Irish History: don’t mention the war?

For our London based readers. Next Saturday the Battle of Ideas Festival is hosting a debate on the past and conflict. The focus is primarily upon the IRA’s campaign and looks at what it means to Republicans now. And it asks the rather time question (amongst others): Should we seek to reassess the conflict, or is it time to move on and forget? Timely, since the Eames Bradley team is getting close to reporting on what we should do about the past. Ignited over at Redemption’s Son is not hopeful of a satisfactory outcome for unionists, and some nationalists.Details of the debate:

Why did people join the IRA?
Was it a terrorist campaign or a war of liberation?
Should we seek to reassess the conflict, or is it time to move on and forget? 

Forty years after the civil rights campaign that gave birth to the ‘Troubles’ it’s an appropriate time to ask what was it all about? Truth Commissions, Victim Commissions and politicians argue amongst themselves over how the conflict should be remembered. As the ‘Troubles’ fade from memory to history many writers hotly contest the definition of the conflict as a war.

As part of the Battle of Ideas Festival Weekend, Irish History: don’t mention the war is an attempt to grapple with the question, what was the conflict all about?

Saturday 1 November, 10.30am until 12.00pm, Lecture Theatre 2, Royal College of Art, Kensington Gore, London

Speakers include:

Tommy McKearney: writer, trade union organiser, former Hunger Striker and leading member of East Tyrone Brigade of the IRA.

Kevin Bean: lecture in Irish Politics, Institute of Irish Studies, University of Liverpool; author The New Politics of Sinn Féin

Kirk Leech: journalist, researcher and former leading member of the British based Irish Freedom Movement.

Ticket Details: Tickets are available for the Saturday and for the Festival Weekend. Student Concessions are available.

For more details: Tel +44 (0)20 7269 9220 http://www.battleofideas.org.uk/index.php/2008/overview/

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty