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The Curious Mind

25 Years of John Quinn Radio Programmes

Author(s): John Quinn

ISBN13: 9781847302007

ISBN10: 1847302009

Publisher: Veritas

Extent: 368 pages

Binding: Paperback

Size: 3.2 x 15.2 x 22.9 cm

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  • John Quinn presents a comprehensive selection of entertaining, thought-provoking and insightful programmes taken from many of his RTE radio series, spanning a twenty-five-year period. Writers, philosophers, entertainers, educationists, activists, politicians, business people, John has interviewed some of the most interesting personalities.


    Seamus Heaney, Spike Milligan, Maeve Binchy, Peter Ustinov, Bernadette Greevy and many, many others have offered up personal anecdotes in conversation with John, with a plethora of topics ranging from childhood, to education, to economics, to place and landscape.


    Also included are excerpts from a number of documentaries on topics ranging from Eskimoes to All-Ireland Final Day. Every short essay a perfect story in itself, this surely is a gem of a book.

  • John Quinn

        John Quinn is a former RTÉ radio broadcaster. Previous publications by Veritas include Goodnight Ballivor, I’ll Sleep in Trim, also the subject of a TG4 documentary,Letters to Olive: Sea of Love, Sea of Loss, Seed of Love, Seed of Life and Credo: Personal Testimonies of Faith.

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    On Education

    There is a great deal of discussion in the literature on the theme of change in education. Notwithstanding the energy devoted to the issue however, the suspicion persists that much of what passes for change in education is more imagined than real , while the wine is sometimes changed, the bottles remain stubbornly familiar.

    While there are many possible reasons underlying such inertia, two in particular come to mind in Ireland. First, traditionally teachers as a professional group have been wary of change. New curricula and pedagogical innovations are routinely subjected to the acid test of their application and relevance in the classroom. This is understandable. Plotting a course between order and chaos in the classroom is a highly skilled and potentially treacherous endeavour where the margin of error is sometimes very slender. It has low tolerance for failed experimentation. The fact that much that is new has tended to be generated outside of the classroom, as for instance in the relatively sanitised or even disconnected environment of the third level, adds to their scepticism.

    There is however a further element to this scepticism. It arises from a widely disseminated but rarely tested view of the high quality of Irish education. Regardless of a significant body of evidence drawing attention to our shortcomings, as for instance the PISA tables, Irish education has often been characterised by a high level of complacency and a reluctance to interrogate.

    In a report published earlier this year, the National Economic and Social Council (NESC) draws attention to what it considers to be the five major crises which Ireland must now address. These are the fiscal crisis; the banking crisis; the economic crisis; the social crisis; and the reputational crisis. In short, there is no room for complacency with regard to any aspect of modern Ireland. Rather, the country must now embark on a relentless process of introspection as it attempts to re-imagine and rebuild itself out of the debris of the collapse of the Celtic Tiger. It is entirely appropriate and timely that this book should emerge now as a key contributor to the rethinking process which must now begin. It is deeply ironic that so many of the thinkers and ideas which are captured in this hugely eclectic collection would have been considered by many in Irish education when they were first heard on radio to be interesting but not practical. One of the great cultural lessons from the collapse of the Celtic Tiger has to be that just being practical is no longer sufficient. If the practical pre-empts the questioning, not only is a fundamental pillar of democracy removed, but the society loses its capacity to re-create itself in the light of changing circumstances.

    Throughout its many years on radio, The Open Mind, one of the series featured prominently in this book, consistently questioned practice and the merely practical. By drawing attention to alternative views and alternative ways of doing things, it shone a light on the conventional, focusing on its shortcomings and forcing it to justify its positions and assumptions. Throughout its long radio life-span it was a source in equal measure of inspiration and discomfort. The Socratic style of questioning which John Quinn uniquely brought to the programme gently led the interviewee and the audience on a path of new discovery, new insight and ultimately new wisdom.

    John has now done the immense service of bringing many of these interviews together in this extensive collection of readings. The book reads like one great summer school where ideas and perspectives float from every page and where the reader is continuously arrested and challenged by the unconventional or the unexpected.

    Every generation must plan the future and lay the foundation for it. To achieve this it must have an image of the future and a coherence in pursuing it. In the current period of unprecedented upheaval, there is little in the way of a shared or optimistic vision for the future in Ireland. Such a vision will undoubtedly emerge. It can only do so in an environment where there is a profusion of ideas and an animated discussion amongst the citizenry regarding options. This book is an invaluable catalyst in triggering this process.

