Representing the Working Class in Northern Ireland

By Ciara McAllister- In April this year, as tensions rose in unionist communities over Brexit and policing, images of violence in Belfast flooded our newsfeeds. I was struck by a number of views and responses that I saw repeated by various political, academic and community commentators. On Twitter, the unrest was presented in three ways:... Continue Reading →

Paramilitary memoirs and their contribution to modern Loyalism

By Rory Allen- Memoirs and autobiographies have enormous potential to contribute to the wider understanding of the ‘Troubles’. In capturing the narratives of those who were involved in or lived through the Northern Ireland conflict, we gain an insight into the real, lived experience of Ulster’s contested past. While Irish nationalists and republicans have long... 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 →

Spotlight on ‘A Secret History’

By Gareth Mulvenna- secret history a version of historical events which differs from the official or commonly accepted record and purports to be the true version – Collins English Dictionary This is not intended to be a comprehensive review of the recent Spotlight series. I don’t think it is possible to fairly appraise the full... Continue Reading →

I, Dolours… Broadcasting a Psychopath?

By Dieter Reinisch- The recent RTÉ screening of the I, Dolours documentary, directed by Maurice Sweeney, received much media attention in Ireland and was reviewed by several national newspapers, including the Irish Times, Irish Independent, and Irish Mirror. The documentary is, indeed, a gripping, and at times disturbing, insight into the history of the Northern... Continue Reading →

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