November 22, 2013

Inherited myths, biases and bigotries

Kevin Myers wrote in the Sunday Times of November 10 2013 that Maureen Wall of UCD began her opening history lecture to first arts by asking foreign-educated students to stand. Kevin Myers cited what the famous lady then said to the foreign students:
"You, I have some hopes for. Your minds have not been filled with toxic rubbish that passes for history in our schools. But as for the rest of you, bitter experience has taught me to despair already."
Conor Cruise O'Brien wrote in States of Ireland (p. 89):
"Our school histories do not seriously discuss the ideas and policies of the men of 1916 in relation to the Protestants of Ulster."
The same cuts for Protestant schools, they do not seriously discuss the ideas of the men of 1912, led by Edward Carson, who signed the Ulster Covenant. Malachi O'Doherty suggested a solution to the problem flagged above. He wrote in the Irish Times of November 22 here:
"The further we move on from the Troubles in Northern Ireland the more divergent accounts of that period become... Dr Haass wants to achieve some reconciliation of divergent views of the past to create a basis for co-operation in the future. One approach might be to insist on more teaching of history in schools" 

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