The study was commissioned from the University of Surrey who made contributions in kind of the time of the Principal Investigator, Marie Breen Smith. Northern Visions was commissioned to complete the accompanying film.
The conflict in Northern Ireland, often referred to as ‘the Troubles’, lasted from the late 1960s until the mid to late 1990s, with violent attacks continuing beyond the formal ending of the conflict with the signing of the Belfast or Good Friday Agreement in 1998. Continuing, albeit lower, levels of violence are as a result of two things: the activities of dissident groups who do not support the Agreement, and internecine feuding, particularly amongst Loyalist paramilitary groups.
The main protagonists in the conflict were: Republican paramilitaries, who largely focussed their attacks on the security forces, the police, the British Army including their local regiments, and on feuding with other Republican groups; the Loyalist paramilitaries who saw their role as ‘taking the war to the IRA’ but who also conducted random assassinations of Catholics and feuding with other Loyalist groups; and the security forces, whose attention was largely focussed on Republican paramilitaries and whose casualties were largely drawn from the Catholic population.
In all, approximately 3,700 people were killed in the period from 1969 to 1998, putting the death rate on a par with that in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, since the population of Northern Ireland is small, comprising between 1.5 and 1.7 million during the period of the conflict.
The documentary examines:
To view the report click here.