The Need for a “National“ Diaspora Centre in Ireland
In May 2016, Epic Ireland, a new ‘National’ Diaspora Centre, opened in Dublin. That move increased pressure to establish a separate ‘National Diaspora Centre’ in Northern Ireland too. The contention of this chapter is that the opportunity to create on the island of Ireland one ‘cross-border’ Diaspora Centre, rather than two separate ‘National’ Diaspora Centres, is in danger of being lost to the detriment of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement 1998. It reviews the story of this development, setting it within the history of the emergence of ‘national’ cultural institutions in Ireland (North and South) since Partition. Finally, it is argued that, not least for addressing properly the problem of ‘dealing with the past’, one ‘cross-border’ (Irish and British) ‘diaspora-related’ institution is still needed in Ireland.
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