Le Monde Diplomatique: “The John le Carré of Ulster loyalism”


From LeMondeDiploThe John le Carré of Ulster loyalism:

Even as the Northern Irish peace process has consolidated and the world’s attention has turned elsewhere, one writer remains marginalised because of his plays…

Mitchell’s first encounter with the UDA came in 1974 when he attempted to cross a barricade set up at the entrance to Rathcoole, during the Loyalist Workers’ Strike, in order to visit some friends. “Outside Rathcoole are Taigs,” the UDA told him. “These Taigs will get you and they will hurt you, or worse.”

The “Taigs” were Catholics. Though Mitchell didn’t know any, and his parents held no bias, the Taigs became the bogeymen of his boyhood. And, gradually, “the fear of the bogeyman turned to hatred”.

“When I look back now, the journey is clear: to become a man in that culture, you cast off your fear of the Taig, and you start hating the Taig, and you start plotting against the Taig. The notion of not leaving Rathcoole because you were afraid is transformed into the intention to leave Rathcoole to hurt people, and then rush back into the safety of Rathcoole.”

Read more.

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