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Secondary. Year 10 plus

Highly Commended in the secondary category

I Am Troubled...

By Elisha Horsepool, year 10+, Grammar School

I should be happy. I mean, we won the game! Our football team has never done that before, the Catholics beat the Proddies; who would’ve guessed? Dell was amazing but there are more important things in life than football; ay there are, because instead of celebrating there’s something else on my mind.

I just can’t stop thinking about the war. Protestants against Catholics. My friends turning against me. Da hasn’t called in a while and, at home, we’re all worried. We haven’t received any news from the officials but they don’t know everything. Just yesterday Mrs O’Brien had a visit from her husband’s comrade saying that he was shot in the back of the head and died almost instantly, and the officials don’t know. So what if something terrible has happened to Da and no-one was there to witness it and tell us? What if he’s been taken prisoner by the Proddies or has gone missing? I can’t bear the thought! And now Declan wants to join our army. Ma is certain that she can make him change his mind, but Declan is very strong headed.

Why does it seem like everything that I know is falling apart?

Even our football team is falling apart. Last week our main striker left in order to fight for us. Proddies come to our tournaments and yell hateful names at our players and our supporters; this war is tearing Northern Ireland apart. I am troubled about the outcome, from the view of my family, friends and our country.

I have to ask Dell, “Aren’t you frustrated about what happens to our people?” And now there’s a sign on the dock gates saying ‘No Catholics need apply'. We’re second-class citizens in our own city!

And this is just the start...

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