    Tom Collins
    Professor of Education, NUI Maynooth
    August 2009

    On Broadcasting

    John Quinn ambles into the office at the Radio Centre. Like a hunter gatherer, he returns from the field with a tape recorder slung on one shoulder and bag full of books, batteries and audio tapes in hand. He installs himself at the desk, clamps on the headphones, and stokes a cheroot until hes puffed up a blue haze. As the big spools of the playback machine rotate, he smiles now and then and sips industrial strength coffee. He could be anywhere under the sun or rain , in the Punjab with the young Spike Milligan, or walking Ballivor bog, or taking a turn on Berkeley campus with Seamus Heaney.

    This is how radio is made. Or at least, this is how John made it look easy. He followed his instinct , which is to say, the promptings of his uniquely curious and companionable mind. Here is a book of reflections, insights, arguments, contentions, lessons learned, emotions relived. Its also a hosting of remarkable contributors for whom John conveys respect, admiration, and , most importantly , affection. When Frank OConnor recalled his school teacher, Daniel Corkery, he said that Corkery so impressed him that he imitated even how his master walked. And from that experience he concluded that true learning is rooted in love.

    Many of the pieces in this anthology are brief, but they are compact with the power of profound lyrics. Perhaps this is because so many of Johns companions draw on their childhood memories , those vivid sounds, sights and smells that are the fabric of our first conscious encounters with the world. And to these elemental experiences of puzzlement, wonder, doubt, pain and pleasure, we all return in the never-ending effort to make sense of who we are and where we came from.

    The whole trick with radio is not to make it sound like a book. Yet here is radio bound between covers. Its a risky venture. Socrates distrusted the written record. He thought that copying inevitably leads to distortion, and so it poses a threat to the integrity of the spoken word, the fresh, direct and unmediated human statement. But what would we know of Socrates if Plato had not taken notes? So think of this book as a chance to hear again, or for the first time, in your minds ear an unrivalled series of dialogues. They were conducted over a quarter of a century and first offered as public broadcasts to enrich the experience of each private listener to RT?ë Radio. As you read, youll find yourself in dazzling and surprisingly varied company. You may even feel a sense of elevation as you survey the many different landscapes in this particular atlas. But thats as it should be, according to Hugh Leonard who reminds us here that the purpose of reading is To fly, not alone, but in companionship.

    Adrian Moynes
    Former Director of Radio, RT?ë
    August 2009


    You meet a lot of people in twenty-five years. When broadcasting is your business, you meet a lot of interesting people over that period of time , people who have had interesting lives, who expound interesting ideas, who are doing interesting work.

    In my twenty-five years as a radio broadcaster with RT?ë, it was my privilege to meet a range of such people , writers, philosophers, entertainers, educationists, activists, politicians, business people , and to bring their experiences and ideas to a wider public through the wonderful medium of radio. These encounters featured in a range of series , The Open Mind, Education Forum, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Girl, My Education, Heroes and Heroines, Millennium Minds, This Place Speaks to Me, I Remember, I Remember, The Great Educators, The Mark of Man, The Rural Development School, The Tinakilly Senate, My Books, My Friends, L-Plus , and these are just the series that are represented in this book!

    It has long been a dream of mine to distil a selection from that radio archive of twenty-five years into print, simply because I felt that there were riches in that archive that would otherwise languish in the radio vaults forever ... As the sources above indicate, those riches extend far beyond the subject of education (my main area of concern) into areas such as history, the environment, music, literature, humour and personal memoir. I have also included excerpts from a number of documentaries on topics ranging from Eskimos to All-Ireland Final Day. I am cognisant of the fact that good radio does not always make good print and so some excerpts have needed judicious editing, but I have at all times remained faithful to the original source.

    If I have learned anything over those twenty-five years, it is that there are many ways of knowing the world. I am deeply grateful to the many contributors who have helped enormously in opening my mind in so many ways. I hope in turn that the reader will find in these pages something to delight, to challenge, to ponder , some new way of knowing the world.

    My working career has embraced education and broadcasting. I am especially honoured that two very eminent representatives from these fields , Tom Collins and Adrian Moynes , have each contributed a foreword to the book from their particular perspective.

