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No Country for Old Men

Fresh Perspectives on Irish Literature


Edited By Paddy Lyons and Alison O'Malley-Younger

Once a country of emigration and diaspora, in the 1990s Ireland began to attract immigration from other parts of the world: a new citizenry. By the first decade of the twenty-first century, the ratio between GDP and population placed Ireland among the wealthiest nations in the world. The Peace Agreements of the mid-1990s and the advent of power-sharing in Northern Ireland have enabled Ireland’s story to change still further. No longer locked into troubles from the past, the Celtic Tiger can now leap in new directions.
These shifts in culture have given Irish literature the opportunity to look afresh at its own past and, thereby, new perspectives have also opened for Irish Studies. The contributors to this volume explore these new openings; the essays examine writings from both now and the past in the new frames afforded by new times.


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Tom Herron Learning How to Live: David Park’s The Truth Commissioner 17


Learning How to Live: David Park’s The Truth Commissioner Tom Herron The tragedies of the past have left a deep and profoundly regrettable legacy of suffering. We must never forget those who have died or been injured, and their families. But we can best honour them through a fresh start, in which we firmly dedicate ourselves to the achievement of reconciliation, tolerance, and mutual trust, and to the protection and vindication of the human rights of all. — The Agreement, 10 April 1998 The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) into the Canadian Indian residential schools scandal that opened in Ottawa in June 2008 is the most recent example of a modern form of inquiry that, in its most famous incarnation, came to characterize South Africa’s formal transi- tion from the period of apartheid to what is often described – heroically if, perhaps, somewhat prematurely – as the New South Africa or, even, the Rainbow Nation. On the opening day of the Canadian inquiry, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation asked how it was possible to con- struct an adequate ‘truth’ concerning events that occurred up to half a century earlier. Further to this, it asked: even if the ‘truth’ of what ‘really’ happened is somehow achieved, then does reconciliation inevitably follow? Since the first TRC – set up in Zimbabwe in 1984 to investigate the Matabeleland massacres by Zanu PF forces – the possibility of rec- onciliation produced by such truth-finding inquiries has been encour- aged through special measures, such as the granting of indemnity against prosecution...

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