Is this starting now?
Well, we can.
Well, let's start.
[Clears throat] What was the question?
[Laughter] I'm waiting on you.
My name is Terri Hooley, born and bred in Belfast-- the center of the universe, center of my universe, anyway.
♪ A lovely, lovely Belfast concert.
Hooley, voice-over: In the sixties, the Rolling Stones came.
The Beatles came, Jimi Hendrix.
I met Jimi.
Dylan came to Belfast in May in '65, was it, and I got the audience with Bob.
How are you?
Hooley, voice-over: It just, we were on a circuit.
You know, they would do Liverpool, Belfast, Dublin, back to London... ♪ and then the Troubles came, and I couldn't believe how quickly my lovely city became divided.
I really couldn't.
♪ Everything died.
[Distant dog barking] ♪ Man: Was there one event that really sticks out for you, like, a moment like, "We're never getting it back."
Was it-- Bloody Friday.
♪ To see people with shovels shoveling up arms and legs and putting them into bin bags, that was pretty disgusting, so it was, so I was gonna buy a record, actually, heh, and the next thing, a bomb went off near where I was going to buy the record.
♪ [Explosion] [Indistinct conversation] [Woman screaming] [Tires screech] [Tires screech] Woman: Please!
[People shouting] [Beep] It's 20 past 3:00 in the afternoon, and for the last 20 minutes, Belfast has been rocked by the biggest bombing offensive seen in the city this year.
All over the city, plumes of smoke arose as the explosions took place.
[Explosion] Film narrator: Bloody Friday, the worst-ever example of IRA terrorism.
Reporter: 9 people killed, and more than 130 injured.
[Sirens] Woman, voice-over: I do remember Bloody Friday.
You heard a couple of bombs go off, and you seen a puff of smoke, and you sort of went, "Right," and then you carried on playing, and then there was another one and another one... [Explosion] and carried on playing.
Then there was another one, you know, and you're sort of going, "Oh," you know, "this is different."
[Explosion] Film narrator: Bombs exploded every minute for 20 minutes in busy shopping areas and a crowded bus terminal.
I was actually 7 when Bloody Friday happened.
The sky was black.
It was like a scene from hell.
And you could even smell the acrid smell of bombs.
[Sirens] It was indiscriminate.
Anyone--Catholic, Protestant, whatever-- could have become a victim.
[Alarm bell ringing] Woman, voice-over: Neighbors, those who had TVs, the pictures started coming in, horrible scenes, horrific scenes.
Here in this bus station was one of the worst incidents of all.
The bus station was crowded when a bomb went off without warning.
Purvis, voice-over: It didn't seem real, what I was seeing on TV, felt like another place, and yet it was only streets away.
It was frightening.
It was very frightening.
Certainly, the elders in the community were saying, "This is an attack on us.
They're attacking Protestants."
Man: And how did you feel about the IRA at that point?
That they were awful people to do that.
♪ They were devoid of any feelings whatsoever.
You couldn't look at those pictures and not be horrified by what you saw.
♪ Ricky O'Rawe: I was in the IRA but wasn't involved in Bloody Friday.
I knew nothing about it.
I seen it in the news like everyone else, and that's the truth.
♪ You couldn't justify it.
Catholics as well as Protestants were blown up on that day.
It was awful, #*#*#*#*ing awful, all those poor people getting blown up.
I mean, it was #*#*#*#*ing not just awful.
It was embarrassing.
Man: And is there more emotion in there, Ricky, other than just embarrassment?
Is there conflict in there for you when you-- either now or at the time?
Well, there is now.
Of course, there is.
At the time, I was 17 and 18.
I was full of revolutionary vigor, and it was just a balls-up.
Did it make you question being in the IRA?
No, but the whole tone of the war seemed to deteriorate after Bloody Friday.
It seemed to be a direction changer into a very dark place, you know?
♪ I was totally comfortable with combating the British army, but as things developed, there was Republicans who were sectarian, and, I mean, that's-- that's indisputable, right?
I mean, there was Protestants killed purely for the sake of the fact that they were Protestants.
♪ Chambers, voice-over: I didn't understand, you know, exactly what had happened on Bloody Friday, but I knew that my community, my people, my city was being attacked again by the IRA.
There was a lot of talk about it, I remember, all the adults.
It was palpable hatred and anger.
You know what I mean?
Man: Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him.
Fret not thyself because of Him who prospereth in his ways.
♪ Chambers, voice-over: Ordinary, peace-loving people were queuing up to join loyalist paramilitaries.
