Silence over West Bank exodus…

WHEN a film maker appealed to Protestants and unionists who fled Derry/Londonderry city due to violence and inimidation to tell their stories in his documentary, the response from exiles was disappointing. Unionists believe this is a story worth telling, but if reluctance to do so continues, it will diminish the unionist argument that no-one ever gives them a chance to explain their side of things. While there’s something in the unionist psyche about not airing problems and feelings in public, others might claim the reluctance to put unionist issues into the public spotlight is to avoid critical analysis.

  • Harry Flashman

    Right let’s get going on all this

    First of all Fraggle

    Your “calling my bluff” was very specific, you can read your post no.21 if you doubt me; you alleged I was bluffing about the murders of Derry protestants, this was exactly the meaning of your post about naming “tasteful” victims of murder, as I said earlier the English language is very plain.

    You now backtrack and say that you meant I was “bluffing” about the general intimidation of west bank protestants. Despite all your huffing and puffing about me being “precious” or telling me to “get over myself” you haven’t the decency to admit you made an offensive remark and have refused to withdraw the remark after I made several polite requests for you to do so.

    I have nothing further to say to you, as you have proved yourself to be someone without a shred of decency or integrity. Please do not respond to any more of my posts as I regard our debate finished.

    lib2016

    You say reforms were not granted, all except one (the abolition of Special powers) of NICRA’s demands were met in full by November 1968, this is a fact.

    Dub

    Your no doubt sincere attempt not to justify the murders of protestant civilians came damn close to justifying the murders of protestant civilians and relies upon placing a huge degree of reliability on the word of the self same sectarian murderers. The two men in the Dolphin cafe, an accident? Wow so the Chucks shot two guys accidently in a cafe and gee whizz they just happened to be two prods, what do you think the chances of that were?

    Census collectors were never regarded as a legitimate targets before the shooting of Joanne Mathers, and I’m not sure it became one afterwards, just a bit of bad luck that once more the dead census collector just happened to be a prod.

    Working for the prison service? Leslie Jarvis taught leatherwork to civilian prisoners in a civilian prison, did the provos shoot any kitchen staff or bin men who worked in the prisons? I must have missed them, Jarvis was a handy prod when the provos needed a dead body to booby trap.

    The two lads who were murdered in Sheriff’s Mountain were two west bank prods who worked as a painter and a manual labourer in Ebrington barracks, this was not the justification the provos gave at the time by the way, they claimed they were British “spies” no less, whitewashing walls in Limavady road must have been a bit of a come down for those wannabe James Bonds!

    William King was beaten to death by a mob, oh well that’s alright then. William Young was murdered by unknown killers in his office, only his killers know what happened, I therefore would take any bullshit about “impeding IRA men” with a skip load of salt. What, of all the offices in Derry the IRA chose to be impeded in they could only find a protestant man’s office? Naw, ain’t buying it!

    Look Dub I take you at your word when you say you don’t justify the killings but don’t be so naive about taking the word of republican terrorists when they explain why they murdered the latest protestant civilian, the excuses wear a bit thin after the tenth victim.

  • lib2016

    Harry,

    You claim that the reforms were all granted by 1968 yet we are still waiting for a strong locally elected council in Derry with significant powers.

    The fact is, as we have seen on this thread and the one on the use of Casement Park for the Hunger Strike Commemoration unionism doesn’t and can’t deal fairly with republicans.

    Oh, they’ll try – but in Derry they could not bring themselves to allow a Nationalist council. When at last local government reform of a sort came along all most of the powers which local councils had exercised were removed from them.

    You may feel the refusal of local democracy is a mere pinprick, as you presumably believe the murder of 14 protesters on Bloody Sunday was also a pinprick. That’s not the way it works in real life.

  • Anomylus

    Anecdotally I heard from relatives who live in the Republic who said that they moved from Derry at the start of the troubles because they thought that it would be safer in Raphoe.
    The main reason was not sectarian – it was self-preservation. People, they say, didn’t care if they were one way or the other.
    They also said that many other families (protestant) did the same.

    And Harry Flashman.
    Since you seem to be ending all lines of communication with the wider-minded public – how about stopping your posting here full-stop.
    It’s not that what you say isn’t occasionally interesting, but sifting through your angry ramblings peeves me.

