Are You with Me?: How Kevin Boyle opened a path away from sectarianism

Mike Chinoy’s book shows how the civil rights activist went beyond Northern politics

Kevin Boyle: He was prominent in the campaign against the fatwa imposed on Salman Rushdie after the publication of The Satanic Verses. Photograph: Colin McConnell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

Kevin Boyle: He was prominent in the campaign against the fatwa imposed on Salman Rushdie after the publication of The Satanic Verses. Photograph: Colin McConnell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

One of the more frustrating legacies of Northern Ireland’s divisions have been their apparently self-reinforcing durability. Anyone listening to some of the most popular shows on local radio – notwithstanding the current public health emergency – will be treated to a diet of regurgitated grievance from decades and centuries back.

Of course, many historical grievances are legitimate and many victims have received shockingly little justice after the loss of loved ones. And the settlement in the North is still not grounded in any real consensus on the past, which is why so much of the discourse remains stuck there, unable to meaningfully debate the future – constitutionally or otherwise.

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