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Editor's Viewpoint: Shawlies saluted

They never saw much of it in their lifetimes, but Belfast's "shawlies" are now to get their place in the sun.

The women who helped power the industrial revolution in the city, at least in the linen industry, have been the forgotten heroines of Belfast's heritage.

Now a statue immortalising them is to be erected near to where four of the city's largest spinning mills once hummed with activity, spewing out miles of the cloth that gained world renown. Those women often worked in conditions which would be unacceptable today in anything but a Third World sweatshop. Today we deservedly salute them.