February 14, 2016

#NorthernIreland2016 Interview Series - Garrett McCartney

Garrett McCartney lives and works in London but calls Belfast home. He was educated at RBAI, the alma mater of Longley and Mahon founded by United Irishmen, in Belfast city centre. By day Garrett works as a Production Manager at a digital advertising agency called AKQA.
Brian John Spencer: "When did you first learn about the Easter Rising of 1916?" GM:
"I’m about to sound quite ignorant, but I actually don’t know about this historical reference. I guess I just avoided learning about these sorts of things growing up."
BJS: "Do the men, the act or the stated ideals in the proclamation mean anything to you?" GM:
"Again, no idea what these are so therefore I can’t really answer."
BJS: "When did you first learn about the Battle of the Somme?" GM:
"I’ve heard of this, but I’d have to google it to find out what actually happened there, which I guess defeats the purpose of the exercise!"
BJS: "Does this act, the men and their determination to show their loyalty to Britain mean anything to you?" GM:
"Well hearing a bit more context within this question has helped me to understand it a bit more, but I still don’t have anything to say."
BJS: "As a (British/Irish/Northern Irish*) person, is the 1916 Rising important to you and your sense of identity and sense of belonging on this island?" GM:
"Again as I haven’t googled it I don’t know what this should make me think about, I don really try to think about my identity too much though, I just like to simply it for myself without get too sucked into the nitty gritty of it, Northern Irish politics doesn’t serve a purpose in my life."

BJS: "As a (British/Irish/Northern Irish*) person, is the Somme offensive important to you and your sense of identity and sense of belonging on this island?" GM:
"I just refer to myself as Irish."
BJS: "Will you be commemorating or celebrating either of these two events in April and July of this year respectively?" GM:
"I don’t really celebrate or commemorate anything to do with war or death except when I’m at a funeral."
BJS: "Are you happy with the series of commemorative events put on by the Irish State? And what do you think of Arlene Foster's take on the events of Easter 1916 (she has refused to attend any commemorations)?" GM:
"She’s clearly living in the past! Ring ring…ring ring, Arlene it’s for you...1976 wants their politician back!"

BJS: "As a person on (or from) the island are you happy with the where we are now at in terms of culture, cosmopolitanism and broad-mindedness?" GM:
"Yea I guess were known more now for Game of Thrones than terrorism amongst this new generation of millennial's, so that’s progress…isn’t it?"
BJS: "What are your hopes for the future of this divided province and island?" GM:
"Everyone just accepting the past, moving on and working together to build a collaborate and prosperous future…lets make Belfast the tech hub of the UK, we have Google head quarters an hour and half away in Dublin, time to capitalise on that and produce great developers and coders."
BJS: "Please share any further thoughts these questions may have stimulated." GM:
"Lets think positively and innovatively about our future for Norther Ireland."
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