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Our sorrow over Primark devastation, by some of Northern Ireland's best-known faces

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Fresh-faced: a young Tara Mills who worked for Primark

Fresh-faced: a young Tara Mills who worked for Primark

Fresh-faced: a young Eamonn Holmes who worked for Primark

Fresh-faced: a young Eamonn Holmes who worked for Primark

People look on yesterday as the Fire Service still work to put out the blaze

People look on yesterday as the Fire Service still work to put out the blaze

The exterior of Bank Buildings in 1973

The exterior of Bank Buildings in 1973

Bank Buildings sale in 1974

Bank Buildings sale in 1974

Shoppers before the fire

Shoppers before the fire

Miss Bank Buildings Nora Ann Pinion celebrates 125 years of the building in 1978

Miss Bank Buildings Nora Ann Pinion celebrates 125 years of the building in 1978

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Fresh-faced: a young Tara Mills who worked for Primark

Well-known personalities share their thoughts on the Primark blaze.

Eamonn Holmes, broadcaster:

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Aerial views showing the aftermath of the fire in the Bank Buildings - Primark Belfast - August 29th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott)

Aerial views showing the aftermath of the fire in the Bank Buildings - Primark Belfast - August 29th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott)

Kevin Scott

Aerial views showing the aftermath of the fire in the Bank Buildings - Primark Belfast - August 29th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott)

Aerial views showing the aftermath of the fire in the Bank Buildings - Primark Belfast - August 29th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott)

Kevin Scott

Aerial views showing the aftermath of the fire in the Bank Buildings - Primark Belfast - August 29th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott)

Aerial views showing the aftermath of the fire in the Bank Buildings - Primark Belfast - August 29th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott)

Kevin Scott

Aerial views showing the aftermath of the fire in the Bank Buildings - Primark Belfast - August 29th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott)

Aerial views showing the aftermath of the fire in the Bank Buildings - Primark Belfast - August 29th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott)

Kevin Scott

Aerial views showing the aftermath of the fire in the Bank Buildings - Primark Belfast - August 29th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott)

Aerial views showing the aftermath of the fire in the Bank Buildings - Primark Belfast - August 29th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott)

Kevin Scott

Aerial views showing the aftermath of the fire in the Bank Buildings - Primark Belfast - August 29th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott)

Aerial views showing the aftermath of the fire in the Bank Buildings - Primark Belfast - August 29th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott)

Kevin Scott

Aerial views showing the aftermath of the fire in the Bank Buildings - Primark Belfast - August 29th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott)

Aerial views showing the aftermath of the fire in the Bank Buildings - Primark Belfast - August 29th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott)

Kevin Scott

Aerial views showing the aftermath of the fire in the Bank Buildings - Primark Belfast - August 29th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott)

Aerial views showing the aftermath of the fire in the Bank Buildings - Primark Belfast - August 29th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott)

Kevin Scott

Aerial views showing the aftermath of the fire in the Bank Buildings - Primark Belfast - August 29th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott)

Aerial views showing the aftermath of the fire in the Bank Buildings - Primark Belfast - August 29th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott)

Kevin Scott

Aerial views showing the aftermath of the fire in the Bank Buildings - Primark Belfast - August 29th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott)

Aerial views showing the aftermath of the fire in the Bank Buildings - Primark Belfast - August 29th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott)

Kevin Scott

Aerial view over Bank Buildings following Tuesdays fire. Photo by Gregory Weeks.

Aerial view over Bank Buildings following Tuesdays fire. Photo by Gregory Weeks.

Photo by Gregory Weeks.
Aerial view over Bank Buildings following Tuesdays fire..

Photo by Gregory Weeks. Aerial view over Bank Buildings following Tuesdays fire..

Photo by Gregory Weeks.
Aerial view over Bank Buildings following Tuesdays fire..

Photo by Gregory Weeks. Aerial view over Bank Buildings following Tuesdays fire..

Aerial view over Bank Buildings following Tuesdays fire. Photo by Gregory Weeks.

Aerial view over Bank Buildings following Tuesdays fire. Photo by Gregory Weeks.

