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Clap for Carers: Harland & Wolff horn sounds for first time in decades to show support for NHS staff

The mighty Harland & Wolff siren — which has not been heard for two decades — blared across Belfast in tribute to the selflessness and professionalism of the healthcare staff battling coronavirus last night.

Across Northern Ireland church bells rang, car horns honked and families came to their front doors to clap, cheer, and make a joyful noise last night in tribute to the NHS heroes battling to save lives as the crisis intensifies.

Applause for the valiant workers who daily risk their lives has filled the streets of Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK every Thursday night since the lockdown began, and last night was no exception.

In Belfast the shipyard which built the Titanic sounded its horn in solidarity with the dedicated legion of NHS workers.

In the harbour even the freighters and passenger ships sounded their foghorns from their berths.

Stormont’s Parliament Buildings was once again bathed in NHS blue in honour of the healthcare workers.

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Jackie Upton from East Belfast brings a pot out to join the clap for the Carers and NHS staff battling the Covid-19 outbreak.  Photo by Peter Morrison

Jackie Upton from East Belfast brings a pot out to join the clap for the Carers and NHS staff battling the Covid-19 outbreak. Photo by Peter Morrison

Jackie Upton from East Belfast brings a pot out to join the clap for the Carers and NHS staff battling the Covid-19 outbreak. Photo by Peter Morrison

Harland & Wolff managing director John Petticrew said: “We figured that it would be appropriate because they are unique times we are in, we thought we would sound a unique alarm.

“It is quite simple. It is to support all the essential workers who are working, like nurses and doctors and bus drivers, to show our support from Harland & Wolff, just the same as everybody else.”

He added: “It is not about Harland & Wolff, it is about the people risking their lives on our behalf.”

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UNISON members and staff at Craigavon Hospital. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

UNISON members and staff at Craigavon Hospital. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press E

UNISON members and staff at Craigavon Hospital. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

UNISON members and staff at Craigavon Hospital. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press E

Residents from East Belfast join the clap for the Carers and NHS staff battling the Covid-19 outbreak. Photo by Peter Morrison

Residents from East Belfast join the clap for the Carers and NHS staff battling the Covid-19 outbreak. Photo by Peter Morrison

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 9th April 2020 -  

UNISON members and staff at Craigavon Hospital, Northern Ireland alongside colleagues in the NI Fire and Rescue Service, NI Ambulance Service and PSNI hold a short event at 8.00pm to recognise and acknowledge the public support during a Clap for Blue Light Services.


Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 9th April 2020 - UNISON members and staff at Craigavon Hospital, Northern Ireland alongside colleagues in the NI Fire and Rescue Service, NI Ambulance Service and PSNI hold a short event at 8.00pm to recognise and acknowledge the public support during a Clap for Blue Light Services. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press E

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 9th April 2020 -  

UNISON members and staff at Craigavon Hospital, Northern Ireland alongside colleagues in the NI Fire and Rescue Service, NI Ambulance Service and PSNI hold a short event at 8.00pm to recognise and acknowledge the public support during a Clap for Blue Light Services.


Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 9th April 2020 - UNISON members and staff at Craigavon Hospital, Northern Ireland alongside colleagues in the NI Fire and Rescue Service, NI Ambulance Service and PSNI hold a short event at 8.00pm to recognise and acknowledge the public support during a Clap for Blue Light Services. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press E

Emma McWIlliams and daughter Emily hold the Belfast Telegraph Clap for the Carers poster in East Belfast . Photo by Peter Morrison

Emma McWIlliams and daughter Emily hold the Belfast Telegraph Clap for the Carers poster in East Belfast . Photo by Peter Morrison

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 9th April 2020 -  

UNISON members and staff at Craigavon Hospital, Northern Ireland alongside colleagues in the NI Fire and Rescue Service, NI Ambulance Service and PSNI hold a short event at 8.00pm to recognise and acknowledge the public support during a Clap for Blue Light Services.


Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 9th April 2020 - UNISON members and staff at Craigavon Hospital, Northern Ireland alongside colleagues in the NI Fire and Rescue Service, NI Ambulance Service and PSNI hold a short event at 8.00pm to recognise and acknowledge the public support during a Clap for Blue Light Services. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press E

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 9th April 2020 -  

UNISON members and staff at Craigavon Hospital, Northern Ireland alongside colleagues in the NI Fire and Rescue Service, NI Ambulance Service and PSNI hold a short event at 8.00pm to recognise and acknowledge the public support during a Clap for Blue Light Services.


Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 9th April 2020 - UNISON members and staff at Craigavon Hospital, Northern Ireland alongside colleagues in the NI Fire and Rescue Service, NI Ambulance Service and PSNI hold a short event at 8.00pm to recognise and acknowledge the public support during a Clap for Blue Light Services. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press E

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 9th April 2020 -  

UNISON members and staff at Craigavon Hospital, Northern Ireland alongside colleagues in the NI Fire and Rescue Service, NI Ambulance Service and PSNI hold a short event at 8.00pm to recognise and acknowledge the public support during a Clap for Blue Light Services.


Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 9th April 2020 - UNISON members and staff at Craigavon Hospital, Northern Ireland alongside colleagues in the NI Fire and Rescue Service, NI Ambulance Service and PSNI hold a short event at 8.00pm to recognise and acknowledge the public support during a Clap for Blue Light Services. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press E

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 9th April 2020 -  

UNISON members and staff at Craigavon Hospital, Northern Ireland alongside colleagues in the NI Fire and Rescue Service, NI Ambulance Service and PSNI hold a short event at 8.00pm to recognise and acknowledge the public support during a Clap for Blue Light Services.


Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 9th April 2020 - UNISON members and staff at Craigavon Hospital, Northern Ireland alongside colleagues in the NI Fire and Rescue Service, NI Ambulance Service and PSNI hold a short event at 8.00pm to recognise and acknowledge the public support during a Clap for Blue Light Services. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press E

UNISON members and staff at Craigavon Hospital. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

A long row of cars parked outside the yard and its famous yellow cranes sounded their own horns to mark the occasion.

Unite the Union represents workers at Harland & Wolff.

A spokesperson said they sounded the shipyard horn “to show their appreciation and that of workers across Northern Ireland for frontline NHS staff and those working to sustain other frontline services in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic”.

East Antrim Ulster Unionist Assembly Member John Stewart, who is based in Carrickfergus, 12 miles up the coastline, tweeted: “Got goose bumps hearing the shipyard horn sound out from Harland & Wolff as we joined in #ClapForHeroes.”

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John and Laura Gallagher and their children Abbie and Oran who have been showing their support for carers every Thursday outside the family home in Derry's Waterside. Picture Martin McKeown. 09.04.20

John and Laura Gallagher and their children Abbie and Oran who have been showing their support for carers every Thursday outside the family home in Derry's Waterside. Picture Martin McKeown. 09.04.20

John and Laura Gallagher and their children Abbie and Oran who have been showing their support for carers every Thursday outside the family home in Derry's Waterside. Picture Martin McKeown. 09.04.20

In London Boris Johnson’s pregnant partner Carrie Symonds tweeted a string of clapping emojis as she joined in the Clap For Carers campaign at 8pm.

Her tweet came less than an hour after it was confirmed Mr Johnson had been moved out of intensive care at St Thomas’ Hospital.

She accompanied her post with a painted picture of a rainbow.

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Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab clapping outside the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London to salute local heroes

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab clapping outside the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London to salute local heroes

PA

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab clapping outside the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London to salute local heroes

Blue lights from a row of fire engines and police vehicles on Westminster Bridge lit up the outside of St Thomas’ Hospital during the national round of applause for the nation’s healthcare heroes.

More than 10 emergency vehicles, including boats on the Thames, performed the display as dozens of police and firefighters applauded.

One firefighter, who gave her name as Mo, from Lambeth, said the display was an act of “solidarity with our fellow workers”, adding: “We’re all one family.”

She added: “There’s a lot of bad stuff going on in the world, so it’s nice to do something all together, everyone up and down the country.”

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UNISON members and staff at Craigavon Hospital, Northern Ireland alongside colleagues in the NI Fire and Rescue Service, NI Ambulance Service and PSNI hold a short event at 8.00pm to recognise and acknowledge the public support during a Clap for Blue Light Services.

UNISON members and staff at Craigavon Hospital, Northern Ireland alongside colleagues in the NI Fire and Rescue Service, NI Ambulance Service and PSNI hold a short event at 8.00pm to recognise and acknowledge the public support during a Clap for Blue Light Services.

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press E

UNISON members and staff at Craigavon Hospital, Northern Ireland alongside colleagues in the NI Fire and Rescue Service, NI Ambulance Service and PSNI hold a short event at 8.00pm to recognise and acknowledge the public support during a Clap for Blue Light Services.

In Newtownards, Pastor Mark McClurg — who spent days in the intensive care unit at the Ulster Hospital battling the virus and is now recovering at home — joined in the tributes.

“Our wee street is clapping for our heroes in the NHS,” he said in a brief video message filmed on his doorstep.

As he and his neighbours applauded and cheered, Pastor McClurg added: “Thank you so much for all you do — and thank you so much for saving my life.”

Match Of The Day presenter Gary Lineker tweeted three clapping emojis, adding: “Really lovely that our @NHSuk workers are being shown the love and respect they deserve.

“Shouldn’t have taken something as dreadful as this, but let’s ensure that it’s continued long after this nightmare is over.”

Belfast Telegraph