Clive is an enthusiastic, popular and exceedingly dapper speaker with a passion for Ireland’s 19th and 20th century history. His career in social work and his involvement with Scouting prevented him from taking it further than he would have liked until he retired in the late 1990s when he graduated from Queen’s University, Belfast with a Master’s degree in Irish Studies. That opened the door to a new career in lecturing and writing which he continues to pursue to this day.
As well as annual classes at Stranmillis Clive gives talks to many and varied audiences; schools, local history groups, Women’s Institutes, Probus clubs and more have all repeatedly engaged Clive over the past 15 years. His list of topics is vast and he has the ability to engage with an audience, large or small, in lively debate whatever the topic.
Whilst Clive specialises in Ireland’s 20th century history, his knowledge extends to the many and varied crises of Ireland’s turbulent 19th century as well. The list of topics that he can talk about goes far beyond what is listed here.
He encourages participation in his lectures – in fact he prefers to call them talks or conversations – and is keen to help everyone learn more by reading further into the subjects he talks about. He wants his audiences to go away feeling enthusiastic about the country’s history, to read more about its fascinating past and make up their own minds on the events discussed.
To Clive history can be fun and, whilst some events are obviously tragic, he insists that there are, in every situation, tragicomic interludes which help to alleviate the otherwise wearisome effects of history for history’s sake.