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Fionnuala Doran

The Vacuum - Northern Ireland Centenary

aka the Animals of Funningdale Woods

Opening event link at the Golden Thread Gallery.

The Vacuum

Vice- The 'Vacuum' Is Belfast's Most Hated Newspaper

The Vacuum is free to pick up in most arts and cultural venues in Northern Ireland and in any decent independent coffee shop.

PARENTS- have you had trouble discussing the 1973 Sunningdale Agreement and its subsequent collapse amid the 1974 Ulster Workers’ Council Strike difficult? GOOD NEWS. The Vacuum has included a guide to the Sunningdale Agreement for under 5s in its NI100 Centenary Special Edition.

Written by John Higgins and illustrated by Fionnuala Doran.

“There was a lot of knockabout trouble in Ireland. Nobody could agree about anything, and some people from Belfast had to live in other parts of Belfast, or they’d be set on fire. The British came in and built big, big walls in the city to separate two types of Christians, because they were blowing each other up…

So some people got together and decided that to stop everything going on fire all the time they needed to have some peace. And being middle aged men in Bakelite specs and hair oil, they decided the best thing to do would be to have a meeting. So, they got in some bottled water, a bowl of mints, and scratched their greasy heads…

The meeting took place in the small English town of Sunningdale, near Cliff Richard’s house (where the police found nothing, and the Peter Pan of Pop was proved to be a good boy after all). The venue was chosen because British Prime Minister Edward Heath suffered from extreme hydrophobia, and there was no way he would have been able to make the long and arduous journey across the Irish Sea. The Irish Taoiseach, Liam Cosgrove, once crossed a floor to allow married people to use special night-time balloons, so at least he wasn’t afraid of travel.”