♪ We needed to fight back, and this was our army.
♪ Film narrator: It sounds like a modern mafia, but the UDA, the Ulster Defence Association, ostensibly exists as a military force, 50,000 strong, the biggest private army Britain has ever seen.
The security forces, I mean, they've obviously failed to stop them.
We have no alternative but to try and stop them ourselves.
This we will try to do.
[Men shouting orders] Reporter: Today's march, I was told, is the beginning of the Protestant backlash and is a warning to the IRA.
[Men shouting orders] The UDA started out in Belfast, right, up the Shankill Road.
Some of the men got together trying to protect their areas, so rather than go to bed on Friday night, the men would, you know, patrol around the estate.
[Whistle blows] [Shouting] [Whistle blowing] They were vigilantes.
I was one of them.
♪ My name's James Greer.
I was 17 when I joined the UDA.
Guilty as charged.
Man: So you got a gun when you were 17?
I was in charge of guns when I was 17.
I have a granddaughter of 17, by the way, and I could not imagine handing her a gun.
I could not imagine handing her anything other than a strawberry #*#*#*#*ing milkshake, to be honest, but anyway... did not have a great home life.
I was probably regarded as a low-hanging fruit, and people were whispering in my ear, you know, "If we don't stand up for ourselves, we're gonna be trampled into the ground," and I'm thinking, "I don't want anybody trampling me into the ground," so I find myself with, you know, my hand on the Bible and a .38, an old Webley .38, in this hand and a guy holding a pre-prepared statement in front of my face, and I'm reading it off that I swear to this and I swear to that and I swear to the other thing and for God and Ulster, and if I die... [Mutters] well, it's the will of God, and-- God has to be in there, too-- and there I was in the UDA.
I swear on my life...
I swear on my life... that I will defend my appointed district... that I will defend my appointed district... against any invaders.
against any invaders.
Greer, voice-over: Well, at the start, it's all very well, you know, and you're sort of doing stupid things like hijacking and stuff like that, you know.
Then it goes on to more serious things, and then someone hands you a gun, says, "Go on down there and shoot that #*#*#*#*er there, would you?"
you know, and then it's sort of the position where we can't say no, you know?
These guys don't mess around.
Like, there was another officer who was #*#*#*#*ing gonna kill a pussycat.
They'll #*#*#*#*ing cut your throat as quick as they look at you.
Man: As you all know, the workers in the dairies... Purvis, voice-over: A lot of people would say the paramilitaries were horrible, awful people and that Northern Ireland would be a wonderful place if they all went away, but they weren't parachuted in from a different country.
They didn't land from an alien planet, you know?
They were brothers.
They were uncles.
They were fathers.
They were my friends' fathers, and they weren't bad people.
They weren't horrible people.
They did horrible things, but why did they do those things?
♪ Film narrator: It starts with where you're born and so where you live-- Catholic area or Protestant area.
Man: Why is it so difficult for boys like you on the Protestant side to meet and make friends with boys on the Catholic side?
Because they don't want to make friends with us.
There's times where we can't walk up the road.
We're getting pulled.
We get a hiding.
Nothing's done about it.
But do you want to make friends with them?
I do not.
Purvis, voice-over: If you live in a segregated community, you're growing up in ignorance, and ignorance just generates hate, and hate begets hate begets violence, and that's what we did to each other here.
♪ Film narrator: In Belfast, the protection of the military is called for to get children safely to school and home again.
Their school uniform clearly marks them as the enemy to the Catholics on the other side of Crumlin Road.
Woman: I have a legal shotgun, and should I have to carry it up Crumlin Road, I'll do so to protect my child because my child should have the liberty to walk on British soil.
She was born British, and British she'll remain till she dies and I die with her.
What about going on another road rather than Crumlin, Mary?
Because the Crumlin's our road.
The Crumlin's our road.
It's gonna stay Protestant.
But aren't you afraid of the stones?
I'm not, because if I get hit with one, I throw it back.
Woman: That's right, luv.
I'll help you.
I'll help you, luv.
But what if it's worse than stones?
Well, what if it is?
Can't we get bottles and make petrol bombs, too?
Good for you, luv, and we'll help you to make them.
[Boy singing] [Shouts] Woman: Bow your heads.
Chambers, voice-over: Even something as innocent as a school assembly, we used to make our own songs up about-- There was one, "Give me oil in my lamp."
We sing, "Give me bullets in my gun.
"Keep it firing.
"Give me bullets in my gun, I pray.
"Give me bullets in my gun, and we'll shoot them, every one, the members of the IRA."
[Assembly singing] ♪ This is Shankill Road, the heartland of loyalism... ♪ where my heart and soul was forged.
[Car horn honks] Chambers, voice-over: Our whole world, our whole environment was dictated to by, you know, being loyalist and Protestant and hating Catholics.
You know what I mean?
It was in our DNA from birth to hate Catholics, and I know that is harsh.
You know what I mean?
Looking at it now, it's crazy, but when you're born in that tribal environment and your whole life is dominated by the Troubles, they were our enemies.
You know what I mean?
There was no getting away from that.
It's an ingrained survival strategy.
Like, we can tell just by looking at someone if they're Catholic or Protestant, and I remember doing that myself when growing up as a kid when I was in Belfast city center.
We always thought they were smelly, so we did, and we just knew, "He looks like a Catholic."
Ha ha ha!
I'm a bit worried I'm coming across as a mad, bigoted, sectarian, Catholic-hating madman here-- ha ha!--but what I'm talking about is, you know, that environment that I grew up when I was young.
You know what I mean?
When we get to talk about the later years, then hopefully I'll be able to explain that my attitudes have changed, and, you know-- Man: You've gone on a journey, John.
It starts here, doesn't it...
OK. but it doesn't end in the same place.
♪ Chambers, voice-over: My name is John Chambers.
I was born and bred in Belfast.
I'm a peace-loving loyalist and-- let me start that again.
Ha ha ha!
That was good.
I sound as if I'm on a game show.
[Laughter] My earliest memory is in hospital.
I was in hospital quite a bit when I was younger.
I had a bone disease.
Gradually, my mum stopped visiting me, and I thought, "That's a bit bizarre," you know?
No one actually, you know, said anything up to this point, and then my grandmother sat us down one day, and she said, you know, "I've got some news to tell you," and we were like, "What?"
and she's like, "I'm afraid your mum's died.
She died in a car crash."
♪ You know, it's harsh, but I didn't even miss her.
I know that sounds bad, but because my grandmother was taking such an active role in our upbringing, she was my mother, basically, and my grandmother all rolled into one, and I didn't miss having a mother until I was much older and learnt the truth.
♪ Man: What is this place?
Chambers: This is Glencairn.
This is where we moved late sixties, early seventies, and our house was just here, and I lived there with my dad and my siblings.
Your house is where the bonfire is?
Right where the bonfire is, yeah.
That was our house.
Chambers, voice-over: Glencairn is a great place to live.
You know what I mean?
As kids, we loved it, so we did.
All right, mate.
All right, mate.
Chambers, voice-over: It was a brand-new estate, but it was a ultra-loyalist estate, you know?
Loyalists controlled every aspect of it What is a loyalist?
Loyalist is a WASP-- White Anglo-Saxon Protestant, basically.
We're more British than the British-- you know what I mean?-- prouder, should I say, than the British to be British.
Do you know they still stand for the "Queen"?
In Northern Ireland, all loyalist and Protestant clubs at the end of the night, no matter how drunk or stoned or wasted you are, when they play the "Queen," you have to stand up and salute.
If you don't do it, you're gonna get a beating or a hiding.
They take it very seriously... Announcer: That brings us to the end of our programs on BBC 1...
Chambers, voice-over: and I remember as a child, the BBC every night used to play the "Queen" at the end of the night, and we used to stand up in the house and salute the Queen when they played it.
Announcer: And now for all of us here at Broadcasting House, wishing you good night.
Chambers, voice-over: We were that fanatical, you know?
We took it that seriously.
["God Save the Queen" playing] ♪ Woman, voice-over: Me mommy--ha ha!-- she'd be going, "Jim, knock that TV off now."
I told you to knock it off."
Ha ha ha!
♪ That national anthem and that flag... ♪ I just can't.
Means more to me than just a song or a piece of cloth because it's one of the things, too, that would probably have been on the uniforms of the soldiers.
You know, even should it be small, it's there.
It's, "I'm your oppressor.
I'm the one that's keeping you down"... but one of the t-- No.
I'm not saying, like, that as I was growing up, I didn't sort of, you know, sometimes see soldiers and think, "Mm, he's nice-looking"-- ha ha ha!-- because that is what happened to me one day coming from school.
Literally, I had walked out of the school gates, and I was walking home with friends and stopped by the soldiers.
"OK," you know, "Your name?
Where are you coming from?"
I'm like, "You're seriously asking me where I'm coming from?
"That's me school behind me.
I'm wearing me uniform.
