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LETTER: Losing history will lead to gaps in knowledge

September 30th, 2018 8:00 PM

By Southern Star Team

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SIR – I read of the Department of Education’s decision (which may change) to no longer have history as a mandatory subject in the Junior Cert. The fear is many students may not then study it in the Leaving Cert and, as citizens, may have big gaps in knowledge of our country’s past and its impact on today; politically, socially and culturally.

That could happen, but better understanding of history tends to be later in life through enjoyable books for the non-academic reader and are not expensive, if one buys from good-value websites. Newspapers do articles on history like a recent one on how Watergate led to the resignation of US President Nixon in 1974. The only US President to resign from office so far.

Knowing of the 1913 lock-out strike which caused severe hardship for workers and their families in Dublin may help to see how it partially led to the 1916 Rising and the War of Independence, and the importance of trade unions. 

The cause and effects of events. The 1912 Titanic tragedy led to better safety at sea.

The US ‘National Coalition for History’ has urged the US Congress to look into the management of records on the separation of children from illegal immigrant parents at the US-Southern border earlier this year, when some 12,000 children were sent to detention centres set up in a hurry. It ended when former First Ladies, their husbands and current First Lady, Melania Trump, spoke out against her husband President Trump introducing the policy. 

Mary Sullivan,

Cork.

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