Photo by Gregory Weeks.
Aerial view over Bank Buildings following Tuesdays fire..

Photo by Gregory Weeks. Aerial view over Bank Buildings following Tuesdays fire..

Photo by Gregory Weeks.
Aerial view over Bank Buildings following Tuesdays fire..

Photo by Gregory Weeks. Aerial view over Bank Buildings following Tuesdays fire..

Photo by Gregory Weeks.
Aerial view over Bank Buildings following Tuesdays fire..

Photo by Gregory Weeks. Aerial view over Bank Buildings following Tuesdays fire..

Photo by Gregory Weeks.
Aerial view over Bank Buildings following Tuesdays fire..

Photo by Gregory Weeks. Aerial view over Bank Buildings following Tuesdays fire..

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Aerial views showing the aftermath of the fire in the Bank Buildings - Primark Belfast - August 29th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott)

"It was shocking to see because it is such an iconic building in Belfast and so much of my life was connected to it. It is such a recognisable building and such a large piece of real estate within Belfast and was such a focal point.

"So it was very sad to see such a substantial building and a building that was there for so long burning.

"I thought it was particularly sad to see the clock burst into flames and disintegrate.

"It was one of a few places you would meet people at, along with the library in Royal Avenue.

"In 1978 when I worked at Primark as a trainee manager before I went into journalism part of my duties was to clear out what was the old House of Fraser or the old Bank Buildings. It was a sad duty to basically strip the inside of the old building - throw out the old rails and counters and basically gut the place in preparation for the new flagship Primark store that was coming.

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"In my case, not only was I part of the team that gutted the inside, I remember interviewing Rick Astley, outside that very building when I was working for Downtown.

"In fact I was talking to him a few weeks ago and I asked him if he remembered that interview and he did because someone took his coat and he never got it back.

"That building has been in the background of so many of our lives, I hope it will be there forever."

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Firefighters deal with a major blaze at Primark in Belfast on August 28th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Firefighters deal with a major blaze at Primark in Belfast on August 28th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Firefighters deal with a major blaze at Primark in Belfast on August 28th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Firefighters deal with a major blaze at Primark in Belfast on August 28th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Firefighters deal with a major blaze at Primark in Belfast on August 28th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Firefighters deal with a major blaze at Primark in Belfast on August 28th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Compsite showing the fire from 11:06 am to 4:35 pm


Firefighters deal with a major blaze at Primark in Belfast on August 28th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Compsite showing the fire from 11:06 am to 4:35 pm Firefighters deal with a major blaze at Primark in Belfast on August 28th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Firefighters deal with a major blaze at Primark in Belfast on August 28th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Firefighters deal with a major blaze at Primark in Belfast on August 28th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Firefighters deal with a major blaze at Primark in Belfast on August 28th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Firefighters deal with a major blaze at Primark in Belfast on August 28th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Firefighters deal with a major blaze at Primark in Belfast on August 28th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Firefighters deal with a major blaze at Primark in Belfast on August 28th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Firefighters deal with a major blaze at Primark in Belfast on August 28th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Firefighters deal with a major blaze at Primark in Belfast on August 28th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Firefighters deal with a major blaze at Primark in Belfast on August 28th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Firefighters deal with a major blaze at Primark in Belfast on August 28th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Firefighters deal with a major blaze at Primark in Belfast on August 28th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Firefighters deal with a major blaze at Primark in Belfast on August 28th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Firefighters deal with a major blaze at Primark in Belfast on August 28th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Firefighters deal with a major blaze at Primark in Belfast on August 28th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Firefighters deal with a major blaze at Primark in Belfast on August 28th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Firefighters deal with a major blaze at Primark in Belfast on August 28th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Firefighters deal with a major blaze at Primark in Belfast on August 28th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Firefighters deal with a major blaze at Primark in Belfast on August 28th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Firefighters deal with a major blaze at Primark in Belfast on August 28th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Firefighters deal with a major blaze at Primark in Belfast on August 28th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Firefighters deal with a major blaze at Primark in Belfast on August 28th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Firefighters deal with a major blaze at Primark in Belfast on August 28th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Firefighters deal with a major blaze at Primark in Belfast on August 28th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Firefighters deal with a major blaze at Primark in Belfast on August 28th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Firefighters deal with a major blaze at Primark in Belfast on August 28th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Firefighters deal with a major blaze at Primark in Belfast on August 28th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Firefighters deal with a major blaze at Primark in Belfast on August 28th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Firefighters deal with a major blaze at Primark in Belfast on August 28th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Firefighters deal with a major blaze at Primark in Belfast on August 28th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Firefighters deal with a major blaze at Primark in Belfast on August 28th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Firefighters deal with a major blaze at Primark in Belfast on August 28th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Firefighters deal with a major blaze at Primark in Belfast on August 28th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Firefighters deal with a major blaze at Primark in Belfast on August 28th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Firefighters deal with a major blaze at Primark in Belfast on August 28th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Firefighters deal with a major blaze at Primark in Belfast on August 28th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Firefighters deal with a major blaze at Primark in Belfast on August 28th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Firefighters deal with a major blaze at Primark in Belfast on August 28th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Firefighters deal with a major blaze at Primark in Belfast on August 28th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Firefighters deal with a major blaze at Primark in Belfast on August 28th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Firefighters deal with a major blaze at Primark in Belfast on August 28th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service are attending an incident in Belfast city centre.

