Thursday 15 November 2018

Liz Kearney: 'I don't need a poppy to think of my grandad'

 

Limited edition centenary poppies are made at the Lady Haig Poppy Factory in Edinburgh. Photo: PA
Limited edition centenary poppies are made at the Lady Haig Poppy Factory in Edinburgh. Photo: PA

Liz Kearney

I've never considered wearing a poppy, but the annual fracas about who's wearing it and who's not saddens me.

Like so many Irish people, my own family history contains conflict and contradictions, and the question of identity is never far from my mind. My grandfather was born in Ballinrobe, Co Mayo, in 1900 and as a young man, studying for his medical degree at University College Galway, he was ordered by the Black and Tans to doff his cap for 'God Save The King' in the college quadrangle.

He refused, telling his student pals: "They can't shoot all of us, lads."

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