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Dealing with the Past in Northern Ireland: IRA memoirs and the Peace Process

May 12, 2015 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Location: Room G010 in the Hardiman Research Building, National University of Ireland, Galway
Galway, Galway Ireland

Speaker(s): Prof Ian McBride

Affiliation: King's College London

Organised by: Conflict, Humanitarianism and Security

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The recent controversy over the ‘Boston Project’ tapes has demonstrated that the unfinished business of the Troubles still has the power to disrupt political progress in Northern Ireland; but it also reveals the attempts of disparate republican voices to establish the dominant narrative of ‘armed struggle’.  This talk examines the memoirs of former IRA men (Sean O’Callaghan, Eamon Collins, Gerry Bradley, Brendan Hughes), focusing on varieties of disenchantment with the republican campaign and the anticipated futures that have fuelled republican activism.  It will explore the particular political junctures that have shaped these works and the difficulties they present as sources for historians.

About the Speaker

Ian McBride is Professor of Irish and British History at King’s College London. He has written on various aspects of modern Irish history. His forthcoming works include Irish Political Writings 1: TheCambridge Edition of the Works of Jonathan Swift (2016) and The Princeton History of Modern Ireland, co-edited with Richard Bourke (2015).  Since editing History and Memory in Modern Ireland (Cambridge, 2001) he has been interested in contemporary uses of the past.  His current research focuses on debates over truth and reconciliation in Northern Ireland since 1998, and the relationship between political violence, representations of the past and professional historiography.


Organised by the Conflict, Humanitarianism and Security Research Custer