Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Edna O'Brien and the IRA

There is an account in the Belfast Telegraph (16 February) of an interview with Irish author Edna O'Brien, whose first novel, The Country Girls, appeared in 1960.  Her latest work, Haunted, has just opened at the Grand Opera House, and she is in Belfast with it.  She is now approaching 80 but it is clear that she still holds strong Irish nationalist and republican views.
Like many, she feels that Ireland should be one country, but unlike the majority, she also thinks that there is some justification for the republican armed struggle.
'I feel there was a justification, yes, and I believe Ireland is one country but my human side is relieved that the guerilla war is over.'
Alongside her support for Irish republican terrorism she has a marked disdain for Ulster unionists, in spite of the fact that she has met very few of them.  But then prejudice is a great time-saver.  It allows you to form an opinion without taking the time to find out the facts.
'Although I have only met a few unionists, intransigence is in their DNA - it's in their history and geography.  I don't want to sound off but there is on their part a reluctance to concede anything, an ingrained sense of superiority.'
It is worth noting that this notable Irish author, who says that republican terrorism was 'justified', has such a strong love for Ireland that she has spent the last fifty years living in Chelsea, London's grandest postcode.  Obviously she loved Ireland so much that she left it!

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