What, are you stupid or something?"
and while I'm being all, you know, feisty and all this carry-on, the fella that was actually asking me the questions, he was a good-looking dude.
I could've gone-- ha ha ha!-- "You're lovely," and then I'm like, "Oh, Jesus, no.
Get yourself in check."
I literally had to think, "Doesn't matter how good-looking or gorgeous that boy is.
He's the enemy."
Man: Because you understood the rules...
I understood the rules, aye.
and you understood what'd happen if you broke them?
Oh, Jesus, aye.
♪ Reporter: These scenes are a remarkable contrast in a city of totally polarized attitudes.
Here, Catholic and Protestant girls risk very unpleasant reprisals to dance with British soldiers in a makeshift disco inside the army barracks.
You're both Catholic girls who have come for a night out with British soldiers.
Isn't that a dangerous thing to do in your circumstances?
It is, yeah, but we still take a risk.
We think it's worth it.
What do you think about the soldiers?
Do you like them, or-- Of course.
We like them very much.
You get to really do like them when you start coming to disco.
♪ [Distant dog barking] ♪ Gallagher, voice-over: Soldier Dolls-- that was the known term for them.
♪ This is the lamppost where a 19-year-old girl was tied up last night and jeered at by women and others after she'd had her head shaved and she'd been tarred and feathered all over her head, all because she'd been going out with a British soldier.
♪ Gallagher: They were left, tied there for the longest while so that people could get a good look at them, totally shaming them and humiliate them and marking them within the community-- "This is somebody that fraternizes with the enemy."
♪ You were not only bringing shame on yourself.
You were bringing it on the family.
Man: What would you do if you found your daughter going out with a British soldier?
I would hand her out to the women who took the girl last night.
Are you in favor of tarring and feathering?
Whole heartedly, yes, I am in favor of it.
Are you in favor of it?
And me, definitely, and all my friends are.
Nazi, go home.
Nazi, go home.
♪ Reporter: A widowed mother of 10 children was kidnapped from her home here in the Divis Flats complex on Belfast's lower Falls Road.
On the evening of December 7, 4 women entered the home of Mrs. Jean McConville, told her family that their mother would be returned in half an hour, and then left with her.
Mrs. McConville never returned home.
My name's Michael McConville.
I'm the son of Jean McConville, and my mother was taken from us by the IRA in 1972.
It's really hard looking at this here, to be honest with you, just seeing how young everybody was, you know... uh... so this one here is me.
♪ Woman: Jeremy, Elizabeth... ♪ McConville, voice-over: My father was a Catholic, and my mother was a Protestant, so it's-- What they say over here, it's a mixed marriage.
♪ In 1970, we moved into Divis Flats.
Film narrator: At the end of the Falls Road is Divis Flats, a citadel of 10,000 Catholics.
Divis Flats are a stronghold of the provisional IRA, a stone fortress that gave them both cover and escape routes in their war against the British army.
[Children talking] My dad wasn't well for a good while.
He had cancer, so he had.
When he died, I thought that was the worst thing what could ever happen to me and my brothers and sisters.
Little did I know that 9 months later, we'd have lost our mother, as well.
[Distant gunfire] McConville, voice-over: There was shooting going on that night between the IRA and the British soldiers... Man: Tell them to come back.
McConville, voice-over: and a soldier was injured, and my mother went to his aid.
[Gunshot] Man: Who was he?
Was he a-- He was a British soldier, and she tried to help him, show an act of kindness of someone what was injured, but the people of Divis Flats didn't see it that way.
When I say the people of Divis Flats, the IRA of Divis Flats didn't see it that way.
They sent someone round to write a slogan across the door while we were all sleeping-- "Brit lovers," or, "Get out or else, soldier lovers."
I can't just remember what it was, but it was one of them slogans what they had across the front of the flat, and then the IRA took our mother away.
♪ I knew something bad was gonna happen.
I didn't realize at the time that they were gonna murder my mother.
McConville, voice-over: We had no parents.
There's really no one to look after us.
Don't get me wrong.
There's a lot of good people in Divis Flats, there was, and I would say they probably were scared.
Man: What were they scared of?
They were scared of the IRA, nothing else, scared of helping us in case the IRA didn't agree with it, so they ruled, and they ruled with an iron fist.
But for the odd one on the left, it still can be fired from the left side.
Squeeze, one, two, release.
Squeeze, one, two, release.
That gives you a burst of 3 or 4 rounds at a time.
The quantity and the number... Man: Would you ever, ever doubt or question an order?
