11 April 2018
Could decades of violence before the Good Friday agreement have been averted?
Marianne Elliott on the history and legacy of the Troubles
It was December 2000. My book, The Catholics of Ulster, was being launched at Dublin Castle. An elderly couple arrived among the guests, the wife in a wheelchair. “Thank you for inviting us,” the man said, “we never get invited to things nowadays.”
I felt humbled. For this was Conn and Patricia McCluskey, founders of the Campaign for Social Justice (CSJ) in 1964, which would develop into the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (Nicra) in 1967. The McCluskeys were typical of the civil rights leaders, moderate in their demands and behaviour, upset by generations of Unionists who considered all Catholics rebels.
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