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Author Archives: Mick Fealty

Importance of political leadership

I’m slowly making my way through Paul Arthur’s so far excellent tome of the relationships between Britain, Ireland and Northern Ireland – Special Relationships. At the end of chapter two, “The Fatal Embrace,” he notes an important characteristic of pre 1969 politics within in Northern Ireland: …the most significant aspect of the party system was its degree of political underdevelopment, ... Read More »

Stupid White men: Moore in Belfast

It might be said of Anthony McIntyre that he is a dissent first and a republican second. Implacably opposed to the Belfast Agreement and Sinn Fein’s role in the peace process, he is also against any return to violence. Recently he watched the American docu-comic, and fellow dissident, Michael Moore performance in West Belfast. McIntyre was not impressed with Moore’s ... Read More »

John Ford: an Irish life?

Phillip French reviews a new biography of John Ford, which identifies his early life as part of an Irish American community in New England as having a formative influence in the perspective of his many classic films. Thus when it came to the conflict between the US cavalry and the Indians in his great postwar Westerns, Ford was on both ... Read More »

Biography of a struggle: history of the IRA

Joseph O’Neill reviews the latest suppliment in an increasing cannon of histories trying to explain the phenomenon of the Provisional IRA – Armed Struggle: The history of the IRA (yet to be published). On the whole O’Neill welcomes this book as a successful response to ‘an enormous challenge of narrative, historical research and tact’. But he has two important reservations. ... Read More »

Mistress of Paraguay

There’s been an interesting flow of information on the post famine links between Ireland and South America. A few months back Slugger O’Toole picked up on two pieces from Guillermo McLoughlin and Edmundo Murray. Today the New York Times reviews a fictionalised biography of a Cork woman who by way of a short spell in Paris became the mistress of ... Read More »

Making it up for Ireland?

The professor of Irish History at Oxford’s St Patrick’s Day op-ed for the New York Times was well timed to co-incide with the publication of his latest book, which shows a degree of marketing nous if nothing else. Richard Eder reviews Roy Foster’s latest contribution to the revision of the tangled mass that passes for history in Ireland. Eder highlights ... Read More »

Rebel Hearts

The BBC two part television drama written by Ronan Bennett finally comes to America to a reasonable review in the New York Times. Read More »

Erskine Childers: conflicted Irish hero?

This looks a like a good read. The biography of a fascinating historical character, Erskine Childers: Born in England but raised in Ireland, he fought for Britain in the First World War, before joining Sinn Fein and then the IRA. He was executed by the Irish Free State, but his son eventually became president of the Irish Republic. Chiefly known ... Read More »