In those days?
You wouldn't have done that, like.
It was, you know, that could've cost you your life, and that was made pretty plain, you know?
Sergeant Major, you take number two patrol tonight.
Greer, voice-over: When I was asked to do things, I can remember, you know, the excitement, the butterflies in the stomach like it was yesterday, and that becomes addictive.
Do you know what I mean, that adrenaline, maybe, rush that you get because you're living on the edge, you know?
♪ That day was a day like any other day.
It was a Thursday, 5 days after my 19th birthday.
♪ Come home from work, got something to eat, went out and had a pint, and then me and my friend, we were approached by two men, and these guys said, "Come with us.
"We're gonna do such and such and such and such because of such and such and such and such."
Man: When you say such and such and such and such-- Eh, that's what they call redactions.
♪ See, if you've paper, you can scribble across it and say, "Oh, there's a redacted statement."
So you're not gonna tell me what such-- I am not #*#*#*#*ing not gonna tell you any more than such and such and such and such... ♪ but we went to this place, which was a such and such place, and I met up with a senior officer, and he gave me a list of things that I had to do and said, "Right.
Get on with it."
What was on the list?
Where to plant the device, what I was looking for before I planted the device, sort of specifics about time and stuff like that.
So you knew it was a bomb you had put, then.
How'd you feel?
Well, just normal.
That was just a Thursday type of thing.
That sounds a wee bit blasé, like.
The seventies was an awful time-- you know what I mean?-- so I was in the middle.
I was in the thick of that, so somebody says to me, "You're gonna go and be planting this device here now," you might as well have said, "Do you want a cup of tea, like?"
It didn't mean anything.
You just say, "OK.
No problem," get on with it.
♪ It was primed, and it was myself and another guy, so I says, "Right.
Go in there and do that and set it there and blah blah blah," and he says, "OK. No problem," and he took about-- I don't know--maybe 5 or 6 steps, and it ignited.
[Explosion] All I can remember was, like, a big, white ball, and I was inside it.
I remember going... ♪ My face was all-- blood was pissing out of me, but it was all there.
You know, all I had was cuts, shrapnel cuts.
There was a lot of shrapnel cuts, like, obviously, and then the army were everywhere.
They were on top of us.
They were waiting on us.
♪ Can I ask, were you-- were you willing-- were you willing to kill someone?
That's why I was there, and if I had to kill people, I will kill people, and that is not even a challenge to me.
You know, it's part of what I signed up for.
♪ You went from being a normal teenager to being someone that was willing to murder.
"In two easy steps" type thing.
You know looking at me now that I am right out of my comfort zone.
You've taken me to a bad place, James.
It's all right.
I'll get by.
You know what I mean?
It just takes you to a bad place, you know, that you don't really feel comfortable with, but at the same time, because you're not comfortable with it doesn't mean that it's not there, and I hate to ignore, you know, the things that make me uncomfortable because they're important, you know?
Are we gonna get another cup of tea here?
Fancy one now?
I would love one now.
I would kill you for a cup of tea.
♪ Chambers, voice-over: You're always aware that, you know, a bomb could go off anytime in the city center or anywhere throughout Belfast.
♪ The security presence was always very prominent.
You know what I mean?
There's always someone with a gun within eyesight, so you're always cautious-- you know what I mean?-- and, you know, you could see it in people's faces, you know, the suspicion and the fear.
You know what I mean?
Everyone had it at the time.
♪ From my earliest days, Belfast was a no parking zone.
You couldn't park your unattended car in town, so my mum would keep me off school so I could sit in the car while she went, did her shopping, you know, because you couldn't leave an unattended vehicle within the city center.
It might've been a car bomb, so somebody had to be in the passenger seat, or when you came back, the street would be completely cleared, and your car would be on fire.
The army would blow it up.
Boy: Please let me see.
Different boy: Let me see.
What my mum did was put her big, fat school kid in the passenger seat with a bag of crisps and a bottle of Coke and a comic, and I'd be sitting there happy for hours.
"Just go ahead now, Mum."
I got the day off school.
Bring it over to the right now.
Hooley, voice-over: When the bombing started happening, then the businesses were complaining.
Then they built a ring of steel round the city center to stop people getting bombed.
Cowan, voice-over: You had gates and barriers that went round the whole of the city center, and it was just something that was part of your life.
[Helicopter approaching] Woman: I think it probably looks like a bomb scare.
How many times has this happened to you?
Oh, dozens and dozens of times.
Has there ever actually been a bomb?
You get fed up yet?
