Twenty five years onBMJ 1994; 309 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.309.6958.884 (Published 01 October 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;309:884
- D Sloan
I will never forget the 14 and 15 August 1969 and neither will my father, then a general practitioner in troubled west Belfast. The civil disturbances as they were officially called had been building up over the months throughout the province. Now the major rioting in Londonderry had raised the tension in the cockpit city of Belfast to boiling point.
My father's practice was half Protestant and half Catholic, and journeying between the Protestant Shankill Road and the Catholic Falls Road it was obvious that an explosion was imminent. No one, however, was fully prepared for the violence of that explosion. Over the night of 14 August there were fierce riots and gun battles, a dozen or so dead, hundreds injured, and homes and factories left blazing.
I came down the stairs to breakfast to find distraught parents in the hall. My father had just …