    I am deeply indebted to Veritas for their belief in this project and their commitment to it. As editor, Caitr?¡ona Clarke has been most supportive and insightful with her advice and suggestions. A special thank you to my wonderful typist, M?íire N?¡ Fhrighil, who seeks perfection always and is no mean editor in her own right!
    John Quinn October 2009

    Spike Milligan recalls growing up in India in the 1920s.

    I was born in India primarily because I wanted to be near my mother ... My father came from Sligo and like many young men of his time he found the British Army to be a way out of poverty. The regimental depot in Sligo was like an employment exchange. He was posted to India where he did well, rising to the rank of sergeant. He met my mother in church there and fell in love with her singing voice.

    My first memory of school was in an army tent in the Hyderabad Desert. It was fairly primitive , when the wind rose we were sent outside to sit on the tent pegs to prevent the pegs blowing away. At the age of five I was sent to the Convent of Jesus and Mary school in Poona, where I did very well under the tutelage of Mother Fabian , a tall, red-faced nun, bursting with repression. The nuns were responsible for putting me on stage. They had a problem with scene changes in their Nativity play, so they dressed me as a clown and sent me on to jump up and down between acts. When they were ready they would say, Thats all, Terry. You can come off now! How strongly prophetic it was, seeing as how I would spend my life being a clown ...

    India was quite an exotic place to grow up in at that time. The sights, the sounds, the scents ... I remember the lines of marching regiments , Sikhs, Gurkhas etc. , in their bright turbanned uniforms, the beating of leopard skin drums, the blare of silver bugles from the Ulster and Connaught Rifles. How lucky I was to see it all. We travelled a lot because some bureaucrat in London would justify his existence by moving regiments hither and thither. Bombay, Calcutta, Karachi , on the Peninsular Railway , often four or five-day journeys. I remember the train pulling into some remote station at night and the vendors would call out, offering Biddy cigarettes, hot milk, oranges and bananas. Then the great hiss of steam as we moved off, with the kite hawks screaming overhead. When we passed over a great river gorge the sound changed dramatically , ticket-a-tick, ticket-a-tick, dum-dum, dum-dum , I loved that. I loved too the sound of the monsoon rain on the corrugated roof of our verandah when I was tucked up in bed.

    And music , there was always music. My father was a good musician, as was my uncle Hughie. Hughie played the saxophone , ragtime stuff like Black Bottom and Miss Annabel Lee. He was a very good athlete, draughtsman, mechanic , and a lunatic! He couldnt get it together in his head. He used to dress up as Tarzan and play the saxophone while flexing his muscles.

    When I was about seven years old, I got a taste for gambling. I would go down to the West Indian Turf Club in Poona with a few pence in my pocket. The Hindu bookmakers wrote out the bets on fine cigarette paper, so that if the police came along, they could roll up the paper and swallow it. I was quite successful as a seven-year-old gambler. My ambition then was to be a jockey, but I was too tall. Myself and my friends would make paper goggles like the jockeys had, mark out a course and gallop for miles until we were exhausted. At Poona racecourse I saw my first aeroplane , a Bristol fighter , and when I watched the pilot in his red leather helmet climb aboard and take off, it took my breath away. For the next fourteen years I wanted to be a fighter pilot , until I failed the exam back in England. I was heavily into jazz also , from the moment I heard my first jazz record in the army canteen , Fats Waller singing Ill be glad when youre dead, you rascal you. Amazing.

    I was an only child for eight years until we moved to Rangoon where my brother Desmond was born. I hadnt a lot of access to my father in those eight years and it disturbed me , I used to wet the bed a lot. As a result I was too close to my mother. She was somewhat overpowering, so that when I was eventually let out into the world, I fell apart at the seams. When I was given responsibility, I couldnt cope. I let my first wife down. I let my army colleagues down. I let everybody down. I became psycho-neurotic and was in and out of mental hospitals a lot. My brother was much more balanced because my father was more accessible to him. In Rangoon I went to the De La Salle Brothers school. There were a few Jesuit brothers there who were marvellous tome. They opened me up when I was at that gawky, pimply stage. I remember asking Brother Theophilus, Do you ever think about women? Oh, all the time, he said. I couldnt believe it.

    Eventually we left Rangoon for England when I was fifteen. Even though we sailed on a troopship, it was an extraordinary voyage. It was travel on a grand scale, real fin de si?¿cle stuff. Lascars scrubbing the decks with sand ... polishing up the brasses ... fine white tablecloths ... concerts at night. A marvellous experience. I remember as we sailed down the Irrawaddy river through the rain and mist, I was suddenly overcome with tears and hid myself away. I was leaving my childhood behind , my friends, the trees, rivers, lakes and animals that I knew and loved. Life would never be the same again. Many years later I wrote a poem about this.

