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Malachi O'Doherty

Michelle O'Neill said to know Bobby Storey was to love him. That's not strictly true. I didn't love him. I feared him … and I was not alone in that

Malachi O'Doherty


Those who dramatise the past as heroic have already forgotten it, argues Malachi O'Doherty

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Bobby Storey (centre) with Gerry Adams and Michelle O'Neill

Bobby Storey (centre) with Gerry Adams and Michelle O'Neill

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

One of the streets that was renamed on Tuesday

One of the streets that was renamed on Tuesday

Bobby Storey (centre) with Gerry Adams and Michelle O'Neill

I was doing some recent research for a book on the early Troubles and I studied the record of a key event.

In September 1971, a month after the introduction of internment, the British Prime Minister, Edward Heath, met the Taoiseach, Jack Lynch, at Chequers and both were joined by the Northern Ireland Prime Minister, Brian Faulkner. They had as their joint concern the ending of the violence.

Faulkner wanted to preserve internment and claim it as a success. Heath wanted a security-based response to the trouble, but with political reform, and Lynch wanted to drum it into the heads of the other two that the key problem was partition.