Your thoughts on a Troubles archive

A short piece in the Guardian today looks at work being undertaken at Queens to develop a ‘Living Memorial Museum’ – an audit of Troubles artefacts.

The work is being partially funded by the ‘Healing Through Remembering‘ group – who called last week for suggestions from people as to what this archive should be. There are some public discussion groups being held – click here to find out more.

  • Miss Fitz

    Pity this is coming up in such a busy news week, I would love to see a discussion on this topic as I think how we view our history and commemorate our past is a vital issue to explore.

    I wonder if we will ever be able to have a shared commemoration?

  • Aaron_Scullion

    Hard to imagine one..

    Topics like this never seem to capture people’s imagination on Slugger. No matter how quiet the news week!

  • Bryan Boru

    You don’t think that one of our problems is commemorating things? Maybe the way to move forward is living together for the future rather than trying to find some way of commemorating the past jointly. We have lots in common, the past just seems to keep tearing us apart.

  • Garibaldy

    Can we really expect an objective collection from a group called healing through remembering? No agenda there whatsoever.

    As for Miss Fitz, a shared commemoration of what? George Best? The Twelfth? The Troubles? The Titanic? David Healy’s wondergoal?

  • Miss Fitz


    I’ll go one better.

    Whether we like it or not, we have shared 30 years of conflict. There are multiple facets and complexitites within that conflict, but it remains none the less, a shared experience.

    The 3000+ dead of the conflict will be commemorated in various ways, privately, communally and publicly. Our challenge is whether we can ever see the day that they can be remembered as one group of victims of this conflict.

    There is a debate going on about this, and it needs to be a healthy and vigorous debate. No doubt that, as I have said before, one mans hero is another mans terrorist.

    But for all of that, we have shared a traumatic experience on a communal, societal level and as we transform our conflict through dialgoue and expression, can we affect closure in an agreed way?

  • Garibaldy

    I seriously doubt that we can affect closure in an agreed way. It’s unreasonable to expect the relatives of victims of sectarian murder, for example, to see their relatives commemorated with those responsible for their deaths.

    As for transforming the conflict, I prefer to think of it as muting the conflict. After all, the sectarianism that lies at the heart of the conflict is as prevalent today as ever.

  • Miss Fitz

    So, is your solution to throw your hands up and just let it go?

    That is so defeatist and negative, but if that is how you feel you are entitled to your views.

    I, on the other hand work and believe with an energy and passion that we can build those bridges through communicating and growing trust. I have seen some unlikely people grow to understand each other, and I know it can happen.

    This is why I encourage positive and committed people to join the debate.

    Begrudgers can stay at home, thank you

  • Garibaldy

    Miss Fitz,

    What happened to a vigorous and healthy debate? If you don’t like what I say, I can stay at home?
    I reject absolutely the equivalence of victimhood. Just as I reject the equivalence of victimhood for those who died fighting an imperialist war in the trenches of WWI with the peoples who were exploited and oppressed by those empires. These are political issues on which we all make political value judgments. So, no I don’t think realistically that people here will ever view all the dead as equal. Nor should they.

    I have no problem collecting material about the Troubles. I do have a problem with the notion that museums or commemorative centres should offer interpretations, particularly not when they are disguised as objective. Roy Foster has some very interesting things to say on this topic in an essay in his ‘The Irish Story’ if you’re interested.

    I’m not really sure what the point of the second part of your response is. It seems to suggest that I reject the notion of building links across our community because I refuse to accept an agenda that offers equivalence and understanding to all. I’d rather build a sense of communal identity than entrench respect for sectarian blocs. That’s the only way to end the conflict. And it’s a lot more difficult trying to convince people of that than advocating being nice to each other while remaining entrenched in sectarian mindsets.