This report summarises women’s experiences of intimate partner (domestic) violence (IPV) in Northern Ireland; the implications of IPV for physical and psychological well-being; its impact on children; and how experiences of IPV are shaped by violent political conflict, religion and culture. It has been written by the Political Settlements Research Programme (PSRP), Global Justice Academy, School of Law, The University of Edinburgh.
The report also records how service providers such as General Practitioners (primary care doctors), social workers and police officers respond to IPV and how helpful victims find these responses. A particular focus of this report is on the changes that have taken place in Northern Ireland over the last few decades, including the transition from violent conflict to a peaceful political settlement.
This report is based on findings from more than 100 qualitative interviews with women victims/survivors of IPV from across Northern Ireland conducted at two junctures: first in 1992; and latterly in 2016. It provides up-to-date information on the experiencesof and responses to violence against women in intimate relationships in Northern Ireland today, and investigates key similarities and differences in experiences of and service responses to IPV between 2016 and 1992.
Enfranchising Ireland? Identity, citizenship and state
Edited by Steven G. Ellis
Published by the Royal Irish Academy
The chapter on Constructing citizenships: the Protestant search for place and loyalty in post-independence Ireland (by: Ian d'Alton) is particularly worth a read. It will give valuable insight into how the Protestant community found its place in a new Ireland.
The rights and duties associated with the concept of citizenship are a central aspect of the process of identity-building and state formation. This book explores the origin and evolution of the concepts of citizenship and identity in Ireland from a broadly historical perspective, tracing their development in terms of rights and duties, from classical times, through the medieval period and partition in Ireland, to the present difficulties surrounding Brexit and the refugee crisis.
Ireland’s population has, by the standards of states elsewhere in Europe, remained fairly stable and homogeneous, at least until recently. The present refugee crisis presents Ireland with the prospect of asylum seekers and other migrants with very different cultures, traditions and senses of identity arriving on a scale quite unknown previously, with consequent difficulties surrounding their admission and integration into Irish society.
An examination of how the basic criteria and conditions under which citizenship has been conferred here compares with those for granting citizenship in other parts of Europe suggests that evolution of citizenship concepts in Ireland has more generally accorded with familiar European patterns of development.
Depending on how future relations between the UK and the EU are agreed following Brexit, however, the island of Ireland faces the prospect of immigrants from other EU member states enjoying what are in effect the rights of citizens in the Republic of Ireland but no such rights in Northern Ireland.
Contributors: Ian d’Alton, Enda Delaney, Steven G. Ellis, Thomas Leahy, Mary Ann Lyons, Bryan McMahon, Niall Ó Dochartaigh, Catherine Steel, Ulrike M. Vieten, Nira Yuval-Davis.
A few years ago I had the opportunity of listening to Kingsley Akins give a presentation about the importance of connecting with our diaspora. Diaspora is not a word we use every day, but it is a concept we have intimate knowledge of in Ireland.
A diaspora is a large group of people with a similar heritage or homeland who have since moved out to places all over the world. “The term diaspora comes from an ancient Greek word meaning ‘to scatter about.’ And that's exactly what the people of a diaspora do — they scatter from their homeland to places across the globe, spreading their culture as they go. The Bible refers to the Diaspora of Jews exiled from Israel by the Babylonians. But the word is now also used more generally to describe any large migration of refugees, language, or culture.”
Aikins speaks with considerable authority. He has served as Chairperson of the Ireland Fund. That organisation describes its mission as being “to harness the power of a global philanthropic network of friends of Ireland to promote and support peace, culture, education and community development across the island of Ireland and among Irish communities around the world.” Over the years it has done just that - raising hundreds of millions for community and charitable causes through wealthy Irish diaspora.
As I sat listening to the presentation, all those years ago, a question arose in my mind. How successful has the Protestant community in Ireland been at forming a good relationship with its diaspora? Indeed, is there a diaspora of any size to reconnect with?
Prof Brian Walker’s article (page 7) provides a fascinating insight into the extent of the Church of Ireland and Protestant diaspora.
He notes: “In the United States of America some 35 million claim Irish ancestry, and of these a majority are Protestant or from a Protestant background. This is largely because of emigration of large numbers from Ulster in the eighteenth century and the consequent multiplication of their descendants. Most of these early immigrants were Presbyterian but some were Church of Ireland.”
Irish emigrants did not just head towards North America. Prof Walker also notes: “By the early twentieth century it was estimated that up to a third of the Australian population had some Irish ancestry. It is reckoned that Protestants made up about 20 per cent of total Irish immigration. Among the Protestant Irish in Australia, Anglicans were the major single element. Many came from Ulster, but also from other parts of Ireland.” Emigration to Great Britain has also been extensive over the past two centuries.
What is the point of connecting with our diaspora? The temptation is to think of the only motivation being to seek finance for development or good of those of us who are still in Ireland? The experience of the Ireland Fund in raising significant funds for community and charitable causes has undoubtedly shown how much good can be done in this way. But there are other benefits that come from connecting with those of us who have left these shores.
By reconnecting with our diaspora:
We rekindle a sense of being part of something much bigger than ourselves and the people immediately around us.
We can draw on their confidence and experience, sometimes built over generations.
We learn from the perspectives of our kin who have found their home on other places on the globe.
We are reminded of the resourcefulness of the human spirit, that can create a new future, whatever the challenges.
To suggest reconnecting with our diaspora it not to propose something divisive or narrowly tribal. It is about connecting with something that will empower us to work for the good of all. It is to draw on resourcefulness with the aim of benefitting our neighbour, ourselves and the common good.
By Earl Storey
This originally appeared in the Church of Ireland Gazette (08/09/17) and is reproduced with permission