Bloody Friday - BBC Documentary, broadcast on Thursday 19th July.
I watched this yesterday, on the fortieth anniversary of this horrendenous event. On the day Martin McGuinness and Queen Elizabeth met at the Lyric Theatre, I was with a group of teenagers watching Paul Greengrass’ ‘Bloody Sunday’. Equally horrendenous. I was only a small child in 1972 and my family lived a short distance from Belfast. I grew up knowing that this had happened, particularly about the bomb at Oxford Road Bus Station. But I did not quite realise the full extent of the horror. I guess that just shows how easy it is to live in glorious cotton wool in this soggy, grey/emerald isle. All I can say has been said before, and no doubt to some will be typical of a certain class background, which invalidates any worthy comment. Nevertheless, I was moved by the dignity of those featured in the film who have remembered the details of that sunny Friday afternoon through all the decades since. I do sigh at the endless cliched language of our articulate ‘troubles’ pundits, but it is wrong that I managed to forget so much, or never knew it, and yes, it is important that I was reminded again of how difficult the peace process must be for so many. I feel anger that those who drove up and left bombs in places were protected and even honoured in their communities. Victims were further offended by the ridiculous compensation rules, how can this be? Finally, yes, as one survivor asked, what exactly was achieved by blowing up a nine year old boy?