The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

Save Black Mountain


Davy Carlin

Over the last few days of wonderful weather my partner and I who both hold a keen interest in the environment and nature have enjoyed our local facilities. With a ten minute walk from our home we can sit on the side of a beautiful mountain and overlook the city of Belfast. Five minutes and a lazy dander from our door in another direction we are then inside a large open park which holds an array of tended flowerbeds and shrubbery. Then at the bottom of the park and across the road, is a nature reserve. In it one can find many varieties of wildlife settled around the lake from the swans to other families of various water birds busily getting on with their tasks. While on the other hand when walking around its surrounding meadows you can explore the numerous types of foliage at hand. Yet I do not live in a leafy country village but in the heart of West Belfast. This is the other often unacknowledged (outside of its community) part of ‘the West’. It is indeed the other side of West Belfast, a side that can bring satisfaction to those that seek to explore it and acknowledge it.

The nature reserve just of the Falls Road is a place where one can just chill out and take in the pleasure of nature in motion. Or alternatively one can walk around the ‘bog meadows’ - such a name though could conjure up more unpleasant images given the local lingo. Yet such a local and well kept reserve is a part of ‘the Falls’ that brings happiness to many. Across the road from the reserve’s entrance is the Falls Park while each side of the road holds cemeteries, These cemeteries hold an immense history and both of us (without seeming morbid) finding pleasure and intrigue touring them through, seeing and discovering a whole local history emerging. Again much of what was hidden amongst overgrowth is now starting to be unveiled due to work being done. Seeing some of the masonry and the monuments from yesteryear tells of yet other stories. Over time I have found that if one lifts their heads above head level another whole history emerges through the architecture and buildings all around and above us.

Yet as I begin to acknowledge, and both of us begin to find a growing interest in such, it is the mountain on which we sit that brings both inspiration and at times contentment. On many occasions my partner and I sit on Black Mountain, my partner sketches as I pen articles while we over look the city of Belfast. Much of what I had written of yesteryear has found both inspiration and memories while sitting there. I had remembered as a child during the mid to late seventies my grandfather or my uncles and I going from the ‘Murph’ (Ballymurphy) and up onto Black Mountain. While today when I have friends from elsewhere visiting, the view driving up the Springfield Road and seeing Black Mountain coming into view always raises comments of admiration. When such comments are raised it always brings a smile over my face. Yet Black Mountain, that beautiful mountain, is being destroyed through quarrying. Like me, as for many it holds so many precious memories and even today continues to give one inspiration.

For many years environmentalists and leading campaigners such as Terry Enright have been at the forefront to save Black Mountain from destruction. Business and profit with 30 year (unprecedented) contracts, have been given this ability to dictate from afar, so as to cause that continued and immense destruction on such a unique part of our city. Those who benefit are a few, those who lose out are the people and the generations of our children to come. This situation should end. There are many persons who like those who have for many years been the backbone of the campaign to save Black Mountain that are deeply concerned about this still continual destruction.

Nature, Back Mountain, and all the pleasure it has brought and should bring to future generations should not be lost for the monetary benefit of a few. Such natural beauty should not be destroyed for the whim of a quick pound.

The campaign to save Black Mountain is ongoing and intensifying with a number of events to highlight this injustice organised for the near future. There are many persons and organisations who would of course agree with such sentiments to save the mountain but what is needed is continued and united pressure to end this destruction. Those who have fought long and hard to save Black Mountain should be supported in whatever way in their quest to save our precious mountain as so many more generations (as have many past and present) can continue to feel the pleasure and satisfaction that it and nature brings.







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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



All censorships exist to prevent any one from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions. All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently the first condition of progress is the removal of censorships.
- George Bernard Shaw

Index: Current Articles

16 August 2004

Other Articles From This Issue:

Repression in Rathenraw
Anthony McIntyre

Beating the Wife
Kathleen O Halloran

Fan Abuse
Sean Smyth

Save the Black Mountain
Davy Carlin

Parallels and Paradoxes
Liam O Ruairc

14 August 2004

At One with the West Belfast MP
Kathleen O Halloran

Disbanding the Provos
Tommy McKearney

Lessons from the Ceasefire
Mick Hall

Jobs for the Boys
George Young

Working Withing British 'Law' With A Vow NOT to Use Force Against the British
Sharon O'Sullibhan

Conditions for Irish POWs Today
Deirdre Fennessy

The Faithful...
Liam O Comain

Globalised Indifference
Anthony McIntyre

No Human Being is Illegal!
Sean Matthews



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