Profiles of Eight Remarkable Men from Derry :The Boys of St Columb's.

Today is ‘City of Culture Commitment Day’ in Derry - Londonderry, part of their ongoing campaign  for the UK City of Culture 2013. Showing my support for this bid I'm hoping that the committee who makes the final decision on which city to choose, have either seen the film or read the book entitled The Boys of St Columb's. The Belfast launch of the book takes place on Tuesday in the Bookshop at Queens.

Watching the film version on the BBC I was amazed at the story of how eight men; poets, writers, diplomats, musicians and a socialist campaigner were all at  the same school around the same time and were all so successful. The blurb for the book reads...
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 Education 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 book profiles St. Columb's school in Derry, an excellent example of a school that underwent the shift from the dark post-war years into the more liberal 1960s, as a lens to understand the effect of the 1947 legislation. "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 achievement is still being felt today.
Author's  website - MauriceFitzpatrick.Org 
Publishers website -TheLiffeyPress.Com
The book can be purchased from Amazon

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