I remember October 5th 1968 well. I was 14. I wrote an essay on the events in Derry in school. I wish I had kept it. No, on second thought maybe I don't. In my boy's mind events in Derry in October 1968 are always connected to the assassination of Bobby Kennedy in America three … Continue reading Educated ignorance
Some might say Belfast is a city in waiting, looking to find its identity in a new and more confusing era. Others would say it is a lost city being discovered by cruise ships, legal firms and location scouts for dystopian films. Henry Joy must be mightily vexed, publicly executed where today shoppers scurry about . Maybe we need to listen to him and his ilk..
Somebody just asked me if I had ever met St. Patrick. I have. Here's the story: the saint appears in a dream, speaking in several tongues, and confesses the many sins he has committed against the Irish.
Contrary to myth, there were many Irish Nationalist Protestants/Dissenters - given their percentage of the overall Irish population. They cannot be dismissed as a tiny handful of eccentrics and misfits, but part of the norm i.e. many Protestants wanted an all-island independent nation and actively worked collaboratively with their Catholic fellow countrymen and women to achieve such an outcome from the late eighteenth century until Partition - then Protestant participation greatly reduced.
My concern about the Patrick Story is that it is much more than a simple harmless myth that allows the Irish to celebrate our identity. I believe it is a very powerful myth loaded with meaning and images that has been created and used to mould how the Irish see themselves and by that allowed others to manipulate and control us.