Terrorism and the abnormality of sport in Northern Ireland

David Hassan, Philip O'Kane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


This article examines the rationale for the limited use of sport by a range of paramilitary rganizations in Northern Ireland to supplement their wider political and ideological aspirations. In any divided society all aspects of life are recruited to reveal and occasionally contribute to this separation and periodically, when seeking to attack or undermine ‘the other’, their sporting pursuits and interests become part of any military offensive. Whilst it is wrong to suggest that sport was a consistent or substantial factor in the ethno-sectarian conflict in Northern Ireland, which unfolded over the latter part of the 20th century, it was used in a strategic manner by terror organizations and thus its deployment was rarely ill-conceived even if the outcomes of their actions were almost always unjustifiable and, ultimately, futile.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)397-413
JournalInternational Review for the Sociology of Sport
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2012


  • Sport
  • Terrorism
  • Northern Ireland


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