I remember it like yesterday. It was December 1980, I was 10 years old. There was me, Jock, Scotty, and a few other local kids. On the road that we walked home on, from school, there had been an explosion. Rubble, mainly bits of brick and mortar, wood, and bits of metal were strewn out onto the road. We were young and naïve and hadn't a clue what had happened.
We clambered onto the pile of rubble and started picking through the remains. There were two sticks, about the length of a small rifle, and me and Jock imitated what we'd seen on the streets: gunfire. The older boys standing around laughed and cheered us on as a group of policemen stood by, talking to residents of the area.
I overheard an elderly women say that there had been a metal bin left out the front of the chip shop, just by the entrance. She said it was suspicious due to them leaving their bins out in the back lane.
She saw a van drop it off at around 8am and thought nothing of it. A few hours passed and then she heard a loud bang, and her house shook. The next thing she knew was that the chip shop was no more, completely obliterated.
This was when I first realised the full extent of this conflict. These things had been on the news, but never a bomb. I rushed home, my heart beating in my ears, I thought the worst. My parents, were they dead? Only time would tell.