Hey Barry, I know you currently resent that your parents have moved you to a bigoted, horrible little Ulster town that would give Louisiana in the 1960s a run for its money but that fire in your belly will see you head off to England and beyond later this decade and you’ll never look back. Battling against the issue of immaturity in the next few years, with the onset of early facial hair will take you to a group of mates a few years beyond you and a false assumption that a solution lies in working at the local assembly line all week to pay for enough drink to take you from Thursday evening to Sunday. You’ll hit a realisation at around 18 that this is nonsense but we’ll have to put up with a few stubborn, immature years yet before the message lands.
Whatever lands in England you’ll work your way through the highs and the lows, with a great deal of the former but you’ll never forget where you came from or what you stand for, no matter what. Oh yeah, the most important thing, if I could, I would love to tell you is not about you – I want you to make note of the date in 5 years time – 8th August 1988 and tell your wee schoolmate Seamus Morris before he leaves school that day not to stand outside those shops in Ardoyne but to stay indoors that fateful day. There’s a car full of killers armed to the teeth and Seamy, like so many others, deserve to live on and enjoy the life you now take for granted.
For Seamus and all the lost generation of children of the troubles. May they RIP.