Archive for the Ireland Category

McCann’s the Man who lost a bus

McCann’s the Man who lost a bus

In the first couple of weeks after training, McCann managed to mislay his ticket machine, clippers, uniform jacket and money bag. For the most part, these were dismissed by his supervisors , the inspectors as youthful carelessness. The regular driving force were often dismissive of the students’ mistakes with a shrug about the waste of education.

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TWO DERRY MUSICIANS TELL THEIR TALES

TWO DERRY MUSICIANS TELL THEIR TALES

There are some similarities in their early childhood and school days in Derry but the differences are much more remarkable. A policeman’s son, Coulter grew up in the modest comfort of a terraced house on the perimeter of what became Bogside in the late sixties ; Cassidy’s father was a successful publican who bought an elegant mansion , complete with tennis court, landscaped gardens and stables on the outskirts of the City. The purchase was controversial since the area was designated a Unionist fiefdom but crafty, old Cassidy bought it in a sealed auction.

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CROSSING THE BORDER DAILY TO SCHOOL IN THE 1950S by John McGurk

CROSSING THE BORDER DAILY TO SCHOOL IN THE 1950S by John McGurk

The illegal movement of cattle (to benefit from the different agricultural subsidies) was common practice. We lived a hundred yards from the actual border and a Derry man called Miah often arrived at our house in a highly agitated state having had a close a shave with the Excise man from St. Johnston who patrolled what was known as the back road between Derry and Carrigans.

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ENDURING DIGNITY

ENDURING DIGNITY

L.Alex Wilson (pictured) was a 6’3” newspaper reporter who covered the admission of nine black students into the segregated Little Rock Central High School ; attacked and beaten by a brutal, white mob he walked on, picking up his sombrero whenever he fell, intent on doing his job as a newsman; the following morning , his report of the ‘Little Rock Nine’ appeared in the Tri-State Defender ;

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SECTARIAN RULE IN DELHI AND BELFAST

SECTARIAN RULE IN DELHI AND BELFAST

It was established Unionist policy to deprive Derry and the North West of economic development since it might possibly provide employment for people opposed to their rule and population growth would imperil the gerrymander operating with impunity in Derry. Unfortunately, and the denial of expansion of Magee University is a notable case, there are still clear signs that the old, Unionist protocols are intact and embedded in the thinking of those with power.

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RHIANNON GIDDENS AT THE USHER HALL

RHIANNON GIDDENS AT THE USHER HALL

‘The ancient Irish bodhran was invented sometime in the fifties’.    Well, so Francesco Turrisi , onstage with Rhiannon Giddens, told a  capacity Usher Hall audience in a bitterly cold,  Edinburgh last night. It was only one  line from the humorous  badinage between the pair on carbon dating

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SCOTLAND AND THE TROUBLES

SCOTLAND AND THE TROUBLES

The intent of BBC Scotland’s programme to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the recent ‘Troubles’ in Northern Ireland was embedded in the title, ‘The War Next Door’.  At a superficial level, there was an attempt to provide a semblance of balance with the early inclusion of an

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