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Title: The Irish Language in post-agreement Northern Ireland : Moving out of conflict
Author: McMonagle, Sarah
ISNI:       0000 0004 2717 5599
Awarding Body: University of Ulster
Current Institution: Ulster University
Date of Award: 2010
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This thesis enquires whether the Irish language can be removed from discourses of conflict in post-Agreement Northern Ireland. Following an inter-disciplinary examination of the relation between language and the 'national' community, emphasis will be placed on deconstructing the binary of ethnopolitical conflict within which Irish has been framed. Considering that linguistic recognition has been conferred through the Good Friday Agreement (1998), language policy in Northern Ireland must be seen as a type of conflict management. Northern Ireland's transition from conflict will be analysed in terms of political stability through renewed powersharing, a more peaceful society and sociocultural pluralisation beyond the so-called 'two communities'. This period of reconstruction emphasises skills and equality to which language and cultural recognition are key. Utilising original qualitative and quantitative data, this author will present two studies in which the Irish language may be conceived outside of the conflict-management framework. Research undertaken for the comprehensive Northern Ireland Languages Strategy (NILS) reveals a high level of public support for generally increasing language skills in Northern Ireland, alongside mixed responses to the role of Irish. A primary case study on Irish language learners in Canada will then demonstrate the global and multi cultural significance of Irish, highlighting the porosity of physical and cultural borders that discourses of conflict eschew. Government reluctance to view the Irish language as a legitimate skill and matter for the equality agenda continues to shape policy and debate. This continuing form of conflict is inconsistent with the relative success of the democratic process, as well as with the developing Celtic language regimes elsewhere. In response, this author will examine a deliberative democratic forum for language planning in Northern Ireland. This thesis thus contributes to the fields of minority language planning and democratic theory by viewing them as mutually reinforcing in Northern Ireland's transition from conflict.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available