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16 October 2014
BBC NI - Eyewitness

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Catholic women from the republican Ardoyne area of North Belfast Image of Catholic women from Ardoyne, backdrop Irish flag

Do you feel that you are sectarian?

Well I was never sectarian until the incident at Holy Cross last year made a lot of people bitter. I don't think it's just the Glenbryn ones, it's all the Protestants, because there was that many at the protests from all over the place. You don't really know where they were from, so you're just bitter against all Protestants. Well, that's my views.

When you say you're bitter against all Protestants, what does that actually mean?

I wouldn't give them the light of day, I would…I wouldn't go out of my way to wind them ones up or do anything, it's just I would never trust them. And I don't think it's the same on both sides, because Catholics will not go out and do what they have done on a Protestant school. I don't think they would ever stoop to as low as they did.

What aspects of loyalist or Protestant culture do you admire?

None. Even their so-called parades down traditional areas - things move on, you have to forget about things like that. You've Catholic areas and they want to walk through them. My son started secondary school in September there, and I sent him to Hazelwood Integrated to mix with Protestants, to let him know that they're not all the same, but at the back of my mind, I have to remember that down the line they are the same. And I've told him not to trust any of them. So that's the way he's sort of like started secondary school with them, learn him how to mix but don't trust them. And he has got Protestant friends down the Shankill he's met from school, and they want to meet him after school and there's no way.

I don't know anything about the loyalist culture. Don't know anything about the Protestant community, never did. The Irish culture, yes, obviously kids want to do Irish dancing and stuff. I think it's something to do with the Riverdance and Lord of the Dance and that, so aye, the kids want to do it. But I don't think anything has come out of the Protestant community or the loyalist community that our kids would want to do. I mean I haven't seen any good coming out of the Protestant community - only bitter sectarianism. Not only are the people bitter, but the only thing that they have in their community is bands or parades, and I mean I wouldn't want my child to do that. And I mean that's the only thing I know about the Protestant community and about what they do, is their bands and their parades, and the sectarian marches, and I wouldn't want my child going down the Shankill and learning about that.

Looking at the Protestant community and looking even at the murals on the walls, they're all UVF, UDA, Red Hand Defenders. When you come into Catholic areas, yes, they remember their dead, but they're not threatening murals, they're all Irish - about Irish culture, Irish dance, about yes, history, but not ongoing sectarian murals.







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