburn Road. And in pre-conflict days (1968) we travelled via RodenStreet, Donegall Park (?) and Tates Avenue.
      When I was told “I live over the bridge” I assumed it was over Tates Avenue.
      But ended up in Bryson Street.
      Bizarre really looking back that two 16 year olds never even thought about a taxi.
      And those Catholic teens often went via Roden Street, the edge of the Village and a mere five years later it would have been suicidal.

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