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Monday, August 29, 2005

I Predict A Riot

There is a joke in Northern Ireland that says that the Loyalists have a different calendar to the rest of the world - January, February, March, March, March. They march that much there is even a "marching season".

Whatever the whys and the wherefores of the marches they were a major pain in the arse for us.

In the build up to the marching season we trained and trained in how to deal with "public order situations", as they are delightfully described.

And then we waited......

Suited and booted in our finest riot gear we'd be sat in our Land Rovers hours before the marchers left their homes. We'd frequently still be sat there hours after they'd gone home again. Sat in a Land Rover for 8 hours wearing body armour isn't a past time I'd recommend.

Occasionally we'd scream out of our base - a long line of Land Rovers snaking their way through Belfast - we'd arrive at a police station or another army camp and then sit there for hours before snaking our way back again.

At least it broke the monotony.

(If you want to know more about the marches Wikipedia has a good article)


Blogger Haggiswurst said...

I am enjoying your tales of life on the thin red line in northern ireland.
There are many such marches in Glasgow and surrounding areas although a smaller scale and with less menace.

5:47 pm  
Blogger Haggiswurst said...

7:05 pm  
Blogger Universal Soldier said...

Desk Monkey - I see somethings never change. At times the speed of the draw down in Northern Ireland concerns me. Neither side has really made any concerted effort to disarm in yet we (the army) are rapidly getting rid of the majority of our infrastructure and capability. I really hope peace prevails - I fear the consequences if it does not.

7:17 pm  
Anonymous Z said...

Don't you think that a concerted effort to disarm is never made? From nuclear weapons to Northern Ireland - there is no trust and the constant need to have an upper hand.

On a lighter note - March, March, March. I love it. I'd tell that joke at dinner parties but I fear it would fall as flat as my favourite 'comic' story, which I'll no doubt blog sometime.

9:47 pm  
Blogger trish said...

you draw nice!

1:15 pm  
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