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Preserved in amber

Elections and peace talks come and go. But the ancient grievances of west Belfast go on for ever

By prospect   July 1996

It was an autumn morning, a Monday… When he got to his desk, Hans found a message from his boss, Mr Helms. It read, I want to talk to you. Hans went up to the fifth floor, made his way down the carpeted corridor under the humming lights, and stepped through the pale oak door into Mr Helms’ outer office where his secretary, Kitty, sat.

Hans went through another pale oak door and found himself in the inner office.

Mr Helms was sitting behind his very large black desk reading a telex. The walls were covered with framed diplomas. These…

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