Suffer the Children

“In all classes at Edenbrooke there are children who have witnessed violence, children who have been involved in riots, children who have fathers involved in paramilitary organisations, children from broken homes, children who are on the run from other districts, children who have witnessed domestic violence, children who have lost relatives through the Troubles, children who have been rehoused after being thrown out as a result of the feud and children with autistic spectrum disorders. Some pupils are toilet trained just weeks before starting school, others regularly fall asleep in class and pupils as young as P4 have become drug users.
“The P1s during the year of the feud are now in P6. The things that those kids saw are awful. Three hundred people were put out of their homes and I had mummies coming into me in tears.” From the first of a two part series looking at the impact of the 2000 loyalist feud on children.
Update: The BBC has also picked up on this: Feud Children ‘Speak of Suicide’

  • Yokel

    If these kids were animals they’d be taken to the vet….

  • Tochais Siorai

    Yokel, it’s a serious thread concerning the most innocent of victims. If you’ve nothing remotely constructive to say why don’t you just fukk off?

  • davey

    “Baroness Blood said that one child was asked what he wanted to be when he grew up and he replied “an ex-prisoner”.”

    Dont blame the kids, blame the parents. What sort of parenting skills do these people have, you could throw 100’s of millions at these people, without any return.

    I feel sorry for the children who are brought up in such hatred filled homes.

    Social services need to be sent in, en masse.

  • JR

    Davey thats the funniest and saddest thing I’ve ever heard!!

  • William Joyce

    Today is the anniversary of the Duke Street riots when the SSRUC and fascist B Specials started the Troubles. Let us remember the suffering of all Catholic children just as we remember the child victims of the Nazis. Indeed, we shouild make denial of the Catholic Holocaust a crime just as denial of the Jewish “Holocaust” is a crime in Germany, Austria and other places.
    As for these children of Loyalist vermin, could they not be adopted? Loyalists are not fit parents in any event.

  • Bemu s ed

    Bunch of feral vermin traumatise one another – who cares? A well-funded program of voluntary sterilisation is the only “good and constructive support” that the Shankill needs and deserves.

  • Yokel


    Its like I’ve hit you with a taser…sparky..

    There is a point…you think this is the first generation? No their parents were one such generation and on and on it goes.

    Innocent? Their parents were once considered the innocents as well. People make choices about where they want to go in life. Maybe they need a bit of a leg up and help sometimes but its their choices.

    The problem is the people, its the community and I’m heartily sick of the bollocks coming out of these communities about this and that. It’s time to be less sympathetic to them and tell them to pull their fingers out and make their choices. These people want anyone to blame but themselves and its time they were told once and for all its their bloody fault.

    I’m very aware of those people within the Greater Shankill area who have been working to try to get the community to work for themselves, to take responsibility and put their backs into it, but all too often it comes down to the old excuses in that area and may others on both sides in Belfast. It’s outsiders, its the police, its the fact that the other side get more money, its the polticians who do nothing and on and on. Underachievement is positively praised.

    This is a permanent state of mind amongst far too many and no amount of reports and no amount of funding is going to change it, so what are we left with?

  • Yokel

    Bless you William Joyce, I’m sure god will when you die…

  • willis

    Have you all got it out of your system yet?

    What I find sad is that I read last week that Ian Paisley particularly wanted to see Betty Orr’s speech at the Labour Party Conference, yet when I did a search on Google for the text – nothing.

    It is obvious that Betty Orr and May Blood care deeply about the children on the Shankill and it to the credit of both Cherie Blair and Peter Hain that they have got more publicity.

    Perhaps Paisley has reflected on the fact that the ultimate victims of his sermons and speeches of the late sixties have been Protestant children destroyed by their own.

  • Yokel

    Who destroyed the Catholic children Willis? That was Paisley as well I assume and not their own?

  • willis

    Note the word ultimate Yokel. You are quite right and I have no argument with you, however there is no group more abandoned and betrayed by their own, politically, socially and in education than working class Protestant kids.

  • JR

    Willis states “there is no group more abandoned and betrayed by their own, politically, socially and in education than working class Protestant kids.”

    Surely, lower class, under class, benefits class etc would be a better description as most are from single parent spongers who wouldn’t know what a days work was if it hit them in the face.

  • Brenda

    ‘So what are we left with’Yokel.

    We are left with children who are the descendants of parents whose community has been starved for a long time of proper funding and proper employment. Granted they had jobs when catholics had none ie in the ship yard, but when will the government stop pouring money into CRJ’s and the like and start funding proper education facilities for working class communities.

    A couple of million is to be spent by the education boards on children whose first language is not english. Headlines in the paper during the week. These children are being failed by the system. They aren’t the only ones.

    Its time now for working class communities of either religion or none, to demand what is rightfully theirs. Government money to ensure their children have a better future. If the new immigrants can demand it for their children, and the system can demand that these children are not failed then why can’t working class communities of long standing do it to.
    The world has moved on. Demand your rights for your children – and it is their right not to be failed.
    Children hurt by the troubles does not equal bad homes. Police men have had to move house, been subject to attack, and fathers killed. That doesn’t mean a bad home. Same with these children.
    They are entitled to better – they should get it. As of right – As of now!

  • Brenda

    Can I add the basis of my above post is that these children should not be lumped together. Children with autism should be given special educational facilities. Autism – is such an umbrella term, and we are sorely lacking up to date educational facilities for these children in NI.
    Children with behaviour disorders need proper educational provision.
    Lumping them all together to feed off each others problems, is simply throwing them all into the dust bin and warehousing them.


  • willis


    Your brush is probably as broad as mine!

    Don’t forget that for all the harsh words this problem is not going to go away.

    The very fact that you can point to the Shankill and mock shows the appaling damage that has been done by a dismal succession of Unionist/Loyalist leaders who cared more about themselves than those they purported to ‘serve’.

    I would love to see Bob McCartney confront a primary school on the Shankill and say “I am battling night and day to increase your chances” as he keeps claiming in TV studios.

    The kids would wonder ‘Who is this strange man?”

    The teachers would know!

  • circles

    In case some of you managed to forget this – these are kids for Gods sake.
    They’re not loyalist crazies, republican rockets, scumbags, thieves or filth. They are children who have been fucked over by this whole craziness. Its not their fault where they were born and they have done nothing to deserve what has happened – give them all a break!!!!
    We can only hope that when they grow up that they make a better job of things than we have – constantly reheating our ancient grievances. But with examples like us it may take a miracle.
    In the meantime, maybe some people can make their own appointments at the vet and give over.

  • Globetrotter

    “Its time now for working class communities of either religion or none, to demand what is rightfully theirs”.

    I’m sick of nonesense like this. What is rightfully theirs is the opportunity to get a job, raise their children properly and contribute to building a normal community.
    The rest of us have done it over the last forty years, without bleating about how the other side get everything, or demanding money for not being crooks.

  • Yokel


    So its someone elses fault, its government money, going to the wrong thing and so forth and so forth.

    Is that a piece of satire or are you serious?

  • Peter fallow

    Republicans call loyalists and their children ‘vermin’ and demand ‘sterilisation’ of working class loyalists.
    Go on, tell me again that republicans/catholics aren’t sectarian. I could do with a laugh.

  • Mustapha Mond

    Typical beta wanting to be an alpha, pathetic.