The Case of Northern Ireland

  • James Dingley


Northern Ireland was born in a state of ethno-religious violence and to a large extent continues that way today. Its religious divisions and professional terrorist groups have almost become a byword for ethno-religious bigotry and violence in Western Europe. However, its protagonists more frequently present themselves in ethno-nationalist terms, as British (Unionist, the more hardline being referred to as Loyalist) or Irish (Nationalist, the more hardline being known as Republican). However, this merely highlights the common association or conflation of religion in most nationalisms, which illustrates the religious nature of nationalism and how nationalism has become a new religion. In Ireland as a whole, its partition in 1921 into Northern and Southern States (which no one wanted) merely illustrated the fundamental importance of religion and also highlighted some of the more prosaic interests and factors that lay behind it and have continued to plague Northern Ireland ever since.


Northern Ireland Rewards Religion Nationalism 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • James Dingley
    • 1
  1. 1.Queen’s University BelfastBelfastUK

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