"Belfast 1985"


Belfast 1985: Jan Carson was the reporter/writer and her mother was from Belfast and she was actually staying with her aunt just on the outskirts of Belfast.  She and Charlie are holding up the wall of the Crowne Pub.  It was right across the street from the Intercontinential Hotel where Charlie and the rest of the crew were staying.

A song that was 25 years in the making is now on The Troubadour vol. 2 CD

Belfast 1985

In May of 1985   I was working at Channel 2 (KPRC-TV) in Houston as a news cameraman and was sent to Northern Ireland to film what was to be a documentary on Children’s Committee Ten.  This was a program that placed Catholic children from Northern Ireland with Protestant families in the US for the summer and it placed Protestant children from Northern Ireland with Catholic families in the US.  We were filming the Irish children and their families in their home surroundings and then we were going to meet up with them in the US and show them in a more peaceful environment.

1985 was a time of continuing sectarian violence in Northern Ireland.  It had been going on since the early 1600’s but had started most recently in 1973 on “Bloody Sunday” and continued.  When we arrived the marching season had begun.  The Orange Men’s marching societies were protestant organizations that would march through the catholic sections of Belfast.  We were staying at the Hotel Intercontinental which was the “most bombed hotel in the world” at that time while across the street was the Crowne Pub which was one place where anyone could go and find peace and a pint of Guinness Stout.  It was a trip of contrasts that have finally found their way into a song.

The reference to “Tommy Sands the profit sang the blind man’s song” is speaking about the Irish singer/songwriter Tommy Sands and his song “There Were Roses” which is a tune that Cynthia and I have in our traditional set list. (download) (CD)

“Belfast 1985” (c) Charles Stacey

© Charles Stacey 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018