Tuesday, September 26, 2006


I think someone in the PR department in Queens must have had a Freudian Slip when they dreamed up the "Shush" campaign. It's not just that "students" mockingly shout the word "Shush" to each other as they holler down the street at 3am, It's what it reveals about the attitude of Queens towards the nightmare of the Holylands. What they really mean is "shush", Don't tell the truth. And lo our spokesman, David Farrell complies, and tells the world on television what a great job Queens is doing in our community. Ben Preston, God's own Student Union President regurgitates what Queens and Jesus tell him.
" This is part of our partnership with the residents in the area."
How can you have partnership between the rapist and the victim? I'll elaborate on this later when I'm less tired, but suffice it to say this is the privately owned and privately run campus for the Universities, and the population had to be got rid of somehow. If you're wondering how, ponder this quote from Moshe Dayan,
"They (the West Bank Palestinians) must understand that they are nothing but dogs. Whoever wants to go can go. As for those that stay, we'll have to find a way of dealing with them"
I will not insult the Palestinians by comparing our pain with theirs. Our children are not being shot in the head, our women are not having miscarriages at checkpoints, we are not being shelled and bombed continuously, our land is not being stolen at gunpoint.
And yet the rape of this community is still ethnic cleansing, and we are nothing but dogs to the universities, and our pain is there to be silenced

Saturday, September 23, 2006

The Writing on the Wall

This appeared on the walls in June.

Residents assaulted in Rugby Avenue

I've delayed posting on this until I could speak to witnesses and participants. Two residents were injured in a frenzied assault in Rugby Avenue on Monday night. One was thrown over a car, another was pinned to the ground. The police were called six times before they came. One "student" was charged with criminal damage, a second with criminal assault on three persons.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The state of siege has begun

The nightmare begins. They were going crazy till 5 in the morning. They've started early. It's enrolement week, so they've no classes to go to, not that they intend to do much of that. Tonight they stood and laughed at a man who told them his kids were trying to sleep. There are no cops to drive by and do nothing and the wardens are nowhere in sight. Welcome to the warzone.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Update: Douglas Bailie compassionate Holylands Slumlord

I told him to put it off 'till the summer. I told him gutting that house now would destroy my health. His answer was to send in the wrecking crew. Demolition drills and sledgehammers work wonders for the nerves. Having said that, despite the effect they're having on me, they're good people who are only trying to earn a wage.
They started last wednesday, right on the deadline before the authorities sealed the building. I think he was trying to give me false hope. So, before my porridge was even out of the microwave, I was on the phone to planning. The chimney was due to come down and that meant that the long awaited loft conversion was on its way. No, he had no planning permission. Yes it was illegal to take the chimney down. Yes his home phone number and the name of his architect were most useful.
By midday the story had changed. The chimney would stay. There would be no loft conversion. There would be three rooms, not the predicted six crammed into a two up two down house.
Later I heard the builder was amenable to lining the walls with foam-backed board to keep out noise, and might even put glass fibre under the floorboards. I hope he leaves no gaps.
Meanwhile they're ripping out the chimney breasts and putting in a beam to prop up the chimney. I'm very tired. I need more sleep.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Update: Holylands sexual assault

I'm quoting the entire content of the leaflet that landed through my letterbox.

"In the early hours of saturday morning, a grotesque attack took place on a young vulnerable woman in 9 Palestine street. The unfortunate woman, who suffers from severe personal problems, was tossed naked from the house on to the street. Shocked and crying, she was laughed at and mocked by her courageous male hosts. She was made to beg for her clothes to hide her shame, but the big brave men inside refused her even this little dignity. Even a remnant of human compassion was beyond them. The landlord who controls the house, Declan Boyle, was informed about the incident. Mr Boyle entered the house and spoke to his student tenants. On leaving the house, Mr Boyle explained the disgusting attack on the victim away thus

"Sure she was a bit of a girl"

Declan Boyle the above statement makes you no better than the filth that perpetrated the attack. Evict them now Boyle, don't protect and shelter them, your sympathy and concerns should be with the victim, not your rat tenants."

