A number of small traders situated in the shadow of Belfast’s burned out Bank Buildings are bearing the brunt of the disruption caused by the devastating Primark blaze on Tuesday.
Although just outside the safety cordon in Castle Street, the businesses are behind a police ‘road closed’ diversion checkpoint and most potential customers appear unaware some shops are still open for business.
Conway Opticians, Fruiterama and the West sandwich bar are all badly affected by the “ghost town” feel to that end of the street, Pat Moore of Conway Opticians explained.
“There is a real sense here at the minute that we’ve lost the heart of the city,” she said.
“I was going to say it’s like a Sunday around here at the minute, but it’s actually worse than that. There is no one coming this far down the street because they think everything’s closed.”