Alterations in public discourse towards multiculturalism, reconciliation and liberal democracy at the national level in Northern Ireland are evident from 1998 - 2002, but to what end? To what extent did language play a positive role in the Northern Ireland peace process? Recognizing that language does not tell the whole story of the Northern Irish experience of the Troubles or current peace process, the author highlights how language, as a transmitter and constitutor of culture, has played a role as a signifier of potential conflict, peace and progress (or lack thereof). In particular, the author considers several texts including excerpts from speeches given by Noble Prize Winners—the former First Minister David Trimble and former SDLP leader, John Hume; an IRA apology, Bloody Sunday Inquiry and the Belfast Agreement; and several selections from the work of Northern Irish poets Seamus Heaney and Eavan Boland.
liberal democracy, multiculturalism, Northern Ireland peace process, public discourse, reconciliation, role of language, speeches
"Culture, Rhetoric, and Reconciliation: The Place of Language in the Northern Irish Conflict and Peace Process (1998-2002),"
Peace and Conflict Studies: Vol. 13:
1, Article 3.
Available at: https://nsuworks.nova.edu/pcs/vol13/iss1/3