UUP councillor: The shared history of 1941 raids

It is now commonplace to hear divisive historical events and their commemoration being described glibly as part of our shared history.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 18th April 2016, 2:27 am
Updated Monday, 18th April 2016, 7:20 am
The blitz commemorative service at St Annes Cathedral yesterday
The blitz commemorative service at St Annes Cathedral yesterday

The Belfast Blitz however is one event that truly is part of a shared history. On those terrible nights in April and May 1941 the death and destruction wrought by the Luftwaffe was shared equally by unionists and nationalists.

It is fitting therefore that representatives of all parties at City Hall attended the commemorative act of divine worship held at St Anne’s Cathedral on Sunday. They were joined by the Mayor of Drogheda and representatives of the Irish Fire Service who brought along the appliances that de Valera had sent to Belfast after the devastating Easter Tuesday raid.

Perhaps because of the inadequate preparations to protect against air raids, previous generations of city fathers have failed to properly commemorate the Belfast Blitz. Thankfully as the generation that endured the Belfast Blitz slowly fates into history that failure is being addressed.

Belfast City Council is now considering erecting a permanent memorial at City Hall. That would be a fitting tribute to those who died.

Lest We Forget,

Graham Craig, Councillor, Belfast