Tuesday 19 June 2018

Mary Kenny... neighbourhood watch

It's not just schools that influence kids - the life around them does too

Mary Kenny
Mary Kenny
Mary Kenny

Mary Kenny

It pains me to hear it suggested that Irish people are religious bigots because they have gone to different faith schools; it just doesn't accord with my experience. Anyway, neighbourhood life is as influential in the formation of attitudes as school ethos, and I applauded Martin McAleese's recent interview in which he said that he had a strong understanding of Ulster loyalists because he grew up in east Belfast.

This understanding he gained early in life - which included an element of verbal abuse - helped him, when married to the President, to bring about more dialogue and reconciliation.

The neighbourhood in which I grew up had a strong mixture of Catholics and Protestants (in an era when faith identities really did matter); and although we all went to our own denominational schools, we played together harmoniously and the adults mingled and made friends amicably.

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