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I grew up during the Troubles—so I know what’s at stake when we discuss the future of Northern Ireland

We always regretted moving back to west Belfast in the 1960s—and two decades since the peace deal Northern Ireland is still recuperating

By Philip MacCann  

Then Prime Minister Tony Blair and former Conservative Prime Minister John Major shake hands as school children, from local Catholic and Protestants schools, look on following a question and answer session in Belfast today (Wednesday). Blair and Major are in the province to lend cross-party support to the Good Friday peace agreement. Photo: PA Archive

Contemplating violence in Northern Ireland is unavoidable this year, half a century since society imploded, and celebrations of the last two relatively peaceful decades must be sombre.

My family always regretted moving back to west Belfast. In 1966 my mother resigned from Manchester Grammar School, pining for the genteel Catholic community she had left behind. Genteel under Special Powers. She tended our new garden,…

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