Intertwined Roots – Book Review

Originally published in 2001 by the late James “Texas Jim” Hanna

Have you ever wondered whether or not you should celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? Green beer? Shamrocks? Dr. W. A. Hanna has written a guide to our understanding of the relationship between Ulster, Eire and the source of “the troubles”. Because he is a retired surgeon with interests in history and geology, the book is comprehensive. Because he is a fair-minded man, it’s objective – a rare thing in discussions of this sort.

The roots of the conflict between the two communities in Northern Ireland go back a very long way. The Ulster-Scot Presbyterians are the largest single group among the Protestant community, and while they are normally seen as descendents of the seventeenth-century influx of lowland Scots, movements in both directions between Scotland and the north of Ireland date from earliest times. This book refers to those early links, outlines the history of Ulster-Scots, and reflects on their heritage. He discusses the concerns that divide the unionist and nationalist communities. He follows the course of the peace process as well, and, while this is done from a broadly unionist point of view, the background is provided by news reports, headlines and party agreements. Indeed, he traces the ups and downs of the hopes of the people of Northern Ireland up to the point where they enter the twenty-first century.

Dr. Hanna’s book is subtitled “An Ulster-Scot Perspective on Heritage, History, Hostility and hope in Northern Ireland”. He has divided it into three sections: The Past; A Background to the Present; and, The Present. Each section has appendices of great interest but the one that will fascinate U.S. members is the appendix to Part One, “The Scotch-Irish in America”.

Intertwined Roots; W. A. Hanna; The Columba Press, 55A Spruce Avenue, Stillorgan Industrial Park, Blackrock, Co. Dublin; ISBN 1 85607 290 8

Available on Amazon.

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