Culture, Religion and Violence in Northern Ireland
During his whistle-stop tour of Northern Ireland in spring 1994 to protest against the joint Downing Street Declaration of the British and Irish governments, Dr Ian Paisley claimed that when ‘his people’ (the Protestants of the seventeenth-century Plantation of Ulster) came to Ireland, they encountered a ‘bog country, inhabited by a bog people’. He would seem to be suggesting that ethnic differences have contributed to a conflict which has never been far from the surface since that time. However, few other observers would perceive the violence in Northern Ireland in terms of an ethnic war. On the other hand, there has been persistent debate with regard to the relative influence of culture and religion on the provenance and maintenance of the conflict there.
KeywordsCatholic School Irish Government Catholic Church Unionist Majority Sectarian Violence
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