Slugger O'Toole

Conversation, politics and stray insights

“A mix in society between Catholic and Protestant was lost at that time…”

Mon 23 April 2012, 2:47pm

It’s worth catching up with this Irish language documentary called “An Tost Fada” (the long silence) which features Canon George Salter, who family left Dunmanway in west Cork in response to an intense set of killings of Protestants in that area and his return after over ninety years later to his former home, Kilronan House…

Adds: Eoghan Harris who mentioned it in his Sindo column yesterday explains some of the impulse for making it:

Between the Ne Temere decree of 1911 and the aftermath of the Civil War we lost a third of our Protestant population. That is, 107,000 southern Protestants, including 10,000 working-class Dublin Protestants. And some of that exodus was enforced by threats and murder.

This traumatic experience was excised from the Irish State’s public memory. Remaining rural Protestants nursed their grief in silence. Privately, however, many rural Roman Catholics felt a sense of shame. That shame formed a saving grace that touched me through.

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