October 22, 2015

Dublin's dentists wives

The Queen’s visit to Dublin with well dressed women in attendance, Merrion Square (1900) (more here)
Conor Cruise O'Brien wrote:
"Irish-Ireland wrote and talked as if it assumed that the battle [the Easter Rising of 1916] would be over once Dublin with its garrison of dentists’ wives had surrendered."

In 1995 Trevor Ringland helped organise a game between Ireland and the Barbarians at Lansdowne Road. Its purpose was to promote peace in Northern Ireland. The experience pushed Ringland to learn more. He listened to IRA men in the Maze explain how they wanted to drive the British into the sea. Ringland responded:
"I said ‘that’s me’. They said ‘we don’t mean you, Trevor'. So who do you mean? The English? Most of them are only here because of you. Buy me a pint and talk to me about it but don’t shoot me. One conversation was about what we wanted for our children. Suddenly you saw they didn’t want their children to go through what they went through."
As part of the ‘Journey North’ series in the Irish Times (May 5 1964, 'The New Voices’), Michael Viney spoke with a northern protestant who had southern Catholic friends:
"This was very good for me because it showed me that people in the south really thought that we in the north were militarily oppressed - that there really were tanks at every corner. They thought simply to "clear out the British” would automatically unite Ireland. I found myself having to explain the protestant position."
Tom Hartley said:
"In a way we made them [unionists] a non-people… We didn’t even see them as part of the problem, never mind as being part of the solution."

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