By the time I was attending secondary school, it became obvious that we were all being taught differently about the history of
I could say nothing of any of these accounts because Irish history was hardly touched upon at school – it was mentioned in passing if seen as relevant to the history of
I don’t recall the Famine ever being mentioned.
My first real knowledge of Irish history came when I enrolled in the Irish Economic History course at Queen’s in 1964 and listened enrapt to Professor Connell. On a camping holiday taking in as many counties as possible in 1968, two friends and I (all Protestants) suddenly found that to be from Newry in County Down was a big plus – especially since one of my companions knew Sean O’Neill. In two little pubs in Derrynane and Ardrahan, as a result of this rather tenuous ‘connection’, we were feted by customers to such an extent that we might have been Gaelic football heroes ourselves.