Orange Madness

I was in Belfast this afternoon with my little sister. We were walking back to the car and she asked me what the noise was. She didn’t recognise the sound of the helicopters. I grew up in North Belfast and during the marching season there were always helicopters in the sky. It’s a sound I associate with trouble. Whilst Sarah was looking at the sky Marty and I were talking about finding a route out of the city as the police had started to stop the buses to certain areas and we could see riot police begin to gather at the back of the city hall. We didn’t have any trouble getting home and we also managed to avoid the traffic that was beginning to build up because of the fighting on the Albert Bridge Road and the Short Strand.

Tonight was the first time in years that we have had to ring the police to find a safe route home. We had been babysitting for my mum. She was supposed to go into Belfast tonight to celebrate her birthday but had to change her plans because of the violence in various sections of the city. I’m glad we did call the police because we had planned to avoid an area called Eden and to take the back roads home. The police told us that everything was calm in Eden but cars were being hi-jacked and burnt on the way to the back road. I suppose the fifteen armoured vehicles we passed on the five mile drive probably helped to keep things calm in Eden.

Tomorrow we are supposed to be meeting at my mums to celebrate my grandfather’s 80th birthday. Hopefully the madness will have stopped by then.

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