Oral History of the Troubles in Belfast

The Belfast Project was an oral history project launched by Boston College to collect personal testimonies of people involved in paramilitary violence in the Troubles of Northern Ireland in the late 1960s and 1970s.

The oral history testimonies collected by the Belfast Project were highly sensitive and eventually were subpeoned by law enforcement authorities for use in prosecutions.

The resulting lawsuits unraveled the entire oral history project.

An article in the Chronicle of Higher Education asserts that “What is clear is that in Belfast the past lives on. The investigations into Jean McConville’s death and others who disappeared during the Troubles are mired in political infighting. Giant murals celebrating the martyrdom of fighters on both sides are daily reminders to passing shoppers of what was sacrificed. The so-called peace walls, a series of metal, concrete, and barbed-wire barriers erected during the Troubles to provide buffers between Protestant and Catholic neighborhoods, have never been taken down.”


“Truth isn’t used here for reconciliation,” according to Anthony McIntyre, a former IRA member who conducted the oral history interviews for the Belfast Project. “Truth is used here for recrimination. It’s about poking your enemy in the eye.”

The Chronicle of Higher Education reports on the Belfast Project.

This entry was posted in Catholicism and Religious Violence, Christianity and Religious Violence, Civilians and Religious Violence, Northern Ireland Conflict, Protestantism and Religious Violence, Religious Militants, Religious Nationalism, Religious Terrorism, Research on Religious Violence. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Oral History of the Troubles in Belfast

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s