A Shared Home Place
Seamus Mallon with Andy Pollak
Written by Seamus Mallon and Andy Pollak.
A harbinger of hope, this timely memoir by one of the most prominent Catholic nationalist politicians in Northern Ireland is a primary source for the social and political history of the province, from the onset of the Troubles in the 1960s to the 1990s peace process and beyond. Its authentic voice lends it a vitality and an urgency that illuminates our recent past.
In this book, Seamus Mallon describes his happy upbringing in South Armagh as a Catholic in a 90% Protestant village; his turbulent years as a constitutional politician in the violent maelstrom of near-civil war, when he was the target of both loyalist violence and republican vilification; and his central role in the peace process as the man who complemented John Hume, doing the ‘spade-work’ to reach a hard-won deal with the Ulster Unionists.
Mallon calls for a new beginning in Northern Ireland, based on the ideal that it is a shared home place for all its people, and that Irish unity can only come about through unionist consent. His surprising and innovative proposal, based on a little-known clause in the Good Friday Agreement, shows how this might be implemented.
Andy Pollak is the founding director of the Centre for Cross Border Studies in Armagh (1999-2013). Previous to that, he was Belfast reporter, religious affairs and education correspondent with the Irish Times, and editor of Fortnight Magazine from 1981-1985. He is co-author (with Ed Moloney) the Rev. Ian Paisley’s biography. In the early 1990s he was coordinator of the Opsahl Commission, a ‘citizens inquiry’ into ways forward for Northern Ireland, and editor of the influential Opsahl Report.
‘What is striking about this memoir is his ability to weave a remarkable eloquence around the unvarnished details of devastation that led to such funerals.’ – IRISH TIMES