  • Anomylus

    I might add that I am Protestant and my relatives that mentioned are Protestant.

  • Fraggle

    Harry, I did not intend to imply you were lying. I am not calling you a liar at all. I used an unfortunate turn of phrase, “can we call your bluff?” innocently, not knowing that you would take this as a grave insult. I used the wrong phrase. I’m sorry for using it.

    My full post was:

    “That’s twice you’re threatened to produce examples. Can we call your bluff? Try to pick some tasteful examples”

    I specifically mentioned your previous posts. This is not specific to your post about murder so I fail to see how you can claim it is. I was not trying to imply you were lying. I only wanted you to produce some evidence. The point of the thread is the lack of this very evidence.

    I subsequently said i was not implying you were lying. How more clear do you need it to be? Are you a little slow?

    Subsequently, saying that I am “without a shred of decency or integrity” is more insulting that the original (accidental) insult.

    As I said earlier, “I certainly was not insinuating that you are a liar”. That is quite clear and should have satisfied.

    Now you are fleeing a lost argument. Good riddance to you. Let’s have some people who actually want to debate the matter at hand post.

  • Harry Flashman

    Fraggle (and Anomylous)

    I was not fleeing an argument with you (nor was I ending communications with the wider-minded public.)

    I was merely offended by your implication that I would “bluff” about murders that I specifically called “distasteful”, I asked you to accept I wasn’t bluffing about this issue and you refused to do so – or such was my perception.

    You have now gracefully accepted that I’m not a liar (I can quibble that you said “maybe” I wasn’t a liar earlier but that would be petty of me), I accept that and in a spirit of open-minded debate I withdraw my comment regarding your decency and credibility which I accept was equally insulting on my part and I should not have said it.

    I hope this brings our unfortunate dispute to a close.

    It’s late now but I’d be happy to continue our discussion if you want tomorrow morning or maybe it’s been beaten to death by now, what do you think?

  • Fraggle

    I’m happy to drop the personal argument. I didn’t intend to insult you and yes, I should have made it clearer that I don’t think you’re a liar. I withdraw any personal comments I made at any point on this thread and apologise for any offence.

    I think there is a lot more to be said on this matter though. I grew up in Derry and I have wondered about this issue for a long time. Personal arguments get in the way of discussing the real issue.

  • Sweet – does that mean we can all go for pints now? I vote Sandinos but we can try the ‘Stairs or Peadars if you’d prefer……

  • eranu

    quite enjoyed reading this thread. but i cant help thinking that the republican posters are just refusing to admit there was intimidation of protestants even when confronted by lots of detailed information.
    from my own experience on a saturday afternoon walking round the walls i saw a group of spides come up from the bogside and throw a brick over the fence into the fountain. thats on a saturday afternoon!

    so come on, it wont kill you to admit it and perhaps even condemn it??

  • Richard

    I have read some of the posts on this topic with interest. Alas, I have to agree with eranu – there does seem to be a lot of denial.

    I was born and brought up in Londonderry in the 1970s and 1980s. My father’s family had lived on the Cityside (or Derryside as we used to call it) and all of them left in the early 1970s. I do not know of any specific intimidation, but I do remember that it was clear to protestants and unionists in that part of the city that moving to the ‘safe’ Waterside was the only option.

    It is undeniable that people who had lived in that part of the city left in large numbers in the 1970s. They either were or perceived that they were under threat.

    This does not justify the mistreatment of any other group or individual.

    But it did happen.

  • barnshee

    DUB

    “”While you are at it, are there any other areas of N Ireland that you do not think should have been “included”?? ”

    yep ==all the other shitholes ie newry s armagh and strabane (now there IS a REAL shithole)

    “AS your conception of the statelet is so clearly non static could you enlighten us as to the exact purpose served by NI statelet and on what historical and cultural basis is it constructed according to you?? ”

    N Ireland was created protect as many prods as possible from catholic republican ireland and her murder gangs

  • Harry Flashman

    Ok then to summarise my take on the original topic (leaving aside my wild meanderings about pre-72 unionism and the Catholic support thereof).

