Seamus Heaney’s words heal wounds reopened on Ireland’s border


This post is by Rory Carroll in Bellaghy from Books | The Guardian


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Celebrations of the 80th anniversary of the late poet’s birth are helping to defuse old tensions aggravated by Brexit

Brexit has reopened old wounds and old questions, making Northern Ireland wary of its anniversaries. This year is the centenary of the Anglo-Irish war that led to the partitioning of Ireland and the 50th anniversary of the start of the Troubles – historical events that now carry the air of unfinished business amid renewed contention over the border and national identity.

Power sharing between nationalists and unionists has collapsed. Sinn Féin seeks a referendum on Irish unification, while the Democratic Unionist party seeks to unravel the European Union membership that is threaded into the peace process. The Good Friday agreement – signed 21 years ago last week – is wilting.

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