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Showing posts from November, 2015

Memory, History and Remembrance

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In my mind I'm climbing a winding stair. The steps are cold and worn, and the only light comes in through narrow windows. I'm touching the curved wall with one hand, and with the other I'm hanging on to Marion's skirt. She is formidable and elderly, square and calm in her tweed coats and skirts, neat shirt-blouses and sensible shoes. Looking back now, I remember that day in Enniscorthy Castle. I was about nine years old. I remember her black leather handbag which always contained a white cotton handkerchief, and the fearsome bottle of Mercurochrome she used as an antiseptic to treat childhood cuts. I never knew that in her teens she was  a revolutionary, trained in arms and ready to fight and die for Ireland's independence in the Easter Rising of 1916.  A year after I finished university I left my home city of Dublin for London. My mother often came to visit me there and once, on a walk by the River Thames, she mentioned that though Marion had