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A Slightly Different English Lesson

Danny Morrison mit Schülerinnen des TGG

Irish Journalist Danny Morrison visits German grammar-school to discuss the Northern Ireland conflict

Last Friday the journalist Danny Morrison, the former Director of Publicity of the Irish party Sinn Féin, visited three classes of the 11th grade from the Teletta-Groß-Gymnasium in Leer to read one of his autobiographical essays “All The Dead Voices”. Afterwards the pupils had the possibility to ask him questions and to discuss the troubles, the future of Northern Ireland, and the peace process.

Leer/Belfast - There was a deadly silence when Morrison described the collage on the cover of his book: he himself had chosen the photos of people of different generations smiling into the camera. All of them seemed to be happy - until Danny Morrison gave an explanation referring to the title “All The Dead Voices”. “They are all dead”, Morrison said with a calm voice. Some of them were victims of the IRA, others were killed by the RUC, neighbours, relatives and friends of his. The students listened attentively and asked numerous questions about his family and own vita. In 1990 he was sentenced to eight years because of activities within the IRA; he took the chance to study all the books he had always wanted to read, which were about 500. During his imprisonment he also started to write “West Belfast”, his first novel. After being asked why he presented his book in public he answered that he wanted the youth to avoid the mistakes, which had been made in history of Northern Ireland. The answer he gave sounded honest. All in all he said that the situation in Ireland had improved since the Belfast Agreement and that he still hoped for a peaceful future of a United Republic.

Text und Foto: Marlena, Lutz, Sara, Patrick, Katarina und Imke (11g)

2008-05-30, sp