Britain’s Biggest Heists TV - Richard English - Petrol Bombs and Peace: Welcome to Belfast TV - Good Vibrations TV - Christopher Hitchens - The Funeral Murders TV - I Am Belfast 2015 - Walls of Shame: Northern Ireland’s Troubles 2016 - Ireland with Simon Reeve TV - Drama out of a Crisis: A Celebration of Play for Today TV - Shankhill Butchers TV - Macintyre’s Underworld TV - The Road to Partition TV - Heist: The Northern Bank Robbery TV - The Independent online - The Fall TV - Titanic: Birth of a Legend TV - Acceptable Levels 1983 -
It was a brutal and audacious bank robbery using the maximum threat of violence and death. It sent shock waves around the world just days before Christmas in 2004 the theft of £26.5 took place from the headquarters of the Northern Bank in Belfast Northern Ireland. Britain’s Biggest Heists II: The Northern Bank Robbery, 2011
Two employees and their families were abducted and held hostage by a criminal gang who threatened them with violence and death. ibid.
Following the raid the Northern Bank announced that it would take the drastic step to withdraw all its bank notes. ibid.
Too many things point it having been the IRA. One is the manner of taking people hostage ... Second is the scale of the thing. Professor Richard English, author The History of the IRA
This is Belfast. It’s fifteen years since the troubles came to an end here … But this city is still divided up between Catholics and Protestants. And summertime here often means rioting. Petrol Bombs & Peace: Welcome to Belfast, BBC 2013
Massive riots kicked off when the British flag was taken down from Belfast City Hall … They went crazy for weeks. ibid.
Ardoyne: Even the bus-stops are Catholic or Protestant. ibid.
In the violence that followed, 3,600 people died and up to 50,000 were injured. ibid.
‘Just celebrating our culture.’ ibid. bandsman building bonfire
People are prepared to believe almost anything about each other. ibid.
The rioting continued for four days and spread across the city. Rioters threw nearly 130 petrol bombs. ibid.
Some people did call it a revolution. And some people called it the Troubles – an equally useless word. Good Vibrations, BBC 2015
We’ve got reggae; what have they got? ibid.
I’ll put that record out. I dunno. How hard could it be? ibid.
The revolutionary power of the seven-inch single. ibid.
There were no winning sides back then. ibid.
In Belfast, I have seen whole streets burned out by sectarian warfare between different sects of Christianity, and interviewed people whose relatives and friends have been kidnapped or killed or tortured by rival religious death squads, often for no other reason than membership of another confession. Christopher Hitchens, God is Not Great p18
This is the story of a dramatic and deadly series of events that took place at two funerals in Belfast in March 1988. The Funeral Murders, BBC 2018
The Gibraltar 3 were unarmed when they were killed … The coffins were driven 100 miles north across the border to Belfast. ibid.
A sense of nervousness about how the funeral would be policed. ibid.
This triple republican funeral was a major event in west Belfast with thousands of people lining the route. ibid.
‘There was a loud boom’ … ‘And then people were sort of in a panic’ … ‘There were more explosions’ … ‘I seen this fellow, ended up Michael Stone, having this handgun’ … ‘Then he pulled out a grenade’ … The crowd of mourners caught up with him and successfully overpowered him. ibid.
He [Stone] attacked the mourners indiscriminately injuring 60 people and killing three of the young men. ibid.
Just 72 hours after the funeral of the Gibraltar three republicans prepared for another funeral … IRA volunteer Michael Brady who’d been killed by Michael Stone three days earlier. ibid.
British soldiers who had been travelling in an unmarked vehicle. ibid.
I met a women: she said that she is Belfast, the city of Northern Ireland where I grew up. The woman said that she is as old as the city … so I listened. I Am Belfast, 2015, opening dialogue
We made the world’s linen and ships for the seven seas. ibid. woman
This is a colour study: steel grey and purple. ibid.
Now these yellow dinosaurs munch here. ibid.
Our buses became skeletons. Soon, CS canisters were used in my streets. Soldiers raided houses in the Falls Road then blockaded the area. ibid.
26 in just over an hour. The bombers said they wanted to make of me a commercial desert. 11 die and 130 are injured. Body parts are scattered all over me. ibid.
That old luminosity was still there. ibid.
We’ve more walls keeping Salt and Sweet apart than I can ever remember. ibid.
In 1998 the Good Friday Agreement was signed, brokering a peace deal between Republicans and Unionists in Northern Ireland. Nearly a decade later Al Jazeera visited Belfast to explore ongoing divisions in the city. Walls of Shame: Northern Ireland’s Troubles, Al Jazeera 2016/2007
The modern history of Northern Ireland has been dominated by one thing: the Troubles. ibid.
What Northern Ireland has now is not so much peace as an absence of conflict. ibid.
Today there are believed to be 41 deliberate barriers across Belfast. ibid.
A lot of these [walls] have actually gone up after the peace process began. Ireland with Simon Reeve III, BBC 2019
The troubles in Belfast also framed the acclaimed Billy trilogy by Graham Reid made for BBC Northern Ireland in the final years of Play for Today. The dramas explore tensions and violence in a Protestant working class family. Drama out of a Crisis: A Celebration of Play for Today, BBC 2020
The worst gang of serial killers in British history. A gang that gruesomely lived up to their name: the Shankill Butchers. Shankhill Butchers, BBC 2015
How did the Shankill Butchers get away with it for so long? ibid.
1972 saw the highest death toll of the Troubles in one year: nearly 500 people were killed. In January Bloody Sunday was seared into the memory. Horror followed upon horror. ibid.
Power struggles between the UDA and the UVF were rampant. ibid.
In June 1973 [Lenny] Murphy was acquitted of the Pavis murder ... He set up his own unit ... He was determined to unleash a level of sectarian savagery never before seen in Northern Ireland. ibid.
The killers were dubbed the Shankill Butchers. ibid.
Victim number five was another Catholic randomly targeted at night within a square mile of Millfield. ibid.
With nineteen murders between them they were at the time the most prolific serial killers in British history. ibid.
In November 1982 murder caught up with Lenny Murphy: he was shot in Glencairne. ibid.
Nineteen people died at the hands of the Shankill Butchers ... They used the Troubles for what they did. ibid.
All of the convicted Shankill Butchers have been released from jail. ibid.
‘The barbarism savours of Jack the Ripper butchery.’ ibid. Thomas Passmore, ex Orange Order leader
Few people in this country strike as much fear and terror as Johnny Mad Dog Adair. And yet he’s willing to risk it all just to humiliate his enemies. Over a 20 year reign Adair directed more than 40 killings and hundreds of attempted murders. Today he’s living in exile in Britain looking for a new place to call home. Macintyre’s Underworld: Mad Dog, 2010
Many believe he’s now operating as a gangsta under the directing hand of a Scottish underworld godfather. ibid.
A murderous feud between different loyalist factions. Adair’s gang were run out of town. ibid.
Jonathan [son] went on to become a drug dealer. ibid.
Dresden: here in the former East Germany a group of ex-neo-Nazis have found a new spiritual leader. ibid.
‘I fucking loved it. I loved it.’ ibid. Adair
‘Between 1920 and 1922 Belfast is the most violent place in Ireland. It is really the epicentre of revolutionary violence. What we see again and again is violence in one part of Ireland leads to violence in another part.’ The Road to Partition s1e1, historian, BBC 2021
On 22 June 1921 King George V and Queen Mary arrived in Belfast for the first official opening of the Northern Ireland parliament. Fearful for their lives, they had come to a city scarred with sectarian division. The occasion marked the creation of the new state of Northern Ireland. ibid.