As a consequence, the community has been denied access to many essential services including doctors, chemist, health centres, dentists, Post Offices, social service offices and supermarkets -- all of which are situated in adjoining Protestant/unionist areas.
The violence and intimidation has been has largely been ignored by the media in Britain. Ignoring reality, when it has made the news, violence has usually been described in terms of ‘tit-for-tat’ with blame apportioned equally between republicans and loyalists paramilitaries.
In an attempt to present the alternative reality of people in the Short Strand we are reproducing one mother’s detailed diary of events over two weeks in August and early September. For obvious reasons, the person who compiled this diary must remain anonymous.
Twelve days that shook Short Strand
Wednesday 21 August
00.15am Unexploded hand grenade found in Clandeboye Gardens, riot squad are still in Clandeboye Drive.
00.35am Riot squad withdraw back to the arch in Clandeboye.
00.40am Three Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) jeeps arrive in Clandeboye and drive round to Clandeboye Gdns. Another jeep blocked off the entrance to Clandeboye Gdns from Clandeboye Dr..
00.55am Bomb disposal arrived.
1.35am Ballbearings being fired from the vicinity of Beechfield St school into Beechfield St in the Short Strand.
1.45am Riot squad pull out.
3.05am Nuts, bolts, bricks being thrown into Cluan Place.
11.25am Stones, bricks are being thrown again at workmen repairing roofs.
11.28am Fireworks are coming into Clandeboye from Cluan Pl..
2pm Fireworks again being fired into Clandeboye from Cluan Pl..
2.35pm Bottles, bricks, stones, ballbearings and nuts and bolts coming in from Cluan Pl..
3.55pm Bricks, stones, golf balls from Cluan Pl. into Clandeboye.
7.15pm A funeral of local man going into St Matthew’s Church is stoned by loyalists from Newtownards Rd, golf balls are also thrown, no PSNI presence, no protection provided. When funeral mass was over at approximately 8pm the same group of loyalists were still present and attacked the mourners coming out of the chapel. The PSNI were present at this stage but still no protection was provided for the cortege. PSNI were parked on the corner of Bryson St/Newtownards Rd and the stones and golf balls were raining in, in full view of PSNI.
8.20pm Crowd of loyalists at the top of Mountpottinger Rd start stoning houses and people who have come out. At the same time a barrage of missiles, stones, fireworks and paint-bombs are thrown over from Cluan Pl.. Some of the fireworks land on roofs in Clandeboye. Earlier loyalists from Cluan Pl. soaked the roofs in Clandeboye with hoses in order to cave in the already badly damaged roofs.
8.45pm Two PSNI/RUC jeeps arrive in Clandeboye, driving in and straight out again while barrage of missiles are thrown over from Cluan Pl.. Residents shout at the PSNI to do something about the situation, they are ignored and jeeps move on.
9pm Four to five jeeps arrive in Clandeboye Dr.. PSNI get out dressed in riot gear, missiles still coming over from Cluan Pl.. Around this time six Royal Irish Ranger (RIR) jeeps have pulled up to Madrid St, occupants get out dressed in riot gear, there had been no trouble in Madrid St.
9.30pm Reports are coming into the district of rioting on the Albertbridge Rd by loyalists clashing with the PSNI/RUC. A car and bus have been hijacked, the car burned and the bus recovered.
10.35pm Three blast bombs are thrown into Bryson St, two explode.
10.50pm Heavy fireworks come into Clandeboye from Cluan Pl..
11.30pm Ballbearings, marbles, fireworks from Cluan Pl. into Clandeboye.
11.50pm Bricks, bottles, stones from Cluan Pl. into Clandeboye as police jeeps sit in Clandeboye Dr..
11.59pm Another barrage of missiles from Cluan Pl. into Clandeboye Dr..
Thursday 22 August
12.10am Bricks, stones, nuts and bolts come in from Cluan Pl. This continues until 12.55am.
12.55am Four jeeps move into Clandeboye and three come out, laughing and joking as they pass each other.Fireworks are fired in from Templemore Ave.
12.57am Fireworks from Cluan Pl. into Clandeboye.
1am Ballbearings and bricks from Cluan Pl into Clandeboye.
1.30am Bricks, bottles and stones from Thistle Court into Clandeboye Dr.
Saturday 24 August
12.45pm Four fireworks thrown into Clandeboye Dr. from Cluan Pl..
