Whatever You Say Say Nothing

Heaney once said that returning to Northern Ireland from his US part-year teaching commitments was like pulling on ‘an old dirty glove’. In 1974 after nearly two decades of sectarian and political turbulence things reached a very low ebb. By the end of the year 1281 murders directly associated with the Troubles period had been registered. Little wonder that the generally mild mannered Heaney, empathetic, certainly, as regards the minority Catholic cause but opposed to violence for whatever reason, was depressed and angered by what was unfolding and the way people responded. A poster put up during the ‘Troubles’ featuring a masked, uniformed paramilitary carrying a sten-gun bore the legend: ‘Loose-talk costs lives In taxis On the phone In clubs […]