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Overdoing the Synge-song

Terry Eagleton: Sebastian Barry, 22 September 2011

On Canaan’s Side 
by Sebastian Barry.
Faber, 256 pp., £16.99, August 2011, 978 0 571 22653 5
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... him by the militantly modern, urban Irish literati, as it is sometimes held against authors like Brian Friel and Seamus Deane. This is because in their case, but not in his, the backward glance to rural Ireland is associated with a currently unfashionable republicanism. On Canaan’s Side is a less impressive piece of fiction than A Long Long Way and The ...

Bloody Sunday Report

Murray Sayle: Back to Bloody Sunday, 11 July 2002

... Cathedral, Londonderry, of Gráinne, daughter of Northern Ireland’s Education Minister Martin McGuinness (not yet knighted for his varied public services, but it’s early days), and Sean ‘Harpie’ Hargan, the Derry football hero. The TV wasn’t there, we thought wistfully, to cover us, or the long-running story that had brought us back to Northern ...

The Egocentric Predicament

Thomas Nagel, 18 May 1989

The False Prison: A Study of the Development of Wittgenstein’s Philosophy, Vol. II 
by David Pears.
Oxford, 355 pp., £29.50, November 1988, 0 19 824487 8
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... of a parallel project, I hope that we will soon see the publication of the second volume of Brian McGuinness’s fine biography, covering Wittgenstein’s life for the same period in which Pears’s second volume covers the philosophy. McGuinness’s first volume3 was a subtly-handled evocation of this ...


Susan McKay: Jean McConville, 19 December 2013

... met a similar fate. In 1995, Helen wrote to President Clinton; so did Margaret McKinney, whose son Brian had also been ‘disappeared’. Clinton’s intervention ensured that the issue became part of the negotiations that led to the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. In 1999, the House of Commons set up a Commission for the Location of Victims’ Remains which ...


Tom Paulin: Trimble’s virtues, 7 October 2004

... cessation of electricity supplies, more unburied dead and untreated sewage, the prime minister, Brian Faulkner, resigned with the executive on 28 May 1974. Trimble rose in the Unionist Party, and in 1990 was elected to the House of Commons. He was pro-Europe and was less committed to capital punishment than most Unionist MPs. Though he was the party’s ...

Criminal Justice

Ronan Bennett, 24 June 1993

... is a photocopy of the original handwritten note of an interview with a young Irishman named John McGuinness, one of several friends and acquaintances of Armstrong, Hill, Conlon and Richardson taken into custody in December 1974. Although he was later cleared of any involvement, at the time of his detention the police seemed to think ...


David Runciman: Thatcher’s Rise, 6 June 2013

Margaret Thatcher: The Authorised Biography. Vol. I: Not for Turning 
by Charles Moore.
Allen Lane, 859 pp., £30, April 2013, 978 0 7139 9282 3
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... of war rather than regular inmates. The IRA leadership, which included Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness, wanted a show of strength and it was perfectly willing to see its men starve themselves to death to make its point. The more intransigent the British were, the better, since the IRA was confident it had the greater appetite for the long game. In this ...

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