Ernie Corbett

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Ernie Corbett, community activist

They were talking about high rise flats, because they said if they didn’t build high rise flats they only would get at the most 40% of the dwellings back that was already in Sandy Row.

I remember there was an American, he was one of their envoys, and he come and he talked to us, and he says, ‘you know, you’re actually part of the city centre.’ Well, I knew that because for years and years Sandy Row shops were charged city centre rates for their shops.

That’s why I loved big Fletcher, he never forgot anything you could have told him - ones would have said to me, what you call that shop? Next thing I’d say to Harry, ‘what do you call that?’ Right away, reading it off, you know? He had a great memory. I’d never could remember. The sands of time are catching up rapidly! Ah dear.”

This Hub is the next main big thing. The Hub, you’ve Gilpin’s site, which is, you know, it’s massive, it could be anything, you know? Some of the Arts Council I think have an interest in having a big part of it for the arts, a theatre, or studios or whatever, but they’ve…and the City Council I think are interested in using part of it.

I was at meetings every day of the week. Some nights it was until one o’ clock in the morning with the developers. We had some of them took me to court, ‘cause I accused them of trying to build a wee Shangri-La in the middle of Belfast to get a prize from London’. Oh, I got threatened with all sorts of things!

Come back to Sandy Row


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