    What happened to the boy I was?
    Why did he run away?
    And leave me old and thinking like
    Theres been no yesterday?

    What happened then? Was I that boy
    Who laughed and swam in the bund*?
    Is there no going back? No recompense?
    Is there nothing , no refund?

    * canal

    Growing up in Derry, politician John Hume learned much from the commitment and self-sacrifice of his parents.

    My father had beautiful copperplate handwriting and he was a highly intelligent man. A lot of people in the district used to come to him to write their letters for them, or to write letters to the local authority. So, from a very early age , as we didnt have a very big house , I was conscious of people and their problems. We had two bedrooms, one living room and a parlour, and people would queue up waiting for my father as he sat writing at the table. He was very committed to helping people solve their problems, because he had a very good knowledge of the whole system.

    Without the dedication and self-sacrifice of my mother, I dont think I would have got anywhere in life. She was totally committed to rearing us in the best possible way, with very, very limited resources, and when I look back I just dont know how she did it. I am absolutely convinced that the major influence on any life is the parents and that this takes place in the early years of a child. Even though usually buried in the subconscious, these are the forces that create you and make you what you are and give you your attitude to life.

    When I think back on those early days, I can see the roots of a lot of the things I later became involved in. I was founder of the first Credit Union in the North , in Derry , at the age of twenty-three. I learned about credit from my mother having to borrow to rear us and repay at a high rate. I remember thinking that if she and her sisters got together every couple of weeks and pooled their money, they would have enough to go out, instead of this borrowing. When I discovered that these organisations existed, a group of us got together and set up our own Credit Union and had our first meeting with ?ú5 1s 9d. Today, there are fourteen thousand members in that Credit Union branch and it has a brand new building and nine million pounds in savings. I became the national president of the Credit Union movement when I was twenty seven years old and I was president for four or five years. It is the most powerful co-operative in the history of Ireland, and if I did nothing else in my life, I would be very happy with that.

    Penelope Leach, the writer on child development, extolled for me the value of meandering in a childs life.

    Some years ago I interviewed Penelope Leach, the writer on child development. She bemoaned the fact that children today are denied the opportunity to meander , the chance to pause and reflect, to stand and stare, to work things out. Instead, we hurry them through their young lives, often organising those lives out of existence.

    I love the word meander. Its very sound rolls musically off the tongue. Meander. It depicts a mazy, sinuous movement, winding and weaving, pausing and moving on. Like a river in fact. And of course, that is the origin of the word. Meander is the name of a river in Asia Minor. A river is a most creative force. It forges its own path and follows a natural course. It works things out , slowly, deliberately.

    The eleventh commandment, Penelope would say, is Thou shalt not be bored. And so we supply the children with things and pursuits that will occupy their time. Albeit with the best will in the world. We want our children to have interests and , dare we say it , skills that might just give them an edge in that big competitive world out there. Fine , up to a point. But children need time just as much as skills and interests. Time to think, to wonder.

    This all came back to me a long time ago when I did a study of childrens leisure pursuits. The children were supplied with diaries blocked-out in half-hours. In those diaries they would record how they spent their free time. Out of the thousands of diaries I had to read, I can remember only one , from a boy who faithfully recorded that , for four successive half-hours , he was firing stones ... firing stones ... firing stones ... firing stones ...
    Given that he wasnt firing stones at a neighbours glasshouse, what dilemmas he must have wrestled with, what solutions he must have entertained!

    What meandering he must have done.

    Hugh Leonard in praise of the joys of reading and recalling the books that gave him wings.

    It has long been my personal conviction that an essential part of every Irish family is a mad aunt. In my more fanciful moments, I imagine a stud farm , probably in Kildare , where the species is bred or at least maddened to order. In my own family we never wanted for madness for not only was there my mothers sister, Mary, but also my fathers Aunt Julia , an ancient creature who dressed in layers of dusty black bombazine and had hands like old leather. One day, when I was perhaps eight, she came to our house and gave me a halfpenny , accompanying the gift with the unassailable observation that as long as I possessed it, I would always have money. She had another gift for me , a copy of Great Expectations. Great-aunt Julia was a miser and before a day had passed, repented of her prodigality and demanded the return of both gifts.

