Author Archive | Alan Meban (Alan in Belfast)

Mount Stewart - photo by Alan Meban

Mount Stewart Conversations are back on shores of Strangford Lough on 14 & 15 October

NATIONAL TRUST’S Mount Stewart Conversations are back on 14 and 15 October with a range of speakers, music, performers and activities on the lough shore site. Figures like Ian Hislop, Rosie Boycott, Rachel Johnson and Fintan O’Toole will be talking about historic and contemporary issues. Standing alongside the world-renowned gardens, the country house was the more…

CENT-1-19-44A 1986 Ango-Irish anniversary

Dealing with crisis: Stormont campbeds, staffing a post-nuclear government, & scramblers #20YearRule

THE CAMPBEDS were brought out of the Stormont store in preparation for any disruption marking the first anniversary of the signing of the Anglo-Irish Agreement. In a post-nuclear situation, civil servants without “abnormal domestic ties” would have helped run NI. And phone systems and scramblers occupied the NI Emergency Committee according to papers from the more…

ENV-45-1 Tall Ships M2 car park

Tall Ships 1991 – “great spectacularity” that could have turned M2 into a carpark #20YearRule

INTERVIEW WITH Sir Richard Needham about the Tall Ships which first visited Belfast back in July 1991. It was the first large-scale event expected to attract hundreds of thousands of visitors each day. Recently released government papers show that extra car parking spaces were needed, and there was a suggestion that the M2 could be more…

ENV-13-1-68A Chris Ryder letter

Aldergrove in the 1970s: no hand baggage, no overnighting BA crews, no aerosols #20YearRule

ALDERGROVE SECURITY restrictions banned non-passengers from the terminal after terrorist attacks in the early 1970s. BA pilots and crews refused to stay overnight in Belfast and instead flew to Glasgow. BMI crews did sleepover. And journalist Chris Ryder’s letters of complaint about aerosol cans turn up in the recently declassified files.

CENT-1-16-23A 3 May 1990 p2

Church leaders dragged heels in late 1980s over gov appeal to improve community relations #20YearRule

SENIOR CLERICS appear to have been less than enthusiastic in the late 1980s when asked by government to consider the more fulsome involvement of church denominations in improving community relations. “Pressures on the church leaders’ diaries” were blamed for not finding “an opportunity to discuss the issue of the churches’ future role in community relations more…