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Soul of a nation captured in many beautiful songs

I listened to young Cathal Clarke in the Bridge Grill Bar last Sunday night. Cathal, from Ardoyne, is an accomplished ballad singer with a wide repertoire of mainly Irish songs. He put in a marathon session of over two hours. The bar was by no means packed. Many of his offerings drew little response but […]

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‘Monster snake’ terror on the Cave Hill Road

The Belfast Zoological Gardens known as Bellevue Zoo opened in 1934. I haven’t visited it for a long time but I believe that among the many species housed there are some snakes. Someone once told me that St Patrick banished snakes from Ireland over 1,500 years ago and the zoo undid his work. That is […]

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Justice came late for scapegoat airman

The murder of Patricia Curran (19) in November 1952 sent shockwaves all over Ireland and beyond. By the end of the year the RUC were being criticised for lack of progress in finding the killer and by this time had enlisted the help of Scotland Yard who sent over Superintendent John Capstick – known as […]

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From Hardinge to Street Park Lodge

The Christian Brothers were a great organisation for planning ahead. In the late 1950s they looked at the growth of the Catholic population in Belfast. They were aware that the Redemptorist Order had purchased Ben Eadan, the large estate of Major Addley, and had built St Gerard’s church, with the official opening by Dr Mageean, […]

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The Poor Old Woman left a very rich legacy

Having been relieved of the editorship of The Northern Patriot after just three issues in December 1895, it might have been expected that Alice Milligan and Anna Johnston would concentrate on their own writing as both were accomplished poets and Milligan also a talented playwright. Instead, they immediately set themselves to work to produce their […]

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Master blaster misses the point… again

“That’s terrible,” said Peter Sheehan as he sat in the Bridge Bar and Grill in Glengormley watching the Munster hurling final between Limerick and Cork a few weeks ago. Peter is a Limerick man and a hurling fanatic. He came to north Belfast in the mid-1970s as a bar manager. He played for St Enda’s […]

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