Northern Ireland: Living with the Crisis

Northern Ireland: Living with the Crisis

Northern Ireland: Living with the Crisis

Northern Ireland: Living with the Crisis


List of Tables and Figures Acknowledgments Introduction The Impact of the Northern Ireland Crisis on the Economy by N.J.Gibson Psychological Well-Being in Northern Ireland by Karen Trew The Impact of the Troubles on the Law and Legal System of Northern Ireland by D.S.Greer The Northern Ireland Electorate: Three Views of the Electorate, From 1972 to 1984 by Joseph E.Thompson The Faith and Its Forms in Times of Strife by Eric Gallagher Catholics, Catholicism, and the Northern Ireland Crisis by Gary MacEoin "Words at Once Both Gaff and Bait": The Writer's Response to Northern Ireland by Joseph Browne Poets and Culture: Seamus Heaney, Derek Mahon, and Tom Paulin by Terence Brown "No Petty People": William Trevor and the Anglo-Irish Dimension of the Norther Ireland Crisis by Robert E.Rhodes Community Conscience or Reflection: Theater in Northern Ireland by Claudia Harris Index About the Editor and Contributors


The essays in this book were first presented during a conference entitled, "Northern Ireland: The Mind of a Community in Crisis," which was held at the College of William and Mary in Virginia in September 1984. Since the 1960s Northern Ireland has been the setting for communal conflict with the level of controversy rising from a non- violent civil-rights campaign against anti-Catholic discrimination to a guerrilla war waged by the Provisional Irish Republican Army against the British presence in Ireland. A generation has now grown from birth to adulthood in a community scarred by communal violence and military occupation.

The Williamsburg conference was not called to consider the causes of the present conflict nor to suggest a solution, although neither subject could be excluded completely. Its purpose was to investigate the kind of community Northern Ireland has become in the past twenty years. Participants from the United States and Ireland were asked to consider the effects of the crisis on the life and the mind of Northern Ireland--on its economic, legal, political, religious, and cultural life, and on its mental health.

What has been the impact of this long crisis? This book offers some answers, although they are far from comprehensive and should be read only as an addition to the developing literature on Northern Ireland. Broadly speaking, the book is divided into three sections drawn from the social sciences and law, Chapters 1 to 4; religion, Chapters 5 and 6; and the arts, Chapters 7 to 10.

For most of us who do not live there, the Northern Ireland crisis is something we experience through newspaper and television stories that tell of recurrent violence and political collapse, of children and teenagers attacking armed security forces, of ruthless bombings in Britain and Ireland, of hooded gunmen and assassinations, of internment without trial, of hunger strikes and other pathological symptoms. These incidents do occur, but the accumulation of such reports presents a distorted image. The Northern Ireland crisis, though severe, is less devastating than communal conflicts elsewhere (in Lebanon, for example) . . .

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