A very fair note on Peter Hart who died at the very young age of 46 this week.
Having dealt with Peter while working at Mercier, I have to say I found him very professional and exceptionally courteous. While I didn’t always agree with his perspective and felt he had serious questions to answer on a number of points, I nonetheless thought he also raised some valid and searching questions about our history that warranted answering.
One less questioning voice in Irish History.
The problem of his ‘revisionist’ interpretation of the War of Independence in Cork still rouses amateur historians to fury. Ireland being a small country, many of his critics are related to the men whose motivation Hart criticised. Sometimes, I think his critics protest too much� – just or not, the War of Independence was a nasty and unpleasant terrorist war in which men on both sides were shot down in night and died in the cold wet ditches.� Hart’s interpretation may have swung too far, but there are still many people in Ireland who are not comfortable admitting how our state was born. Dealing with our past – and in the case of Northern Ireland, our recent past – is part of the contribution we can make to understanding and resolving conflict in the world.