Travel Blog


Belfast Work Conditions

Belfast Work ConditionsWe have been writing about Belfast and how dangerous it was during what they call the ‘troubles”. We thought it would be a good idea to also talk about what it was like for people working in Belfast at the time. This is based on a true story from a friend of mine. He lived and worked in Belfast for the telephone company. This was prior to emigrating to North America to a safer location for his wife and children. Life has improved a great deal since they left Belfast in the 70’s. But it is still interesting to remember what it was like. This is his story.

Belfast Work Conditions – Armed Guards

From the companies perspective, they had a lot to protect. There was the equipment, there was the service to the community and of course there were the employees and the customers that would visit the premises every day. There were constant threats and several other businesses that were bombed in the neighborhood. So no one was taking any chances at all with any of the assets both human assets and well as non human assets. It was a risky time.

Before going out into an alley which was gated and protected to get cable supplies, the guards would first go out and confirm that everything was safe. Then under their watchful eye the employees who needed to pick up cable or other supplies, would go out to the alley and get what they needed. They minimized the amount of time being outside. Items were brought inside immediately. Imagine working under those conditions and also worrying about your family all of the time.

Security Checks on Entry

Many people experience this today all over the world and it was also taking  place back in the 60’s and 70’s in ordinary businesses in Belfast. Before entering a building you had to show your identification each and every time. A security guard located behind a bullet proof enclosure would check it..  Only when you were confirmed were you allowed into the building by the security guard.

My friend expressed some frustration with these guards. After working there for some time everyone knows everyone, but you still had to show your identification. He even went  drinking with one of the guards. But that did not make any difference when it came to security checks to enter the office building were he worked. Everyone was afraid and no one wanted to make a mistake.

Why did they Do These Security Checks?

Well, with bombings taking place all around them they all felt that they could not be too careful.  If a bomb got smuggled into the building were he worked there would be a lot of damage to both people and things. If your were a potential target you took the appropriate steps to make sure that you were protected.

We kept this post pretty short. If you have had personal experience with this sort of thing back in the 60’s write a comment on this blog. We would be happy to give you credit for the post and we will also give you a link as well back to your own site. All we need is a quality comment, none of these link only comments. Do you think that the situation has improved of is it the same. With the economy not doing so well these days, has this made a difference? Will violence return or has it gone for good? We would like to hear from you and find out what the Irish think about this situation?

For more posts about the Irish and Ireland, click here.

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2 Responses to “Belfast Work Conditions”

  1. what a way to live with security checks all of the time. We are so lucky in north amarica

  2. Security for working in Belfast Ireland seems like it was scary, not for me

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