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An afternoon on the Bogside

by Kyle Clanney
My afternoon today consisted of me walking around the Bogside neighborhoods and taking in my surroundings.  One thing I noticed as I was walking around other than the smell of stale urine was graffiti marking IRA and BYR (Bogside Rebel Youth or Bogside Republican Youth)  on various building and street signs.

 Even though the war has been over for years there are still small factions that are not happy especially some of the youth.  As I made my way back to the hotel I stopped by the Bogside Inn for a “steak” and a chance to get out of the rain. This bar that has only be open for a short while, but is decorated in photos of “The Troubles” and has frequent visitors like the one I met and for the sake of his privacy will call “B” that was involved.  B is a 49 year old mechanic with two children (daughter 25 and son 11) that was willing to discuss some of his experiences. He is really fond of the US and is a fan of Elvis and Meatloaf, but The Beatles not so much.  In addition, when he found out that I was from Indianapolis he asked if I liked Hemi engines, being a mechanic that is favorite engine to work on even though there is not many of them over here.  When he asked me how he would do in the states, I told him that he would fit in well in Boston mainly due to his thick accent that reminds me of native Bostonian’s and I followed up with why you have not gone and visited. This is where the discussion got serious for a few moments because B is unable to visit due to his involvement in “The Troubles”. I then asked if he was put in prison and he responded hastily that he was not going to answer that. He was not offended by me asking, but for the sake of his two kids he was not willing to discuss it. Over the next hour and a couple of beers he shared a few stories like him taking an ice cream and giving out ice cream to all the kids.  In the end he was not mad at anyone in particular other than the rabble-rousers tagging BRY in the neighborhood, but he felt the IRA was justified to defend their people and he asked me what I would do if the fight was on my doorstep. In no way was he condoning the violent actions that took place, but he along with many others were tired of the oppression. Obviously, I have never been through anything like this, but I can sympathize with defending your home and family.  

Just a couple of the photos that are hanging in this establishment


1 comment:

  1. bry stands for bogside republican youth


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