We’ve come a long way over the years.
This is a tale of how the community of Sailortown fought back to ensure that memories were preserved and that future generations of Sailortown have a past to be proud of.
50 years ago the City Fathers in common with other industrial cities decided to run a new motorway through Sailortown’s homes. 30 years later, the Bishop announced the closure of St. Josephs.
However, this time it was different.
The younger generation of Sailortown, now with families of their own, said enough was enough. They launched a campaign to keep this last vestige of Sailortown alive. This was the generation who survived the ‘troubles’ and inheritors of the Belfast spirit; the spirit of a community that came through wars and famine, that honoured their forebears who worked, laughed and struggled in the face of adversity and that 6 generations ago produced radicals like Mary Ann McCracken who at the age of 88 stood at the docks handing out anti-slavery leaflets to American bound ships.
Now 20 years later, Sailortown is still here, battered and bruised but surviving. A new community lives here, surrounded by huge infrastructure projects. The children play in streets without even a swing round a lamppost and heavy docks traffic rolls through.
We want to use St. Joseph’s to create a Community Hub, and need all the help we can get.