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Launch of ‘The Literature of the Troubles Project’

12 June 2009

The launch of the outcomes arising from The Literature of the Troubles Project took place at St Mary's University College Belfast on Wednesday 10th June between 10:30am and 1:00pm.  

It was attended by representatives from St Mary's University College, Queen's University, Stranmillis University College, and Northern Ireland Council for Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment, as well as teachers of English and pupils from schools across Northern Ireland. The event was introduced by Professor Peter Finn, Principal of St Mary’s, and included an overview by Dr Brian Hanratty, the academic manager of the Project, and Ms Joanne McCauley, the Project Officer. Additionally there were readings of creative work arising from the Project by pupils from three schools; St Louise’s Comprehensive College, Portora Royal School and Oakgrove Integrated College. The Keynote speakers at the launch were David Park who, as well as being Head of English at Down High School, is the acclaimed author of six Troubles or post-Troubles novels, and Brendan Hamill, poet and critic.

The Project, which has been funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, is predicated on the idea of the social and educational benefits which can spring from enabling pupils to interrogate their past and help shape their future by exploring key Troubles literature. It also highlights the fact that Troubles literature represents an amazing literary and cultured flowering which ironically paralleled the political crisis that spawned such terrible turbulence on the streets and in the countryside of Northern Ireland over the long years of the Troubles. Finally, the Project is also committed to the notion that the creative exploration of Troubles literature is a key part of the role which education in general can play in bringing about reconciliation in what is still a deeply divided society.

Literature of the Troubles

Pictured above are: Brian Hanratty (academic manager of the project) and Joanne McCauley (project officer) with keynote speakers David Park and Brendan Hamill.

For further information please contact Dr Brian Hanratty, Tel: 02890 268334.

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