More than music: singing the Troubles in Northern Ireland

By Jess Readett- Music and politics went hand in hand throughout the ‘Troubles’. From the unionist Lambeg drum beating on Orange Day, to Bobby Sands’ lyrics scrawled on the cigarette packets smuggled out of Long Kesh – the ‘Troubles’ had a soundtrack that served as more than mere background music to its players. In the... Continue Reading →

The Limitations of ‘Maternal’ Activism in Troubles Narratives

By Miren Mohrenweiser- “Maternal activism” and “wee women’s work” are phrases typically applied to women’s activity during the Northern Ireland ‘Troubles’ regardless of political or religious affiliation.[1] What’s notable about these terms is that their implied opposites—i.e. “paternal activism” and “big men’s work”—are never referred to in this gendered sense. Men’s political activity doesn’t require... Continue Reading →


By Ian Cobain- Author Colm Tóibín once told his creative writing class at Manchester University that “you have to be a terrible monster to write”. You should be prepared to make use of the unguarded comments of others, he said, even if those who uttered them may be identifiable. All that matters, is whether those... Continue Reading →

Dr O’Brien will see you now: Conor Cruise O’Brien as doctor to the Irish body politic

By Hugh Hanley- During his lifetime, Conor Cruise O'Brien was one of the most significant and most controversial public intellectuals in Ireland. A diplomat, a historian, a literary critic, a university administrator, a tenured professor, a journalist, a politician, a playwright, O'Brien was also among the most vociferous critics of the Provisional IRA during the... Continue Reading →

Create a free website or blog at

Up ↑