Wednesday, May 14, 2014

A break from your regularly scheduled programming ...

Here's a new footnote in the Astral Weeks creation narrative, albeit a rather small one: Boston and Belfast have officially become sister cities. Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh and Belfast's Lord Mayor Mairtin O Muilleoir signed the agreement on May 12. Much pomp and circumstance then followed. A released statement tactfully referenced Belfast's still-healing sectarian wounds ("a world-leader in peace building") and played up Boston's indelible ties to the Emerald Isle (the "Irish-American capital of America").

The signing of the agreement followed recent headlines involving both cities. On April 30, Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams was arrested for questioning in connection with the 1972 murder of Jean McConville, a mother of 10 who was abducted from her Belfast home and accused of being a British Army informant. Adams' arrest was based on allegations contained in taped interviews recorded for a Boston College oral history project on the Troubles. The Belfast Project, as it came to be known, brought together interviews from more than 40 former republican and loyalist paramilitaries. Boston College is now being sued by several individuals who participated.

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