The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service are attending an incident in Belfast city centre.

The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service are attending an incident in Belfast city centre.

The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service are attending an incident in Belfast city centre.

Firefighters deal with a major blaze at Primark in Belfast on August 28th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Firefighters deal with a major blaze at Primark in Belfast on August 28th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Firefighters deal with a major blaze at Primark in Belfast on August 28th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Firefighters deal with a major blaze at Primark in Belfast on August 28th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Firefighters deal with a major blaze at Primark in Belfast on August 28th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Firefighters deal with a major blaze at Primark in Belfast on August 28th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Firefighters deal with a major blaze at Primark in Belfast on August 28th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Firefighters deal with a major blaze at Primark in Belfast on August 28th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

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Firefighters deal with a major blaze at Primark in Belfast on August 28th 2018 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Tara Mills, BBC NI journalist:

"My experience of Primark was if you worked there you were very well looked after. It was a great company to work for.

"I did my GCSEs, A-levels and I was at uni and that was my Saturday job.

"I worked on all of the floors but I started in the household department and we would have bomb scares, incendiary devices wrapped up in the rugs and someone would find them at the end of the day.

"But what was hilarious was the customers didn't want to go because they were so used to bomb scare being just a scare.

"I think that so many of us stay in touch is testament to the sort of people who work there and the kind of bond we built up when we were working there.

"I feel so sad. It was so sad to watch but I'm sure the company will look after the staff."

Stephen Clements Q Radio breakfast host:

"This building was something that was just always there and in the time before mobile phones and text messages it was the standard place where everyone met.

"It was as iconic as any building in Belfast, the likes of Titanic or City Hall.

"There is a palpable sadness in the city even though it is just a building and no one was hurt, it is almost like there has been a loss. It sat on its own, unattached to any other building, which made it unique and probably saved other buildings around it.

"There was an eerie silence this morning as people were walking around, it was almost like a mark of respect which sounds ridiculous but that is just how people felt about it.

"It survived two world wars, the Troubles and yet it has gone now which I think is why people are so sad."

Pete Snodden, Cool FM breakfast host:

"It is such an iconic building and you walk past it day in and day out and you also believe it will be there. I really hope they can save the front of it and then be able to build whatever at the back of it.

"My heart goes out to all of the staff and I really hope no one losses their job.

"Memories of the building itself takes me back to when I was around nine or 10 in the 1990s and going to the sport shop on the fourth floor and I remember going there to buy one of my first football tops. So much has happened over the years and that building has stood the test of time."

Carl Frampton Belfast boxer said on Twitter:

"You overlook what a beautiful looking building this is because you pass it all the time. Can't help but feel desperately sorry for the local Primark employees."

Barra Best BBC NI weather man said on Twitter:

"Devastating for the staff who work here. I served a lot of them in the staff canteen many moons ago and they were always the best of craic."

  • Compiled by Donna Deeney

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