'Ending the Silence’: Addressing the Legacy of Displacement in Northern Ireland’s ‘Troubles’

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Though transitional justice measures are increasingly used to address displacement, particularly restitution programmes and truth-telling initiatives, the issue of addressing the long-term impact of displacement on individuals, communities and wider society represents significant challenges for peacebuilding processes. Based on in-depth interviews with those who suffered displacement in Northern Ireland’s ‘Troubles’, this article seeks to explore the marginalized and often silenced narratives of those displaced, shedding light on the multi-layered short- and long-term harms and consequences of displacement for individuals, families and community relations. The article’s argument is twofold: first, that experiences of displacement should be considered as a form of conflict-related harm and trauma and those displaced recognized as victims. And second, that ‘storytelling’ and other bottom-up acknowledgement projects are seen by victims and survivors as an effective vehicle to ‘break’ the silence, end the denial and advance their pursuit of recognition and acknowledgement.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108-127
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Transitional Justice
Issue number2
Early online date11 Apr 2021
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 31 Jul 2021

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  • Displacement
  • Northern Ireland
  • legacy
  • the Troubles
  • transitional justice


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