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''The really sad thing is that when I was young Richard Moore didn't seem a common name, however in the age of Google it seems there are about 31 bazillion of us.'' - Richard Moore the 27,000,000,001st.
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Why was I there? I'm not really sure

BelfastI can't really say why I had a fascination with Belfast and The Troubles.

I'd studied the history, I'd seen TV programmes but probably the most compelling reason was that Belfast was a British city with more than 15,000 troops patrolling its streets.

What was life like for people living there?

As you will see from my pictures Belfast in 1988 had two sides.

There was a city that people lived in and went about life in a reasonably normal fashion. The other side was being security conscious, keeping an eye out for bags left unattended, and getting the best buys from Massive Bomb Damage sales.

Coming from the peaceful streets of Melbourne, Belfast was one hell of a shock.

Seeing parts of the city laid waste by sectarian divide was sad. The messages on gravestones sadder still.

Despite it all the people in Belfast did what they could to get on with life and, no matter which side of the political chasm they were on, they still wanted the best for their families.

These photos were taken in 1988 at a time when tensions between Catholics and Protestants were very high.

Three IRA volunteers - Danny McCann, Sean Savage and Mairéad Farrell - had been killed in Gibraltar while on a bombing mission there.

I arrived in Belfast the day before their funeral at Milltown Cemetery and I went along expecting street violence.

There was no way I, nor anyone else, could have anticipated the attack on mourners at the funeral by Michael Stone, a Protestant extremist.

That set in train a series of events that included more murders and the disgusting and very public deaths of two British soldiers - Corporals David Robert Howes and Derek Tony Wood - who got too close to another IRA funeral and were viciously beaten, stripped then shot.

You'll need to read my reactions to that on this page.

I met many wonderful people in Belfast - from both sides - and went out on patrol with the police of the Royal Ulster Constabulary who were caught in the middle.

I am glad to say that Northern ireland has settled down in the two decades since I was there.

The recent visit of Queen Elizabeth II to the province and her shaking hands with ex IRA boss Martin McGuinness speaks volumes for the progress made.

Long may it continue.

- Richard Moore

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