Ann Allan: Twaddell – Holding out for a hero.

I don’t live on an interface so I am looking at the situation at Twaddell from a place of peace and tranquility. One where people get on with their day to day lives and where flags and marching and protesting about marching do not feature. On the outer end of East Belfast we have Tullycarnet, a loyalist estate coexisting peacefully beside Our Lady and Patrick’s grammar school. On the 11th night and in the month of July there are the usual parades. No one bats an eyelid. We get on with our own business. Pupils go to and from the school without fear or intimidation. So why here and not there?

I get really cross when I hear the ‘ they don’t respect us ‘ argument and ‘ it’s our road and we can walk it if we want’ it makes me want to knock heads together because that is such a childish mentality. And maybe that’s the answer. Those involved have not grown up.  They have not faced up to the realities of life. Life is not fair. You can’t have everything you want. Life’s a bitch, they say, and then you die.

How many on the loyalist side will turn to the flag or marching when they develop a life threatening illness? They will want the best treatment for their condition but the money that will provide that treatment is haemorrhaging away to the tune of £50000 per day. On the other side heels have been dug in and the mantra is much the same. We’re not giving an inch. You are also haemorrhaging the money away.

Let me tell you when you are on your death bed, and life is short, none of this will matter and years will have been squandered while young children are growing up learning that you don’t compromise.

We all have to compromise whether in marriage, in every day life or in our jobs. If there is no compromise there is no movement and with no movement comes stagnation.

Surely someone can be a hero. Situations like Twaddell need a hero. Someone from one side who can say ok we withdraw our objections. Someone from the other side who can say we will walk the road with dignity for ourselves  and our fellow citizens. Protestors go home. Watch the TV it will be over very quickly. Marchers show respect. No taunting from either side. No ussums or themuns.

The idea that we should have yet more rallies as part of a graduated response must be the most ludicrous suggestion ever. Peter Robinson and his fellow unionist supporting the idea is even more ludicrous. This is an assembly ( I use the word loosely) that is on the brink of collapse and our largest party are planning to put more pressure on the police and on the police budget. What would be the reaction in England if David Cameron decided to lead protests against the Metropolitan police force? He would be laughed out of Parliament methinks.  Unfortunately we haven’t the option to get rid of our Assembly and chances are if we did we would vote in the same shower of losers.

So we are stuck it would seem waiting for our two heroes. Orangeman on one side and Greenman  on the other. They don’t need kryptonite or magic cloaks they just need the will to say, we can’t leave this for another generation we need to solve it now.

Go down in the history books for the coming generations to see that you helped to solve the Twaddell impasse.  Turn over a new leaf, wipe the page clean. I know they are cliches but wouldn’t it be great to say that we could all aspire to be kinder and tolerant to our fellow citizens. When you let the anger and bitterness go it will be like a great weight of your shoulder and life will be much more fulfilling.

And another thing I’ve  noticed that the flags that many of you claim to respect are tattered and torn and still flying from lamp posts . That is all flags, no differentiation. Please take them down. I’m sure the dignitaries from both side who visit us take a dim view of how much respect is actually shown to the various flags.

I know you will say I don’t know what I’m talking about and  its not that simplistic, but it could be.

Now,  where’s my Supergirl mask?



Follow Ann on @apallan


Welcome to a collection of blogs from women who contribute with one aim - simply to write honestly. None of these women shy away from controversy, believing that subjects should be tackled head on, explored, and in some cases even enjoyed. We welcome contributions from anyone who feels they have something to say. Email :

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