David McWilliams: A bolt out of the blue

History of Jamaica emerges in Usain country - from sugar plantations to the legacy of slavery, abolished partly due to the work of Daniel O’Connell

22nd May, 2016
For 200 years, Irish merchants profited from the Atlantic slave trade with Britih colonies like Jamaica Picture: Getty

Peter, the “captain” of the bamboo raft, was an extremely observant Seventh Day Adventist and a mine of information on the Martha Brae river, on Jamaica’s north coast. He gushed with details of the history of the area, the flora, the fish, the weather, the termites, the ganja, the rum and of course, the Lord. As we floated effortlessly downstream, the river bloated by last night’s rains, he explained why he doesn’t eat shellfish, has...

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