    It is now accepted that the protestants (we’ll use that term rather than unionists for the sake of this debate) left the West Bank of Derry in very large numbers, according to Young Fogey’s figures they went from 20% to about 3 or 4% today. “Exodus” is too strong a word for it, it was hardly of Biblical proportions, but it was in terms of a small town like Derry quite remarkable.

    So why did they leave? The idea that most of them just wanted to move to the nice suburbs is superficially attractive, but like I said there was no shortage of nice suburbs in the West Bank, Troy Park, Crawford Square, Talbot Park etc. These suburbs already had protestant populations but by and large they left these too, (ok I accept that there are still a few protestant families living there but the overwhelming majority left). Even the Culmore Road, where wealthy Catholics were to move en masse to build new leafy suburbs, was not considered very attractive, again despite the fact that this was formerly a protestant area (again in deference to Ciaran I accept there are still some there but not remotely in proportion to what used to be), the protestants instead opted to move to the East Bank.

    Fraggle produced some fascinating stuff regarding the Housing Executive moving protestants from the Fountain to Lincoln Courts on a temporary basis and then those people deciding to remain. I hadn’t known that and was interesting to me, however I think it related soley to the Fountain during the redevelopment and secondly doesn’t address why these “temporary” Waterside residents opted not to return.

    So why did they leave? My theory is that a combination of the above theories certainly may have had a part in the move but only a minor part. It is my assertion that “the Troubles” at the end of the day must be recognised as being the obvious factor, the time scale is simply to coincidental. If a series of raucous all night parties, with drinking and drug taking and wild sex occurred over a period of time in a formerly quiet cul-de-sac and this period coincided with the time that old age pensioners and families with young children moved out to be replaced with young hip hop swingers then no one would argue the cause and effect. (NO I am not comparing Catholics to drunken wild party animals, it’s just a rough and ready comparison, feel free to produce your own).

    I am not alleging that there was genocidal ethnic cleansing, this did not happen, certainly not on the scale that occurred along the border or in parts of Belfast. But there was a vicious terror campaign which resulted in the deaths of several protestants (both of “legitimate” targets, and arguably, when there were no “legitimate” targets, then to hell with it a “non-legitimate” target would do, they’re only prods after all).

    Many of these victims were prominent members of what was a very small community, only 10 000, and several were murdered in circumstances, that would be quite clearly shockingly intimidating for the community as a whole. I think not only of the two members of the security forces shot down at the doorsteps of their churches in front of their fellow congregation, but other examples; men murdered in broad daylight as they sat in their places of work, be they carpet wholesalers or electricians, or of the bodies dumped on a roadside of two lads that had gone across to Donegal for a pint the night before.

    Furthermore, there was the “economic” war, the systematic daily destruction of retail businesses in Derry. There was no Marks & Spencer or Debenhams in those days, the majority of businesses were locally owned and owned by protestants, when you destroy people’s livelihoods what else do they do but leave? There was also the more low level stuff; bombing the Rugby Club, Gwyn’s Institute, the Northern Counties Club, Walker’s Pillar, all minor enough stuff in themselves but enough to build up a picture of what the future held for the small Derry protestant community.

    Not all protestants suffered this directly but they knew the people it happened to. Not all protestants were in the security forces but enough of them were or were tangentially connected in bizarre ways enough to be targets that they moved. If the father cuts the lawn in Ballykelly base then he better move and when he moves he takes his wife and wee’uns with him. It is a snowball effect, as neighbours move out you tend to begin to feel isolated so you move too, the only reason the Fountain still remains is because of the absolute stubbornness of the residents there not to go, but they are a tiny holdout.

    (word limit I’ll contnue later)

  • Harry Flashman

    What about the small scale, everyday intimidation? This is where personal anecdotes come in. I saw them myself, the schoolkids sworn at and spat upon at the busstops (how often would you have to wash gobs of spittle out of your kids’ hair and uniforms before you’d decide to call it a day?), the paint bombs on doors, bricks through the back windows of oul’ dears’ houses, hints to protestant workers muttered darkly about whether they might want to reconsider staying on at work, all low level stuff but enough to move you on. I know spides are everywhere, but these spides weren’t targetting the homes of local Sinn Fein families were they? They had very consistent targets and it was no consolation to their victims that the harassment wasn’t “officially” condoned.

