I had been promising myself for some time that one day I would create a blog that would allow me to express ideas and thoughts about life and politics based on my experience and learning in the two places where I have spent most of my life: Belfast in Northern Ireland and New York in the US of A. And for years I did nothing about it.
Then last year, while working in Dublin, I had a bad fall and smashed my right elbow. Those who know me will realise what a potentially devastating injury this could be; my arms, especially my right one, act almost as a second pair of properly functioning legs. Lengthy surgery, too many pins and plates to count and weeks in plaster followed but no healing. Eight months later and I am undergoing what I call a ‘voodoo’ treatment, ultra sound waves that are directed twice daily on to the fracture site.
Whether this works or not, and whether I am ever able to function properly again, is a matter that is still, as they say, in the lap of the gods, but it has given me the opportunity to fulfill that promise to myself as well as a name for the blog. I hope you enjoy!
Ed, old horse,
I’m really sorry to hear about your arm and hope the voodoo treatment works. I shall be following your blog and wish you good luck with it. My new publisher, Antony Farrell, of the Lilliput Press, has already written to you to commend your enterprise. I worry that you may be a bit too – what shall we say? – radical for most Americans. In a country where most of the Democrats are to the right of David Cameron, your comments are bound to come across as dangerously European. But what the heck! It’s, er, a free country.
good to hear from you.
i was a square peg stuck in a round hole in ireland and no different now. only way to be!
I hope you don’t mind me contacting you directly. I am currently working on a PHD research project that will examine the impact and influence of surveillance on communities. I will be comparing Northern Ireland and East Germany under the Stasi. With your extensive experience reporting on the Northern Ireland Troubles I was hoping to get your thoughts. You can DM me on twitter and https://twitter.com/cliodhna_pierce. I looking forward to hearing from you soon and I hope your arm is healing nicely.
Gosh: really sorry to hear about your arm. Hope the treatment works and it improves with time. Best wishes.
thanks, robin. much appreciated!
Any chance you might change the name of your blog to The Fixed Elbow?
I wish I could. But why do you ask?
I was merely hoping for some good news – viz that the quacks had comne up with something that worked.
thanks for asking, walter. the ultra-sound treatment is slowly doing its business and at this rate i hope to be vertical by early summer. inshalla.
Excellent! Go for it.
Hallo, Ed! I have a small booklet to send you; but I lost a lot of computer information recently, including your e-mail address and the postal address I need (if I ever had it). Could you send me contact details?
Diana and I are well, getting older, still active in Uganda and occasionally former Yugoslavia but not Ireland, apart from keeping up with many friends. There’s some up-to-date information on our website.
In peace, John.
Hi Ed, What do you think to the Queen of England on a state visit to Ireland.
i tried not to
Would you mind sending me your email address? I’d like to ask you a question about “Voices From The Grave”.
jdcullinane (at) xtra (dot) co (dot) nz
Hi Ed, I’m so glad my research has led me to this blog. I have been researching the IRA for weeks now for my debut novel whilst in Lockdown. Im an English graduate who has been working in TV/Film for many years and finally have the time for my original passion – writing. It seems nowhere I look answer the questions I have regarding the command structure of the Provisional IRA and I’ve been left to fill in the blanks (which isn’t what i would prefer to do). I wonder if you could help with the answers of the below please?
1) Would an OC of a brigade also be in part of an ASU?
2) If not, with the ASU’s being under the command of the brigade OC then what active role, if any, would a brigade OC play? Would any of the brigade command staff be active within an ASU?
3) Would the command staff of a Brigade be made up of the OCs from each ASU?
4) If the Brigade OCs weren’t part of their ASUs then would they be part of the command above? For eg. Would the Brigade OC from, say East Tyrone, be part of the Northern Command Staff? Or were the Northern Command staff an independent higher echelon?
5) I know that under the “Permanent Leadership” notion that was brought in during the restructuring by Gerry Adams in the 1970s certain high offices such as Chief of Staff and Adjutant General were rendered safe from having to undertake direct criminal action but I wonder how far down this concept went. I’m just having trouble understanding that if ASUs and Brigades had a degree of autonomy in choosing their actions then what role (other than administrative and hiring/firing) would Northern Command play especially as GHQ and the Army Council had so many responsibilities from above.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. If you don’t have the time to assist then I completely understand. But if you do, my email address is email@example.com
Thank you and stay safe.
Most of the answers to your questions can be found in my book ‘A Secret History of the IRA’…..
I have started to do some work on the Troubles and came across the outline of the Boston tapes. I find it incredible the project was ever allowed to get through an ethics committee of a University, if it ever saw one. The idea that it would be possible to record potential confessions to unsolved offences and keep them locked away…is simply unbelievable. Which fool at the BC thought that some sort of civil agreement would override a criminal investigation or international arrangement on co-operation and exchange. The participants should bring a class action for negligence, but of course they cannot because those who are alive and subject to prosecution have to deny its their voice.
anyway take care
Do you not think that this was raised with BC? The answer always was why would the FBI or whoever be interested in what happened in Belfast?
Well, we got one assurance after another from the people at BC, especially the librarian who initiated the project, that we were legally safe in depositing material at the college’s Burns Library and then when the cops came knocking at their door, they sold us and the interviewees down the river with such speed it was awesome….
You might find this interesting, not least because of the comparisons: