snippets from Belfast
shot this photo essay in black and white to add to the atmosphere
of Belfast at the time."
Patrol With the Royal Ulster Constabulary
of the most dangerous occupations in the world was being part of
the Royal Ulster Constabulary. These officers have been targeted
over the decades by the IRA and other paramiltary groups and 300
have been killed. I went on patrol with the RUC in Belfast and the
nearby town of Bangor. I felt pretty safe in the armoured Land Rover
Tangi until one of the officers mentioned drogue bombs. "What's
a drogue bomb?" I asked. I was told it was a nasty device that
could poenetrate armour and incinerate anyone inside the vehicle.
I didn't ask any more questions for a while ...
Army Foot Patrol
can't remember the street I was walking down in West Belfast but
I do recall the situation. I was minding my own business and taking
photos when in the distance I saw a British Army foot patrol heading
towards me. To my left was a block of derelict flats, that would
be the perfect spot for someone wanting to take a potshot at the
soldiers. And of course who would be the first person spotted in
such an instance? Yup, poor old me. Anyway, on my right was a two-metre
high brick wall that - considering I was carrying about 20 kilos
of camera gear - would have proven just a little bit much for me
to clamber over in the event of trouble. So as the British patrol
closed I made sure it was pretty obvious I was carrying cameras
and as they got near I said in an exagerrated Aussie accent "Gidday
mates!" They nodded and walked by. I continued my exploration
very much relieved.