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‘Ancestry of Resistance’: The Political Use of Commemoration by Ulster Loyalists and Irish Republicans in a Post Conflict Setting

47 Pages Posted: 18 Nov 2009 Last revised: 24 Dec 2009

Kris Brown

Ulster University - Transitional Justice Institute

Date Written: November 11, 2009

Abstract

Ulster Loyalist and Irish Republican uses of commemoration, in remembering their paramilitary dead in the recent Irish ‘Troubles’ and connecting these to past conflicts, can be shown to be a politically diligent demonstration of a living continuity with the past and the expression of historical legitimacy. Crucially, in a post conflict setting, this is of particular importance in reassuring doubters and deflecting political attacks. It also attempts to facilitate the rededication and reinvigoration, and also the transformation, of their political project and assists the maintenance of social cohesion with the host community. It acts as a steadying ballast, but not as a hindrance, in conflict transformation. This research is partly based on participant observation of Republican and Loyalist commemorative practice.

Keywords: Commemoration, Post Conflict, Northern Ireland

Suggested Citation

Brown, Kris, ‘Ancestry of Resistance’: The Political Use of Commemoration by Ulster Loyalists and Irish Republicans in a Post Conflict Setting (November 11, 2009). Transitional Justice Institute Research Paper No. 09-09. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1504064 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1504064

Kris Brown (Contact Author)

Ulster University - Transitional Justice Institute ( email )

Shore Road
Newtownabbey, County Antrim BT37 OQB
Northern Ireland

HOME PAGE: http://www.transitionaljustice.ulster.ac.uk/index.html

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