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On the Margin cover

  • eBook Edition
    • 978-1-03-919097-9
    • epub, pdf files
  • Paperback Edition
    • 978-1-03-919095-5
    • 5.0 x 8.0 inches
    • Black & White interior
    • 228 pages
  • Hardcover Edition
    • 978-1-03-919096-2
    • 5.0 x 8.0 inches
    • Black & White interior
    • 228 pages
  • Keywords
    • Autobiography,
    • Family history,
    • Immigration to Canada,
    • Ireland in the 20th century,
    • Irish history,
    • Irish Protestants and Catholics ,
    • Living in India and Africa

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On the Margin
A Memoir
by Robin Bury

Protestants have had a tradition of keeping their heads down since before Irish independence in 1922, and still have. Most of them have gone into Omertà. They had their own social networks, businesses, large manufacturing companies like Guinness and Jamieson Whiskey and schools and hospitals. But a few historians have taken the position that Southern Protestant citizenship has been indulged, rather than being a matter of right, in the Roman Catholic Gaelic state that emerged after 1921. So, we can ask, why did an estimated 42,000 leave to go to Northern Ireland, England, Australia and Canada between 1920 and 1926? In On the Margin, Robin Bury describes his lived experiences, and those of his family, as marginalized Protestants residing in Roman Catholic-controlled Southern Ireland in the twentieth century, and what it was like to be set apart, placed on the margin, despite being as Irish as their fellow Roman Catholics. The author recounts his early childhood in India in the 1940s, when his Anglican clergyman father had a post there. He describes growing up in Ireland, including his schooling at Midleton College in Co. Cork, St. Columba’s College in Dublin and Trinity College Dublin. He married an Irish Catholic woman and gives highlights of his family life. He tells of living as an expatriate in Kenya in the 1960s, where he was a teacher, and his subsequent career in export sales beginning in London, England, and then continuing largely in Ireland, apart from a brief stint in Toronto. He closes with his move in retirement to his mother’s native Canada. A self-admitted post-nationalist, Robin examines how a once vibrant and industrious ruling minority ended up being the subject of attacks and intimidation in the years following Ireland’s independence, and aspires to inform the Irish people at home and those in the diaspora about the harm that monocultural nationalism—which is spreading today in various countries—causes when people dwell on supposed past wrongs. Weaving personal accounts and gathered stories about various generations of the Bury family with a myriad of information and thoughts about the broader religious, social, and political norms of Ireland post independence, On the Margin is an engaging and candid memoir written from a rarely told Protestant perspective.

The son of a Protestant clergyman, Robin Bury was born in India in 1940, when his father was posted there. Other than a few years spent as a teacher in Kenya and England, Robin spent most of his life living in the Republic of Ireland. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in history, a Diploma in Education, and a Master of Philosophy in Irish history, all from Trinity College Dublin. Robin recently moved to Canada, the nation of his mother and to which his father’s parents emigrated, where he lives in Toronto, near his daughter Sophie and son Mark. He enjoys visits back to Dublin to spend time with his daughter Emily and his brother and sisters. He loves spending time with his three grandchildren, Lucy, Abigail, and Molly. He is a member of the Canadian Association for Irish Studies. A historian, Robin published an academic book in 2017, chronicling the fate of Southern Protestants in Ireland: Buried Lives: The Protestants of Southern Ireland.


Robin Bury

What People are Saying

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