Sunday, April 22, 2012

Ignoring the uniqueness of Antrim and Down (and other places too)

Award-winning but factually lacking. For example, it leaves out Hamilton & Montgomery in 1606, the Lowland Scots settlers brought by the Antrim MacDonnells in 1607, those brought by Bishop Montgomery to Derry and Donegal in 1607, visuals imply that Antrim and Down were part of the Plantation of Ulster (which they weren't, although the text partly remedies that issue, partly...), in the Cromwell section no mention of the proposed deportation of hundreds of Ulster-Scots community leaders from Antrim and Down, no mention of the 1661 ejection of Presbyterians from their pulpits, no mention of the experiences of the 'Killing Times' of Charles II and James II which give vital context to the impact of the 'Comber Letter'.... dear dear dear. Looks like there was no distinct Ulster-Scots or Presbyterian experience during the 1600s at all. Visually beautiful, but as for some of the content...

Here it is.

'Ignoring the uniqueness of Antrim and Down' (and of the many Scottish-settled areas and communities across Ulster) is still, sadly, a common theme in some circles. Years ago I was told by many 'experts' that there was no Ulster-Scots story, so I set about trying to change that. I think that those of us who helped me did a superb job, and continue to do a superb job. But now that the Ulster-Scots story is deeply researched and well told, many 'experts' just choose to ignore it. The stereotypical 'two tribes' Protestant v Catholic approach to history is clearly going to take a while to go away.