From 1969 to 2018: Relocating historical narratives of displacement during ‘the Troubles’ through the European migrant crisis
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionCapital and Class. 2019, 43 (1), 23-38. 10.1177/0309816818818085
From the outset of the Northern Ireland conflict, the internal displacement of civilians from across the sectarian divide became a familiar phenomenon for those seeking to escape inter-communal conflict. In 2018, the legacy of this displacement remains pronounced, with segregation and division a feature of the ‘post-conflict’ landscape. Despite the far-reaching consequence of displacement during the Troubles, there has been little or no consideration of the long-term impact of displacement, with the need for restitution for those who were forced to leave their homes absent from the literature on dealing with the past. It can be argued that as a result, those who were displaced will remain hidden or forgotten victims. In 2016, in response to the growing migration crisis emanating from the Syrian conflict, European countries, including Ireland north and south, were asked to open up borders and provide sanctuary for civilians who had been displaced as a result of violence. The crisis has, in turn, sharpened the potential for those interested in legacy issues surrounding ‘the Troubles’ to begin to reflect more critically on the issue of historical displacement during the Northern Irish conflict. This article will, through reference to the response to the Syrian refugee crisis, critique why the issue of restitution for displaced people during ‘the Troubles’ has not found prominence in the voluminous literature on dealing with the past.