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So personal, so impressive – Danny Morrison about the IRA

On 25th April 2008 the former IRA volunteer and Irish author Danny Morrison visited the “Teletta-Groß-Gymnasium” in Leer. He held a reading dealing with his political past in his collection “All the Dead Voices” to the pupils of the 11th grade, who had the chance to ask him questions afterwards.

Danny Morrsion was born in Belfast und grew up in Northern Ireland, he was an active member of the Republican movement in Ireland and today he’s a free journalist and author. He was the chief editor of the newspaper “An Phoblacht/Republican News” and 1982 he became the spokesman of Sinn Féin. Between 1982 and 1986 Morrison was an assemblyman of Sinn Féin in the parlament of Northern Ireland.

In 1990 he was sentenced to eight years in prison, because of IRA- activities, but in 1995 he was already set free. Most of his works such as “West Belfast” (1989), “Then the walls came down” (an autobiography) and “All the Dead Voices” (2002) were published after his imprisonment.

The pupils were highly interested in Danny Morrison’s political opinion today and wanted to know whether he regreted any activities of his past life. He answered that he couldn’t think of a certain activity which he shouldn’t have done; but he regreted all the deaths and felt postly responsible for all the sorrows and worries durchrig the troubles. He also talked about his family and his imprisonment, in which he read about 500 books and wrote three novels.

For ourselves as students, Danny Morrison’s visit and lecture was something like a good completion to our English lessons and the topic “Ireland”. If you meet someone you only know by the internet or by his essays, it’s something special, that you won’t forget so fast.

Sometimes there were some problems understanding the discussion after his reading. Not because of his accent, which we had expected before, but because of his vocabulary, we didn’t know. We weren’t so familiar with all these expressions concerning war, that we could have followed him in every detail.

In our opinion there wasn’t a special answer that Morrison gave, which was so impressive, but it was the way he talked and the fact that he told us about so many very personal and unknown details of his life. That was very imposing.

Text: Lena, Marthe, Lisa und Carina (11b)

2008-05-30, dw