Catherine Molloy was a primary school principal until she retired in December 2013. Originally from Derry, she was a member of the SDLP until 2012 and represented the Balmoral area of South Belfast as a City Councillor from 1997 to 2005. She has served on several statutory boards and committees and is currently a Trustee of National Museums NI. She is also now enjoying “studying and filling the gaps in her education” i.e. history, the appreciation of Art and the Latin language.
Brian John Spencer. "When did you first learn about the Easter Rising?"
"At second level education as part of study of the Irish language. I was a fluent Irish speaker. I loved the language, represented my school at inter college Irish debates andvisited the Donegal Gaeltacht regularly. Sadly I’ve let my interest and fluency slip over the years."
BJS: "Do the men, the act or the stated ideals in the proclamation mean anything to you?"
"I’ve had to google the Proclamation to answer this question. I see myself as Northern Irish and see it as part of history."
BJS: "When did you first learn about the Battle of the Somme?"
"When I was City Councillor and attended the annual commemorative event in July at Belfast City Hall. During my second level education I chose Geography over History. My knowledge of local, Irish, British and world history is sadly lacking and I am now trying to improve it."
BJS: "Does this act, the men and their determination to show their loyalty to Britain mean anything to you?"
"World War One was a horrible brutal war."
BJS: "As a British, Irish, Northern Irish person is the 1916 Rising important to you and your sense of identity and sense of belonging in this island?"
"No. I’m against wars and violence."
BJS: "As a British, Irish, Northern Irish person is the Somme offensive important to you and your sense of identity and sense of belonging in this island?"
BJS: "Will you be commemorating or celebrating either of these two events in April and July of this year respectively?"
"I am trying to learn more and inform myself better about the two events."
BJS: "Are you happy about the series of commemorative eventsput 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)?"
"I think we need to be aware that there is a great deal of sensitivity and hurt around the issues of national identity."
BJS: "As a person on (or from) the island are you happy with where we are now at in terms of culture, cosmopolitanism and broad-mindedness?"
"We have come far since the Good Friday Agreement was signed but we still have a great deal to do in healing the hurts on both sides, building trust, building the economy and supporting people to create better life outcomes for themselves."
BJS: "What are your hopes for the future of this divided province and island?"
"As a parent and grandparent I would like to see my children and grandchildren live in a peaceful prosperous society that respects and supports difference, diversity and inclusion."