Dermot McMonagle grew up in a farming and business family in the Ballyconnell area. He begins the recording by discussing two deadly incidents which occurred during the Civil War in February 1923 in Cavan, when a Catholic and a Protestant were murdered and both victims were carried from Ballyconnell to their graves side by side. This resulted in mutual respect locally for opposing traditions, a situation which was maintained until the barriers were erected in 1973. Dermot explains that the increased Garda and army presence in his home place informed his first understanding of the Troubles. He describes the difficulties created for local businesses by Irish customs officers during the early years of the Troubles. He began to export livestock to Scotland in the early 1970s, and recounts in detail the disastrous effect on his business of the murder of Lord Mountbatten, his grandson and a local boy in Mullaghmore in August 1979. He explains his belief that terrorism thrives on fear, and states that terrorism became institutionalised during the Troubles. The use of the old smuggling lines by the IRA was common knowledge in the area. Dermot was one of those involved in the earlier movement in the 1970s to reopen the Derrylin Ballyconnell route, which also led to the redevelopment and reopening of the Ballyconnell Ballinamore Canal in 1993.
This collection, carried out by Irish Life and Lore on behalf of Cavan County Library Service, is funded by the EU Special EU Programmes Body Peace IV fund under the objective to build positive relations with people from different backgrounds and communities to support peace and reconciliation.
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