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Lost Lives: The Stories of the Men, Women and Children Who Died as a Result of the Northern Ireland Troubles

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The effect is overwhelming, which is why it took me so long to finish--I could generally only read 2-3 pages at a sitting. Perhaps its stark subtitle and colossal length were too off-putting: 'The stories of the men, women and children who died as a result of the Northern Ireland Troubles'. Over a seven-year period, they examined every single death which was directly caused by the troubles. In the film’s final moments, they add the name of Lyra McKee, the journalist shot by dissident Republicans during rioting in April 2019.

I would be interested in hearing recommendations from anyone more intimately familiar with the troubles than I, in fact. On the internet however a flourishing second-hand market has grown up around the book with copies on offer from anywhere between a few hundred pounds to over a thousand. The exhibition ended with a display of notes on a large wall showcasing the reactions of previous visitors. Excerpts from firsthand accounts relating to the deaths are also included where possible, and in addition to the alphabetical index there is a glossary and an appendix of statistics and graphs. This entry was posted on October 16, 2009 by kirstyjane in Entries by Kirsty, Non-fiction: current affairs, Non-fiction: history and tagged conflict, death, northern ireland, politics, troubles.

Might I therefore suggest to your readers that it is best used as a companion to some of the other excellent works on the history of the conflict in Northern Ireland. Collectively, they provide a renewed sense of just how widespread and all-consuming the Troubles were, how they caught up combatants and civilians, young and old alike. While so many of these deaths were accidental and of the ‘wrong place at the wrong time’ nature, I feel that only viewing them through this objective and non-partisan lense is in many ways unfair to ‘some’ of those who died, as it takes away the meanings that they and their familes ascribe to their actions – which are extremely important coping mechanisms to those who have lost family members. However, there is also a lacuna as big as a Laguna in that it was last published in revised format in 2008. Hewitt and Lavery pull a scene-setting example from the book’s first pages: nine-year-old Patrick Rooney, killed in his bed by an RUC bullet during a riot in August 1969.

There is not space to do justice to the scholarly comprehensiveness, the magisterial evenhandedness or the moral integrity of this astonishing book. On 9 August 1971 running gun battles erupted between the IRA, the Protestant militias and the British Army. A warm, unsentimental and beautifully-observed book for our times' Lucy Caldwell, author of These Days 'If I were in bother I'd want the Ballybrady bunch at my back.This is not to say that Lost Lives is a perfect resource: apart from anything else, there were considerable problems in obtaining and releasing information which have necessarily influenced the content of the book; not to mention the necessity of imposing definite parametres on a frequently vague and slippery problem, often in contrast to other groups working towards the same aim. I am merely a few hundred deaths into the 3,637 described, and to force myself along at a faster pace would be unfair on myself and on the people remembered on the page. For anyone interested in Northern Ireand - or in the human cost of conflict anywhere - this is destined to be the defining work. We also treat our community members to special offers, promotions, and adverts from us and our partners. The film-makers create jolting contrast: the enduring beauty of the Irish landscape, against today’s gleamingly secure pleasure palaces, built after civil war was replaced by something like peace.

At more than 1,600 pages, a thickness greater than some editions of the Bible, and weighing something like an average roast, theft of the object involved substantially more than sliding it into your waistband and strolling out the door. Mike McCahill in The Guardian wrote that "The variation of voices staves off any monotony inherent in the list format, and each story opens up some revealing front. The book was written by four journalists, the late Seamus Kelters, David McKittrick, Brian Feeney and Chris Thornton, as an compilation of the Troubles related deaths across three decades. It was also shown on BBC One NI at 21:00 on 16 February 2020, and on BBC Two at 22:00 on 7 March 2020.David McKittrick has been the Ireland correspondent of The Independent since 1986 and was named correspondent of the year in 1999 by BBC2's What the Papers Say. It gives more detail about some of the killings in Northern Ireland and I can’t quite describe how it left me feeling. Not necessarily as it all depends on how many books are out there in the marketplace of each edition. This book--a brilliant combination of the journalistic and the scholarly--will stand as a memorial to the dead. Now it has become a remarkable film, a visual poem that will be shown on Sunday on BBC One Northern Ireland; one that takes small portions of the book, and with the powerful additions of pictures and music, turns the words into a larger expression of Northern Ireland's grief.

Lost Lives first appeared not long after the Good Friday Agreement, and that timing is probably important in understanding the book's impact: it came at a moment when Northern Ireland was just beginning to look at the immensity of what happened over the previous 30 years. What this book does well, is that it asserts that ‘a victim is a victim’, but in doing that, readers unfamiliar to the NI conflict might also conclude that ‘a killer is a killer’ – inscribing the killers with unlimted agency and dislocating them from the structural injustices and the lack of choices that created them. It is a fitting tribute to the relentless monstrosity of those years but not a comfortable read at all.When you see some copies available, some are heavily thumbed, the pages have become creased, but it is still very much in demand. We have been updating and adding to it to include the outcomes of such recent inquiries including the Smithwick Tribunal, the Saville Inquiry and De Silva.

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