    To finish off none of the above should be made to suggest that protestants were the only victims of the Troubles in Derry – they most certainly were not. Bloody Sunday and the Top of the Hill Bar massacre weren’t inflicted on protestants, nor were the random murders of innocent Catholics by loyalist thugs at the same time in any way less horrific. I shouldn’t of course have to point this out but I’m pre-empting any whataboutery.

    One last point, you rightly ask why the protestants of Derry don’t tell their own story? I don’t know why in general but I know of one specific case. He is a fellow my own age, his father was one of the victims I named above, he now lives in the south of England with his English wife and kids. Understanably he’s not interested in Derry now, he wants to put it all behind him in the long bitter past.

  • Anomylus

    Harry maybe your fellow has something in his “[wanting] to put it all behind him in the long bitter past.

    Perhaps you could follow his lead

  • Harry Flashman

    Anything construcive to add anomylus, or are you just going to keep making snarky comments about me?

    When did you become the thread policeman who could determine when the thread should be terminated?

    I asked Fraggle whether it was worth continuing the debate, he felt it was, four other posters then contributed further points. So I summarised my position.

    You’re bored anomylus? Fine, piss off to some other thread where you’ll find something of interest, don’t bother me.

  • darth rumsfeld

    Harry
    good posts- but Marcus McCausland was in fact from Limavady

  • kensei

    “quite enjoyed reading this thread. but i cant help thinking that the republican posters are just refusing to admit there was intimidation of protestants even when confronted by lots of detailed information.

    so come on, it wont kill you to admit it and perhaps even condemn it?? ”

    There was undoubtedly, 100% certain, intimidation of Proestants in those areas of Derry. It was 100% wrong. But

    1. There are several other factors, as has been mentioned.
    2. Populations polarised pretty everywhere here. The atomsphere alone, and the fear of things were more than enough to cause some people to move and there was low level stuff going on all over the place. Is Derry in some way different and special from everywhere else?

    People seem to be asserting the latter. It’s not denial to probe that.

  • darth rumsfeld

    interesting that noone has mentioned the Abercorn Road and Dark Lane yet. These were mostly Protestant and Dark Lane was staunchly -indeed notoriously- Loyalist, even through the riots of the 1920s. But by 1973 Dark Lane was gone, and the number of Derry accents in Antrim outdid the locals. This was partly economics- the Enkalon plant drew them in- but only because Martin McGuiness’ economic warfare was killing what industry there was in Londonderry.

    So you could argue it was economics, or terrorism, or- same result to the workers- the fact that every month the rioters were coming farther down the Abercorn Road, as one friend described it to me, describing his 1970 move to Strathfoyle.

    The other incident which had a major impact was the murder of Inspector Duddy leaving 2nd Derry presbyterian church- a genuinely shocking event for many who thought themselves hardened to terrorism. And finally the hungerstrikes, which some bloggers are so keen to glorify- and the constant fear for kids going on the bus to Foyle or Templemoyle secondary or another brick through the window, or getting beaten up at 3.30- didn’t encourage families to stay.

  • Did Dark Lane not make way for the flyover and other redevelopments? Correct me if I am wrong, my geography is appalling. And I hadn’t been born.
    Going anecdotally.
    Abercorn Road is pretty close to Fountain, maybe people just moved a few streets away, as I mentioned, ‘for safety’.

  • cladycowboy

    For the population movements of Derry during the troubles, read the rest of the north, isn’t that the case?

    Sick sectarianism has lasting effects, Derry kids in Protestant school uniforms shouldn’t have been spat at, like i shouldn’t have been spat in Newtownstewart for wearing a Catholic school uniform.

    However, is it perhaps that the movements across the river Foyle imbue it with a deeper pyschological impact than if there had been no river there and it was movement from west to east of a city, and this allied to the symbolism that Derry holds in Loyalist heritage?

  • Fraggle

    I don’t think the factor of the local geography is given enough attention.

