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British Council book explores the complex relationships between Britain and Ireland

A new book launches today at the Duncairn Arts Centre, exploring the complex relationships that exist between Britain and Ireland.

Published by the British Council, Britain & Ireland: Lives Entwined is a series of Essays reflecting on the current context of change and flux on the islands.

This latest edition, Lives Entwined V, focuses on the theme of ‘shifting borders, shifting identities’ and offers contemporary, authentic and sometimes challenging perspectives from a range of voices drawn from politics, journalism, arts and academia.

It includes contributions from Journalist Susan McKay, who interviews women who knew and who were changed by the life and death of journalist Lyra Mckee, Pádraig Ó Tuama, who through poetry wrestles with the nature of time, contested histories and Brexit, and writer Glenn Patterson, who transports us to a night at Bert’s Jazz Bar.

Senator Ian Marshall and former Deputy Leader of NI21 John McCallister explore the place of unionism in 2020, Playwright Shannon Sickles (Yee) discusses her LGBTQ activism and the role of the Arts, and ex-MLA, Conall McDevitt, examines his multi-faceted identity.

Meanwhile, Theatre-maker Grace Dyas questions the narrative that conflict is over, historian Diarmaid Ferriter argues that British-Irish relations are in need of careful repair and British Council’s Kate Ewart-Biggs gives a deeply personal and moving insight into three generations of her family.

Speaking about the book, Jonathan Stewart, Director, British Council Northern Ireland, said: “We’re delighted to be able to launch Britain and Ireland: Lives Entwined V at a time of change and flux in British-Irish relations. 

“The book captures a range of voices and perspectives reflecting on life across these islands against the backdrop of many of the changes happening on the geopolitical landscape. We hope this volume will provoke dialogue and an opportunity to explore some of the complexities of relationships that exist. Relationships that are often multidimensional and evolving and not always simply bilateral.”

Britain & Ireland: Lives Entwined was initially commissioned following the 2004 report, Through Irish Eyes which examined changing attitudes towards the UK among young Irish people. 

This fifth edition, ‘Shifting borders, shifting identities’, is made up of a series of ten essays from ex-politician John McCallister, journalist Susan McKay, writer Glenn Patterson, historian Diarmaid Ferriter, Theatre-maker Grace Dyas, Playwright Shannon Sickels (Yee), ex-MLA Conall McDevitt, Senator Ian Marshall, British Council’s Kate Ewart-Biggs and Poet Pádraig Ó Tuama.

The full publication can now be viewed online: https://nireland.britishcouncil.org/britain-ireland-lives-entwined and includes a full audio recording of Pádraig Ó Tuama’s piece

The Belfast launch will be followed by events in London at the Irish Embassy next week (Tuesday, January 24) and in Dublin later this spring.

The British Council is the UK’s leading cultural relations organisation. For more information on the British Council Northern Ireland visit nireland.britishcouncil.org or follow on Twitter: @BCouncil_NI.

Last updated 5 months 4 weeks ago