Divis Flats : The Lower Falls : Belfast

Divis Flats : The Lower Falls : Belfast


Tonight, Gerry Adams has been arrested, he is the leader of Sinn Fein the main Irish Republican political party in Northern Ireland (the bit of the island of Ireland that is in the UK). Sinn Fein was traditionally always the political wing of the IRA (Provisional Irish Republican Army) , Gerry Adams was often accused by opponents of being secretly actually the leader of the IRA, the armed wing, as well as openly the leader of Sinn Fein, the political wing. Adams always denied this claiming he was separate from the ‘military struggle’ and that he had no roll in acts of Republican terrorism in Ireland or Britain.

Tonight he has been arrested regarding the murder of an ordinary Catholic widow back in 1972, Jean McConville the mother of ten children, who was accused of being an informant against Republican terrorism and was therefore abducted in front of her kids then later murdered by the IRA. Her body was lost for 30 years and was only revealed to be buried at a deserted beach when a storm moved the sand dunes and revealed her burial place..

Other members of the IRA have recently implicated Gerry Adams in this killing, but I think he is a long way from being actually prosecuted for this particularly heinous 40 year old crime.

Back in 1972, Jean McConville lived with her children in the notorious Republican strong hold of the Divis flats. For a long time the British Army had a base and look out facility on the top floor of the tallest block but because the neighborhood was so strongly Republican the base and all the British soldiers in it could only be supplied by helicopter, they could never risk the sealed up staircases down.

It was a tough neighborhood. I shot this picture above in the early 1990’s ……… now I understand the majority of the Divis flats has been demolished.


PS………… Jean McConville had been born into a Protestant family and lived as a child in a Protestant area. But she met and married a Catholic as a young adult. She converted to Catholicism and moved to the Divis area. She had 10 children, even after her husband died she continued to live in the Catholic area, but was regarded by many as an outsider, she was accused of being an informer, it appears largely because she had once been a Protestant.


[ 5 ] comments

  • Strong expression and a sad story. Frightening what religion can do to people no matter what confession they are.

    oldshutterhand @ May 1, 2014, 2:37 am

  • The troubles in the North of Ireland always seemed to be totally intractable because of the horrid mix of identity, politics, religion, hatred history and violence but also gangsterism and mafioso type organisations protection and so called policing of ‘their own areas’ this murder had the Provos as judge jury and executioner of this innocent mother of 10…. Who it appears literally did nothing against them… Apparently she was never an informer….. The children tried to stop the armed men taking their mother…. They had already taken her away once and badly beaten her up…. Her children tried to protect her… But she was taken away and murdered… I heard one of the children speaking on the radio today… He had been 11 at the time…. He himself was taken, held, tortured and threatened by the IRA even as a child…. His family was broken up and put into care…. He lost everything…. He says he knows who took his mother but is still afraid to speak even now….. It was horrifying how ‘the men of violence’ destroyed his life and still manipulate him through fear that they will kill him or others in his family even now…. It was such a distressing interview….

    Jezblog :-/// XX @ May 1, 2014, 5:49 am

  • So horribly sad. The ‘Troubles’ a background of my youth.One hoped that most of this awfulness was left behind. Excellent bleak photo.

    Elizabeth @ May 2, 2014, 9:43 am

  • Hey Elizabeth….. Yes the background noise of the troubles was a constant for me too as a kid…. And I grew up in Birmingham… The Birmingham pub bombings brought the horror of acts of terror visited on innocents much closer….. By the time I was old enough to go there I never thought it would ever end …. Then amazingly the good Friday agreement…. And the the 911 attacks that helped Irish Republican sympathisers in America to see IRA activity as terrorism not straight forwardly anti imperialism …. As that money dried up and a new era was usered in it really looked like things could be different….. And things are different…. But still people that made their living out of paramilitary activity and gangsterism are reluctant to let it go….. And of course the history is always present…. The families that still want justice…. Some would be content to just get back the bodies of their loved ones …. Others want the murderers brought to justice…… Ahhhh it’s not over yet…..Cheers I’m in London now but I shall be back in NYC on Sunday :-))) XXX

    Jezblog :-))) XX @ May 3, 2014, 7:10 am

  • Wheels up Lindon Heathrow XX

    Jezblog @ May 4, 2014, 9:06 am

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