    Prior to the opening of the Foyle Bridge and with the Strand Road closed, the west bank was very, very isolated from a protestant point of view. The Culmore Road suddenly seems a lot more appealing for catholics than protestants when you consider the fastest route to the waterside in such circumstances. Bayswater etc. over the river seem a much more attractive location.

  • darth rumsfeld

    “Did Dark Lane not make way for the flyover and other redevelopments? Correct me if I am wrong, my geography is appalling. And I hadn’t been born.”

    Er,correct-it’s mostly under the flyover, as were the neighbouring streets below the walls.I didn’t mean to give the impression that houses were burnt out.I lump it into the Protestant community living outside the Fountain in the 1960s. Harry is right about Rosemount and other areas at that time BTW – Rosemount had a loyalist band in the 1960s which used to practise in the Epworth hall I think.

    “Abercorn Road is pretty close to Fountain, maybe people just moved a few streets away, as I mentioned, ‘for safety’.”

    There was nowhere in the Fountain for them to go- it had no spare housing, as it was being redeveloped. Most of the people I knew moved to Newbuildings, some to Limavady, and some to Lincoln Courts. Plus very many kids were sent to Limavady schools rather than Foyle

  • Young Fogey

    Like others, I accept that the school uniform based harrassment is nasty stuff but hardly confined to the West Bank of Derry, or even confined to sectarian incidents.

    The nastiest incident I ever had of being intimidated in a school uniform was while taking a short cut through Unity Flats going into town after school one day with a mate. A group of spides tried to nick our bus passes because we were wearing (wait for it) St. Malachy’s uniforms. And I lived in the New Lodge (four streets away from the school).

    It wasn’t sectarian. It wasn’t bigoted. But it was nasty stuff (although in the end they chickened – 4 v 2 weren’t their sort of odds).

    And other crap went on too – big gangs coming up from Mount Vernon and Seaview to jump the first person coming along the Antrim Road or the Somerton Road. Unfortunately that hasn’t stopped yet either.

    I’m not denying some particularly nasty stuff happened to Prods on the West Bank but the low level shit happened to pretty much everybody, everywhere, so whatever the reason for the exodus of Derry Prods from the West Bank was, it wasn’t that.

  • Paul

    On reflection I would say Harry F.’s summary is close to the truth. Another major factor would have been the availability of housing when Protestant families decided to move. There were new houses becoming available in Kilfennan (Waterside)in the early seventies. The Culmore road developments came later, after the Foyle Bridge was built. Harry mentions a few areas on the Cityside but they had settled populations and could not have absorbed the move. The other thing to remember is that most of the jobs in Derry then were in the Waterside and Campsie. At that time living on the Culmore Road would have meant a 45 minute journey to a workplace you could see across the river.
    Also there was a lot of doomsday talk and general paranoia at that time. The west bank of the Foyle must have looked pretty isolated to Unionists then.
    I still think it is important that individuals speak up when they are given the chance.

  • Harry Flashman

    Just to clarify I don’t think anyone alleged that what happened to the protestants in Derry was in any way unique, it wasn’t. As I recall Bobby Sands grew up in Rathcoole originally and at school my best mate’s family had moved from Antrim to Carnhill, well, a bin through your kitchen window can be kinda persuasive.

    If anything the only unique aspect of it all is the unique reluctance to accept that violence and intimidation might have played a role in the decision made by west bank prods to move.

  • Alan

    I have to agree with H Flash on that last point.

    Far be it for someone from the Shankill to comment on anything in Derry, but I worked with community groups on both sides of the Foyle and with both communities over a number of years.

    The protestant view was always that the intimidation actually happened to some and that the many were intimidated ( but isn’t that what intimidation is supposed to do?).

    On the Catholic side there was a dismissal of intimidation in any form, a shrug and a general sense of “sure it happened, what’s to be done now.”

  • Anomylus

    Harry –

    Are you now trying to intimidate the rest of us?
    That’s what it sounds like to me with you very aggressive writing – .

  • Harry Flashman

    I intimidate no one, I just hate snarky posters who add nothing but insist on sneering at people who have actually got something to say, if you don’t like me my friend then just ignore me, simple really.

