October 24, 2019
Northern Ireland Peace on the Eve of Brexit: Resilience & Reconciliation Through Art & Storytelling
An exploration featuring music, film, and discussions, supported by a two-week art installation examining conflict and cooperation during the Troubles and since
The second program co-hosted by NYU Washington, DC and the Irish Network DC featured a performance by guitarist Henry Cluney. Henry Cluney grew up in Belfast and was a founding member of the Belfast punk band Stiff Little Fingers. The band, comprised of Catholics and Protestants, wrote about the situation in their country. Some of their songs include “Tin Soldiers”, “Suspect Device”, “Wasted Life” and “Alternative Ulster”. Henry told stories about his songs, living through the Troubles and, with his guitar, performed some of those songs. Joining Henry for a discussion prior to his performance was Niall Stanage, Associate Editor and White House Columnist for, The Hill. Henry was available after the show to sign autographs and chat.
The 30-year social, religious, tribal, and economic conflict known as the Troubles came to a formal end with the Good Friday Agreement of April 1998, but now Brexit threatens that fragile peace. Through film, music, art, storytelling and special guests, NYU Washington, DC and the Irish Network DC explored the complex progress of healing a divided society. A visual art exhibit showcased art about the conflict and its legacy and ran from October 16-30, 2019. All events were at New York University’s Constance Milstein and Family Global Academic Center located in downtown D.C.
Please note that this program may have been filmed and/or photographed.
Henry Cluney is a guitarist who is best known as a former member of the band Stiff Little Fingers. He toured briefly with the band Dark Lady supporting Jake Burns and the Big Wheel, notably at the Marquee Club in Wardour Street but then spent five years back in Belfast teaching guitar until Stiff Little Fingers was reformed. He was a regular songwriting contributor for the group's first four albums, taking over lead vocal duties on his own compositions. He was with SLF until 1994.
He moved to Rochester, Minnesota in 1997, keeping up his involvement in music, playing guitar with several regional rock bands.
Cluney completed a feature-length film in 2008/9 and, in 2009, toured the UK for the first time in fifteen years, as the opening for The Damned and The Alarm on their 341 tour. He subsequently toured the next two years, as a solo artist, and in 2013 formed XSLF with former bandmate Jim Reilly, and friend, Ave Tsarion.
He currently lives in Rochester with his wife, Carol, while touring frequently throughout the United Kingdom (including Northern Ireland), Ireland and Europe.
Niall Stanage is the White House Columnist for The Hill, where he is also an Associate Editor. He is a frequent television contributor on both sides of the Atlantic, including MSNBC, CBS, Sky News and the BBC. He has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, The New York Observer, The New Republic and a number of other publications. He is the author of “Redemption Song,” an Irish best-seller about Barack Obama’s first presidential campaign. His first staff job in journalism was with Hot Press magazine, Ireland’s equivalent of Rolling Stone.