Clutha tragedy made me so proud I belong to Glasgow

IT has been a very dark week for the people of Glasgow, in fact for the whole country, as we all try to come to terms with the tragic events that took place on Friday evening at the Clutha pub in the city centre.

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Floral tributes were left at the scene
Floral tributes were left at the scene

Sadly in this day and age we are very used to news bulletins being a depressing affair between the devastating Typhoon which hit the Philippines last month or the ongoing trial of the men accused of the truly gruesome murder of soldier Lee Rigby, right, tragedy and atrocities seem to dominate.

Hearing the news filtering through 24 hour news channels and social media sites shortly after 10.30pm on Friday though, seemed to hurt more than usual.

A total sense of disbelief came over me, surely it must have been a mistake as there was no way this could have happened in my home city and in a pub I've been in many times in my life?

As pictures started to appear live from the scene and I watched the dazed Labour MP Jim Murphy describing how he and many other selfless, brave men and women ran towards the pub to form a human chain in order to get those trapped inside the premises out as fast as they could even though they had no idea what had happened or the potential danger they were placing themselves in by doing so, I began to cry very hard.

It was a mixture of utter sorrow for the victims and immense pride in my fellow Glaswegians who did everything in their power to help and to be honest even just putting this down in writing has caused the tears to tumble down my face again.

I can't go any further without mentioning unbelievable efforts of our emergency services.

Those men and women who worked tirelessly day and night in the hope of finding survivors within the pub and who rushed those badly injured straight to hospital where medical staff were waiting to treat them immediately are true heroes who deserve all the praise and thanks that is being heaped upon them.

As for the nine souls who lost their lives, I cannot even begin to imagine what their friends and family are going through right now or how they even begin to comprehend the tragedy and sheer agonising truth of what's happened, but I think I can say on behalf of everyone that our deepest condolences are with you all.

There has been talk of organising benefit concerts in the New Year to raise funds for the families affected by the tragedy and of course for the rebuilding of the pub and a whole host of Scottish Celebrities have already pledged their support which is fantastic.

I'm not sure how long it will take the city of Glasgow to recover from this, but I know none of us will ever forget those heartbreaking scenes from the Clutha Vaults that night.

I can tell you right now there is no other country in the world I would rather have been born in and no other city I would ever want to call home, for we belong to Glasgow and Glasgow belongs to us all.

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