As you get older, you have to get used to the idea of real life experiences repeating as something called culture. Its always an anxious moment, waiting for the re-enactment or recall. Will vivid memories of the old experiences come rushing back or will they return back embalmed. in the oul Oirish way? Day after day in the old Belfast Magistrates Court, solicitor Paddy McGrory (senior) solemnly intoned little speeches as to why his clients should get bail. Every now and again, wonder of wonders, the beak would half agree with him as bail periods stretched into many months. But in the end, sometimes with a sorrowful shake of the head from the magistrate, it was back to Crumlin Road jail for your man. There was much more to McGrory, the SAS Gibraltar killings, supergrasses and all that, but a great deal of the routine must have been very mundane. He was respected across the divide and the smear Provo lawyer never stuck. It was McGrory’s key achievement to provide legal defences for terrorists that could be respected by his natural political opposites. At times, this was one of few fine threads that held society together. President McAleeses rather daring choice of Paddy as the subject of a Feile an phobial lecture is keenly awaited by her admirers and critics alike. As is another celebration of a troubles creation, the peoples black taxi, this time as play and theatre. Can Two Roads West match the real life drama of many a black taxi ride? Reviews of both events, please!
Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London