Shedding light on aspects of the conflict… March 31, 2011Posted by WorldbyStorm in Northern Ireland, The Left.
Here’s an interesting link.
What’s particularly striking about the present period is how a near-hidden history has emerged into the light of day after many decades. I’m not suggesting this is simply true of aspects of Official Republicanism, or of Republicanism in general – however one chooses to define that – alone, but of the conflict more broadly. Consider the Dessie Ellis interview from a week or so back and many other recent contributions.
There are problematic aspects of this. It’s difficult to be entirely sure at this remove precisely what happened in a specific context, memories aren’t set in stone and interpretations even less so. Furthermore these are in many instances contested memories, as indeed are those who claim title to various formations.
But, that’s always the way on some levels. A researcher, or simply those with an interest in an area or an history, will always have to weigh up what it is that they see and attempt to place it within a broader context.
What is important to consider is that now and for a while longer it may just be possible to get hold of first hand accounts from those who were involved in part in shaping a long and tortuous history of the last four decades. Once lost, they’re lost forever. So in a sense no wonder that now the situation has calmed, that time has lent a little distance – though it does no good to underestimate the hurt on the part of many, not least those who weren’t participants but were caught up in events they had no control of – that efforts are being made to contribute to the record and that a space is (or has) opened up where it is now possible to do so.
I think we’ll see a lot more of this over the next while.