Mary Kenny

Trouble At The Gates

The Siege of Derry: A History

By

Little, Brown 364pp £18.99 order from our bookshop

When a cousin of mine was engaged to be married in the 1970s, she went to County Cavan – a Border county within the Irish Republic, but part of the old province of Ulster – to impart the good news to her uncle and aunt, who farmed there. Her aunt enquired of the fiancé: ‘Is he a Protestant?’ The affianced, being an Englishman, would have thought of himself in some mild and vague manner as ‘C of E’; and my cousin answered, truthfully, ‘Well, I suppose, yes.’ The aunt’s face hardened. ‘The Protestants got the best land,’ was her only further comment. Cavan land was notoriously poor.

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