Saturday 25 February 2017

Exorcising the dark, bloody secrets of IRA in West Cork

Eoghan Harris

Eoghan Harris

THE Bandon Valley is vibrant with beauty and violence. As a boy my father would bring me to fish illegally at Inishannon. On the way home he told me heroic tales of Tom Barry's Flying Column.

But he never told me that in April 1922, an IRA gang had pulled 10 Protestants from their beds and shot them in cold blood.

Why? Partly because he did not know, partly because he did not want to know, and partly because he could not cope with the political problem such an event posed. As a republican he revered Tone's trinity of Catholic, Protestant and Dissenter. So when republicans regressed to tribal roots and killed Protestants he could not cope, retreated from reality, and repressed the memory.

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