The Troubles

"The Troubles " the story is set in Belfast and the North East in 1969.
Seamus Webster and his family flee the riots in Belfast and come to live on Barnstaple Road in North Shields - where he takes up work as a crane driver in Smith's Docks his wife Annie finds a job in the Co-op in Whitley Bay - Seamus is good at DIY and gets lots of work decorating or fitting out new kitchens for people. His father Michael is serving a very long sentence when he is implicated in a
bombing of an army base- his skills as a bomb maker have been passed down to his oldest son and Stephen Mcgill is on the look -out for him as a bombing campaign has begun on mainland Britain. Newcastle has been chosen as the target - can Seamus avoid getting mixed up in this. Read what happens in this tense thriller.

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He lay in the bathwater that had some Radox in it to soak away the aches and pains of his toil. He wondered how his family were; he missed them; but he had to get his children away from all the madness that was going on around him.

 

Laying the fuses and timers in the car outside the St Angelo Barracks in Enniskillen which was being used by the UDR (Ulster Defence regiment) and other British Army forces Michael Webster drove calmly through to a parking lot and got out of the car. Another car was parked outside of the Medical base. Security was lacking and the four men were able to walk out of the base without being checked. They got into a car driven by Eddie May and then parked around the corner from where the barracks were. They sat for five minutes before Johnny McAllister pulled out a radio controlled device that would set off the first bomb.

“Are you ready for Mayhem asked Johnny as flicked a switch and a red light came on.

His thumb wavered over the button.’

“Feckin’ get on with it will you screamed Michael and let’s get the hell out of here.’

Johnny pressed the button and a second later there was a massive explosion that could be heard for up to two miles. The screams from people burning and bleeding from shrapnel wounds filled the air. Bodies lay with limbs missing. Many were cut to pieces from flying glass; as they wandered around aimlessly in shock.

The medical staff ran out from the building just as the second bomb exploded and again the 500 lb bombs were meant to cause maximum damage.

“Job done said Johnny as Stephen McGill drove away.

Five minutes after the first explosion the ambulance services were deployed. Many of the injured were rushed to hospital in Lagan Valley.

Those with minor injuries like fractures had to wait until the more serious were tended to.

Edward Heath the British Prime Minister was the first to make comment calling the act barbaric.’ He said that the bombs were meant to co-inside with the annual conference and to scupper the peace talks between the Catholic Extremists and Protestant Loyalist groups. “No warnings were given and no one has yet come forward to claim responsibility.’

Gerry Adams president of Sinn Fein the IRA political wing said”The bombs emphasised the urgent need to fill current protracted dangerous vacuums with a process of real inclusive dialogues.’ After which Gerry Adams withdrew from the peace talks and a wave of bombings commenced around the British mainland.

A huge bomb was detonated near the London docklands and another in Manchester. A bomb was discovered by security forces on the Thames Bridge and was detonated by a controlled device. One man was killed and four others were arrested by the security forces. Over ten tons of bomb making equipment were seized as well as a cache of automatic weapons.

David Trimble (Vanguard Progressive Unionist Party) met with Loyalist Maze Prisoners and later became an Ulster Unionist member. Trimble tried to get peace talks started; but talks were scuppered by Ian Paisley the Democratic Unionist leader. He opposed the Catholic Civil Rights Movement. The MP for North Antrim had strong views on the Anglo –Irish Agreement as well as the Northern Ireland Peace Process.

Debates were going on in the house of parliament and in Northern Ireland to bring about and end to the sectarian violence. Every time that an agreement was near completion another bomb would go off somewhere to end the peace talks. The troubles continued.

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