I don't doubt that we will be hearing more about this issue

Sunday, September 10, 2006

update: Douglas Bailie compassionate Holylands slumlord

"I came here ", he said, "out of concern and compassion, when I heard about that"
He points to the gaping void where his front window used to be.
"Well that's good", I say, all the while knowing that he's only here because the Housing Executive have just served him with an order to seal the building in seven days or they'll do it and bill him.
We're having the "man to man chat" that's been long overdue. I tell him that I have described him as a "Holylands Slumlord" on this blog and that I've published his address and phone number because with power must always come accountability.
"I can't tell you what to do", I say, "but I know what a responsible landlord would do. Take it back to three people, cover every square inch of party wall;the cupboard , the hot press, the bathroom, with foam backed board, put glass fibre under the floorboards, and delay your building work until the summer."
He likes none of this. He starts trying to pull it apart.
"The building has to be gutted. It's not safe"
" You ask building control, they were out here. If it was that bad they would have had it sealed within twenty four hours then taken action to have it pulled down"
"What am I supposed to do then?!"
"Put steel shutters on it"
Of course he's more concerned about losing rent than any thing else
I call over my neighbour Sharon and she tells him the nightmare his tenants have put me through, how the stress of them put me in hospital.
"I was on a drip for three days, Douglas. I nearly died of pneumonia. That doesn't happen by accident. I couldn't sleep with the noise. I couldn't eat with the stress"
Sharon asks him to put professionals in. He says it's all students here. We point out the professionals three doors down, two doors up, across the street. He knows if he puts students in he won't have to pay rates on his property, a very nice little earner.
Sharon has to go. She leaves us to it. He doesn't want to cut the numbers in his house down.
"What's the difference between three and four?"
"Peace! You see that house on the other side of me? It has three people in it, and only ever girls or girls and boys together. In sixteen years I've never had a problem with that house. Now that's a responsible landlord"
He has no answer to that. He offers his hand.
"I'll have the house sealed tomorrow. I don't want you feeling vulnerable."
That was Thursday. It's now Monday night. The property is wide open front and back.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Young woman sexually assaulted by students

Last night the "students" in No9 Palestine Street sexually assaulted a young homeless woman. According to witnesses she was dragged naked out of the house and tossed into the street. The "students" then shouted abuse at her while laughing. When informed of this today, the landlord,
Declan Boyle, was heard to comment,
" I hear she's "a bit of a girl" ".
Retaliation from residents was swift and many windows were broken in the house. Boyle was seen boarding them up this evening. The rage among residents is palpable and many now see the house as a target.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Special Policing for Landlords Properties

I met the Alley Police last night. They're on till 5 or 6 am. Officially their job is to tackle a spate of burglaries. I find this strange because as I have previously stated over eighty percent of the properties are currently vacant, so what exactly is there to steal? I beleive the real reason is to protect landlords properties from vandalism, whether from kids or irate residents. Thus property is priveleged over the rights of the community itself.
What do I mean by this? Well the local district commander, Trevor O'Neill insists that the torture of this community by drunken "students" is not criminal behaviour. Thus smashing bottles in the street is OK, bouncing footballs off peoples windows and roofs at 4am is OK, kicking in doors is OK, playing hurley with beer cans in the middle of the night is OK, urinating out of windows is OK, catastrophic noise at all hours is OK, intimidating families and pensioners is OK. Trevor O'Neill has insisted to me in a public meeting that he will not prosecute "students" who have been "disciplined" by the universities because he considers such action "unfair". I kid you not.
Instead, the official priority in the Holylands is burglary. Although how you can burgle a vacant house is beyond me.
Thus the property of those who have raped this community is priveleged over the rights of the community that is being raped.
Police do not walk the streets here at night during term-time. After all the torture of this community is not considered a crime. However property seems to posess rights over and above those of people and to confer a special set of rights upon those who own it. It seems that the Holy land landlords are modern robber barons, the rich "students" are above the law and we who live here are nothing but dogs to be kept in our place.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Murder in the Holylands

