Like everyone else in Northern Ireland I was deeply saddened to see the terrible damage done to the historic Bank Buildings which housed the Primark store in Belfast city centre in Tuesday’s fire.
I was however struck by the comments of Belfast’s first citizen, Sinn Fein’s Deirdre Hargey, who said that the city needed to “rally round those who need support now”.
“Not only has this impacted on the Primark employees and the business itself but it will have a knock-on effect for neighbouring businesses and city centre retailers.”
The reality is that Sinn Fein remain silent on the impact on employees and businesses of the decades of IRA bombs in the city centre.
I’m sure some of her older party colleagues could remind her of the days when the IRA regularly targeted the Victorian architecture of Belfast — including the Linenhall Library — and in particular she might ponder the fire cause by three IRA bombs at Bank Buildings in April 1975 which were intended to create the very sorry site we now see.
Ms Hargey should ponder this — as tragic as today’s sight is, Bank Buildings lasted 43 years longer than the IRA ever intended.
Mr SB, Bangor