Language and Cultural Politics in Northern Ireland

In: European Yearbook of Minority Issues Online
Author: Ronnie Moore
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This paper presents an outline of the circumstances surrounding the current political stalemate in Northern Ireland. It considers the role of language as a key justification for the unravelling of the complex political arrangements formulated by The Belfast Agreement or Good Friday Agreement (GFA). The discussion begins by problematizing the notions of “identity” and “minority” in the Irish / Northern Irish context as an important backdrop and within the framework of the European commitment to, and Charter for, Regional or Minority Languages (ECRML). In particular it looks at historical memory, constructed history, ideology and notions of nationalism, as well as the role of politics and manipulation of language.

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