BELFAST JAIL/ ECONOMY IN CRISIS/ DIVIS FLATS.

THEY ARE HELD IN BELFAST JAIL …….
From ‘The United Irishman’ newspaper, January 1958 .

Held Without Charge Or Trial :

Séan Ramsey , 12 Artillery Street , Derry City .
Patrick Molloy , Mahera , County Derry .
David Ramsey , 41 Central Drive , Derry City .
Séan Gallagher , 4 Cedar Street , Derry City .
Brendan McHarry , Crebarkeley , Dungiven , County Derry .
John McCloskey , Cluntygeeragh , Dungiven .
John F. McCloskey , Cluntygeeragh , Dungiven .
Kevin McGill , Crebarkeley , Dungiven .
Jack Hegarty , Draperstown , County Derry .
John McCusker , Kerley , Maghera , County Derry .
Frank Donnelly , Falgatraney , Maghera , County Derry .
Patrick L. Docherty , 134 Taobh an Portaigh , Derry City .
James S. Devlin , Ballyneil , Hoop , Moneymore , Derry .

(MORE LATER).

ECONOMY IN CRISIS – An Historical Perspective…….
By any standards the economy of Ireland , North and South , can be described as being in a sorry mess with crisis , recession and imminent bankruptcy the most constant themes of economic discussion , intermittently over the last decade and ceaselessly in the last three years . In this article , Peter Graham surveys the factors which have produced this economy , and the historical role of foreign and native Irish capital.
From ‘IRIS’ magazine , November 1982.

Notwithstanding all the foreign influence and interference , there was emerging in Ireland a native land-owning class , which has remained and strengthened its stranglehold on the agricultural economy up to the present day .

The agricultural situation in the north-east of Ireland was of course different – the plantations of vast areas of land there with Protestant settlers made those settlers essential, politically , to their landlords , and thus in a far stronger tenure position than the native Irish tenants further south . This ‘security’ among northern Protestant farmers by the mid-eighteenth century made it unnecessary for them to espouse the separatist cause as a tool for extracting economic benefit .

The resulting weakness of the north-eastern landlords in their inability to over-exploit or drive off their tenants , also saw the intensified industrial development of the north-east as landlords strove to increase their income by diversification into investment , ultimately into the linen and ship-building industries on which that region’s prosperity became based . To insure his political position , the northern industrialist made sure that those who worked in his factories were Protestants . This was not a distinction which saved those workers from any of the hardships of capitalist exploitation of their labour but , stimulated by organised sectarianism , it did keep them aware of their ‘advantage’ over the Catholics of the same ‘class’…….
(MORE LATER).

DIVIS FLATS : Building Towards A Demolition Campaign …….
Divis Flats , at the bottom of the Falls Road in West Belfast , have acquired a reputation for ‘trouble’ – of all kinds – and social deprivation ever since they were built in the 1960’s . They have also endured some of the severest British repression meted out during the past 14 years , and replied with some of the fiercest resistance . Local resident and community activist Jim Faulkner examines the new resurgence of morale in the flats complex and the prospects it faces in its biggest battle yet – for total demolition .
From ‘IRIS’ magazine , November 1983 .

The Divis Youth And Cultural Development Group provides a place for young people to meet , play pool , listen to music and discuss their future . It is an important development where one-third of the 2,000 population is under 16 years of age . The Divis Education Project, which was formed about three years ago by social and community workers to tackle truancy (or ‘beaking’ as it is known locally) , has formed a new committee with more local involvement and set up a craft workshop for unemployed teenagers – with facilities for making harps and other ornaments as well as practical household goods and furniture .

The workshop has attracted so much interest among the huge numbers of young unemployed that people have had to be turned away for lack of space and financial resources , and a fundraising drive has been undertaken to expand facilities over the nect couple of years . The project has also set up a library in Divis Flats , including books in Irish to reflect the great interest in the language locally . Two Irish language classes a week are held at the Education Project’s school (‘Crazy Joe’s’) and the local Sinn Fein cumann also holds classes there .

Sinn Fein has opened an advice centre in the Flats (where its Belfast housing department is based) where voluntary workers deal with the array of day-to-day social , housing , benefits and Brit/RUC harassment problems faced by the local people , over eighty per cent of whom are in receipt of some degree of state benefits , while over sixty per cent of the working population is unemployed . Debt to the ‘Housing Executive’ and to the electricity service is a major worry for people ; the exorbitant cost and inefficiency of the old , gas central heating means that residents use electric heaters and ‘Supersers’ to heat living-rooms and bedrooms , with some families facing quarterly electricity bills of £150 to £200 , money they haven’t got…….
(MORE LATER).




Advertisements

About 11sixtynine

A mother of three and a political activist , living in Dublin , Ireland.
This entry was posted in History/Politics.. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s