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Finally embracing the British part of my family history

Barbara Scully


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A man walks past the Bogside mural in Derry city of John Hume, Martin Luther King Jr, Mother Teresa and Nelson Mandela. Photo: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

A man walks past the Bogside mural in Derry city of John Hume, Martin Luther King Jr, Mother Teresa and Nelson Mandela. Photo: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

A man walks past the Bogside mural in Derry city of John Hume, Martin Luther King Jr, Mother Teresa and Nelson Mandela. Photo: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

Only once in the last two years have I left the ‘jurisdiction’, and that was for a short break in Northern Ireland. Our journey took us north-west through a landscape utterly familiar. It is a place of green hills, fields of sheep or cows and winter-swollen rivers that meander in languid curlicues .

Less familiar were the rural bus shelters and the shrinking distances as we shifted from kilometres to miles. The place names were recognisable, in a different kind of way. They carry the echo of violence, pockmarks of the Troubles. Omagh, Enniskillen, Sion Mills.


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