Belfast Telegraph

Monday 29 December 2014

Hate mail for man behind Troubles website

IRA Bomb attack on the La Mon House Hotel.
IRA Bomb attack on the La Mon House Hotel
La Mon House Hotel Provisional IRA Bomb Victim, Sandra Morris
La Mon House Hotel Provisional IRA Bomb Victim, Carol Mills
La Mon House Hotel Provisional IRA Bomb Victim, Christine Lockhart
SDLP press conference with John Hume, Gerry Fitt, Austin Currie and Paddy Devlin. 11/09/75
Behind the barbed wire of long kesh internment camp are SDLP MPs(from left)Paddy Devlin, Austin Currie, John Hume and Ivan Cooper. They were visiting internees. 21/09/71
Billy Wright ,loyalist fanatic who was shot dead in the Maze Prison, was leader of the renegade Loyalist Volunteer Force
Ulster Vanguard Movement: Ulster Vanguard Association Rally at Stormont. 29/03/72
William Craig:Leader of the Vanguard Unionist Progressive party.
Ulster Vanguard Movement: A section of the crowd at the Vanguard Association Rally at Ormeau Park. 18/03/72
Images from the Belfast Telegraph Troubles Gallery IRA checkpoint, the early 1970's
Ulster Defence Association/U.D.A: 1972. Delegates at the talks between Vanguard, Ulster Defence Association and the Loyalist Association of Workers.
Ulster Vanguard Movement:September 1972.
As the Queen was visiting Belfast city centre in 1977, soldiers came under attack a few hundred yards away in the republican Falls Road area. An army captain was seperated from his unit and was being heavily stoned and kicked when a 'snatch squad' of his troops rushed the crowd to rescue him from the mob.
The ruins of McGurks Bar. Dec 1971
Kathleen Feeney, 14, who was shot dead by an IRA gunman in Londonderry in a failed ambush on British troops. November 1973
Funeral courtege of Kathleen Feeney, 14, who was shot dead by an IRA gunman in Londonderry in a failed ambush on British troops. November 1973
Police and rioters clash in Londonderry after an Apprentice Boys march, 1969.
Martin McGuinness, Sinn Fein, pictured leaving court in Belfast after charges against him involving IRA membership were dropped 1976.
Belfast IRA men on patrol with new drogue bomb in Northern Ireland 1987
Royal Highland Fusilier, Robert Thompson from Hamilton, Scotland who was killed in Northern Ireland. July 27 1980
In March 1988 two corporals, Derek Wood and David Howes, were stripped, beaten and shot dead, after driving into the path of a republican funeral in Belfast.
In March 1988 two corporals, Derek Wood and David Howes, were stripped, beaten and shot dead, after driving into the path of a republican funeral in Belfast.
In March 1988 two corporals, Derek Wood and David Howes, were stripped, beaten and shot dead, after driving into the path of a republican funeral in Belfast.
In March 1988 two corporals, Derek Wood and David Howes, were stripped, beaten and shot dead, after driving into the path of a republican funeral in Belfast.
Stewart Gardner, Argylls second lieutenant of Dollar shot dead at Crossmaglen, Co Armagh. September 22nd 1972.
Government of Northern Ireland: The Executive. December 1973.
The Belfast Telegraph Troubles Gallery
The explosion of a bomb in the crowded central Belfast restaurant, the Abercorn, on 4th March 1972, was one of the most horrific incidents of the Northern Ireland violence. Two women were killed - 130 people injured.
The explosion of a bomb in the crowded central Belfast restaurant, the Abercorn, on 4th March 1972, was one of the most horrific incidents of the Northern Ireland violence. Two women were killed - 130 people injured.
The explosion of a bomb in the crowded central Belfast restaurant, the Abercorn, on 4th March 1972, was one of the most horrific incidents of the Northern Ireland violence. Two women were killed - 130 people injured.
The explosion of a bomb in the crowded central Belfast restaurant, the Abercorn, on 4th March 1972, was one of the most horrific incidents of the Northern Ireland violence. Two women were killed - 130 people injured.
Pictured is Jimmy Stewart, who lost both legs in the Abercorn Restaurant explosion. The explosion of a bomb in the crowded central Belfast restaurant, the Abercorn, on 4th March 1972, was one of the most horrific incidents of the Northern Ireland violence. Two women were killed - 130 people injured.
A casualty of the riots in Northern Ireland in 1972
Northern Ireland murder victim Irene Andrews who was murdered by John White on the 26th June 1973.
Belfast Fire Brigade Station officer McCleery, being carried from a bomb explosion, Cromac Street, circa 1971.
Peter Robinson of the DUP pictured in the Israeli Border Area with AK47 rifles while on a fact finding mission to the Middle East. Pacemaker Press Intl. Dec. 1984
Armed soldiers behind a wall on Londonderry's Bogside.
John Hume is detained by soldiers during a civil rights protest in Londonderry in August 1971.
John Hume is detained by soldiers during a civil rights protest in Londonderry in August 1971.
Main Street Claudy in August 1972 when three Provisional IRA car bombs exploded without warning, killing 9 local people and injuring many others.
John Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono raise their fists as they join a protest in front of British Overseas Airways Corp. offices in New York on Fifth Avenue, Feb 5th 1972. The demonstrators called for the withdrawal of British troops from Northern Ireland.
Funeral of Walter Moore, who was shot while in a shop at the rear of Oldpark RUC base, Oldpark Road Belfast
Gordon Wilson. Irish Senator who's daughter Marie was a victim of the Ennieskillen Remembrance Day explosion in 1987. Pictured with his grandson Timothy.
The funeral of Marie Wilson, killed along with 10 others in no warning explosion during a Remembrance Day Service at Enniskillen Cenotaph. 8/11/1987
William Hughes who was killed in shooting incident due to a mistake by gunmen. The car they were sitting in near Coagh, Co. Tyrone looked like a police car. In the hail of gunfire directed at the car, William Hughes died. His daughter Ann and her fiance Malachy Foye were wounded.
Anglo Irish Agreement Protest Rally outside Belfast City Hall, with Unionists showing a united front. 'Ulster Says No'. 10/12/1985
The scene outside Graham's bookmakers shop, North Queen Street after a shooting where five men were injured. 29/04/1993
The scene outside Graham's bookmakers shop, North Queen Street after a shooting where five men were injured. 29/04/1993
Hugh O'Toole, owner of O'Tooles Bar (The Heights), Loughinisland, in which six men were shot dead watching the 1994 World Cup on television.
Reggie and Walter Chapman: Protestant brothers brutally murdered on a lonely roadside in S. Armagh. Kingsmill Massacre/Shooting. 5/1/1976. Their Bessbrook funeral. 8/1/1976.
Alan Black, a survivor of the Kingsmill, Armagh Massacre/Shooting, when he was shot with his 10 workmates in an ambush on their way home from work by gunmen. 5/1/1976
Unionist protests at visit to Belfast of Charles Haughey, former Taoiseach. Pictured are Peter Robinson, deputy leader of the DUP, intervening as Cedric Wilson is led away from the Europa. 11/4/1990.
Unionist protests at visit to Belfast of Charles Haughey, former Taoiseach. Pictured Rev Ian Paisley. 11/4/1990.
Mr Roddy Connolly of Bray, unveils a plaque at 420 Falls Road, Belfast, where his father, James Connolly, the 1916 leader, lived from 1907-10 while working in the north for the Irish Transport and General Workers Union. Connolly was born 100 years previous to the plague being unveiled (pictured here in 1968). The plaque was donated by MP Mr Gerry Fitt (also pictured).
Lord Gerry Fitt, founding member of SDLP and Civil Rights Organiser. Pic shows Gerry Fitt, then a republican MP, is held by police as the Civil Rights demonstrators clash with them in Duke Street, Londonderry. Pic includes nationalist leader Eddie mcAteer (centre) caught up in the struggle. 7/10/1968.
Ronnie Flanagan, former RUC chief constable
Richard Alan Baird (28) killed by a remote controlled bomb hidden in a parked van. The bomb was detonated when a RUC mobile patrol drove past in Bessbrook Co. Armagh. Also killed in the blast were Paul Gray (25) , Robert Lockhast (44) and Noel Webb (30) 17/4/1979
Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams pictured canvassing with Martin McGuinness, Alex Maskey and Danny Morrison shortly after he was shot and injured in a UDA gun attack in Belfast city centre.
Scene where Michael Tighe (17) was shot dead by RUC when found with rifles in a shed in Lurgan. 24/11/1982.
An army bomb disposal expert in flameproof suit and padded body armour tackles an incendiary bomb at a clothing shop in the cetre of Belfast in 1984.
In March 1988 two corporals, Derek Wood and David Howes, were stripped, beaten and shot dead, after driving into the path of a republican funeral in Belfast.

