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Daniel Teggart born 10th October 1926 the first child of Daniel and Alice Teggart. Danny, as he was known, had seven brothers and three sisters. Born in the Markets area of Belfast his parent’s first house was 29 Abercorn Street North Lower Falls. He attended St Peter’s School in Raglan Street. He left school at the age of fourteen, which was common in the 1940s, times were hard and work was very scarce. There were two adults and eleven children living in a two up two down house. Danny’s first job was in Browns Butcher’s in Donegal Pass in Belfast City Centre. He moved after that to Little and Mc Clair packaging company making paper bags. He met his wife Belle at the Clonard picture house, she was seventeen, he was eighteen. Bella Clark daughter of James and Margaret Clark of 51 Ebor Street in the Donegal Road area, she had five sisters and one brother. They courted for the next two years going to the pictures and taking long walks. Sometimes in the summer evening they would take a trek up the Black Mountain to the Hatchet Field where there was a wonderful view of the city all the way down to Belfast Lough. Two years later at the age of nineteen & twenty they married in Saint John’s church on the Falls Road at 7:30am morning mass on 17th January 1947 the priest was Fr Smith, the bridesmaid was Danny’s sister Kitty with her boyfriend Paddy Brennan as best man. It wasn’t a big wedding, or expensive for that matter, it was Danny’s mother who prepared the breakfast reception at 29 Abercorn Street North and everybody chipped in to make the day go off well.
At that time there was a housing shortage just like all other towns and cities across Ireland. Danny and Belle moved in with Belle’s cousin in the village area of South Belfast, as her husband was at sea they later moved out three month’s later on her husband’s return. They rented one of three rooms above a fish shop in the Market’s area of Belfast.
They later had their first two children Alice and Margaret named after their mother’s. For three years Belle visited the City Hall housing department weekly in search of a family home. At this stage Danny was working as a window cleaner along with his brother in law Davey completing work throughout the City Centre. A short time later Danny, Belle and their two daughter’s moved into one of two rented rooms in Belle’s Aunt Kitty’s house at 75 Market Street, at the same time Danny’s cousin Rab Quinn moved into the other room with his wife Sally. The two families shared the small kitchen and living areas throughout the house and made it into their own little home. A number of years later Davey sold his window cleaning run and Danny was left unemployed and seeking employment.
Danny always ensured he provided for his growing family be it selling sticks or bric a brac with his brother Jimmy. A family friend Annie Hughes (nee Kane) often gave them work in her rag store in Abercorn Street. It was 1961, fourteen years after they married and with ten children and another on the way that Danny and Belle’s eldest son Jim became ill with a serious blood disease an was taken to Academy Street Clinic, whilst at the Clinic Belle was informed that her family’s living conditions had to change and the clinic gave her a letter to that effect. Belle produced the letter to a Mr Kennedy at the housing department at the City Hall Belfast, the letter proved successful and Danny and his family got their first home at 29 Westrock Drive Belfast a three bedroom bungalow known throughout the area as “The Bungalow’s”. Having a family home meant the world to Danny and was a huge contrast to twelve people living in one room. The family home consisted of three bedrooms and was spacious throughout with a front and rear garden for their children to play safely, the house was topped off with an aluminium roof were the children enjoyed sunbathing in the summer months. Everything they needed was within easy access and life went by happily for the family. Danny had found new employment in McCue Dick timber yard in the Dock’s area in Belfast, but later had to leave after suffering an injury in work. A short time later Danny took on a window cleaning run in the nearby Beechmount area and later another job loading and unloading lorries at nights.
By now Danny’s family was complete having thirteen children in total, five daughter’s and eight son’s, some off his elder children were even married by now and Danny loved knowing that every time he rapped on the window his younger children would run out of bed to greet him hoping that a carton containing sweets or biscuits might have burst and would have been given to their Daddy for his family. By now it was 1969 and “The Troubles” had started. Danny’s children got their first taste of CS gas which frequently floated in the area. The family were faced daily with gas, sniper’s bullets, and bullets from the Army and Loyalist’s shooting from Corry’s yard. The family’s home was far from adequate to protect the family as the aluminium roof could not withhold the bullets.
In the latter part of 1970, protestant’s moved out of the nearby New Barnsley area and Danny and his family were given a new home at 86 New Barnsley Crescent where he thought they would be safer.
Danny Teggart’s work and love for his family and their welfare is only one side of his character, he will always be remembered for his great sense of humour and his mischievous pranks. Danny loved to socialise with his brothers at the weekends in The Clock Bar on the Falls Road were he had a little bet on the horses along with a pint of Guinness. He would often carry out pranks on the bar men, one of his brothers would tell us how Danny once stood at the bar waving a five pound note and calling for a drink. He waved the fiver about for everyone to see, when his time came to be served he placed his order with a man called Joe Farrelly, he then handed over a pound note. When receiving his change he turned to the bar man with a very straight face and said “Joe I gave you a fiver”. The other bar men would agree that they saw Danny with a fiver in his hand, Joe then turned to the till at which point a roar of laughter gave it all away.