3pm Two petrol bombs thrown at priest’s house but miss the target. Six or eight young loyalists stone chapel for approximately an hour, throwing over lines of traffic on Newtownards Rd.
6.45pm Young loyalists stone chapel and people going to mass. PSNI continually drive past incidents but take no action. Young loyalists continue to stone the chapel and grounds sporadically through the night.
7.15pm Fireworks, bricks and bottles thrown into Clandeboye Gdns from Cluan Pl..
7.20pm Bricks, bottles thrown from Thistle Court into Madrid St.
8.15pm Large fireworks thrown from Cluan Pl. into Clandeboye Dr..
8.20pm Large firework thrown from Cluan Pl. into Clandeboye Dr..
10.35pm Three fireworks thrown from Cluan Pl. into Clandeboye Dr..
10.45pm Two fireworks thrown from Cluan Pl. into Clandeboye
10.55pm Large firework thrown into Clandeboye Gdns from Cluan Pl.
11.15pm Three large fireworks thrown into Clandeboye Dr and Clandeboye Gdns from Cluan Pl..
Sunday 25 August
1.05am Fireworks thrown into Clandeboye Dr. and Clandeboye Gdns from Cluan Pl..
8am Bricks, bottles, ballbearings, nuts and bolts and fireworks thrown into Clandeboye Dr. and Gdns from Cluan Pl., Paulette Ave and Langtry Court -- continues until 10am.
12.30pm Fireworks, bricks, bottles, nuts and bolts thrown into Clandeboye Dr. and Gdns, continuing sporadically throughout the day until 5.45pm.
1pm The chapel and grounds are stoned throughout the day and night from Newtownards Rd.
6pm Residents confront PSNI who had just driven into Clandeboye estate about the attacks that had taken place all that day. A barrage of fireworks, nuts and bolts, paint bombs, ball bearings, marbles are thrown into Clandeboye Dr. and Gdns while PSNI sit in their jeeps.
8pm Attacks escalate in Clandeboye Dr., Gdns and Madid St from Thistle Court and Beechfield St continuing until midnight. PSNI and army -- around 40 jeeps -- sit at the top of Mountpottinger Rd facing towards the residents of Clandeboye and Mountpottinger Rd, all the while these attacks continue and they make no attempt to stop them.
Monday 26 August
12.35pm A constant barrage of commercial fireworks thrown into Clandeboye Drive from Cluan Place, a journalist from the Irish Independent is present and witnesses the attacks. In 20 minutes a total of 100 fireworks have been thrown from Cluan Pl.. 1pm PSNI Drive into Clandeboye and park at the top of Clandeboye Dr.. A resident from Clandeboye Dr. along with a journalist approach the PSNI and ask them why they are in Clandeboye when the fireworks are being thrown from Cluan Pl.. PSNI said there was no police presence in Cluan Pl., then close the doors of the jeep and sit there while the attacks continue.
1.30pm Fireworks, bolts, stone, ball bearings, marbles and bottle thrown from Cluan Pl. into Clandeboye. Residents turn on fire hoses and direct the water in Cluan Pl. to try and stop the attacks. It doesn’t stop them and loyalists chant sectarian abuse.
2.30pm Missiles thrown sporadically from Cluan Pl. into Clandeboye Dr. and Gdns for the rest of the day.
8pm Young loyalists stone chapel and grounds sporadically for two hours from the Newtownards Rd.
10pm A bonfire is lit facing the chapel, PSNI show a presence but take no action.
Tuesday 27 August
10am Three jeeps of PSNI in riot gear Drive into Clandeboye Gdns and arrest a resident from his home for riotous behaviour.
10.40am Fireworks thrown into Clandeboye Gdns from Langtry Court, residents of Clandeboye phone PSNI but they don’t come out.
12pm While a protest is being held at Mountpottinger Barracks workmen repairing houses in Clandeboye come under attack with a barrage of missiles from Cluan Pl..
1pm Unexploded firework with a gas canister attached is found in the back garden of a house in Clandeboye Dr..
2pm A man appears at a window of a house in Cluan Pl. and proceeds to video residents of Clandeboye while making obscene gestures at the women he was filming.
2.30pm Nuts, bolts, stones, bricks and bottles thrown from Cluan Pl. into Clandeboye Dr. and Clandeboye Gdns.
4.30pm Fireworks with large steel bolts attached and three paint bombs thrown at house in Clandeboye Dr. from Cluan Pl.
5.30pm paint bombs, fireworks, nuts and bolts thrown from Cluan Pl. at the back of homes in Clandeboye Dr. breaking windows in some homes.<</p>
5.35pm Fireworks, bricks, nuts and bolts thrown sporadically into Clandeboye Gdns and Clandeboye Dr. until 8pm.
7pm Loyalists hose the roofs of the houses in Cluan Pl. with water.
8.30pm Houses in Clandeboye Gdns are attacked with bricks, bottles, golf balls, nuts and bolts.
10pm Hundreds of missiles including nuts and bolts, bricks, bottles, ball bearings, golf balls thrown into Clandeboye Dr. and Clandeboye Gdns from Cluan Pl..
10.15pm Smoke is seen coming from the backs of houses in Clandeboye Dr.. When residents go to investigate they see it is coming from behind the wall in Cluan Pl. and screams are heard coming from Cluan Pl..
10.30pm Large fireworks thrown from Cluan Pl. into Clandeboye Dr. and Gdns. PSNI drive into Clandeboye and shine lights from the jeeps on to the residents. PSNI are in riot gear and sit in Clandeboye while the attacks with fireworks continue from Cluan Pl..
10.50pm A large pipe bomb is thrown into Clandeboye Dr. from Cluan Pl. It explodes, sending large amounts of shrapnel flying all over Clandeboye Dr., just missing residents and journalist who are standing there.
11.10pm PSNI and army seal off Clandeboye while a large crowd of loyalists gather at the top of Mountpottinger Rd. The PSNI refuse to let cars leave or enter the Short Strand from the top of Mountpottinger Rd. PSNI try to arrest a resident who is filming the attacks all night but residents intervene.
Wednesday 28 August
12.40pm 10 fireworks thrown from Cluan Pl. into Clandeboye Dr.
12.43pm PSNI come in and search entries and cut hose pipe.
12.45pm Young Catholic mother is stoned by loyalists as she leaves the doctor’s surgery with her young child.
3.40pm Loyalists attack workmen fixing roofs of houses in Clandeboye Dr..
4pm Attacks on houses in Clandeboye intensify with large amounts of bricks, bottles and fireworks thrown from Cluan Pl. in full view of PSNI.
4.10pm PSNI officer admits that nothing is thrown from Clandeboye into Cluan Pl..
6.15pm Loyalists attack houses with bricks on Mountpottinger Rd from the billboards at Castlereagh St.
6.30pm Stones thrown from Cluan Pl. into Clandeboye Gdns. Paint bombs thrown into Clandeboye Drive.
6.35pm Loyalists video people on Mountpottinger Rd from billboards at Castlereagh St.
6.45pm Loyalists attack homes in Clandeboye Drive with bricks, bottles and other missiles from Cluan Pl..
6.50pm Loyalists attack houses in Clandeboye Gdns with bricks, bottles and other missiles from Cluan Pl..
6.56pm Loyalists attack Clandeboye Dr. with fireworks, bricks, bottles and stones from Cluan Place.
7.10pm Attack on Clandeboye intensifies with large amounts of missiles being thrown from Cluan Pl..
8.15pm Large crowd of loyalists try to enter Clandeboye arch, around 150 in total.
8.20pm PSNI and army enter Mountpottinger Rd and block off the Rd and face nationalists.
8.25pm Masked loyalists gather at billboard at Mountpottinger Rd in full view of PSNI and army.
8.33pm Loyalists attack houses in Clandeboye Gdns in full view of PSNI.
8.35pm Attack in Clandeboye Gdns intensifies with bricks, bottles and other missiles, all in full view of the PSNI, helicopter overhead the whole time.
8.40pm Two acid-filled bottles thrown into Clandeboye Gdns from Cluan Pl..
8.42pm Bricks, bottles and other missiles thrown into Clandeboye Gdns from Cluan Pl.. At the same time a sustained attack is launched from Cluan Pl. into Clandeboye Dr..
8.49pm Large pipe bomb explodes on roof of house in Clandeboye Dr. in full view of PSNI and army who are sitting in two Land Rovers in Clandeboye Dr..
9.37pm Large amount of army gather on Mountpottinger Rd.
9.40pm Five jeeps come into Clandeboye Dr. and sit there.
10.18pm Pipe bomb explodes outside house in Clandeboye Dr., thrown from Cluan Pl..
10.19pm Two jeeps shine their headlights on house that pipe bomb exploded outside.