A Co Londonderry man who set up a website which features accounts of victims beside those of perpetrators of atrocities carried out during the Troubles has received hate mail.

Stephen Todd set up sharedtroubles.net earlier this year after his children quizzed him on the Troubles.

It has over 150 stories to date including Margaret Thatcher's account of the Brighton bomb and contributions from Gerry Adams and Danny Morrison.

Coleraine businessman Mr Todd, said: “Potentially we could have a bomber with their account of planting a device and how they felt when it exploded, alongside the story of someone injured or bereaved in that blast.

“Some people find that unacceptable and I've received hate mail. However most people are supportive. Apart from removing swear words or libellous material, people's stories appear unedited.

“The site is unique. It has no political slant or message.”

Mr Todd was shocked when his children asked

him ‘Daddy, what were the Troubles?'

The conversation came up one evening as he was driving past the Droppin' Well in Ballykelly, scene of an INLA bomb which killed 11 British soldiers and six women in 1982.

When he got home he searched the internet for information so he could help his children aged 10 and eight to understand the Troubles, but was unable to find anything he felt would be useful.

He decided to set up a website, designed to keep the memories alive of people from all backgrounds, who survived the Troubles.

www.sharedtroubles.net went live earlier this year and features stories from republicans, loyalists, members of the emergency services, civilians, members of the RUC, PSNI and British Army.

“The current websites were very biased one way or the other,” said Mr Todd.

“I was looking for a way of reading what had happened to real people during the Troubles so I took the initiative and decided to create a living historical archive of individuals' personal experiences.

“I come from a mixed marriage and was very fortunate to grow up in Coleraine which did not suffer the same level of sectarian strife that many other towns did.”

Mr Todd said he realised there was a large number of unheard stories just waiting to be told.

There is a wide range of personal accounts on the site.

One British soldier recalls passing IRA men in the street: “They gave you the look and you looked back at them, right into their eyes. It was like saying, 'We're here now, ready to play'. I have to say I miss it in some sick way. Miss the mates, miss what we had.”

Another story is from Patricia MacBride, a victims' commissioner, whose 27-year-old brother Anton, an IRA member, was shot dead by the SAS in 1984.

“I was so proud of my brothers — their dignity, their courage, their refusal to concede,” she recalled.

“The three saluting by the grave and the one beneath the clay.”

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