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The Cost of the Troubles Study Ltd operated from 1996 to 1999
there are links below to the various publications produced by this project
those involved in the project went on to form the
Institute for Conflict Research {external_link} (2001-present)



Smyth, Marie. and Fay, Marie-Therese. (eds.). (2000). Personal Accounts from Northern Ireland's Troubles: Public Conflict, Private Loss. London: Pluto Press.

[na]. (1999, April). The Cost of the Troubles Study. Final Report. Belfast: The Cost of the Troubles Study. Paperback 72pp.

Marie Therese Fay, Mike Morrissey, Marie Smyth and Tracy Wong. (1999, April). The Cost of the Troubles Study. Report on the Northern Ireland Survey: the experience and impact of the Troubles. Derry Londonderry: INCORE. ISBN 0-9533305-5-9 Paperback 161pp £5.00.

Marie Therese Fay, Mike Morrissey and Marie Smyth. (1999). Northern Ireland's Troubles: The Human Costs. London: Pluto Press. [ISBN 0 7453 1374 4 Paperback 229pp 12.99].

Cost of the Troubles Study. (1998). 'do you know what's happened?, (catalogue of an exhibition based on personal stories and images of the conflict which opened in November 1998), [PDF; 1738KB]. Belfast: The Cost of the Troubles Study. Paperback 16pp.

Marie Therese Fay, Mike Morrissey and Marie Smyth. (1998). Mapping Troubles-Related Deaths in Northern Ireland 1969-1998. Derry Londonderry: INCORE. Paperback, £5.00.
[Previous edition: Marie Therese Fay, Mike Morrissey and Marie Smyth (1997). Mapping Troubles-Related Deaths in Northern Ireland 1969-1994 Derry Londonderry: INCORE. ISBN 1 85923 088 1 Paperback 80pp £3.50 OUT OF PRINT see also: selected tables from this publication].

Smyth, Marie. (1998). Half the Battle: Understanding the Effects of The Troubles on Children and Young People in Northern Ireland. Derry Londonderry: INCORE. ISBN 0 9533305 2 4 Paperback 174pp £5.00.

n.a. (1998; 2nd Ed.). Do You See What I See? Young people's experience of the Troubles in their own words and photographs by the children and young people of: Sunningdale Youth Group; Survivors of Trauma, North Belfast; Woodvale Youth Group; Young people from The Alexander Park project in Belfast; Peace and Reconciliation Group, Derry Londonderry; with assistance from Joy Dyer (1998). Derry Londonderry: INCORE. ISBN 0 95333 05 1 6 Paperback 121pp £10.00 commercial sales; £5.00 and £2.50 unwaged and under-18s.

Other Items

Submission by Marie Smyth to the Northern Ireland Commission on Victims.

Second submission by Marie Smyth to the Northern Ireland Commission on Victims; 'Residual matters relating to victims of the Troubles in the light of the Agreement document'.

Third submission by Marie Smyth to the Northern Ireland Commission on Victims; 'Response to the Bloomfield Report' - produced after consultation with and public meetings of Northern Ireland's victims' groups.


Who are we?

The Cost of the Troubles Study Ltd is a recognised charity and a limited company. The Board of Directors is composed of a team of people from all parts of the religious/political spectrum who have all been directly affected by the violence of the 'Troubles'. The Board also contains two researchers, one full-time, - Marie Smyth, Research Fellow, INCORE (the United Nations University and the University of Ulster, Northern Ireland) who is the Project Director and one part-time, Mike Morrissey, Senior Lecturer in Social Policy, The University of Ulster and Director of The Urban Institute, Belfast. The project also employs  Marie-Therese Fay,  Research Officer; Grainne Kelly, Researcher  and Gwen Ford, Project Administrator.

What are we doing?

Conducting action research which:
  • establishes a directory of self-help groups and other organisations which offer support to those affected by the Troubles;
  • facilitates the building of a network throughout Northern Ireland among such groups and grass roots organisations;
  • documents the nature and extent of the effect of the Troubles on the population of Northern Ireland;
  • establishes a credible measure of the distribution of the Troubles in the six counties, and quantifies the relationship between the Troubles and deprivation;
  • creates a range of well researched and accessible sources of qualitative and statistical information on the impact of the Troubles on the range of people contained in the population.
This material is written and disseminated in ways which maximises its accessibility, both to people in affected communities and to the general public. It is also  presented in a manner whereby it can be used by groups to argue for further resources for their self-help and other programmes.

How are we doing it?

