West Cork history revisited

Sir, – I am grateful for the excellent and balanced reporting by your Southern Correspondent Barry Roche of the inaugural West Cork History Festival. I am glad Tom Cooper (Letters, August 7th) has read some of it. As he was not present himself, he will perhaps permit me to correct somewhat the impression he creates of the festival.

A screening of An Tost Fada, which did not contain the images to which Mr Cooper refers, played to a packed house. Canon Salter, on whose moving testimony about his family's experience during and after the War of Independence the documentary is based, was present. It prompted animated discussion and proved thought-provoking for those who attended. The same was true of the other contributions on the revolutionary period. Academic speakers included Dr Andy Bielenberg, whom Mr Cooper mentions, but also Dr Eve Morrison, Prof David Fitzpatrick, Prof Eunan O'Halpin, and Dr William Sheehan. All produced debate; none claimed the final word.

The issues involved, including that of sectarianism in the revolutionary period, will no doubt continue to exercise those engaged in honest scrutiny of the time. We look forward to continuing to play our part in that, as well as considering the host of other subjects which interested those from west Cork and elsewhere who were present. – Is mise,



Chair of the West Cork

History Festival Committee,


Co Cork.