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Northern Ireland, Sport and Sectarianism in

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Hassan, David (2012) Northern Ireland, Sport and Sectarianism in. In: Sports around the World: History, Culture and Practice. ABC-ClIO, USA, pp. 145-148. ISBN 9781598843019 [Book section]

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Abstract

With the exception of South Africa under the apartheid regime, it appears that there are few more appropriate examples regarding the use of sport to create, exacerbate, or at least reflect division than the case of Northern Ireland. With a total population of 7 million, the island of Ireland, situated on the western seaboard of Europe, is divided between the Republic of Ireland, an independent nation-state, and Northern Ireland, which despite having a devolved assembly, remains constitutionally tied to Britain. In the latter case, notwithstanding a decade of relative peace, there exists a society broadly divided along ethnosectarian lines. During the latter part of the 20th century, from 1969 to 1998, Northern Ireland was the site of conflict between Irish republican paramilitary groupings, principally the Irish Republican Army (IRA), and British state forces over the country’s constitutional future. Some 2,087 civilians died as a result of the conflict, 910 members of the security forces (including the police and army) and 395 republican paramilitaries also lost their lives during a dark period in the country’s short history. Deep wounds remain to this day and reflect the fact that the majority Protestant and Unionist population in Northern Ireland has a set of political and cultural beliefs that reaffirm their attachment to Britain, while the minority Catholic and Nationalist community retains a constitutional and cultural position that aligns more closely with the rest of Ireland. Of course neither of these communities is an absolute monolith and, on both sides, a fair degree of moderation is apparent.

Item Type:Book section
Keywords:Sectarianism, Northern Ireland, Sport
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Life and Health Sciences
Faculty of Life and Health Sciences > Ulster Sports Academy
Research Institutes and Groups:Sport and Exercise Sciences Research Institute
Sport and Exercise Sciences Research Institute > Centre for Sport in Society
ID Code:23710
Deposited By:Professor David Hassan
Deposited On:13 Nov 2012 13:52
Last Modified:13 Nov 2012 13:52

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