It's just a way of life.
♪ Hooley, voice-over: Whole life of the city had been sucked out of it.
All the nightlife was gone.
I mean, Jesus, people were going, leaving the country.
♪ I used to think all the poets, the painters, and the performers of music all just got up and left.
It was pretty scary.
♪ There are places in Belfast where things have happened in my life that I feel very uncomfortable walking past, like Direct Wine Sales is in the old building where I used to work for Kodak, and I came out one night, and 3 gunmen tried to grab me in the car, and these two guys, they jumped in and saved my life, and I managed to get away.
♪ That had happened to friends of mine, and they weren't seen again.
They were tortured.
I just thought, "Well, I'm gonna do something that I really want to do before they kill me," and that was when I decided I was gonna set up a record shop.
♪ It was an old building, and we needed to put windows in it and stuff, and I decided we'd have a party in it one Sunday night, so I painted up the toilet.
I painted it, had some old can of red paint and painted the toilet seat red and all because we couldn't have young ladies coming round and not having a decent toilet, so that was my first priority, and then we set up a music system in it, and we had a great party.
[Indistinct conversation] Cowan, voice-over: Terri's shop became a focal point.
It became a social thing to do, and Terri loved that there, you know.
I went down to the shop, you know, and met Terri for the first time and #*#*#*#*ing loved him, found this bigger-than-life character.
Hooley, voice-over: We just gradually, slowly but surely, built up a bit of a reputation.
Then people started to come from all over Northern Ireland to the shop, so they did.
Good Vibrations was a little-- a little oasis in a sea of madness... ♪ but it was a great way of bringing people together, Protestant and Catholics.
Nobody gave a #*#*#*#*.
[Clamoring] Chambers, voice-over: Music was always part of my life because I grew up in a family who--my dad had the band, but also we always had music playing in the background, you know?
Belfast people for some bizarre reason, they love country and western music, so I grew up with country and western music on in the background.
I could sing you any country and western song.
You know, I know the words to them all.
I still do.
James: Can I ask about your dad?
I find it hard talking about my dad.
Give me a sec, yeah?
How old were you when he died?
He had cancer, and my dads' death hit me like a sledgehammer, where my mum's death didn't really hit me because I didn't have that relationship with her, you know, and I wasn't used to having her around, where my dad had been a constant presence in my life, and it was decided that we'd go and live with various aunties and uncles, so that was the end of our family unit living together under one roof, so life went on.
You know what I mean?
I was living with me uncle Rob and me aunty and that, and one day, I was sat at the top of the stairs, and they were all talking, and I kind of tuned in to what they were saying because they were talking about my mum.
I thought, "Why are they talking about her?"
I realized that they were talking about her as if she was still alive.
They weren't saying "was."
They were saying "is," and then I came to the realization that, no, she's not dead.
She's actually alive somewhere.
My uncle said, "Oh, I wonder if she's still a practicing Catholic".
I was like, "What?"
I gleaned that she was alive first, and I saw her.
I was like, "#*#*#*#* me.
I want to meet her," and then when I found out she was Catholic, I sort of nosedived again because, "#*#*#*#* me, I don't want to meet her.
"I never want to hear her.
I never want to see her," you know?
I felt utter shame that I had Catholic blood running through my veins.
I couldn't comprehend why my dad would-- Why would he go and marry a Catholic?
He was a good loyalist.
He was in the UDA.
He's got a band.
Why would he go with a Catholic?
It was just all these sort of-- all these things overloading in my brain.
I just could not get my head around it.
You know what I mean?
I had this dirty, little secret that I had to keep.
I couldn't tell anyone.
I couldn't talk to anyone about it-- "Where's my mother?
Where's my mother?"
you know, "Who is she?
Why is she not here?
Why did she leave us?"
All these questions.
That is a brutal thing to live with.
♪ James: Michael, do you have lots of memories of your mum?
The only memory what really sticks in my head was the night what she was taken away, and the last memories what I have of her, when she was going out the door, with two women holding her at each arm, and she just turned round and looked at us, but-- and that's my last memory of my mother.
Believe you me, it's not a good memory to have.
[Gull squawking] ♪ The IRA came back with my mother's purse and her wedding rings.
I straightaway realized, although I was only 11 years of age, that my mother was dead.
♪ All's I wanted all my life was to have my mother's body back.
♪ Not knowing where her body is, I carry that around with me every day of my life.
♪ The IRA was ashamed of what they'd done.
♪ That's why it was all in denial, but they did do it.
