McKittrick, David 1949-
McKITTRICK, David 1949-
PERSONAL: Born August 10, 1949, son of Frey (deceased) and Rita (Hegarty) McKittrick; married Patricia Hackett, 1978; children: Kerry, Julie.
ADDRESSES: Home and office—Ireland Correspondent, The Independent, Independent House, Marsh Wall, London E14 9RS, England.
CAREER: Journalist. East Antrim Times, reporter, 1971–73; Irish Times, Belfast, reporter, 1973–76, reporter for Northern edition, 1976–81, and London edition, 1981–85; British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Belfast, Ireland, journalist, 1985–86; Independent, Ireland correspondent, 1986–. Part-time correspondent for the London Sunday Times, Economist, and Le Monde. Has appeared on numerous television broadcasts.
MEMBER: National Union of Journalists, British-Irish Association.
AWARDS, HONORS: Christopher Ewart-Biggs Memorial Prize (co-recipient), 1989, and (with David McVea), 2001, for Lost Lives; Irish media award for reporting in Ireland for a publication abroad, 1987; Correspondent of the Year award, British Broadcasting Corporation, 1999, for What the Papers Say; Orwell Prize for Journalism, 2000; Northern Ireland feature writer of the year award, IPR/BT Press, and Broadcast Awards, both 2001.
Despatches from Belfast, Blackstaff Press (Belfast, Northern Ireland), 1989.
Endgame: The Search for Peace in Northern Ireland, Blackstaff Press (Belfast, Northern Ireland), 1994.
(With Eamonn Mallie), The Fight for Peace: The Secret Story behind the Irish Peace Process, Heinemann (London, England), 1996.
The Nervous Peace, Blackstaff Press (Belfast, Northern Ireland), 1996.
(With Brian Feeney, Seamus Kelters, and Chris Thornton) Lost Lives: The Stories of the Men, Women, and Children Who Died as a Result of the Northern Ireland Troubles, Mainstream (Edinburgh, Scotland), 1999.
Through the Minefield, Blackstaff Press (Belfast, Northern Ireland), 1999.
(With David McVea) Making Sense of the Troubles, Blackstaff Press (Belfast, Northern Ireland), 2000, published as Making Sense of the Troubles: The Story of the Conflict in Northern Ireland, New Amsterdam Books (Chicago, IL) 2002.
(With Eamonn Mallie) Endgame in Ireland, Hodder & Stoughton (London, England), 2001.
SIDELIGHTS: David McKittrick is a journalist who has written extensively about the "Troubles" in Northern Ireland. An editorial writer in the Irish Voice noted that "McKittrick is that rare bird in Northern Ireland journalism, a writer able to cast a cold eye and not one to be borne along by hysteria on a given subject." In a review of McKittrick's collection of articles about Northern Ireland titled Endgame: The Search for Peace in Northern Ireland, New Statesmancontributor Steve Platte called McKittrick "one of the most incisive, yet human, commentators on the Troubles." In his 1999 book about Northern Ireland titled Through the Minefield, McKittrick annotates columns he wrote over a three-year period about the attempts to bring about a lasting peace. Library Journal contributor Robert C. Moore commented that the journalist "coherently and equitably explains the politics operating on both fronts."
McKittrick collaborated with fellow journalists Brian Feeney, Seamus Kelters, and Chris Thornton to document the deadly effects of the fighting in Northern Ireland in the book Lost Lives: The Stories of the Men, Women, and Children Who Died as a Result of the Northern Ireland Troubles. The authors catalogue the 3,638 deaths that occurred due to the fighting between June 1966 and July 1999, with each death chronologically numbered and indexed. Each entry includes personal data on those who died, such as where they lived, the date they died, age, religion, occupation, martial status, and, when applicable, the individual's affiliations with the various groups involved in the conflict, including the Irish Republican Army (IRA), the British Army, the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF), and the Ulster Defense Force (UDF). The authors gathered their data and stories from numerous sources, including official casualty lists, newspaper stories, privately published pamphlets, and interviews with people who witnessed or were involved in the deaths. The book is more than a list of names and data, however. For example, they recount how one young boy witnessed a gunman come up to his father, ask him if is he was Derek, and then casually shoot him while saying, "Bye bye, Derek." Writing once again in the Library Journal, Moore commented that "this book tallies the human cost of 'the Troubles' in one place." In a review in the Lancet, Karen Birchard wrote that Lost Lives "should be compulsory reading for everyone involved in the ongoing Northern Ireland talks; it should sit on the negotiating table in full sight to remind those at the table of the high price people pay for misguided policies based on violence."
Making Sense of the Troubles: The Story of the Conflict in Northern Ireland is a collaborative effort between McKittrick and David McVea that provides an overall account of Northern Ireland's problems over a thirty-year period starting in the late 1960s. The authors focus both on what has happened and why as they delve into the complex historical and psychological reasons behind the violent disagreements. Writing in London's Independent, Patricia Craig noted that one of the book's strengths "lies in the authors' ability to pinpoint the causes of trouble while avoiding oversimplification." Endgame in Ireland, by McKittrick and Eamonn Mallie, is based on a television series produced by Irish and British television that relates the story of the ongoing peace process. Writing in the Economist, Marcus Tanner commented that the "authors trace the role of personalities in the making of the peace process." Tanner also noted that the book "sheds light on the clandestine contacts between the protagonists, on the political manoeuverings and the tortuous way in which Sinn Fein was brought into the peace process without the Ulster Unionists being driven out of it."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
McKittrick, David, and Brian Feeney, Seamus Kelters, and Chris Thornton, Lost Lives: The Stories of the Men, Women, and Children Who Died as a Result of the Northern Ireland Troubles, Mainstream (Edinburgh, Scotland), 1999.
Economist, November 10, 2001, Marcus Tanner, review of Endgame in Ireland.
Independent (London, England), January 11, 2001, Patricia Craig, review of Making Sense of the Troubles, p. 5; March 26, 2001, "'Independent' Writer Wins Top Award," p. 2.
Irish Voice, February 16, 1999, "Putting Peace in Perspective," p. 12.
Lancet, March 4, 2000, Karen Birchard, review of Lost Lives: The Stories of the Men, Women, and Children Who Died as a Result of the Northern Ireland Troubles, p. 853.
Library Journal, February 15, 2000, Robert C. Moore, review of Through the Minefield, p. 183; July, 2000, Robert C. Moore, review of Lost Lives, p. 115.
New Statesman, November 25, 1994, Steve Platt, review of Endgame: The Search for Peace in Northern Ireland, p. 37; February 14, 2000, Stephen Howe, review of Lost Lives, p. 53.
New York Review of Books, July, 2000, Finian O'Toole, review of Lost Lives, p. 10.
Observer (London, England), January 9, 2000, review of Lost Lives, p. 11.
Times Literary Supplement, January 28, 2000, review of Lost Lives, p. 11.
World of Hibernia, spring, 2000, John Boland, review of Lost Lives, p. 157.
Penguin UK Publishing Web site, http://www.penguin.co.uk/ (February 16 2004), "David McKittrick."