  • by using a participative action research approach, which assumes that research is not a neutral activity, but that the research should make a positive contribution to those individuals and organisations participating in it;
  • by bringing research expertise to work in partnership with grass roots organisations, in a way that is democratically accountable;
  • by establishing and maintaining working relationships with individuals and groups who have direct experience in the field, and by using their expertise in the work of the project;
  • by using credible and professional qualitative and quantitative research techniques, and producing work which is both accessible to local people and capable of withstanding academic scrutiny.
One of the most devastating effects of the Troubles on people affected by the violence is the sense of disempowerment that many feel. We have planned research as a team composed of those who have been physically and emotionally affected by the troubles and researchers working in partnership. Collaboration across the sectarian divide is also a significant part of the work of the project. The Directors and Researchers are drawn from both sides of the sectarian divide and this is explicitly designed to ensure inclusiveness and to inform methods of work and the analysis.

Why are we doing it?

Research on the effects of the Troubles has largely been psychiatric or psychological in focus, and has focused on specific populations, such as the Enniskillen bomb victims, There has been only one study which looks at the long term affects (20+ years) of violent loss in the 'Troubles'. Little or nothing is known about the extent of the impact of the troubles on the population as a whole. Those who do not seek services, - but nonetheless have suffered effects, - are undocumented. This lack of epidemiological information means that policy and service provision has been piecemeal or non-existent, partly because of piecemeal information, Recently, there has been an increase in the political will to address these issues and we are taking advantage of that climate to propose further work.

What is the value of it?

- to Northern Ireland as a whole

The study  provides reliable, non-sensationalist and ethically collected data on individual experiences of the troubles. This can act as an alternative source to some existing sources which do not share these characteristics, and provide datas for the first time on groups and individuals whose experiences have been under-represented. The establishment of the prevalence of troubles-related difficulties in the total population will be of value to policy-makers, and DHSS staff have described the availability of such data as very valuable. The study also explores the relationship between Troubles-related difficulties and deprivation, and this part of the study  has implications for a broad range of policy areas, including all of those agencies currently who are involved in using frameworks to target social need.

How do we do it?

We carry out  interviews with men and women, old and young, Catholic, Protestant and "other", from various parts of Northern Ireland. These interviews  provide a variety of personal stories of people's experiences of the 'Troubles'. We have carried out a survey of a sample of 3,000 people throughout Northern Ireland who were randomly chosen. We asked people about economic, health, social, occupational and other effects of the 'Troubles' on them.

We will publish the results of the survey, so that voluntary and government agencies can take into account the effects of the 'Troubles' and so that everyone becomes more aware of the issues and the situations in which people continue to live.

What do people get out of it?

People we interview are listened to respectfully, and have the chance to tell their story and have it listened to and carefully recorded. This record is handled with discretion and confidentiality will be guaranteed for those who wish it. This can be valuable in a situation where some people have the sense that no-one listens to them. When people want us to, we will put people in touch with helping agencies. Trained interviewers  give people information about where to go for advice and help should they need it, how to help themselves, and what voluntary groups exist for people affected by the troubles.

We regularly exhibit our range of findings for the general public, and publicise them in the media, so that the public know what we found and what we have concluded. We  also publish them in booklet form.

Information about major exhibition in 1999.

What if we ask you to be interviewed?

We may ask you to be interviewed; or you, or someone you know may wish to offer to be interviewed. If we interview you, we will guarantee following:
  • we will give you a complete transcript of your interview and you can make any changes you want to it after the interview is over;
  • anything we publish will be anonymous, unless you wish to put your name to it;
  • anything we publish will be seen and agreed by you before we publish it;
  • complete confidentiality will be guaranteed by us;
  • you can withdraw your interview at any time before publication.
We think our work is valuable, and we hope you agree. If you would like to know more about the project please contact us and we will answer any questions you have about our work.

Contact Details

Telephone Number
Fax Number
Email address:
Marie Smyth Chief Executive Officer +44 (028) 9074 2682 +44 (028) 9035 6654
Flora Brand Administration Officer +44 (028) 9074 2682 +44 (028) 9035 6654

The Cost of the Troubles Study
Unit 14, North City Business Centre
2 Duncairn Gardens
Northern Ireland
BT15 2GG

The Cost of the Troubles Study is a recognised charity and a company limited by guarantee and not having share capital. We are funded by the Central Community Relations Unit; Making Belfast Work, North & West Teams; The Special Support Programme for Peace & Reconciliation through N.I.V.T.; The Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust and private donation. The study is conducted by people in communities with researchers from the University of Ulster, INCORE and the Urban Institute. A number of organisations such as Survivors of Trauma and WAVE are represented on our Board.


Last Modified by Martin Melaugh 27 June 2003
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