    By then it was too late. I had met Pip and the terrifying Magwitch and Joe Gargery and had reached the point where Uncle Pumplechook drank the tarwater in mistake for Mrs Joes Christmas brandy. By then the harm was done. I was a reader of books. Many years later, in a book of my own, I mentioned that incident , for there are not many moments in life that one can point to as a turning point. Perhaps that is why we go to plays. It makes the world tidy, with an exciting bit in Act Two and a turning point every five minutes. In time I not only finished reading Great Expectations but also adapted it for television.

    Recently I have turned to books that were part of my growing up , rather as one suddenly craves to see again a friend of ones youth. There is one book in particular that I have revisited with pleasure. It is Neville Carduss autobiography. He so vividly recalls that beacon of light in his early life which was the yellow glow that shone through the windows of Manchester Public Library. I have only to open the pages of this very great book to go pounding once again up the granite steps of the Carnegie Library in Dón Laoghaire, to feel the gentle sigh of warm air, to go through the wicket gate at the counter and ransack the shelves of the newly returned books. In those days, I acquired a nickname , Go-by the- Wall , because I invariably read as I walked along and brushed the nearest wall with my elbow as a guide to navigation. I read everywhere , at street corners, on trams and buses, while waiting for the pictures to begin. I can remember my chagrin at losing Jack Londons The Call of the Wild in the Carlton cinema and my joy when it was found (my address was on the flyleaf) in the same cinema, two years later.

    Who did I read? Dennis Wheatley, whose thrillers often threw in a history lesson for good measure. Dornford Yates, whose novels we thought the last thing in humour with their allusions to wops and dagos , which to modern eyes are rabidly fascistic. I read The Good Companions and Angel Pavement, filled with Priestleys brand of common sense and solid as roast beef. I read If Winter Comes, Love on the Dole and The Citadel, and there was The Story of San Michele , evidence of either a remarkable life or a remarkable liar. There were travel books such as Halliburtons The Magic Carpet , which was exactly that and transported me through Keatss charmed magic casements, opening on the foam of perilled seas in fairy lands forlorn. And there were the travel books of H.V. Morton, who did not roam so very far away but could bring the reader into the very soul of a city.

    We lived after all on an island and for much of my youth it was wartime and so we travelled with the aid of books. I remember a passage from Mortons The Year in London, in which he brilliantly evokes a November afternoon with the fog outside crowding at the windows and buttered muffins to eat and the firelight , I remember the phrase exactly , glinting on a pair of silk-clad knees opposite. I discovered too the Irish novels of L.A.G. Strong , an unglamorous journeyman writer who never wrote a bestseller, but depicted the passing of an age. His books and stories showed me that I could find material in the most seemingly dull
    and unlikely places, for they were set in Glasthule and Dón Laoghaire. To Strong these were places of romance. To myself , who grew up there , they were the prison from which I longed to escape.

    Reading was not always regarded during my lifetime as a good thing. It was feared and detested by some. There were those who saw it not as a means of enlightenment and aesthetic pleasure but rather as a source of possible corruption, as a weapon of degenerates, as a means by which the devils helpers would lead us to perdition. It is now perhaps not so well remembered that the list of banned books comprised twelve thousand publications at one time. It seems like a bad dream at this distance , the idea of a society where one could not read freely. The authors whose works were deemed indecent or obscene included , among Irish writers alone , OCasey, Joyce, Kate OBrien, Liam OFlaherty, Benedict Kiely, Frank OConnor and Seán O Faol?íin. I remember when as an amateur actor I asked a middle-aged man to direct our choice of play, he returned the script to me on the basis of one line of dialogue and said it was the dirtiest play he had ever read. The offending line was , You have the clammy touch of a sex-starved cobra, from The Man Who Came to Dinner.

    A book is a personal experience between reader and author , an actual relationship. These friendships , as I call them , have been part of my life and have been all the more delightful when unexpected. In the Book Exchange in Dalkey a few years ago, I found a volume with the unwieldy name W. Somerset Maughams Introduction to English and American Literature. It turned out to be a personal anthology of stories, poems and belles lettres intended for service men and women during World War ii. Each section was introduced at length and lovingly by the old party himself. Its a treasure-house of the unexpected and valued above rubies.