10.29pm Another two jeeps arrive in Clandeboye Drive.
10.31pm Pipe bomb explodes in Clandeboye Dr. while PSNI and army sit in Land Rovers, device thrown from Cluan Pl..
10.33pm Pipe bomb thrown from Cluan Pl. explodes in Clandeboye Dr., bricks, bottles and around 30 fireworks are also thrown.
10.37pm Large fireworks explode at house in Clandeboye Dr. thrown from Cluan Pl..
10.38pm Fireworks thrown from Claun Pl. into Clandeboye Dr..
10.40pm Loyalists douse roofs in Clandeboye Dr. with water, while PSNI approach but do nothing.
10.41pm Large explosive device goes off on roof of house in Clandeboye Dr. thrown from Cluan Pl.
10.41pm Fireworks thrown from Cluan Pl. into Clandeboye Dr..
10.46pm Pipe bomb explodes outside house in Clandeboye Dr..
10.48pm Petrol bombs explode on roof of house in Clandeboye Dr. and set roof on fire. At the same time a large firework explodes at front of same house.
10.49pm Petrol bombs thrown at bungalow in Clandeboye Dr. from Cluan Pl..
10.50pm Petrol bombs thrown at house in Clandeboye Drive setting the roof on fire.
10.51pm More petrol bombs thrown from Cluan Pl. and land on the same roof as a minute before.
10.57pm Fire crew arrive to douse roofs down in Clandeboye Dr..
11.09pm Explosive device with petrol attached explodes in Clandeboye Gdns.
11.30pm PSNI and army riot squads enter Clandeboye in large numbers and go berserk, beating people and shooting plastic bullets. At least 15 people shot with plastic bullets, 10 receive hospital treatment; all the while loyalists continue their attack on Clandeboye from Cluan Pl. until 1am.
Thursday 29 August
6.30am bricks and bottles thrown from Newtownards Rd into bungalows at Strand Walk. Workmen fixing roofs of houses in Clandeboye are forced to leave due to being attacked by missiles from Cluan Pl..
5pm assistant chief constable Alan McQuillan Drives through Clandeboye in bullet-proof car.
6pm Statement from Alan McQuillan put out saying IRA and UVF are fighting war by St conflict. New tactics to be deployed.
6.15pm Upwards of 100 RIR and British army enter and seal off Clandeboye Drive and Clandeboye Gdns. Reports that the same is happening in Cluan Place and Paulette Ave. Large crowd of loyalists gather at Castlereagh St. RIR soldiers exchange sectarian taunts and gloat about attacks on Short Strand. Presence remains throughout the night.
8pm Several fireworks fired into Clandeboye Gdns from Paulette Ave.
8pm Strand Walk attacked with bricks and bottles from Newtownards Rd for 10 minutes.
9pm Steel missiles thrown from Thistle Court into Bryson St and Madrid St, lasting half an hour.
Friday 30 August
Sporadic stone throwing from Thistle Court into Madrid St.
6.15pm Upwards of 100 RIR and British army enter and seal off Clandeboye Dr. and Clandeboye Gdns. Large crowd of loyalists gather at Castlereagh St. RIR soldiers exchange sectarian taunts. Presence remains throughout the night.
Saturday 31 August
Clandeboye relatively quiet. Sporadic stone throwing from Thistle Court into Madid St.
6.15pm Upward of 100 RIR and British army enter Clandeboye and take up position at Mountpottinger Rd. RIR use sniffer dogs to search hallway in Clandeboye, they remain there until 1am.
Sunday 1 September
2.30pm Petrol bombs from Cluan Pl. into Clandeboye Dr.. Ballbearing thrown from Albertbridge Rd.
6.15pm Upwards of 100 RIR and British army enter Clandeboye and take up position at Mountpottinger Rd.
Monday 2 September
3.00pm Workmen attacked at Clandeboye Dr. with bricks and bottles.
3.30pm Device thrown over wall from Cluan Place into Clandeboye. Takes PSNI 40 minutes to respond. Device later declared a hoax. Sporadic stone throwing continues from Cluan Pl. into Clandeboye.
1pm Fireworks thrown into Clandeboye from Cluan Pl..
To keep informed about events in the Short Strand by visiting the resident’s website at http://www.32s.org where you can also show your support by signing their online petition.
The Short Strand diary originally appeared in the Andersontown News
Connolly Publications Ltd, 244 Gray's Inn Road, London, WC1X 8JR