A Loving Look At Belfast (Part 2)

A Loving Look At Belfast (Part 2)

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Belfast, Belfast Central Library, Belfast City Centre, Belfast Hills, Cave Hill, Cavehill, City Centre, Donegore, Donegore Hill, Islandmagee, Larne, Larne Harbour, McArt's Fort, McCart's Fort, Parliament Buildings, Royal Avenue, St John's Church, Donegore, Stormont, Stormont Estate, Waterworks




07 January 1991 (transmission)


23min 26sec







Digitised as part of UTV Archive Partnership Project


ITV, UTV Archive

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It is illegal to download, copy, print or otherwise utilise in any other form this material, without written consent from the copyright holder.


An affectionate and intimate portrait of Belfast, written and presented by Douglas Gageby. Gageby, who was Editor of The Irish Times for over two decades (1963 to 1986), was one of the most celebrated Irish newspaper figures of the twentieth century.
Although he lived much of his life in Dublin, Gageby had strong and enduring links to Belfast. He was educated at the Belfast Royal Academy, whilst his father, Thomas, was a Belfast-born civil servant. His paternal grandfather, Robert Gageby, had stood as a Labour parliamentary candidate in Belfast North in 1910, and was a Belfast City Councillor for 20 years. In this programme, Gageby examines his conflicting emotions about the city, "Belfast is a great place and - at the same time - a bloody awful place!" and visits various Belfast landmarks, paying his respect to them, "to the city and to my grandfather".

In Part 2 of this programme, Douglas Gageby talks about Winston Churchill’s visit to Belfast in 1913. He recalls the time his father spent in Belfast Central Library and the family’s summer holidays on Islandmagee, fishing for pollock and coalfish and cycling to Larne Harbour to watch the ferries coming in. He remembers comedian Jimmy O’Dea in the Empire Theatre and his friend, William Baird remembers that Douglas Gageby brought him to see a play there called Castlereagh, starring Richard Hayward. The play received a hostile reception from the Belfast audience who did not enjoy its subject matter, the 1798 rebellion. 

Gageby talks about a Gerard Dillon painting of the Falls Road and the programme shows footage of trams and paperboys in old Belfast streets. Meeting former colleague Paddy Scott in a pub, the two reminisce about the Princess Victoria disaster in January 1953, where Donaghadee lifeboat crews tried to save ferry passengers in a terrible storm. Paddy Scott spoke to a survivor from the Isle of Barra who watched Captain Ferguson go down with the ship.

Gageby visits Stormont and discusses the life of Edward Carson, before visiting Donegore Hill in Co. Antrim where he visits the grave of poet Sir Samuel Ferguson, one of the forerunners of the Irish Literary Revival and writer of Lark in the Clear Air. He visits McArt’s Fort where Wolfe Tone, Henry Joy McCracken and other United Irishmen swore in 1795 to obtain Ireland’s independence and considers the Irish Presbyterian role in the 1798 rebellion. Paddy Scott points out the difference between McArt’s Fort and Napoleon’s Nose and the programme ends with Van Morrison’s version of My Lagan Love.


Good panoramic views of Belfast, of Belfast Central Library, Stormont, St John's Church in Donegore, 


From the UTV Archive / Courtesy of ITV

An Ulster Television production

Producer / Director: Janthia Duncan

Executive Producer: Andrew Crockart

Presented by Douglas Gageby

Editor: Jim McGurk

Cameras: Blane Scott, Sam Christie, David Scott

Sound Recordists: P.J. McGirr, Jim McGirr

Stills Photography: Ken McNally

Contributors: Paddy Scott (Journalist and TV Producer)



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