That's why all the excuses was made by them, saying that our mother had run off with a British army, our mother was living with a UDA man up the Shankill Road, all these stories I've heard, all these stories before.
They had put it out that she was an informant.
James: Who said she was an informant?
That was coming from the IRA.
They were saying that?
Yeah, so what the IRA was telling us was lies.
♪ We were told lies for near enough 30 years.
♪ ♪ Male reporter: In a surprise move tonight, the IRA has told the BBC that it has identified the graves of 9 people who were murdered and buried in secret.
Female reporter: More than 30 years, Jean McConville's children have waited for concrete evidence about their mother's disappearance, and today they believe they've finally been given it.
♪ McConville: Me and my brothers and sisters gave her a Christian burial, which she deserved... ♪ so we have a place where we can go and say our prayers, talk to her.
It's the closest what we were ever gonna be to our mother again, you know, makes things healthy.
♪ After 31 years, you know where she was buried.
♪ It's not the first time I says it was a sectarian murder.
It was a Protestant woman murdered by the IRA.
What more sectarian can you get?
♪ I would like to say this, and I would like this to stay in, and I mean this.
I mean this 100%.
See, any person what was involved in taking my mother away and killing her and everything else, I wouldn't wish this here on any of their family, and I really mean that.
♪ Because you now-- I wouldn't like-- I wouldn't like to see another human being go through what I went through in life.
♪ [Inhales] ♪ Cowan, voice-over: Do paramilitaries lie in bed at night and wonder about what they did?
Do they see the faces of the dead people?
I kind of hope so.
♪ I don't see how anybody can wake up in the morning and kill anybody for a political reason, #*#*#*#*.
♪ I'm Greg Cowan.
I'm 62 years of age, have 7 of my own hair left.
I got a life-- I got a life that I never imagined I would have growing up first.
♪ Am I hitting something here?
Just hit the space bar.
[Rock music playing] ♪ Ha ha ha!
Ha ha ha!
I can't watch this.
You're got to show a clip when I was pretty.
Film narrator: Apart from the recording studio, the reality of Belfast's punk rock scene is far removed from the glamor and sensation of the gossip columns.
Greg Cowan, by day a contract painter, by night, he's a vocalist with the Outcasts.
[Outcasts playing "The Cops Are Coming"] ♪ ♪ Oh, well, I used to be a-hooked on you... ♪ Hooley, voice-over: The Outcasts were one of my favorite bands at the Harp Bar, so they were.
The Harp Bar was a dreadful bar.
The official IRA used to drink downstairs.
They had wire grills outside.
That was to stop people throwing bombs at it, although you could go up and hang a bomb on the wire grills-- I never quite worked out that-- but it was just a really run-down bar.
♪ Woman, voice-over: I remember going into town to travel to the Harp Bar.
You had to navigate your way from one side of town to the other side of town.
There was hardly anybody about.
It was dark.
There would've been a security forces present, whether that be the army or the police.
I might've felt a bit anxious, just that kind of fear that you might've felt that something would've-- you might've been the target of something because, you know, there was a group of you, but once you got to the Harp Bar, that was lifted off, put at the door.
You walked in, and, you know, all those worries and things-- I mean, because you knew you were in a safe place.
♪ I mean, it was a dump, but it was our dump, your feet sticking to the floor because spilt drink all over the carpet, ashtrays that weren't emptied, and the toilets-- the toilets were like something out of "Trainspotting."
I mean, they were horrible, so they were.
♪ Cowan, voice-over: Was a madhouse, an absolute madhouse.
This was not the model-y crowd.
This was guys from Belfast, guys, you know, who were turning their back on their friends who they'd run about with for years who might've been now joining paramilitaries and stuff.
They were saying no to all that there and moving on.
♪ Hooley, voice-over: There was a lot of punks whose fathers were well-known paramilitaries or brothers were, but when you went down to The Harp Bar and you went through it, the religion went out the window.
I don't think I ever heard anybody talk, certainly, about religion and what was going on out there in there.
It was all about the music.
It was all about the fashion.
It was all about the bands, and it was all about who was playing that night.
For the first time, you were meeting people from a different area and a different religion.
Still people called each other, you know, if you fell out with someone, "You Fenian #*#*#*#*," or something, you know?
Like it wasn't-- Like, you didn't-- as I said, we didn't just walk in, Prods this side, hug all the Catholics on the other side, you know, but--it did--it broke barriers.
If punk breaks down the barrier for one person, then it's worthwhile, like, isn't it, and one person, it's only a tiny particle, but it's gonna create for a better situation here, and, like, punk's done that for me.
