Thursday, March 8

Peace Bonus for Cabby's

Well we would not have believed it just a few short years ago, but now it seems that Belfast has become a tourist attraction. And Belfast cabby's have not been slow on the uptake, it seems that a tour by taxi is one of the more popular options. "Over there is the Protestant area. And there, behind the wall in the middle of the road are the Catholics," says Alan Hoy with a smile as he tells tales of Belfast's hardest working-class areas.
His taxi carefully parked on the kerb, Hoy works for one of seven cab firms that now take the curious to north and west Belfast to explain all about what is still called "The Troubles".
From the Crumlin Road, to Shankill, the Falls Road and Ardoyne, Hoy's route is well-planned. He stops in front of the derelict court house in Crumlin Road and the famous jail opposite, which is no longer taking guests of Her Majesty.
He then stops at the main murals painted onto the mish-mash of small brick houses in the fiercely Protestant Shankill area.
Next stop is the Ardoyne, former stronghold of the IRA, where more gable-end frescoes celebrate the opposite political point of view.
His tour ends by the largest so-called "peace wall", which still separates the two communities along the Shankill Road. In the last few months, it has even got longer and higher.
"The Germans are jealous of our wall," he jokes, referring to the old Berlin Wall that separated West from East at the height of the Cold War. "You can take pictures. It's safe to walk around."
Locals going about their business don't even look at the visitors. They've got used to it.
About 3 500 people died between 1969 and 1998, when the Good Friday peace accords were signed, largely ending the sectarian violence.
One of the most recent, less political murals was of George Best, the genius Northern Ireland and Manchester United footballer who died in late 2005 .
Another was of the doomed ocean liner Titanic, which was built in Belfast, or even of CS Lewis, the author of the Chronicles of Narnia.


ironbed said...

Leave it to low life Taxi Drivers to use the recent troubles in Belfast to make a quick buck. Easy money, eh? Walking - well driving over - the streets where people died to make a few bob is I guess, if not unexpected but inevitable, given the mercenary minds of all Taxi Drivers.
No doubt these morons, while driving and yelping out their monolouges all wear Bluetooth Toys and carry out phone conversations at the same time, putting their passengers and other road users and pedestrians at risk.

Bob said...

Why are you on a blog called Taxi Tales if you feel that way?

Paradise Driver said...


Don't you just love anonymous posters who spew their vile venom. Just a waste of good air, IMHO.

ironbed said...

Bob I am on a Blog called Taxi Tales because I surfed the net looking for links about Belfast where I live. I saw this entry and thought I must respond because I am disgusted by people who would use others' misfortune.

Bob, I did not mean to post anonymously. Sorry. Here is my Blog about Belfast. any of you guys use Bluetooth Toys while working?

If so you should be ashamed of yourselves.

Bob said...

Ironbed my views on bluetooth toys are well documented here--
You say this in your comment--
"I saw this entry and thought I must respond because I am disgusted by people who would use others' misfortune." should we then close Pomei or the Somme and Culloden battlefield sites. I always think the old saying 'Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it' is very true