  • skinbop

    i would like to commend Harry Flashman for constructively and eloquenting presenting the facts on this thread.

    i think fraggle and some others have made some shameful comments – indicative of everything bad about the “derry spide”. is it any wonder tourists don’t feel comfortable visiting the cityside?

    they should make it illegal to deny the existence of the “Derry Prod” ethnic cleansing similar to the Holocaust in Germany.

  • Harry

    I saw them myself, the schoolkids sworn at and spat upon at the busstops (how often would you have to wash gobs of spittle out of your kids’ hair and uniforms before you’d decide to call it a day?), the paint bombs on doors, bricks through the back windows of oul’ dears’ houses, hints to protestant workers muttered darkly about whether they might want to reconsider staying on at work, all low level stuff but enough to move you on.

    You’ve seen all this in Derry? I grew up in Derry and didn’t see this. I saw plenty of violence against the brits & RUC alright, but little evidence of sectarianism. Still there was always grills on the windows between the Long Tower and the Fountain, so I guess they must have been throwing bricks and petrol bombs across from time to time (I never saw that either, despite being frequently in the area). Both my brothers went to state schools (the Model) and one went to Foyle but there was never any reports from them of sectarianism on the basis of their uniforms. The only sectarianism I heard about the Model was that half the pupils were catholic but all the teachers were protestant.

    No doubt there was some grief but it seems to me that the fundamental reason for unionists moving to the waterside was insecurity. Nationalists were livid and rebelling, unionists decided it was safer to be on the other side of that remarkably impressive river than left potentially isolated on the cityside/donegal side. A desire to be secure with ones own in a time of communal strife. Also many unionists were no doubt involved in the RUC/UDR/brit logistical support and so were rightly worried about being easy targets. If they weren’t directly involved they certainly knew people who were or were related to people who were. All in all, better to be off sides.

    Conversely a friend of mine whose family are catholic moved from the waterside to the cityside in the seventies when his milkman was shot by loyalists.

  • Fraggle

    Skinbop, please quote me the “shameful comments”.

    Put up or shut up. I’m just trying to investigate this issue and aside from my altercation with HF over an ill-advised phrase, I believe I’ve done just that. I’m hardly a “Derry spide” and your use of the insult says a lot more about you and your small mind than it does about me.

    Your Holocaust comment is stupid beyond belief. You are a troll and a fool.

  • friendlyCreggan

    I’ve been following this thread for the past week and being from Derry it’s very interesting to read.

    I hope that this programme gets made as it should be an education to not only those in the area that it’s about but to others as well.

    I know many Protestants who moved to the Waterside area, both through choice (better housing) and through the fact that they felt that they ‘had’ to leave because of the jobs that they did at that time (RUC,etc)

    It’s very much an untold story I believe?

  • skinbop

    Just the reaction one would expect from a Derry spide. I am neither trollish, foolish, stupid or small-minded but these may actually be compliments from you, since I have no frame of reference for your flames. I doubt you bothered to read my earlier postings on this topic – but then your not really interested in hearing an objective viewpoint or having a civilised discussion.

    You are experiencing what is commonly known as denial but then you don’t have any experience on the issue in hand, re: West Bank exodus.

  • skinbop

    Okay Fraggle – for your benefit only a few:

    1. Looking for “tasteful examples” of sectarian murders.

    2. “your handful of murders does not constitute a campaign of ethnic cleansing”

    Share with us your magic formula – is there a threshold of numbers of deaths you input into your supercomputer to determine what constitutes a campaign?

    Listen carefully, ONE murder was ONE too many. Many people only needed one in order to feel unsafe and leave. Please do not trivialise this issue further with your shameful comments.

    Try to keep your insults to a minimum this time since you may have to repeat your earlier posting to HF:

    “I’m happy to drop the personal argument. I didn’t intend to insult you and yes, I should have made it clearer that I don’t think you’re a liar. I withdraw any personal comments I made at any point on this thread and apologise for any offence.”

