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Belfast Days: A 1972 Teenage Diary

Belfast Days: A 1972 Teenage Diary

Eimear O'Callaghan

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'Vivid and disturbing, the terror of war invades the everyday life of a sensitive girl'  Susan McKay, journalist and author

Belfast 1972. It's the bloodiest year of the Northern Irish 'Troubles' and sixteen-year-old Eimear O'Callaghan, a Catholic schoolgirl in Andersonstown, West Belfast, bears witness in her new diary. What follows is a unique and touching perspective into the daily life of an ordinary teenager coming of age in extraordinary times.

The immediacy of the diary entries are complemented with the author's mature reflections written forty years later. The result is poignant, shocking, wryly funny and above all, explicitly honest. This unique publication comes at a time when Northern Ireland is desperately struggling to come to terms with the legacy of its turbulent past. It provides a powerful juxtaposition of the ordinary, everyday concerns of a sixteen-year-old girl - who could be any girl in any British or Irish city at this time, worrying about her hair, exams, clothes, discos - with the unimaginable horror of a society slowly disintegrating before her eyes, a seemingly inevitable descent into a bloody civil war, fuelled by sectarianism, hatred and fear.

Written by an experienced broadcaster and journalist, Belfast Days demonstrates how one person's examination of her own 'story', upon rediscovering her 1972 diary on the eve of the publication of the Saville Report, provided her with a new perspective on one of the darkest periods in twentieth century British and Irish history.

Table of Contents

Prologue: '…prayer is our only hope, seeing we haven't got a gun!'

Chapter 1: 'Wish something big would hurry up and happen.'

Chapter 2: 'Sure there will be serious trouble.'

Chapter 3: 'Blitzed, strife-torn corner of the earth.'

Chapter 4: 'Two months to bury our dead.' Chapter 5: 'The glory of the Lord.'

Chapter 6: 'My nerves are shattered.'

Chapter 7: 'Unchristian type of satisfaction.'

Chapter 8: 'All I could do was pray.'

Chapter 9: 'Too good to be true.'

Chapter 10: 'The inevitability of civil war.'

Chapter 11: 'All my childish instincts.'

Chapter 12: 'Cèpes à la bordelaise' Chapter 13: 'Dirty, horrible, backward, dark Belfast'

Chapter 14: 'A pity ALL the Catholics hadn't been killed.'

Chapter 15: 'We'll all be butchered.'

Chapter 16: 'No longer is anyone unlikely to be shot.' Epilogue: 'Thankful to be alive.'

Additional Information

Author Eimear O'Callaghan
Publisher Irish Academic Press
Publication date 5 Oct 2014
Format Paperback
ISBN/EAN 9781908928894

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