Hazel Robertson (b. 1945) and John Robertson (b. 1939)

Hazel Robertson (b. 1945) and John Robertson (b. 1939)


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Hazel Moore grew up in Cootehill, Co. Cavan, and in 1966 she wed John Robertson who farmed at Clonfard and in Co. Monaghan. A bridge which crosses the Border is situated 100 yards from their home. Life in this Border area was difficult during the thirty years of the Troubles, and Hazel describes the intimidation they endured from the IRA. On one occasion, three men in balaclavas entered their home and demanded the keys to their car which they then drove away. The car was never recovered, neither was any compensation received. Also recalled is an occasion when a tailor’s dummy was placed on their land and the security forces did not respond for some days, fearing the presence of a booby-trap. A booby-trap did explode on the opposite side of the road and a policeman was injured in the knee. Hazel explains that the family lived in fear, and she felt unable to remain in the family home with their children if her husband was elsewhere. John further explains that he felt he would be a sitting target if he were to join the security forces during those years. Hazel describes the occasion when her nephew, Peter North, had an extraordinary escape with his life when he was forced to drive a van, to which a bomb had been attached, to the checkpoint at Rosslea. Fortunately, the bomb became detached from the vehicle before it reached the checkpoint.

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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Additional information



Audio series:

Voices of the Troubles

Download time limit:

48 hours

Recorded by:

Maurice O'Keeffe – Irish Life and Lore

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