Three Conference Papers on 'Aspects of Sectarian Division'
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three conference papers
on aspects of segregation and
First published 1996
© Templegrove Action Research Limited
Printed by Print 'n Press, Foyle Road, Derry Londonderry
All Rights Reserved
ISBN 1 9000 7104 5
Clonmel, May 13, 1995
material and ideological aspects of segregation
in Post Cease-fires Northern Ireland
and project director
Thanks to Pauline Collins, for ongoing input to discussions and
debates in the project office; William Temple for ongoing discussion
in his shop; Robin Percival, Diana King, Tony Doherty, Eamonn
Deane, Hilary Sidwell, William Temple for their input as the Board
of Directors; Donnie Sweeney for support in the fieldwork; Ken
Rooney of the Fountain Area Partnership for ongoing liaison; Sydney
Harrod, Barry Desmond, for continued interest and encouragement;
Madeleine Callaghan, Allen Kennedy and Ruth Moore for photographs;
Maude Kelly, Mary Scally, for advice and support; Brendan Murtagh,
Barney Devine, Donnie Sweeney, Maureen Hetherington, Drew Hamilton,
for their input as the Advisory Group, and especially to Denis
McCoy, whose support and encouragement has been invaluable; George
Row for computer assistance; Arlene Avakian, Robin Wilson, Jim
Campbell, Elizabeth Meehan, Walter Lorenz, Pauline Collins, Ruth
Moore and James Jordan for conversations which clarified the theory;
Robbie McVeigh, for breaking some of the ground. Thanks also to
Gillian Michael, David Holloway, Anne Doherty, Alistair Wilson,
Brian Lacey, the staff of the Londonderry Sentinel, the Derry
Journal, RTE, Radio France International, Care Today, Common Ground,
the Belfast Telegraph and BBC Radio Foyle.
We are grateful to the Physical Social and Environmental Programme
of the European Union, The Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, The
Ireland Fund, The Londonderry Initiative of the Department of
the Environment, and the Central Community Relations Unit for
core funding for the project. We are also grateful to the Northern
Ireland Voluntary Trust, the Community Relations Council and
Derry City Council for funding the public debates and publications
We would like to thank the participants in public meetings from
all parts of the city and beyond,- people whose names we do not
have - who came along and assisted in opening up topics for discussion
by their participation. Finally, we wish to thank the people
involved in Top of the Hill 2010, The Fountain Partnership, Wapping
Lane Community Association and all those residents from The Fountain
and Gobnascale/ Top of the Hill who consented to be interviewed
and who read transcripts of their interviews. They have taught
us some of what they know, and we have been privileged by being
welcomed into their homes and community centres.
From 1993, a group of people began meeting to discuss various
aspects of political life in Derry or Londonderry city. We worked
together to develop a project which addressed the issues related
to segregation, the movement of population within and out of the
city, and the quality of life in enclave areas. In September,
1994, Templegrove Action Research Limited, a community based research
company with directors drawn from both sides of the community,
began a two year action-research project on aspects of segregation
and sectarian division in the city. Funding had been obtained,
and I had received a two year leave of absence from the University
of Ulster to work full-time on the project. Just as the project
began, the IRA, and shortly afterwards the Combined Loyalist Military
Command, announced cease-fires. By early 1995, the two other members
of the team, Ruth Moore, and Pauline Collins, had been recruited.
In our research on segregation and enclave communities in the
city we have come to refer to as Derry Londonderry. Our work has
been based in two enclave communities: a Catholic community in
the previously predominantly Protestant Waterside area of the
city, - Gobnascale or Top of the Hill; and a Protestant enclave,
The Fountain, in the predominantly Catholic Cityside area.
Our research field had been substantially altered by the cease-fires.
We had planned the Templegrove research project when the violence
of the troubles had been ongoing. That the violence should end
just as we were beginning work was a challenge to our ability
to respond to a changing political climate. Sectarian division
and violence did not merely provide the backdrop to our research,
they were central concerns, and at the very beginning of our work,
this major change had occurred - apparently the violence had
ended. This cessation of violence seemed laden with significance,
not only for our work, but for our daily lives, and for the country
as a whole.
In recognition of the possibility of more open political dialogue
in this new atmosphere, Templegrove embarked on organising a series
of public discussion on aspect of sectarian division - the subject
that was most difficult to address when violence was ongoing.
A series of topics was identified and, in all, six public discussion
were organised. The aim was to make good quality research and
writing available to the general public, and to create a public
space where people from both communities could participate in
discussions about sectarian division. The proceedings of these
public discussions are published in a separate publication, Public
discussion on aspects of sectarian division in Derry Londonderry.
We also engaged in a series of in-depth interviews with residents
in the two areas and material related to these is published in
a separate publication, Hemmed in and Hacking It : Words and
Images from The Fountain and Gobnascale. As a result of work
on the minority aspect of enclave life, we organised a public
hearing on aspects of minority life in the city, and the proceedings
are published as, A Public Hearing: Minority Experiences in
Derry Londonderry. During the period of the project, we also
made submissions on aspects of public policy related to sectarian
division, notably Sectarian Division and Area Planning: a
commentary on "The Derry Area Plan 2001: Preliminary Proposals."
We also wrote two other policy papers on aspects of sectarian
division, and these are available in one published report: Two
Policy Papers: Policing and Sectarian Division, and Urban Regeneration
and Sectarian Division. In 1995, we conducted field surveys
in both areas, and the findings of these are also available as
a separate published report, Life in Two Enclave Areas: A Field
Survey in Derry Londonderry after the cease-fires.
The papers presented here were produced over the period of the
fieldwork reflect the changing conceptualizations of the issues
on which the project was focussed. They are works-in-progress,
since at the time of writing the project is not yet concluded.
They were conference presentations, which provided a valuable
opportunity to discuss the work presented here with colleagues
elsewhere. This publication is another way of achieving this.
Marie Smyth, May, 1996
This paper reviews existing research on sectarianism in Northern
Ireland in relation to its claims to objectivity and the management
of the researcher's subjectivity. The paper outlines strategies
for researching sectarian division which have been devised for
use on an ongoing research project on sectarian segregation, intimidation
and enclave areas. These strategies include the use of co-researchers
from the "other" community, attention to the emotions
involved in fieldwork (Kleinnman and Copp, 1993), action research
(Sanford 1993) and participative research (Elden 1993). The methodological
advantages and dilemmas associated with each strategy are outlined
and explored. The use of fieldwork journals, and issues of openness,
danger, responsibility and accountability are also addressed.
resistance and strategies of control.
This paper outlines the work to date on a two year ethnographic
study of two enclave communities in Derry - or Londonderry, as
the Protestant minority call it. The paper discusses the changing
pattern of spatial segregation in the city as a whole over a twenty
year period. Emergent themes from the first phase of the fieldwork
in the two communities are presented. Prominent features and effects
of segregation in each of the communities, and aspects of community
life in the two enclaves are discussed in relation to the issues
of resistance and control, and to the dynamic of subordination
and domination between the two communities.
in Post Cease-fires Northern Ireland
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