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The Boys of St. Columb's

Author(s): Maurice Fitzpatrick

ISBN13: 9781905785773

ISBN10: 1905785771

Publisher: GILL & MACMILLAN DISTRIBUTION

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  • They would banish the conditional forever, this generation. "The Boys of St. Columbs" tells the story of the first generation of children to receive free secondary education as a result of the ground-breaking 1947 Education Act in Northern Ireland. This book shows how the political and historical conditions of Northern Ireland altered as a result of the mass education of its population, culminating in the Civil Rights Movement of the late 1960s which drew its inspiration from the USA. The book profiles St. Columbs school in Derry, an excellent example of a school that underwent the shift from the dark post-war years into the more liberal 1960s, as a lens to understand the effect of the 1947 legislation.

    "The Boys of St. Columbs" consists of interviews with Nobel Prize winners, writers, diplomats, musicians and a socialist campaigner. The eight figures who make up this oral history are Bishop Daly, John Hume, Seamus Heaney, Seamus Deane, Phil Coulter, Eamonn McCann, Paul Brady and James Sharkey. These interviewees, as well as being world figures, are also sharply insightful. They form as fine an example as exists of the watershed in Irish history brought about by educational overhaul.

    These eight remarkable men first learned to survive in the unionist state, and then to thrive. The considerable momentum that gathered from their endeavours, along with those of others, paved the way for future generations. As Seamus Heaney put it, they broke some silences and opened avenues that had been unimaginable to their parents. Their achievement is still being felt today. NB: This book is a tie-in with a documentary film of the same name that will be aired on RTE and BBC in 2010.

  • Maurice Fitzpatrick



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The Boys of St. Columb's