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Network Members’ Digital Exhibition

Spotlight artifact: The Forgotten Troubles Memorial
(Located in Jubilee Square)

(Transcript: James Ellson, Dead Centre Tours)

“I am James from Dead Centre Tours, I’m here to talk about downtown Belfast’s only Troubles memorial.

One of the issues that we face in a post conflict environment is the lack of consistency in memorialisation to the victims of the Troubles. If you go to a strongly loyalist area, a strongly republican area or go to the police headquarters for instance, then you have many, many memorials to members of those organisations, but what about the vast majority of the victims of the conflict; people not connected to any of those organisations?

What you see behind me here is a memorial that was erected by the Trade Union Movement in 1976. There was some optimism in 1976 that possibly the levels of violence were coming down. There was a mass movement on the streets known as the Peace People, and so that led to some optimism that perhaps the Troubles might end, so this memorial was erected to remember the first 1,500 deaths in the Troubles.

What you see behind me here, is each number between one and 1,500. That represents one of the fatalities of the Troubles, each person has a specific number. And what is sad about it is, of course, the Troubles did not end in 1976, they continued until over 3,700 people had died.

But what is also sad is that nobody knows this Memorial is here. This is very much the forgotten Memorial of Belfast. Many people walk past, drive past and think that this is just a bricked-up doorway. I’d love to see this become the Peace Garden of Belfast, a central, neutral venue with this memorial for everybody to remember the victims of the Troubles.”