  • ciaran damery

    Unionists are leaving Derry because they realize that they now have to abide by the democratic process which means that they no longer rule the roost. Personally, I hope that they leave Ireland for good. This would facilitate the housing needs of the evergrowing Irish population within the city. Ireland will not miss those who persist in denying the right of the people to slef determine our own future. At least they see the writing on the wall and it’s only a matter of time before the Orange thugs and Paisleyite fascists throughout occupied Ireland are faced with a simple decision. Either they accept the will of the majority of the people of Ireland, realize that Ulster has nine (and not 6) counties, refrain from engaging in sectarian terrorism OR take the high road back to Scotland.

  • skinbop

    I always enjoy you ciaran – one of my favourite trollers!

  • Fraggle

    Skinbop, I’m not going to go into that comment that HF objected to. It was badly worded and got misunderstood. My own fault but not shameful.

    A handful of murders do not constitute a campaign of ethnic cleansing, especially when Harry Flashman kindly provided evidence of catholics killed for some of the same reasons, namely association with the RUC/UDR.

    “Listen carefully, ONE murder was ONE too many. Many people only needed one in order to feel unsafe and leave. Please do not trivialise this issue further with your shameful comments.”

    This is getting hysterical and stretching the bounds of the term ‘ethnic cleansing’ until the term becomes meaningless. If there was only a single murder, out of 3000+ in the troubles, the westbank would probably be safer than average.

    btw, how did you decide I was a spide? do you consider anyone who disagrees with you a spide?

  • WillieJohn

    Friendly Creggan, after reading all of the posts on here, and living in Derry, do you really think that it is just a matter of housing and jobs for prods that saw them leave? No other reasons that you can see at all?

  • friendlyCreggan

    WillieJohn

    Why do you think that I put ‘had’ in inverted commas?

    There were those that ‘had’ to leave because of their personal security but I also accept that there were many that were forced to leave as well.

    Are you from Derry as well?

  • WillieJohn

    I’m from Derry orginally and still get back quite often. I find this whole story interesting because the fact is that a load of Protestants left their homes just around the time when you had the IRA starting to flatten the city and shoot people, on the one hand, and the Londonderry Corp disintegrating and Unionist supremacy coming to an abrupt end, on the other.

    It seems fairly straightforward as to what the effect of that might be on the population(s) of a divided city like Derry but if you ask most nationalists there the Prods just left (for houses & work and beacuse they were no longer in control), and if you ask most Prods then they were shot/bombed/chased out of the place.

    But this only happened in the last 30 years and lots of those involved are still living so I’d be interested to see what kind of conclusions any film might come to?

  • Fraggle

    WillieJohn, there is a big difference between moving away because you no longer feel safe and being actively chased out of your home.

    Someone provide me an example of someone being burned out of their house on the Glen Road or somewhere like that. (the Glen Road once had many protestants, now there’s only a handful).

  • Harry Flashman

    I thought this thread was dead so I didn’t check it earlier, so I’d just like to put the record straight regarding the dispute between Fraggle and me.

    I took umbrage at what I perceived to be Fraggle’s challenge to one of my posts, in context I can see that Fraggle was challenging my general point rather than the one point to which I thought he was referring, his wording might have been clumsy but I completely accept he in no way wished to demean the deaths of anybody in Derry or anywhere else for that matter.

    Once our mutual misunderstanding was cleared up Fraggle and I were able to continue a mature and civilsed debate, indeed I commend Fraggle on his introduction of what was for me interesting material very relevant to our discussion.

    Clearly Fraggle is no spide and anything said by me in the course of our minor dispute should not be used to accuse him of being such. I disassociate myself totally from any implication by skinbob that the altercation between me and Fraggle in any way impugns Fraggle’s character.

    No, I wasn’t in contact with my solicitor I just wanted to set the record straight.

  • Fraggle

    Gee thanks Harry!

  • Harry Flashman

    No problem Fraggle, I’m very thin skinned when it comes to personal abuse real or imagined (as you’ll have gathered). I’ll get stuck in like the best of them when there’s a good ol’ ding dong row going on but if we can’t accept each other’s basic decency then there’s no point in this forum, otherwise we might as well all go out and paint kerbstones and put dog shite through our neighbour’s letterboxes.

  • NOW can we go out for pints? At a neutral venue? *whoops, forgot, it’s Derry we’re talking about* 😛

  • Young Fogey

    Underneath the wee statue on the Craigavon Bridge with a carry out?