Back to RJ Archive

Northern Ireland: Burying the Hatchet, Not the Past

McCaughey, Terence
June 4, 2015

Source: (2003) In Nigel Biggar, ed., Burying the Past: Making Peace and Doing Justice after Civil Conflict. Expanded and updated. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press. Pp. 287-303.

The long history of conflict in Ireland led eventually in the late 1960s to a period of social and political turmoil and violence in Northern Ireland known as “The Troubles.â€? The Belfast Agreement of Good Friday 1998 initiated a process of peace-building and devolved political authority for Northern Ireland. It has been a challenging and fitful process, with overall progress over the last years. Most favor the peace accord, but there have also been skepticism, mistrust, and resistance in certain segments of society, both Unionist and Republican. Terence McCaughey states that steps must now be taken by survivors of the conflict – both perpetrators and victims of violence – to prepare the way for reconciliation in the future (“burying the hatchetâ€?) while remembering the past. To explore the prospects for this process, McCaughey discusses issues of public amnesia or remembrance, addressing the past, the possibility of a truth commission for Ireland or Northern Ireland, and personal and structural requirements of reconciliation.


AbstractCourtsPost-Conflict ReconciliationPrisonsRestorative PracticesRJ and the WorkplaceRJ in SchoolsRJ OfficeTeachers and StudentsVictim Support
Support the cause

We've Been Restoring Justice for More Than 40 Years

Your donation helps Prison Fellowship International repair the harm caused by crime by emphasizing accountability, forgiveness, and making amends for prisoners and those affected by their actions. When victims, offenders, and community members meet to decide how to do that, the results are transformational.

Donate Now