Belfast Telegraph

Stoical response to Cathedral Quarter bomb as dissidents make war on disabled, panto-going children, visitors and family pets

By CLAIRE WILLIAMSON

A disabled man evacuated from his home during last night was left without his vital medication.

St Anne's Square resident Jim (52) is a Thalidomide victim and requires morphine, three different tablets and inhalers to get him through the night. He told the Belfast Telegraph: "I have my morphine in the apartment, but I had no time to think. When the police are standing there at your door telling you to leave, you don't look back.

"I'm very anxious about getting my medication because I will be in a lot of pain tonight if I don't have it."

Jim's neighbour Eva Grosman, who is also a board member of the adjacent Mac theatre, said in these situations you have to be mindful of other people.

She said: "It's just what neighbours do."

Alternative accommodation was set up for residents last night in Belfast City Hall. A spokeswoman said they were trying to get Jim's medication sourced to him.

Meanwhile, a weekend of festive fun was disrupted for many left outside in the cold night.

Hilary Simms (68) had brought her grandchildren to see a pantomime in the Mac, but as they arrived they were met with police tape.

She said: "The children are just devastated. They are really gutted, we bought the tickets ages ago and we have been looking forward to this so much."

Ruari O'Doherty (23) travelled from Londonderry and was staying in the Ramada Encore for the weekend.

"An alarm went off telling everyone to evacuate the building. Now I'm trying to find my friends. Sadly, I think we are learning to expect this." Kathy Armstrong and her brother were left terrified as they learned their dog Tiny was trapped inside the apartment during the alert. Kathy said: "When we heard about it we rushed straight back. All we could think about was the dog, it was very scary." Paula O'Reilly (28) is part of Ponydance and was due to take part in a performance in the Mac, which was also cleared.

She said: "It's so annoying, frustrating and really just sad.

"We were sold out as well, so it's devastating."

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