My Belfast – Stories in Sound

My Belfast – Stories in Sound
Published 13 Feb 2023

My Belfast – Stories in Sound

Well-known local writers Patricia Craig, Gerry Dawe and Malachi O’Doherty will be in Lisburn Road Library during February to talk about Belfast, its people, stories and changing streetscapes.

This short series of talks will take place at 7:00pm on Tuesday 21, Wednesday 22 and Thursday 23 February and will include childhood memories and reflections on the role of writers, musicians and the arts in shaping the city’s sense of itself.

Each of the talks will last approximately 30mins and will be followed by an informal conversation with the guest speaker. This will be facilitated by the BBC’s William Crawley.

The talks will also include an eclectic mix of sound recordings from the BBC’s archives – some of which won’t have been heard since their original broadcast!

This initiative has been developed in association with the Belfast Civic Trust and forms part of the BBC’s ongoing work with Libraries NI.  Each session will be recorded and edited for publication on BBC Sounds.

Spaces are limited and booking is essential.  Two places can be booked per applicant and bookings can be made by telephoning Lisburn Road Library on 028 9050 9223 or by emailing

Registration is from 6.30pm onwards and each recording will last approximately 60mins.

Talk Summaries

21 February – Gerry Dawe
Gerry Dawe’s talk is about a Belfast ‘that doesn’t exist anymore’. It explores his childhood memories of the city and its sense scape of sounds, smells and images. This talk includes some of the poems that Gerry Dawe has written about his life in Belfast in the 1950s and 1960s. And it describes the cultural and social changes that were taking place at that time, and also the transition to the ‘darkening age’ of the 1970s and afterwards.

22 February – Malachi O’Doherty
Malachi O’Doherty’s talk explores his ‘mental map of Belfast’. It recreates his sense of the city as he discovered it when growing up and everything that was changing around him. This talk includes memories of schooldays, Belfast pubs and the College of Commerce. It’s about a city seen through the eyes of a journalist. And it’s an account of Belfast that is both affectionate and critical. It also reminds us that ‘to know the city’ we have to know its past.

23 February – Patricia Craig
Patricia Craig’s talk takes us across the city and through time. It celebrates the genius of local writers and explores their accounts of Belfast’s past and present. This talk is about the dynamism and diversity of Belfast and the abrasions of identity politics. And it captures what Patricia Craig describes as ‘the ineradicable sense of attachment’ which she feels towards the city, and in all of its different aspects.