♪ ♪ I'm real hardcore, I look so good ♪ ♪ I'm rarely pissed, I never smoke... ♪ Chambers, voice-over: I kind of embraced that whole youth culture, and I started mixing with Catholics and that.
That was, like, an eye opener for me because, even though I'd grown up hating them with a passion, I didn't understand them, but hanging out with them and meeting them, I realized that we weren't that different from each other after all, and we liked the same music and the same style, and we had so much in common, and from that point onwards, I started to change my attitude towards Catholics and let go of that entrenched prejudice of my childhood.
You know, I was still dealing with all the personal problems in my life and all the madness going on around me in Belfast, so the music and the drugs, you know, soothed the soul and offered some escapism from the madness.
♪ And don't forget, then, you know, boys, girls are marrying.
I myself met my wife in the Harp Bar.
♪ Woman, voice-over: He'll start telling you I was a groupie and everything.
I was never a groupie.
You were a groupie.
I only started going out with him because he had a car and it was a lift home.
That's also true.
♪ Did you ever know what religion I was, or-- I always wanted to marry a Catholic, so I remember saying, "That one there, "she's quite a pretty one.
No, of course not.
You didn't discuss-- You found that out afterwards.
I mean, that's one of the points you made about the whole thing, yeah.
Well, your eyes were always very close together, which was a bit of a giveaway.
Ha ha ha!
Love conquers all.
[Clamoring] ♪ Hooley, voice-over: Oh, just really a lot of people did not like what was going on.
♪ I got threatened all the time, both sides.
James: Why were they threatening you?
Because we were bringing the kids together and they didn't like it.
♪ Reporter: In a derelict side street between Roman Catholic and Protestant areas, 3 men were found shot in the head.
Woman: Face down on the floor with a pitchfork stuck in the back of her neck.
Man: The only reason that I know why our sons died were because they were Catholics.
♪ Hooley, voice-over: Punks were very brave because those kids lived in areas which were controlled by the paramilitaries.
They'd go down to the Harp Bar and mix with the people from the other tribe.
Was not what they wanted.
They wanted division.
They wanted hatred.
And they wanted to be able to control you.
I mean, I lived near the Ormeau Road-- people used to call it Murder Mile-- and a friend of mine said, "If you walked down the right-hand side at night, "it meant you were a Catholic.
"If you walked down the left-hand side, "it meant you were a Protestant.
"But Terri Hooley and his band of merry men always danced down the middle of the road," and that's what we tried to do-- dance down the middle of the road.
Cowan: Ladies and gentlemen, want you to put your hands together for Mr. Terri Hooley.
[Cheering] ♪ Hooley, voice-over: I always wanted to be able to say to my children when they say, "Daddy, what did you do during the Troubles?"
I wanted to say that I partied a lot, I did drinks, did drugs, and had a good time, and I didn't kill anybody.
[Chuckles] James: What did sectarianism do to your life, James?
Ultimately, it destroyed my life.
Had you done things you couldn't forgive yourself for?
♪ Greer, voice-over: I can remember a guy that I was in jail with, and he told me before, he was sent to kill a shopkeeper.
♪ He went into the shop.
The shopkeeper come out, and he took out his gun and shot the man.
A few seconds later, the door to the dwelling opened again.
In walked the man's wife, and he shot her, as well.
She now falls down dead on top of her husband.
♪ He goes to walk away, and the door opens again, and in walks their 8-year-old daughter.
♪ He tries to kill the daughter and fires 10 or 12 shots.
♪ I went away from him that day, you know, and I went back to me 6-man cell, and I lay down, and I thought, "Can't do it, James.
"I can't be a part of it.
This is not-- "I didn't sign up for this, shooting a woman and ch-- #*#*#*#*, this is not me."
I remember dealing with myself that day.
I says, "Whatever's left of my miserable life, "I will never, ever, ever lift a gun again.
That is me, finished, out, finit, no mas."
♪ When you dumped your sectarianism, did you shed it in one go?
♪ Uh, Jesus, that's a hard question.
I think it faded away, you know, and we have a saying in the country, you know-- like snow for summer ditch.
You know, snow doesn't vanish in an hour, but it slowly melts away, and then you turn around, all of a sudden, it's all gone, you know?
It's very personal maybe.
I know you struggle with this, but I really appreciate you going back there.
Is that a... Woman: Yeah.
Clap for me.
♪ How you getting on with your questions?
How you getting on with your biscuit?
♪ ♪ ♪