One of the more unwelcoming
sights of our end of town is the Police Station-once known as the Pollis Barracks-a good military sounding title in the old Norn Iron where government structures were associated with the Unionist/Protestant establishment and what the IRA liked to call 'the forces of the Crown' or even The Army of Occupation. Now with Peace and the newly established 'non-sectarian' Police Service of Northern Ireland' the police posts are being demilitarised and the old barb wire, massively high walls, anti mortar bomb protection for roofs are being put 'beyond use' and the still useful bits occasionally turn up at car boot sales (now there is a thought for the IRA's weapons) Newcastle is no exception and the old high walls have come down and a more decorative one built. And appropriately enough the new wall is made with Granite. Good thinking-the Mournes are made of granite, mostly, the quarry up the mountain turned out the stuff for 200 years for much of Belfast and Liverpool and even for the Albert Memorial. Good old Queen Vic wanted the best, of course. So Mourne Granite for a Mourne Police station. Right on. Cool, Proper Bo.
Er, Yes? The granite comes from China.
Cheaper, easier to 'work' apparently. And no one seems to mind. Value for money' is a great Scottish quality that the Ulster Scots imported from the motherland. And if it was hewn from Chinese mountains by virtual slave labour, underpaid and over worked (unlike the granite) and then flown in as the PSNI are in a hurry-Well thats not our problem. Thats 'granitisation' and we must learn to live with it.