Friday 19 January 2018

Eoghan Harris: Gilmore has suffered a memory loss on Gaddafi

Even if born in a big city, we all come from a neighbourhood, a word I prefer to the cold "community", which I can never hear without a Sinn Fein subtext, as in "community activist". So I am delighted to read that Cork's Barrack Street Band will lead the St Patrick's Day parade through Savannah, Georgia.

When I was six, I lived with my grandfather Patrick Harris, an IRA veteran, in a small redbrick house in Nessan Street, off Barrack Street. Cork Major General Florrie O Donoghue -- who features chillingly in Gerard Murphy's the Year of Disappearances, Political Killings in Cork 1919-22 -- was a frequent caller to check facts for his biography of Tomas McCurtain.

During their sessions in the tiny front "parlour", I was banished to the top of the street, the site of two institutions that interested me mightily: a small sweet factory, where sheets of molten sugar fell slowly in sugary waterfalls, and the rehearsal rooms of the Barrack Street Band -- from which I still seem to hear the strains of Let Erin Remember.

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