THERE have been a lot of tongues wagging this week in West Belfast, mostly about families keeping secrets under wraps and skewing facts under formal questioning.

This could be to save their own skin or to present the unfortunate situation to be ‘just one of those things’.

You show me a family with no skeletons and I’ll show you a bunch of bores, lying bores. The difference being, some skeletons are a bit creepier than others.

Every family has them, regardless if they are in the public eye or just in the eye of the neighbours.

To me, it’s about keeping good and bad secrets.  A good secret would be hiding a fact, so as to not hurt someone’s feelings.  A bad secret is when a law has been broken and everyone is keeping it shy.  Hope we’re on the same page here.

No matter what the facts are, we love a bit of biz.  As soon as it’s heard, the badness in us wants to spread this wondrous news but we choose whom we tell it, because there will be repercussions.  Serious stuff will happen if we’re found out to be spreading this information.

West Belfast has its ‘mafia families’.  All our estates have a family who are known to social services, the PSNI, paramedics and the newspapers.  It’s no shock, seeing their family name in the court pages.

But when something happens in a respected family, a family who thought they were better than everyone else – that’s when we raise our eyebrows, fold our arms and smirk as we go about our law abiding business.

We think those who haven’t been charged, knew fine well what was going on.  We are of the opinion that they are just as guilty for allowing it to happen because they didn’t step in and knock it on the head.

But they will be using the best legal eagle – to save their family name from the Sunday red tops.  They don’t care about jail – it’s the media they fear.  It’s bad enough when your neighbours talk about you, but when the tabloids are interested.  You know the shit has hit the fan.

Mafia families are rubbing their hands with delight at this brilliant news.   Because for once, someone in the estate is lower than them and it’s about to be made public in court.

You know who I’m talking about.  And I found out from people on their side.  So it goes to show, there’s no loyalty when it’s something as bad as this.  Gradually we’re turning away from wrong doing and exposing it for the filth that it is.

But what we love most about all this is that, we know they know we know.  But we’re not saying anything to their faces.

Their usual wee spot in their local has been cold since the news got out. This previously untouchable family who once walked with their heads held high, feared in estates everywhere – won’t even poke their noses out the front door because of the shame.

They know the world and his wife are talking about them.  But the reason for this is because the world and his wife don’t have nasty skeletons in the closet.