A moving and important contribution to those who fought and died during the Northern Irish Troubles.
The Northern Irish Troubles had roots, in the words of the poet John Hewitt, 'crazily tangled as the Book of Kells'. In 1969, the nationalist minority abandoned a long, frustrated silence and took to the streets to demand its rights. Unionists refused to yield. A complex war erupted involving Irish Republican Army paramilitaries, British and Northern Irish security forces and paramilitaries loyal to the unionist state, sometimes in murky alliances which have yet to be fully exposed.
Nearly 4,000 people were killed in this war. Many were civilians, including children, and many were killed in vicious spirals of tit for tat violence. Northern Ireland is a small place and the killings were as intimate as they were brutal. Neighbours murdered neighbours.
Susan McKay's book explores the difficult legacy of the conflict for families, friends and communities. By interviewing those who loved the missing and the dead, as well as some who narrowly survived, McKay gives a voice to those who are too often overlooked in the political histories. She has found grief and rage, as well as forgiveness. Some long to forget, others to find the truth.
Old enemies are now in government together in Belfast, and the killing has all but stopped. But peace can only endure if the dead can finally be laid to rest. Bear in Mind These Dead is a moving and important contribution to that process.
Susan McKay is an award-winning Irish journalist and the author of two critically acclaimed books, Sophia's Story and Northern Protestants: An Unsettled People.
Faber Non Fiction
Paperback - C format
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