    And so too is a book I found on an otherwise empty shelf in a hotel on an island at what seemed to be the end of the world. It was Anna Karenina. The last thing I wanted to read about was the story of a love goddess. Then I read the opening lines , All happy families are alike but an unhappy family is unhappy after its own fashion. Good heavens! It was actually readable! And Anna Karenina was not a heroine at all but a silly, self-serving woman, blinded by her all-sacrificing need to be a romantic. I had discovered what to me is the greatest novel ever written. I recall being in a garden in Taormina, riotous with flowers and within sight of Mount Etna. It was there that I opened The Path to Rome by Hilaire Belloc. I never finished it, because I shall do so , or not at all , in the same garden, for the book and the setting became one.

    The person who opens a book acquires wings, and the better that book the higher he flies. He does not travel alone. The writer bears him company, and together they go hand in hand. And that is the purpose of , and the justification for , not only reading but for writing as well. To fly, not alone, but in companionship.

    For twenty-five years, Gerry Fitt was embroiled in the cauldron of Northern Ireland politics.

    After I came home from sea, I used to go to classes at the Workers Education Association, run by the trade union movement. I went there and learned a wee bit about economics. And then there was the International Correspondence School. They sent a book and the work was all done by correspondence , you did the work and then you sent it back to them for marking. It cost seven quid at the time. I think I did three different papers and I passed them all, but by this time I was rearing a family and I couldnt afford to give up another seven quid. Also, I belonged to the library in Belfast and I read whatever I could get my hands on. I became very interested in economics, but I never had any great urge to go to university. I was too busy doing other things.

    Those three years between 1958 and 1961 were the most important years in my political life. I didnt get paid for being a councillor. I had no money and I was rearing a small family. But I was absolutely obsessed with being in politics and being able to help people. I read all the National Insurance Acts and I used to go down to the local tribunals representing people. I became known as the Perry Mason of the local tribunals!

    When I was elected, I deliberately set out to prove that I wasnt a Catholic representative but that I was a non-sectarian representative. I remember Protestants coming to my door in 1958 and they would start, Councillor Fitt, Im a Protestant, and I would say, Look, I dont care whether youre a Protestant or not . Those people were living in exactly the same conditions as the Catholics and they were having the same problems. There was massive unemployment at the time and a whole lot of them were on the dole or on sickness benefit. I began to represent them and news of this travelled like wildfire all over the place. The more I helped them, the more they sent their relations to see me. It took a lot out of me. I had to neglect my own home and family, going to local tribunals and then going to city council meetings. I made a lot of friends in those three years.

    In 1961 I defended the seat and I won it with a big, big majority. And then in 1962 the parliamentary seat came up for re-election. I went out and fought the seat and won. That gave me some sort of economic wherewithal to stay in politics. I had seven hundred quid a year and I thought I was a millionaire, but at least I was able to look after my wife and kids. In 1965 Terence ONeill had taken over from Lord Brookeborough as prime minister and he called an election for November. I was very, very apprehensive about this election, because the history of Dock up until then had been that no political party had held the seat at successive elections. Here I was, the second time around, fighting against history, but I fought like hell and I won with an even bigger majority.

    In 1968 the civil rights movement began and I played a reasonably prominent part in that. I was interested in bringing in legislation which would help the underdog living in the Catholic ghettoes in Northern Ireland. I went to Derry in October for the famous civil rights march. I had taken the precaution of bringing Labour MPs over, because I knew what was going to happen. I knew they were going to beat the hell out of us, and so I got some photographers over as well. I was grabbed by the police and they beat me over the head with a baton. The blood ran down my face and the cameras were there to see. It caused a great big furore. When I returned to Westminster, I made speech after speech, saying, I got this beating for asking for the same rights for my constituents as you have for yours.

    The civil rights movement was totally justified, but it scared the life out of the Protestants, because they saw it as an attack on their privileges, which it actually wasnt. And that began the trouble. The Unionist underdog began to rebel against what he saw as concessions being given. There was awful fear in West Belfast. The Catholics thought that they were going to get slaughtered in their beds. I telephoned Jim Callaghan, who was the Home Secretary, and pleaded with him to send the army in, because there was a real fear that a pogrom could have broken out in Northern Ireland. I remember what Jim Callaghan said to me. Gerry, he said, I can get the army in, but its going to be a devil of a job getting it out. And how right he proved to be.

    I had a very nasty election in West Belfast, because the IRA were coming to the fore and they were beginning to attack me as being pro- Brit and so on. I won that election again in 1970. Then, in 1
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