- Publication Date
The Liffey Press
978 1 905785 77 3
- Page Count
The Boys of St. Columb's tells the story of the first generation of children to receive free secondary education as a result of the ground-breaking 1947 Educational Act in northern Ireland. This book shows how the political and historical conditions of Northern Ireland altered as a result of the mass education of its population, culminating in the civil rights movement of the late 1960s which drew its inspiration from the USA.
The boys of St. Columb's consists of interviews with Nobel Prize winners, writers, diplomats, musicians and a socialist campaigner. The eight figures who make up this oral history are Bishop Daly, John Hume, Seamus Heaney, Seamus Deane, Phil coulter, Eamonn McCann, Paul Brady and James Sharkey. These interviewees, as well as being world figures, are also sharply insightful. They form as fine an example as exists of the watershed in Irish History brought about by educational overhaul.
These eight remarkable men first learned to survive in the unionist state, and then to thrive. The considerable momentum that gathered from their endeavours, along with those of others, paved the way for future generations. As Seamus Heaney put it, 'they broke some silences' and opened avenues that had been unimaginable to their parents.
Their achievements is still being felt today.