The spirits that were called the Bloody Sunday inquiry and the reconciliation process in Northerh Ireland
Ploss, Katharina (2006) The spirits that were called the Bloody Sunday inquiry and the reconciliation process in Northerh Ireland. [Thesis]
This thesis focuses on the research question whether the Bloody Sunday Inquiry has promoted reconciliation in Northern Ireland. The Inquiry examines the events of Bloody Sunday, January, the 30th 1972, when the British Army shot fourteen Catholic civilians during a civil rights march. The Bloody Sunday Inquiry is of significance for two reasons: firstly, if a historical truth commission, as a mechanism, can promote reconciliation. Secondly, the work of this thesis assesses Tony Blair's announcement of the Inquiry as a means to reconciliation. This research's further value lies in the novelty as the first scientific analysis of the Inquiry. Witness statements provided the latent content analysis which focused on the process since the final report of the Inquiry has not yet been published. In addition, five interviews, with concerned parties during a research stay in Northern Ireland in January/February 2006, provided insight into the perception of the inquiry as well as helped in the analysis of the findings from the content analysis. The content analysis reveals that the process of the inquiry holds only very few indicators for reconciliation. Rather, the indicators for Null-reconciliation - a term developed to qualify the indicators that state the opposite of reconciliation - exceeded those for reconciliation. Consequently, the content analysis suggests that the Bloody Sunday Inquiry does not promote reconciliation in Northern Ireland. This finding has been confirmed by all interviewees who underlined that Northern Ireland lacks a generic mechanism of dealing with the past.
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