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Title: The "Disappeared" and the past in Northern Ireland
Author: Dempster, Lauren Rose
ISNI:       0000 0004 6061 9905
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2016
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This interdisciplinary thesis explores a key issue in the 'dealing with the past debate' in Northern Ireland - the response to the ‘disappeared'. The responses of a number of key constituencies are analysed. The Republican Movement's framing of the 'disappeared' is examined. It is contended that Republican engagement in the search process is symbolic of the 'Movement's' transition away from violence. The families of the ‘disappeared' are considered as an example of a grassroots movement 'doing' transitional justice. Drawing from the social movement literature, the evolution of the families' campaign for the recovery of their loved ones is examined. In the local communities in which these ‘disappearances' occurred, it is argued that rumour, silence, and whispers of the truth created significant barriers for families. The thesis also explores the role of the state, looking at the 'policing' of the issue and examining the introduction, operation and legacy of the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims' Remains (ICLVR). The latter part of this thesis uses the issue of the ‘disappeared’ and the responses to it as a prism through which to explore a number of themes relevant to transitional justice. It is contended that a version of 'quiet' transitional justice on this issue helped create a less politicised space that facilitated progress, and has wider implications for the building of trust. The place of apology and acknowledgement is explored, as is the limited ‘truth' that has been established. The thesis also explores the politicisation of the memory of the 'disappeared'. This thesis concludes with an analysis of the utility of the ICLVR as the basis for the Independent Commission on Information Retrieval (IGIR) as outlined in the Stormont House Agreement. It examines what broader lessons are relevant for the ICIR, and for dealing with the past in Northern Ireland more generally.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available