Ire­land’s chill­ing ill wind

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - - Letters -

Sir — Fer­gal Keane (Sun­day In­de­pen­dent, Oc­to­ber 7) posts a can­did and com­pelling ‘Diary’ en­try on things North­ern, as they be­come in­creas­ingly en­meshed in the on­go­ing Brex­i­teer­ing shenani­gans. Things are bod­ing ill again, it would seem, if his con­sid­ered mus­ings on das­tardly deeds from the past are any­thing to go by.

Hav­ing served his ‘Norn Iron’ ap­pren­tice­ship of ‘blood and guts’ (lit­er­ally), while wit­ness­ing “a men­ac­ing and for­lorn litany of mur­dered” cit­i­zens from all quar­ters of the many di­vides, he re­calls it all with some friends who had also weath­ered the ‘worst-of­times’ in 1980s Belfast.

Re­view­ing the grim and bleak mem­o­ries, while re­lax­ing un­der an “au­tumn sky in Con­nemara”, “but without the faintest tinge of nos­tal­gia for that world of death and in­tol­er­ance”, the idyll of ‘down-town’ Clif­den pro­vides a safe and com­fort­ing dis­tance from the grue­some fray of yes­ter­year.

His fore­bod­ing takes on the re­cur­ring ‘ap­petite for vi­o­lence’ through­out Ir­ish his­tory sends a shud­der down the spine. With the Good Fri­day Agree­ment cur­rently in ‘stut­ter-mode’, and the peren­nial per­fidy of UK gov­ern­ments still thriv­ing apace at the ex­pense of al­most every­one else, save their ‘naysayer’ Ul­ster ‘croniesin-col­lu­sion’, the skies are dark­en­ing. A com­plex­ion of mul­ti­ply­ing shad­ows per­vades.

What price coura­geous hon­esty and ded­i­cated en­light­en­ment of the Hume va­ri­ety? PJ Cos­grove, Lis­more, Co Water­ford

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