Richard Needham: One Man, Two Worlds

Gavin Clarke Brexit, COVID-19, economics, northern ireland, Troubles

Members will recall our October 2019 event ‘The Belfast Agreement and Brexit‘ and the dejected tone of most contributions that evening as we approached the January 2020 point of departure. While sharing the dismay of our panel at the shift to populism that had taken hold of British politics Richard Needham shifted the debate to consider the economic factors that …

The Settlement: Family history and writing a historical novel.

Gavin Clarke Family, history, Troubles

By RUTH KIRBY-SMITH How ironic it is that I ended up writing a historical novel as history was my least favourite school subject. As an insouciant fourteen-year-old I was cheeky to the toughest history master at Methodist College Belfast; he gave me such a roasting that it was still remembered at our 50-year reunion in 2017. I never turned a …

Permit all the colours. Remembering Lyra McKee.

Gavin Clarke LGBT+, Reading, Reflection, Troubles

By ANTON THOMPSON-MCCORMICK There was no point trying to be calm the night I first crossed paths with Lyra McKee. It was February 2019, and here we were in a former Pentecostal Church in central London to celebrate Anna Burns becoming Northern Ireland’s first winner of the Man Booker Prize, for Milkman. It was Burns’ first big post-Booker event and …