Chapter

The republican Real

Adrian Millar

in Socio-ideological Fantasy and the Northern Ireland Conflict

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print December 2006 | ISBN: 9780719066962
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781701515 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9780719066962.003.0005
The republican Real

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The wider Catholic community's experience of the Real in Northern Ireland is evident in the literature. In Them and Us?: Attitudinal Variation Among Churchgoers in Belfast, the writers note that over two-thirds of church-goers who support Sinn Fein have had someone close to them killed or injured in the conflict. These statistics provide us with some indication of the experience of pain of the republicans. The authors also remark that ‘Among churchgoers, Catholics are three times more likely to have been intimidated and twice as likely to have had their homes bombed as Protestants’. Interviews with former members of the Irish Republican Army make it clear that they had all suffered as a result of their being caught up in conflict. There is tragedy, fear, moral confusion, pain and fragmentation at the heart of the interviewees' self-interpretations. A number of the interviewees try to make sense of hurt and pain by blaming others for what they experience as negative. Against this backdrop, victimhood is what offers the interviewees wholeness.

Keywords: Real; Protestants; Catholics; victimhood; Irish Republican Army; conflict; pain; republicans; Northern Ireland

Chapter.  2345 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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