Courage of Kingsmills Victims Defied Sectarian Divide

Reconciliation statue Photo by Amanda Slater

Much ink has been spilled about the sorry Barry McElduff/Kingsmills loaf saga. Susan McKay’s analysis in Tuesday’s Irish Times is one of the most insightful, but bleak, contributions. It’s worth reading her full text, which brings her to this conclusion: The absence of reconciliation has never been more starkly apparent, and as usual, those most hurt in the past are hurt again. One paragraph in McKay’s article jumped out for me, because though tragic, it demonstrated for me that there … Read more

The Role of History & Historians in Dealing with the Past after the Stormont House Agreement #ImagineBelfast15

Today’s lunchtime debate in the UU’s Belfast campus was the best attended of the week – so far – and also the most fractious. Grainne Kelly chaired a panel of Adrian Grant (historian), Cillian McGrattan (politics) and Susan McKay (journalist and writer) who discussed the Role of History and Historians in Dealing with the Past after the Stormont House Agreement. Adrian Grant started by looking at definitions of history (objective truth? or an artform based on narratives of the past?) … Read more

Compulsory reading: Susan McKay on Jean McConville’s life and death

Anyone familiar with some of the stories of the hundreds and thousands of victims of state and paramilitary forces will understand that each has its own unique capacity to appall. Jean McConville’s is just one of several which has refused to go away. In part because of the brutal context for the killing, and its potential political ramifications. Today in London Review of Books the writer Susan McKay tells Mrs McConville’s story in considerable and telling detail from her first … Read more