- 2 hours ago
“The day before my seventh birthday, two Catholic civilians were shot dead by the British army in Derry. A month later, internment was a fact. Internment was the word for all those men herded up, marched out the road and taken away. There were other new words – gelignite, incendiary, Molotov, assassination, Saracen, barricades, Chichester-Clark, squaddies, sub-machine gun, and ‘army bomb disposal units’. We were not allowed to talk about it all out loud.
“Police messages would interrupt the TV programmes and my father would disappear in response to the instruction that key-holders return to their premises to check for bombs. There’s the rub – we needed to feel safe and every time something happened my father left, or so it seemed. Men disappeared. Women minded children. Children minded their own business and learned to say nothing, hear nothing, know nothing – and be good.”
Maria McManus grew up during the Troubles in the border town of Enniskillen
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