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  • Sinéad McShane

    SMcSSinéad studied in Ulster University from 2014-2016, linked to INCORE (International Conflict Research) and the Peace and Conflict Research Group in the Psychology Institute. Her project was entitled “Stories of Challenge-Stories of Change: Why do older people share their personal accounts of the Northern Ireland Conflict?”.

    This research project, sought to make a significant contribution to our understanding of the role of older people and storytelling in the ongoing conflict transformation process in Northern Ireland.   The overall aim of the investigation was to understand why older people, who lived through the conflict, tell their stories and what are the outcomes of doing so.

    This is important because the signing of the Northern Ireland peace agreement, the Good Friday Agreement (1998), did not mean that the conflict was resolved. Dealing with the past is a significant aspect of post conflict reconstruction and storytelling has a key role to play. The generations who lived through the conflict are transitioning into mid and late adulthood, against a backdrop of violence, trauma, bereavement, injury, destruction, loss and imprisonment. Storytelling is a generational process and older people have a significant contribution to make in shaping the society the next generation inherits.

    INCORE’s “Accounts of the Conflict” project, funded by the European Union Peace Programme, built a digital archive and repository, to provide for the long-term storage of stories related to the conflict in, and about, Northern Ireland. The archive contains a database of all projects that have been carried out.