Monday, 8 August 2011

Féile Book launch Children of the Revolution

Another event as part of this years Gasyard Féile, this Friday August 12th will see the Derry book launch of Children of the Revolution — The lives of sons and daughters of activist in Northern Ireland by Bill Rolston. The eventwill take place in Sandino's Bar (Back Room Upstairs) Water Street, Derry at 7pm.

Children of the Revolution contains the stories of twenty people who had a parent politically active in Northern Ireland’s recent conflict, the majority deeply involved in non-state combatant groups. Interviewed at length by Professor Bill Rolston, the sons and daughters of republicans and loyalists recount now as adults their experiences of childhood and how the activities of their mothers or fathers impacted on their lives. Many of the names would be familiar to those conversant with the traumatic events and politics of the Troubles; names such as Adams, Ervine, Bunting, Lyttle, Nelis, McMaster, Meehan, McQuiston and McCann. Others are less well known.

The contributors tell of police and army raids, prison visits, absent or deceased parents with honesty and emotion. Some reject the parent and the events that led to their own suffering, while others are completely supportive of the parent and his or her politics; many are ambivalent. In the end, the people interviewed were not passive victims, but survivors who managed to ride the crest of the conflicts they experienced. Ultimately, despite the trauma, and despite their feelings of ambivalence, resilience won out.

Gillian Slovo, author and playwright from South Africa, commented on Children of the Revolution: “Woven through these beautifully rendered different experiences are the rage and the shame, the pride and the love, and, above all, the sacrifice that was demanded of the children of activists. A heart-wrenching, clear headed, painful account that, saying much about the costs of struggle, makes riveting reading.”

Bill Rolston is an academic from Belfast who has developed a diverse body of published work on the peace process, political murals, and general imagery of the Troubles. He is currently Professor of Sociology in the University of Ulster, Jordanstown Campus, and Director of the Transitional Justice Institute. Established in 2003, the Institute has rapidly become internationally recognised as a leading centre for the study of law in societies emerging from conflict. It has placed research emanating from Northern Ireland at the forefront of both local and global academic, legal and policy debates. In 2006 it received recognition from the American Society of International Law when its scholars were awarded the top book and article prize for creative and outstanding contributions to international legal scholarship – an unprecedented achievement for a non-US research unit.

Children of the Revolution by Bill Rolston is supported by the Community Relations Council and is available from all good bookshops and priced £8.95. ISBN 9781906271381. Paperback, 220 pages.

For further details, please contact:

Guildhall Press, Unit 15 Ráth Mór Business Park, Bligh’s Lane, Derry BT48 0LZ, N Ireland. T: (028) 7136 4413; E:; W: