Residents of Bombay Street in Belfast who had their homes destroyed during sectarian violence react to the news that the area is to be rebuilt.

On 14 and 15 August 1969, Catholic families were burned out of their homes on Bombay Street in Belfast by Loyalist mobs. In a statement, the Minister of Development Brian Faulkner announced the ravaged area is to be rebuilt.

Work will not go ahead immediately as legal moves to acquire the land will take time and planning for the rebuilding and development of the whole area needs to be prepared. It is unclear whether the families forced to flee from their homes will be given first choice of any new houses.

The secretary of the Tenants' Association says many of those forced to leave Bombay Street were left without permanent homes. In a two month period many of them moved as many as four times before eventually obtaining caravans from the Estates Committee and Belfast Corporation.

Mrs McCarthy is delighted to learn that Bombay Street is to be rebuilt. Her family of nine were evacuated before their house was burned in the rioting, but she has no fear about returning,

I would go back tonight.

The only thing keeping Mrs Canavan going is the hope that she will return to Bombay Street again. Her husband was born and reared in Bombay Street and she lived there since she got married 19 years ago.
She and her five children left Bombay Street before the house she rented was burned down. They were squatting before they were given a caravan. She is not afraid to move back to the area,

They took us unawares the last time but they'll not do that the next time we go back.

A man who lived on Bombay Street for 45 years is not afraid to move back because he has heard that Belfast Corporation intends to,

Build a great wall to keep the cowboys out of it.

Since fleeing Bombay Street he and his five children lived in a number of schools before getting a caravan. On the day of the riots he sent his family away before helping to erect a barricade at Kashmir Road.

I fought there for a while until we couldn’t just hold them back anymore.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 2 October 1969. The reporter is Donal Kelly.