Some pubs in Northern Ireland are being redesigned to withstand bomb blasts.

Public houses have been a main target of the five thousand explosions in Northern Ireland since 1969. Many customers of public houses are among the 421 people who have died as a result of the conflict to date.

New pubs which are being constructed to replace those which have been bombed are being designed with features to prevent and repel future attacks.

Windows are smaller and higher up and there are fewer entrance doors. Inner doors provide further protection, and sloping roofs prevent missiles being thrown onto them. Reinforcing the structure of the buildings will guard against a possible collapse.

Alan Jones who designed the Black Swan in south Belfast explains that architects have been forced to respond to the Troubles,

One has to produce more of a fortress-like building.

Belfast's Russell Court Hotel which was also designed by Alan Jones was bombed only last month serves as a visible reminder of damage regularly inflicted on Northern Ireland's built environment.

In the case of the Russell Court, large windows allowed blast damage out of the building. Alan Jones admits that while his new designs contain explosions to a greater degree, the result of an explosion inside would be worse.

However the idea behind the design of pubs such as the Black Swan is

To exclude the bomb, or to minimise the extend of its damage if it goes off outside the premises.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 27 April 1976. The reporter is John O'Callaghan.