Synopses & Reviews
A poignant collection of first-hand accounts drawn from interviews with people from a variety of different backgrounds, this collection brings the personal toll of the Troubles to life.
Most people are unaware of the real life consequences of the kind of violence Northern Ireland has experienced over the last thirty years. The language used by the media, "collateral damage" and "friendly fire," sanitizes and conceals the awful, gory, and horrifying impact of war on the lives of ordinary people. When a bomb goes off or someone is murdered in a sectarian attack, media coverage lasts for a few days, but for the surviving victims, the repercussions last a lifetime.A poignant collection of first-hand accounts, this book brings the personal toll of the Troubles to life. We hear about multiple bereavement from Margaret, whose husband and brother-in-law were both murdered as suspected IRA informers. A retired RUC officer recounts the terrifying day machine gun fire rained down on him, leaving him permanently disabled. Charlotte, from a Hindu family of Indian origin, recounts the tragic day she lost her 24 year old friend who was accidentally shot to death in the crossfire. Lawrence, a former IRA member, describes his participation in a hunger strike, which claimed the lives of 10 men. Drawn from a variety of backgrounds and experiences, the victims share one thing in common, that no matter what the nature of their loss, it is irretrievable.At a time when violence is increasingly presented as entertainment, gun-cultures proliferate and armed conflicts can escalate seemingly overnight, this heartbreaking collection provides a necessary understanding of the true cost of violence.
'An emotional and shocking encounter with the private and harrowing stories of ordinary people ... Bold and courageous.' The Ethnic Conflict Research Digest
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About the Author
Marie Smyth is a Research Fellow for INCORE, the Initiative on Conflict Resolution and Ethnicity, University of Ulster and the United Nations University, and Project Director of The Cost of the Troubles Study. Marie-Therese Fay is the Research Officer with the Cost of the Troubles Study in Belfast. They are both coauthors of Northern Irelands Troubles, also available from Pluto Press.
Table of Contents
Map of Northern Ireland
1. 'The Troubles is my life'
2. Multiple bereavement and loss
3. Serious injury
4. Living with the aftermath
5. Taking up arms
6. In the minority
7. Loss of a father
8. His only child
9. Unintended death
10. All in a day's work
11. 'That was the last time I seen him'
12. 'I don't ask God for anything'
13. 'Just me and the kids'
14. Rough justice