It's official. The body found in Penrose Street is that of a murder victim. He appears to have died from head injuries. Two men have been arrested and, unusually, the police presence is visible tonight.
This afternoon police were checking which properties were vacant in the area. Right now that's about eighty percent so it does seem like more of a publicity exercise than anything else. They seemed to be uninterested in the gaping hole where the front window of no 2 Jerusalem street used to be or the blood stained duvet hanging out of it.
Still, at least they're seen to be doing something, or other.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

New Neighbours Just for You

I clock them right away. Three young bucks in a brand new Ford Fiesta. They're on their mobile. Are they going to drive past? No they're going to reverse back to the house across the street. I watch them swagger as they peer through the windows and letterbox of their new home from home. They see I'm glaring at them. They ask me what I'm staring at. I tell them not to fuck with me. They get into their car and start to drive away then reverse and lower the window.
"Do you know any houses round here for sale"
They're ethnic cleansers. Laird probably sent them special.
"Where would you get the money to buy a house son?"
They ask me to smile. I continue glaring. The leader loses his smile. I ask him where it's gone. He forces it back. Then I smile. It makes no difference. It's all a joke to them. They're moving in to wreak mayhem and they feel utterly immune.
Only the strong survive here. I have to find the strength within me. It's either fight or die,and the stress of living here has already nearly killed me. Pneumonia doesn't happen by accident

Douglas Bailie, Holylands Slumlord

I walked right into him. I was exiting the back of his house.
"Hello", I said
"What are you doing here?"
"Hokin' n' pokin'"
"You see I've had Building Control out to this house, and they've been on to the Housing Executive, and they're gonna issue you with a seven day notice to seal the building or they'll do it for you"
He's sweating.
"The Building will be sealed next week."
"It's been left wide open for over a month"
"I know that"
"You do realise that people have been looting the building. Come with me"
He follows my curled finger as I lead him through his own property.
" This place is a fire hazard. Building control were furious"
I point to the open loft access hatch.
"If another fire starts it will it'll go straight through that"
"And then", he agrees, "It'll spread across to your roof"
I show him where the floorboards have been ripped up.
"Someone's been stealing your copper piping. I came in here after the fire. The hot water tank was gone. The Radiators had been knocked off the wall.
" Do you think someone was covering their tracks by torching the place?"
" I don't know"
We walk outside. I show him where looters have jemmied the back door open.
"Laird was supposed to seal the place after the fire. I told his man the yard door had been ripped off again, but you can see where it's completely rotted out. A child could have done it."
The yard door has disappeared. Only the frame remains, held together with dry rot.
"This property has been wide open for at least eighteen months. That's when it was burgled. Laird didn't secure it after that. I called the cops out a year ago because people were coming and going. The fellas last year were locked out the front so they would go in the back. I'm assuming it was still unsecured. It's a Friday. It's the weekend. can you make some effort to seal the place?"
"All the workmen have gone home"
I look at him .
"It's very dangerous"
"There's nothing I can do"
He makes some excuses, then the conversation moves on.
"I'm gonna start gutting the place on Monday. Then I'm gonna get some tenants in."
I see where his priorities lie.
"It'll be a lot of work", I say.
"Yeah", he looks hurt, "she's completely destroyed"
He changes the subject.
"Were there problems with the last tenants?"
"Laird's been putting scumbags in there for years. That house has destroyed this street. There was a family just there. They left. There was a family across the street. They left. That house has destroyed my health. I'm not a well man"
"Well I don't want bad tenants in. I don't want to be an Absentee Landlord"
This is the first time he has taken an interest in the house in six years.
"Even if it's a matter of me calling with you every couple of months"
"Do you have a number I can contact you?"
"Just get in touch with Laird. I find he's very good"
"Well he hasn't been good to me. He makes the usual promises, but in the end, nothing"
He moves swiftly on.
"Although, now the universities are accepting ownership of the problem and taking responsibility for their students"
I beg to differ, explaining how the wardens can get the universities to do nothing but issue a reprimand, Gordon Douglas, the man from Queens probably means well, but acheives nothing for us, and dealing with Anne Monaghan, the vampire from Jordanstown was truly horrendous.
He's backing away. I offer my hand.
He never did tell me his surname. I made sure to find out. I even know his address. I left him voicemail. He hasn't got back to me. I wonder why.