'It was like a carnival. Everyone could breathe again, the peace had finally come.'

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'It was like a carnival. Everyone could breathe again, the peace had finally come.'


Norma describes the feeling in Belfast when the war was over.


Norma McCullough


Trinity College Dublin




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Norma McCullough

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In 1944 my father was lucky enough to be stationed in Ballyhalbert with the R.A.F. We all went as a family and lived in a coastguard cottage right on the beach. It was idyllic. I went to the little country school in the village. We only had two classrooms,one for the juniors and one for the seniors. My father usually took me sitting on a cushion on the bar of his bike. However,I liked it best when I had to walk across the common by myself. It was heavenly watching the waves crashing against the rocks and the seagulls swooping and diving in the sky as I walked. One morning the headmaster burst into the classroom shouting 'you children call all go home. The war is over '. we went straight to the station,where we got a bus to the centre of Belfast. Then joy of joys,I got my very first ride in a taxi up the Shankill Road to my granny's house. The road was thronged with people waving flags and singing Vera Lynn songs. There was coloured bunting stretching right across the road. We had street parties for days. It was like a carnival. Everyone could breathe again,the peace had finally come.


Irish Research Council for Arts,Humanities & Social Sciences (IRCHSS)

Research Coordinator/P.I.

Dr Kathleen McTiernan (Trinity College Dublin)

Senior Research Associate

Dr Deirdre O'Donnell (Trinity College Dublin)


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