Mothers of Modern Ireland

A day in the life

3rd August 2008

We went back filming again today and it was a joy to be back on track,the minute we stop rolling I get very restless and want to get going, I assume this is a symptom of life on the road. We set of for Antrim this morning after another hearty breakfast compliments of The Ramada, we arrived in Antrim to be greeted with a warm handshake by Betty Campbell. Betty was born in Scotland but grew up and lives in South Antrim. Betty was to quote herself 'strong in the gob' and was more than happy to share with us her views on politics as well as her fund raising efforts for numerous local charities. Betty's son Gary has the most amazing collection of war weapons and memorabilia, he is how ever more than aware of the horrors that these weapons have endured. Gary as well as building this collection since he was twelve years of age regularly works as a artillery adviser on many recent Irish films. After a very interesting chat with Betty we headed to Belfast for a few hours. After driving through the empty city centre we decided to drive through The Shankhill and Falls Road areas. It was a real eye opener to see the so called 'Wall of Peace' that still divides these two communities, the wall that divides the protestant and catholic communities is a living reminder that there may be a current cease fire but somehow there needs to a large metal wall in between these two working class areas to ensure that there is indeed 'Peace'. But what does peace really mean in Northern Ireland, is it in fact a mere veneer and can there ever be peace when the hatred of the 'other' is so blatant and clear. My thoughts spin round in my head and driving through these areas there is no doubt that the new Northern Ireland has not forgotten where it is has come from and many would argue that it refuses to. It was my first time I got to drive through these areas and I was overcome with a huge sense of how much this city has suffered over the last decades and the worst part is that the majority of the people in Ireland at the time were not truly aware of what circumstances people had to endure in The North. I am determined to go back to this area and find out what if anything has changed in the last years my gut feeling is that things are probably better but I also know that some things in life are destined to remerge to spite the good intentions of many and I would love to say that sectarian violence in the North was a thing of the distant past but I simply do not believe this to be true.

- Shane