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mainly from 1992 until December 2020.
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Billy King


Nonviolence News


Readings in Nonviolence

Readings in Nonviolence’ features extracts from our favourite books, pamphlets, articles or other material on nonviolence and related areas, or reviews of important works in the field (suggestions and contributions welcome)

Introduced by Rob Fairmichael

Peace movement history in Northern Ireland

Given the gradual growth in community or good relations and cross community work to the size and significance which they now have in Northern Ireland, it is difficult for an account of the ‘peace movement’ not to be overwhelmed by this. But it is important to be precise. ‘Peace and reconciliation’ can perhaps be a title which can include all, those striving for good relations within Northern Ireland and those who believe in that but have a wider definition of what is needed for peace. But such terminology is not precise and an individual needs to be careful to define what they are talking about.

The following list of material fits the general ‘peace and reconciliation’ concept; some are ‘historical’ references (e.g. 1972), some current As you go back in time there was much less cross community work and it usually fell away somewhat after a particular atrocity – one step forward and two back.

There are of course many other groups not mentioned, the Fellowship of Reconciliation and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, for example (both defunct in Northern Ireland though Irish CND is working away and a few groups have links with the International Fellowship of Reconciliation, including INNATE). ‘Nonviolent News’ and previously ‘Dawn’ magazine provide a partial record on ‘the peace movement’ stretching back to 1974. Other newsletters either provide a picture of thinking (e.g. ‘PACE Journal’, the magazine of Protestant And Catholic Encounter) or the Peace People’s “Peace by Peace” (1976+) and then “The Citizen”.

This is only a very brief look at some resources in this area. It does not purport to be comprehensive. That is, perhaps, for another day.

Peace, reconciliation, interface, mediation and research groups in Northern Ireland

Others including Individuals

Other material worth following up would include:

  • Ordinary citizens, e.g. woman in the Catholic Kilwilkie Estate, Lurgan, c. 1972, looking after a dying British soldier shot by the IRA.
  • Churches in East Belfast coming together, in mid-1970s when threat to Catholics living there.
  • Gordon Wilson: Forgiveness and reconciliation after his daughter was killed in Enniskillen bomb, 1987.
  • Will Warren in Derry in 1970s; An English Quaker, stopping rioting, or not! Acting as go-between.
  • Movement from within violence/paramilitarism – Gusty Spence, Billy Mitchell, Gerry Adams....
  • Many others... see e.g. ‘Upstanders’ DVD from Corrymeela and WAVE.
  • Peacemaking among Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland” by Jim McKinley (written some years ago for University of Aberdeen); use word search for title.
  • 'Peacemakers in Clough
  • Some ‘Troubles’ era and peace movement photos on INNATE Flickr site
  • Coming from the silence – Quaker Peacebuilding initiatives in Northern Ireland 1969-2007”, ed. Ann le Mare and Felicity McCartney, Sessions of York, 2009.
Copyright INNATE 2016